Dayanidheeswarar, Vadakurangaduthurai, Thanjavur


Basic information about the temple

Moolavar:DayanidheeswararAmbal / Thayar:Azhagusadaimudiammai, Jatamakuta Nayaki
Deity:SivaHistorical name:Tiruvadakurangaaduthurai, Kapisthalam
Vriksham:Thennai (Coconut)Teertham:Mangala Teertham, Kaveri river
Agamam:

Age (years):

1000-2000

Timing:8 to 12 & 4 to 9Parikaram:

Temple group:Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Vada Karai)
Sung by:

Sambandar, Appar

Temple set:

Navagraham:

Nakshatram:

City / town:VadakurangaduthuraiDistrict:Thanjavur
Maps from (click): Current location Thanjavur (21 km)Kumbakonam (27 km)

Ariyalur (34 km)Perambalur (61 km)

Location

Sthala puranam and temple information

Along the River Kaveri are two Paadal Petra Sthalams in places called Kurangaduthurai, indicating that monkeys (kurangu) worshipped at those temples. Located east of Kumbakonam is Then Kurangaduthurai (more popularly as Aduthurai; the “then” is because it is located south of the Kaveri river), home of the Abatsahayeswarar temple. Upriver and located between Tiruvaiyaru and Kumbakonam, is this place which is called Vada Kurangaduthurai, the prefix indicating it is located north of the Kaveri river.

There is a little-known story about Vali having a separate spat with Ravana, the king of Lanka. Vali is said to have all his powers in his tail, and during an attempt to strike Ravana, his tail was injured and lost its prowess. Vali came and worshipped Siva here to regain the strength in his tail. Siva blessed Vali accordingly, and so Siva here is also called Valinathar. Interestingly, at Then Kurangaduthurai, the story is about Vali’s brother Sugreeva worshipping Siva. Hanuman is also said to have worshipped at this temple here, to repent for damaging the Lingam Sita had made out of sand at Rameswaram, upon returning from Lanka.

Normally, pregnant women are advised not to visit temples (despite any superstitions associated with this, the practicality of this advise stems from the uneven flooring of temples in the days of yore, which posed the risk of tripping and falling down). However, pregnant women seek this temple out for worship, and that is because of another sthala puranam here. A pregnant woman was once traveling near here during the height of summer. The river being dry, she was on the brink of dying of thirst, when she spotted a coconut tree. But given her state, she could not climb the tree. She started praying to Lord Siva for help. The Lord obliged, by making a coconut tree bend, so she could pluck a tender coconut and quench her thirst. The coconut tree is the sthala vriksham of this temple. Because Siva is the repository of all grace, which He bestowed on the woman, He is called Dayanidheswarar. A pregnant woman is called Chetti-Penn in Tamil, and

A sparrow used to worship here by bringing water in its little beak, flying back and forth several times, to perform abhishekam for Lord Siva. Pleased with the devotion of the little bird, Siva blessed the bird with moksham. The sparrow is called Chittu Kuruvi in Tamil, and so Siva here also goes by the name Chitti Lingeswarar.

Arunagirinathar has sung about Murugan in his Tiruppugazh, at this temple.

Sekkizhar’s Periya Puranam, the hagiography of the 63 Saivite saints / Nayanmars, records that Sambandar visited this temple after worshipping Siva as Ezhuthari Nathar at Innambar. The temple has a full pathigam sung on it and the Lord here, both by Appar and Sambandar. Vallalar, the saint, has also sang hymns in praise of the deity of this temple.

Since the temple is sung on by Appar and Sambandar, it would have existed before the 7th century CE. The structural temple is originally from the Pallava period, with later renovations by both the Cholas and Pandyas. There are several inscriptions in the temple, most of which are from the Chola and Pandya phase. These refer to Raja Raja Chola I, Kulothunga Chola III and the Pandya king Vikrama Pandya. One inscription also indicates that the prakaram was constructed by two clans – Ezhupaththonpathu Valanattu Periya Nattar and Pathinen Vishayathar – who are likely to have been trader communities.

The temple is well laid out, with a large space between the gopuram and the maha mandapam. There is no dhwajasthambam, but there is a bali peetham and dhwajasthambam. To the right of these is the Amman shrine, outside the main mandapam. A beautiful stucco image depicting the scene in Kailasam adorns the entrance. Inside, a further corridor brings us to the sanctum, comprising of the ardha mandapam, antarala and garbhagriham. The story of the pregnant woman receiving the coconut is depicted in bas relief on one of the pillars. At the entrance to the garbhagriham is a shrine housing Vinayakar, Murugan, and Ayyanar with his consorts Poorna and Pushkala.

On the outer wall of the ardha mandapam are Vinayakar and Lingodhbhavar on the south (the latter being quite unusual). There are no such deities on the northern wall of the ardha mandapam. In the koshtam around the garbhagriham are the usual deities – Vinayakar, Dakshinamurti, Ardhanareeswarar, Brahma and Durga. In the prakaram are shrines for Vinayakar, Murugan with his consorts Valli and Deivanai, Kailaya Lingam, Gajalakshmi, Chandikeswarar and twin Bhairavars. There are also shrines for Appar and Sambandar.

The koshtam shrine for Durga is of Ashtabuja Durga, depicted with 8 arms. The unique thing about this Durga is that when abhishekam is performed for Her with milk, the milk appears blue! Most temples have a bronze vigraham of Natarajar, but this temple is unusual, in that there is also a stone sculpture in a shrine, featuring Natarajar and Sivakami Amman.

This is one of 88 temples that come under the auspices of the Thanjavur Palace Devasthanam.

Other information for your visit

Contact

Phone: 04374-240491, 04373-244 191
Balamurugan Gurukal: 97877 42454

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