Tirukaraivasal: We checked out of Tiruvarur Circuit House early morning and drove of towards Tirukkaraivasal or Tirukarayil around 13 Kms away. The deity is Shiva also known as Kannayira Natheswarar, Tyagarajar (Aadi Vitankar). Ambal is Kailaya Nayaki. Theertham: Indra Theertham & Patikam : Sambandar. This Tevara Sthalam is regarded as of the 7 SaptaVitanka sthalams, housing shrines to Tyagaraja - Somaskandar associated with the Muchukunda Chola legend of Tiruvarur .This shrine is regarded as the 119th in the series of Tevara Stalams in the Chola Region south of the river Kaveri.
Legends: Indra is said to have worshipped Shiva on a full moon night in the month of Virgo. It is believed that Kadukkai Pillaiyar here, transformed a trader's cargo of nutmeg into Kadukkaai and then back to Nutmeg.
The Temple: Tyagarajar here is known as Aadi Vitankar and is associated with the Kukkuta Natanam dance. The temple covers an area of about an acre. The Indra Theertham is located to the North of the temple.
Tirukkuvalai: Our next stop was at Tirukkuvalai. Shiva: Sundareswarar, Brahmapureeswarar, Kolilinathar & Tyagarajar & Ambal: Meenakshi, Vandamar Poonkuzhili, Brhmara Kuchalambikai. Theertham: Bhrama Theertham & Patikam : Sambandar, Appar, Sundarar.
Tirukkolili is one of the Saptavitanka shrines of Tyagarajar, enshrining Avanivitankar; the natanam here is Bhringa Natanam. This shrine is regarded as the 123rd in the series of Tevara Stalams in the Chola Region south of the river Kaveri.
Legends: Tyagaraja here is associated with the Muchukunda Chola legend of Tiruvarur. Brahma is said to have worshipped here prior to commencing the act of creation, hence Brahma Tapovanam, Brahmapureeswarar. Since the sins of the 9 celestial bodies (Kol) were forgiven here, the name Tirukkolili came into being. The Navagrahas are enshrined in a straight row here as in Tiruvarur.
Bhima is said to have prayed for forgiveness for having slain Bakaasuran or redemption from Brahmahati Dosham. Sundarar was blessed with rice grains here and this vast supply of grains was miraculously transported by boothaghanas to Tiruvarur. This is commemorated in the Maasi Magam festival. An aged devotee from Kundaiyur intent upon travelling to Madurai was blessed with a vision of Meenakshi and Sundareswarar here.
The Temple: This temple covering an area of under 2 acres has two prakarams the temple entrance is crowned with an imposing Rajagopuram. The Brahma Theertham is situated in front of the temple. The Shivalingam is a Prithvi Lingam (of fine white sand) as in Tiruvarur. It is covered by a Kovilai or Bronze Kavacham.
There are inscriptions here from the period of the Imperial Cholas and Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan. Sundaramoorthy Nayanar and Paravai Nachiyar face Tyagarajar as in Tiruvarur. The Brahmapureeswarar, Tyagarajar and the Ambal shrines face east. Agasthyar is said to have worshipped Shiva here, and this lingam is enshrined in a separate temple in the complex.
Images of Ardhanareeswarar, Mahavishnu, Natarajar, Nartana Vinayakar and those of the stalapuranam, depicting Brahma worshipping Shiva - on the temple walls are of great beauty. Also of great beauty are the bronze images here.
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