Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Chitrambala Naadeeswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Yoganayaki|
|Agamam:||Age (years):||Timing:||7 to 11 & 5 to 7||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Sitharkadu||District:||Nagapattinam|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Mayiladuthurai (1 km)||Kumbakonam (37 km)|
|Tiruvarur (44 km)||Nagapattinam (55 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
This Siva temple today is the jeeva samadhi of Kazhi (Sirkazhi) Sitrambala Nadigal. The Siva Lingam has been consecrated on the site of the saint’s jeeva samadhi.
Kazhi Sitrambala Nadigal was a Saivite saint from the 14th century. Born in Sirkazhi, he spent much of his time at Chidambaram, where he had several followers. One day, they were served food by a devout couple but, inadvertently, the couple served neem oil instead of ghee. Nadigal and all his disciples ate the food without complaining, except one disciple called Kannappan, whom Nadigal admonished for not being grateful. Hurt by this Kannappan left the place. Several years later, Nadigal decided to undertake jeeva samadhi, and this was informed to the king of the region so as to arrange pits for Nadigal and 63 of his disciples who accompanied him. Nadigal sat in meditation and eventually attained jeeva samadhi. Kannapan – who had gone elsewhere – came here and was disappointed to find that no pit had been dug for him. Overcome by this, he wept his heart out, and performed a pradakshinam of his Guru’s samadhi. Immediately, Nadigal’s jeeva samadhi opened up, and Nadigal took Kannappan on his lap – and together, they merged with the Lord.
There is documented detail on how Kazhi Sitrambala Nadigal received his upadesam. The first upadesam was given by Lord Siva to Nandi. After that, the trail is as follows: Nandi-Sanaka-Sanathana-Sanat Kumara-Satya Gnana Darshini-Paranjothi-Meikandar-Arunandi Sivam-Marai Gnanasambandar-Umapati Sivacharyar-Arul Namasivayam-Kazhi Gangai Meikandar-Kazhi Sitrambala Nadigal.
The place gets its name as Sitharkadu, as this was the final resting place of the Siddhar Sitrambala Nadigal.
Soon after, the first structural temple here was constructed, which would therefore date to the 14th century during the late Chola period.
There is no raja gopuram, and instead a welcome arch with stucco images of Vinayakar, Siva and Parvati on Rishabham, and Murugan, adorns the entrance. The temple has been significantly renovated and several additions – including a complete covering of the prakaram – was done in 2015 at the time of the most recent kumbhabhishekam.
The main mandapam houses the garbhagriham (including the antarala and ardha mandapam). The Siva Lingam in the garbhagriham is installed on the jeeva samadhi of Nadigal, who is also the utsavar of this temple. The entrance to the ardha mandapam is guarded by Vinayakar and Murugan.
Around the outer wall of the garbhagriham are bas reliefs of 63 Lingams representing the 63 disciples who attained Jeeva Samadhi along with Nadigal.
In the koshtams are Dakshinamurti, Maha Vishnu and Brahma. In the prakaram are various shrines, including ones for Vinayakar, Murugan with his consorts Valli and Deivanai, Yoga Siddhar, Ayyappan with Poorna and Pushkala, a series of 7 Lingams with Nandis (Sapta Vitangar), Gajalakshmi, Chandikeswarar, Sani, Suryan and Bhairavar. Amman’s is in a separate east-facing shrine in the prakaram.