Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Chandrasekharar||Ambal / Thayar:||Visalakshi|
|Agamam:||Age (years):||Timing:||7 to 11 & 4 to 7||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Mappadugai||District:||Mayiladuthurai|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Mayiladuthurai (2 km)||Kumbakonam (38 km)|
|Tiruvarur (46 km)||Nagapattinam (57 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
The area of Sholampettai is actually a group of smaller villages including Sholampettai, Ramapuram and Mappadugai. Mappadugai also goes by the name of Pandaravadai. There are several temples in this cluster of villages, including the Tirumeni Azhagar, Chandrasekharar temple and Lakshmi Narayana Perumal at Mappadugai; Azhagiyanathar temple, Thanthondreeswarar temple and Vanamutti Perumal at Sholampettai; and a Siva and Perumal temple in Ramapuram.
The name of the village – Mappadugai – is rather unusual and there are two stories for this. The first is that this place would likely have been a large area of mango trees (maamaram; padukkai means a bed). The other story is much more interesting! It is said that both the Ramayanam and Mahabharatam have taken place at various times in different parts of the country. In the local retelling of the Ramayanam, Ravana engaged his uncle Maricha to take the form of a golden deer to distract Sita and lure Rama into chasing it. Eventually, Rama captured the deer, as it came to rest at this place. This gave the place the name Maan (deer) Padukkai (resting place). Over time, this has corrupted to Mappadugai.
The sthala puranam of this temple is connected with the puranam of the nearby Tirumeni Azhagar temple, which is about lunar eclipses. Chandran did not want to incur the wrath of Suryan, and so came here to worship Lord Siva and seek protection. The Lord duly granted Chandran his wish, and Chandran is said to have gone back to the Tirumeni Azhagar temple as a benevolent deity. Since Lord Siva was worshipped by Chandran here, He is called Chandrasekharar.
The temple faces east where there is a small gate, but the main entrance is from the south. There is no dhwajasthambam, but there is a bali peetham and Nandi mandapam. Following this is the maha mandapam which houses the garbhagriham of the moolavar and the south-facing shrine of Kamakshi Amman. On the left of the garbhagriham entrance is a very old vigraham of Vinayakar.
In the koshtam, only Dakshinamurti and Durga are present. In the prakaram are Vinayakar, Murugan with his consorts Valli and Deivanai, Gajalakshmi, and Chandikeswarar. On the east are shrines for Swarna Akarshana Bhairavar (depicted, rather uniquely, with His consort on His lap), Suryan and Sani. Interestingly, despite his connection with this temple, there is no separate shrine for Chandran here. There is also no Navagraham shrine here.
Other information for your visit
The house right next to the temple belongs to the priest – Senthil Kumar Gurukkal – who is extremely kind and willing to open the temple for devotees whenever they visit.
Senthil Kumar Gurukkal: 8825737349