Sivalokanathar, Mangudi, Mayiladuthurai


This Chola period temple is dated as being over 1000 years old, and is located in the village of Mangudi, which itself has some very interesting stories with regard to its etymology. What would have been an imposing temple in the late Chola period is, today, in a pathetic state of repair and structural failing. But what does this temple have to do with the two nearby temples for Siva as Bhulokanathar and Naganathar?… Read More Sivalokanathar, Mangudi, Mayiladuthurai

Kailasanathar, Tirumoolasthanam, Cuddalore


This is one of the many temples where sage Agastyar visited and consecrated a Lingam, after being presented with the divine vision of Siva and Parvati’s wedding at Kailasam. This is also where the Goddess trio of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati have worshipped. Despite its heavily dilapidated situation today, the temple offers some insights into temple building styles from before the Chola period. What are some of these indications, and to what time period does this temple belong?… Read More Kailasanathar, Tirumoolasthanam, Cuddalore

Aatkondanathar, Iraniyur, Sivaganga


One of the 9 main Nagarathar temples of the Chettinadu region, this temple’s sthala puranam could perhaps explain the reason for the popularity of Sarabeswarar worship in this region. The temple is popularly referred to as the temple of sculpture (sirpa koil), for obvious reasons as can be seen in the pictures of the temple interiors. But how is this temple, and indeed the name of the place, connected to one of Vishnu’s avatarams? … Read More Aatkondanathar, Iraniyur, Sivaganga

Valarolinathar, Vairavanpatti, Sivaganga


The third largest of the 9 Nagarathar temples, this temple filled with exemplary architecture is perhaps the origin of the primacy of Bhairavar worship in the region. Siva deputed Bhairavar to overcome an asura, after which Bhairavar merged back into Siva as a growing light of knowledge, giving Siva the name Tirumeignana Pureeswarar. But how is this temple connected to ridding Brahma of his ego, as well as the Ramayanam?… Read More Valarolinathar, Vairavanpatti, Sivaganga

Idamkondeeswarar, Kalyanapuram, Thanjavur


Sage Kashyapa wanted to see Siva and Parvati in their wedding attire, and was looking for the ideal place to worship. Guided by a celestial voice, he came here, and after performing penance, he was rewarded with the divine vision of the celestial wedding. This temple is a Vaippu Sthalam that finds mention in one of Appar’s Tevaram pathigams. But why is Siva here regarded as the elder brother of Siva at nearby Tiruvidaimaruthur?… Read More Idamkondeeswarar, Kalyanapuram, Thanjavur

Saptarisheeswarar, Ammachatram, Thanjavur


Everyone needs sages and priests to conduct weddings, and the gods are no exception to this! This is where the seven sages of yore are said to have met, to plan the wedding of Siva and Parvati on earth! The temple – which is located close to several other temples connected with the Siva-Parvati wedding – is however more famous for the powerful Kala Bhairavar, who is regarded as equivalent to the one at Kasi. But what is the Ramayanam connection of this temple?… Read More Saptarisheeswarar, Ammachatram, Thanjavur

Agasteeswarar, Villivakkam, Chennai


When Agastyar had to come down south to balance the world during the Siva-Parvati wedding, this is where he received a vision of the celestial spectacle, and also overcame the demons Vatapi and Ilvala. This temple has a combination of both Chola and Pallava influences and architecture. The name of the place is also associated with this story. But why is Amman here named Swarnambigai? … Read More Agasteeswarar, Villivakkam, Chennai

அகஸ்தீஸ்வரர், அகஸ்தியன் பள்ளி, நாகப்பட்டினம்


அகஸ்தியரால் பிரதிஷ்டை செய்யப்பட்ட பல கோவில்களில் ஒன்று. இங்கு, அவருக்கு சிவன் மற்றும் பார்வதியின் தெய்வீக திருமணத்தின் தரிசனம் வழங்கப்பட்டது… Read More அகஸ்தீஸ்வரர், அகஸ்தியன் பள்ளி, நாகப்பட்டினம்

Kalyana Sundareswarar, Velvikudi, Nagapattinam


This is one of the temples connected with Siva’s marriage to Parvati, on earth. The temple’s sthala puranam is also connected to a prince and princess, whose wedding had to be cancelled as the princess suddenly died before the date fixed for the wedding. The prince prayed at this temple, upon which Lord Siva instructed his ganas to revive the princess and get her ready for the wedding. But what is unusual, indeed almost unique, about Ardhanareeswarar at this temple?… Read More Kalyana Sundareswarar, Velvikudi, Nagapattinam

Maatruraivaradeeswarar, Tiruvasi, Tiruchirappalli


One of the two puranams for Siva’s name here, is about Sundarar who asked Siva for gold in order to feed the local poor. Suspecting the purity of some gold he found, he had it inspected by two goldsmiths who happened to come that way…who, after certifying that the gold was high quality, revealed themselves to be Siva and Vishnu! But what is special about the iconography of Natarajar here, who is also called Sarpa Natarajar?… Read More Maatruraivaradeeswarar, Tiruvasi, Tiruchirappalli

உமாமகேஸ்வரர், கோனேரிராஜபுரம், மயிலாடுதுறை


புரூரவஸ் மன்னன் தொழுநோயால் அவதிப்பட்டான், அதனால் அவன் ஆட்சி செய்ய தகுதியற்றவன். எந்த மருந்துகளாலும் நிவாரணம் பெற முடியாமல், மன்னன் இறுதி முயற்சியாக சிவபெருமானை வழிபடத் தொடங்கினான். இதன் ஒரு பகுதியாக, அவர் பல்வேறு கோவில்களில் வழிபாடு செய்தார், ஆனால் அவர் இறுதியாக இங்கு வந்தபோது, அவருக்கு உடனடியாக நோய் குணமானது. இந்த முடிவால் மகிழ்ச்சியடைந்து, நன்றி செலுத்தும் விதமாக, அவர் இங்கு கோயில் விமானத்தைக் கட்டி, அதை தங்கத்தால் மூடினார். இந்த புராணம் இருப்பதால், இந்த… Read More உமாமகேஸ்வரர், கோனேரிராஜபுரம், மயிலாடுதுறை

Pathaaleeswarar, Haridwaramangalam, Tiruvarur


This Paadal Petra Sthalam and Pancha Aranya Kshetram (a set of five temples located in what used to be forests) is located near Kumbakonam, and has two very interesting sthala puranams connected with it. One is about Siva emerging as a pillar of fire, with Vishnu and Brahma taking the form of a boar and a swan, to find the ends of the pillar. The other has to do with Siva’s marriage to Parvati, but it wasn’t so simple! What was this all about?… Read More Pathaaleeswarar, Haridwaramangalam, Tiruvarur

Udhvaganathar, Tirumanancheri, Nagapattinam


Of the many temples in the region, this is regarded as the place where Siva and Parvati were married, on earth. As a nitya kalyana kshetram, Tirukalyanam is performed every day here, and there are so many interesting aspects to the murtis of Siva and Parvati. There are also other stories connected to Kama dahanam, and how a boy born with the head of a tortoise got married after worshipping at this temple. But why is there no Navagraham shrine at this temple?… Read More Udhvaganathar, Tirumanancheri, Nagapattinam

Uktavedeeswarar, Kuttalam, Nagapattinam


This Paadal Petra Sthalam is one of the many Chola period temples near Kumbakonam, connected with the celestial wedding of Siva and Parvati. It is also a pancha-krosha sthalam, and is the centre point of the temples belonging to this group. The sthala puranam here is about a devotee who wanted to visit Kasi, but Lord Siva showed him that this place was equal to Kasi in every way. But why is the sthala vriksham (sacred tree) of this temple so important in Saiva lore? … Read More Uktavedeeswarar, Kuttalam, Nagapattinam

உக்தவேதீஸ்வரர், குத்தாலம், நாகப்பட்டினம்


உத்திரசன்மன் காசிக்குச் சென்று சிவனை வழிபட விரும்பினான். ஆனால் இந்த இடம் காசிக்குச் சமமானது என்பதை சிவபெருமான் அறிய விரும்பினார். பாம்பின் வடிவம் எடுத்து பக்தரை பயமுறுத்துவதற்காக அவர் தனது கணங்களில் ஒன்றை நியமித்தார். ஆனால் உத்ரசன்மன் கருட மந்திரத்தை உச்சரித்து பாம்பை மயக்கமடையச் செய்தார். அப்போது சிவனே பாம்பாட்டி வடிவில் இறங்கி பாம்புக்கு நிவாரணம் வழங்கினார். கருட மந்திரத்தின் மந்திரத்தை சிவனால் மட்டுமே உடைக்க முடியும் என்பதை உணர்ந்த உத்ரசன்மன், காசியில் வணங்குவது போல் இங்கும்… Read More உக்தவேதீஸ்வரர், குத்தாலம், நாகப்பட்டினம்

Sundareswarar, Madurai, Madurai


One of the best-known temples of Tamil Nadu, the temple is more famous for Parvati as Meenakshi Amman. This pancha-sabhai temple is connected with one of the earthly weddings of Siva and Parvati, and both the temple and the city feature in Sangam literature…indeed, Madurai is the home of the Sangam era. Associated with several Nayanmars, the temple and city are also home to several of the 64 Tiruvilaiyadals of Lord Siva. But how does this temple sit as a counterpoint to the Natarajar temple at Chidambaram, and what is unique about Lord Siva’s Sandhya tandavam associated with this temple?… Read More Sundareswarar, Madurai, Madurai

குற்றாலநாதர், குற்றாலம், திருநெல்வேலி


சிவன் தனது பிரபஞ்ச நடனத்தை நிகழ்த்திய பஞ்ச சபை கோயில்களில் இதுவும் ஒன்றாகும். சிவன் திரிபுர தாண்டவம் செய்த சித்திர சபையைக் குறிக்கும் கோயில் இது. மற்ற 4: சிதம்பரத்தில் உள்ள திருமூலநாதர் / நடராஜர் (பொற் சபை, ஆனந்த தாண்டவம்) மதுரையில் சுந்தரேஸ்வரர் (வெள்ளி சபை, சந்தியா தாண்டவம்) திருநெல்வேலியில் நெல்லைப்பர் (தாம்ர சபை, முனி தாண்டவம்) மற்றும் சென்னைக்கு அருகிலுள்ள திருவாலங்காடு வதாரண்யேஸ்வரர் (ரஜத சபை, காளி தாண்டவம்). ஸ்தல புராணம் மற்றும் கோவில்… Read More குற்றாலநாதர், குற்றாலம், திருநெல்வேலி