Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Brahmapureeswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Tripurasundari|
|Agamam:||Age (years):||Timing:||to & to||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Vaippu sthalam||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Sitharkadu||District:||Mayiladuthurai|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Mayiladuthurai (1 km)||Kumbakonam (37 km)|
|Tiruvarur (44 km)||Nagapattinam (55 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
This temple is located a few hundred meters east of Margasahayeswarar temple in Moovalur, very close to Mayiladuthurai. The location of the temple can be identified from the large and prominent welcome arch on the Mayiladuthurai-Kumbakonam road (on the left, when coming from Mayiladuthurai).
This Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam is mentioned in one of Sambandar’s pathigams. After worshipping at Mayiladuthurai, Sambandar proceeded towards Moovalur to worship at the Margasahayeswarar temple there. However, when he reached this place (Sitharkadu) and worshipped at this temple, he noticed that every inch of land between here and the Margasahayeswarar temple was covered in Siva Lingams. So, the child saint worshipped Margasahayeswarar from the temple tank here itself. Sambandar is depicted in bas relief in the inner wall of the raja gopuram here.
Because of the story of Sambandar, the temple itself is locally referred to as the Sambandar Koil.
The temple faces west, and a welcome arch separates the long path to the raja gopuram (on the east) from the temple tank (on the west). To the right of this passage is the temple’s nandavanam (gardens).
The raja gopuram features Vinayakar and Murugan inside niches on either side. Beyond is a wide, covered corridor in which are the dhwajasthambam, bali peetham and Nandi mandapam. One can see the moolavar practically unobstructed from here. Two majestic dwarapalakas guard the maha mandapam.
Inside are the ardha mandapam, antarala and garbhagriham, and on the left win the ardha mandapam, is the south-facing shrine for Tripurasundari Amman. There is no other Nandi in front of the garbhagriham, and only a lone Vinayakar – named Sthapana Ganapati – stands guard at the entrance of the garbhagriham. In a niche to the right of the garbhagriham, is a vigraham of Sambandar (who visited here) depicted with palms folded in worship.
Also in this antarala / ardha mandapam is the Navagraham shrine – what makes it unique is the absolutely unheard-of arrangement of the deities – in terms of both the directions they face, and their positions relative to each other.
In the koshtam are Durga, Brahma, Lingodhbhavar and Dakshinamurti. In the prakaram are shrines for Murugan with his consorts Valli and Deivanai, individual deities including Naagara, Vinayakar, a Lingam, Appar, etc, Bhairavar, Chandikeswarar, the four Tevaram saints (Appar, Sundarar, Sambandar and Manikkavasagar – all standing), Sekkizhar (seated), and Vinayakar.
Other information for your visit
As is the case with several places, there are 7 temples (usually called Sapta Sthanam) in and around Mayiladuthurai which comprise the Mayiladuthurai Sapta Sthanam set of temples, and which celebrate their festival together. These seven temples here are:
Mayuranathar, Mayiladuthurai, Mayiladuthurai
Margasahayeswarar, Moovalur, Nagapattinam
Aiyarappar, Mayiladuthurai, Mayiladuthurai
Kasi Viswanathar, Senthangudi, Mayiladuthurai
Punugeswarar, Mayiladuthurai, Mayiladuthurai
Brahmapureeswarar, Sitharkadu, Mayiladuthurai
Azhagiyanathar, Sholampettai, Mayiladuthurai
As part of the festival, the utsava deities of all these temples gather together, and go in procession around Mayiladuthurai, on Chitra Pournami, and finally reach the Mayuranathar temple, before going back to their respective temples.