Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Kottai Bhairavar||Ambal / Thayar:||–|
|Timing:||6 to 12 & 4 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Tirumayam||District:||Pudukkottai|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Pudukkottai (18 km)||Karaikudi (24 km)|
|Tiruchirappalli (76 km)||Thanjavur (90 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
Over the centuries, Tirumayam – a corruption of Tirumeyyam or the land of truth – has been ruled by various dynasties including the Pallavas, Mutharaiyars, Cholas, Pandyas, Vijayanagara dynasty, Hoysalas, Thondaiman and Sethupatis. As a result, one finds all sorts of interesting elements in the Tirumayam fort as well as the temples in and around it.
Tirumayam is famous for the Satya Gireeswarar Siva temple, which is a Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam, and also the Satya Murti Perumal temple for Vishnu, which is Divya Desam temple. Both temples are located on the southern side of the fort, share a common wall, and both temple’s rear “wall” is the hillock itself. The two temples are from the Pallava time, built in this specific manner to promote inter-community unity between Saivites and Vaishnavites.
As a result of various clans and dynasties ruling this region, other temples developed around the hillock, the most prominent of which are the Kottai Bhairavar and Kottai Muneeswarar temples. The Tirumayam fort was built by the Sethupatis, and has three entrances – one each in the north, south and east. Bhairavar and Muneeswarar are regarded as guardian deities of the northern and southern entrances. The fort itself occupies an area of about 40 acres, and was originally built with seven concentric walls, of which only three remain now. The fort was also, at one time, called Oomayan Kottai after Oomai Thurai, brother of Veerapandya Kattabomman, the who fought the British.
The Kottai Bhairavar temple is a small roadside shrine for Bhairavar, located in the northern side of the fort’s outer walls, at the point where the road branches towards Pudukkottai. Being part of the fort, which itself is an ASI site, this temple also comes under the aegis of the Archaeological Society of India.
This Bhairavar – who is regarded as an aspect of Siva – is a guardian deity, said to protect those in the fort as well as those who worship here. It is also rare, inasmuch as Bhairavar faces north here. In most Siva temples, Bhairavar is typically located in the eastern or north-eastern part of the temple, facing west.
This Bhairavar is regarded as very powerful, with almost every vehicle passing this place stopping over for a quick worship by the occupants. It is also a favourite of local politicians! However, most visitors to the Siva and Vishnu temple on the other side of the fort, are not aware of this shrine, or the very interesting Kottai Muneeswarar shrine and its adjuncts.
Being part of the Chettinadu region, Bhairavar worship is a strong feature at this temple. Bhairavar Janmashtami is celebrated here with great festivities, on the day of theipirai Ashtami (8th day of the waning moon) in the Tamil month of Margazhi (December-January), and on all theipirai Ashtami days in general.
Other information for your visit
There are two contact numbers of priests for this temple given below. The first one is for the priest who officiates between the 1st and 15th of every calendar month, while the second number belongs to the priest officiating in the second half.
Phone 1: 95433 85858
Phone 2: 99441 74152