Mayiladuturai is a famous temple, which is well designed
with a beautiful tank, several Gopurams and Mandapams, located in the town
of Mayiladuturai (Mayuram). This is a temple of great religious
significance, and is a hub in the temple belt of Tamil Nadu.
Several Shivasthalams are located in the vicinity of Mayiladuturai.
Shrines In The Vicinity Of Mayiladuturai
Mayiladuturai is in the midst of several shrines with puranic significance. The Sapta Matas are said to have worshipped Lord Shiva at 7 of the temples in the vicinity including Vallalaar Kovil. Dakshinamurti's shrine in the nearby Vallalaar (Gurumoorti - Vadhaanyeswara) Koyil is of great significance. On the banks of the Kaveri, near the bathing ghats is the Kasi Viswanathar temple with Vimanams along the lines of those at Benares.
About The Temple
The temple is spread over 35,0000-sq-ft. and has 5 Prakarams, a 9 tiered 165 feet high Raja Gopuram, pillared halls with interesting sculptural work as well as 14 Vimanams (also spelt as Vimana) with several stucco images. Inscriptions from the Imperial Chola period are found here. The Tiruvavaduturai Adhinam manages the temple, while the Dharumapura Adhinam manages the Vallalar Koyil and Kaashi Vishwanathar temple.
Reconstruction Of The Temple
The temple was reconstructed with stone, during the period of Sembiyan Mahadevi (10th century); however renovations from the 19th century have destroyed the older structures and the inscriptions. Thankfully fine stone sculptures of Vinayaka, Nataraja, "Shiva-Uma-Alinganamurti", "Dakshimamurti", "Lingodbhavar", Brahma, Ganga Visarjanamurti, Durga and Bhikshatanar from the period of "Sembiyan Mahadevi" have been well preserved in their niches.
From available inscriptions it is inferred that the Avayambal shrine came into existence during the period of Rajaraja Chola III (13th century). Till then, there must only have been a "Bhogashakti" bronze image in the sanctum of "Mayuranathar", as was the practice till separate Ambal shrines were introduced during the reign of Kulottunga Chola I (1075-1120).
Legend Connected With The Temple
Legend has it that Dakshayani (Parvati) took the form of a peahen after her father's "Daksha Yagna" and worshipped Lord Shiva here. Shiva is said to have taken a peacock form, performed the "Gowri Tandavam" and united with her here. "Mayuranathar" is believed to have quelled the Kaveri floods to make way for "Sambandar" and 4 of the Vallalar shrines in the vicinity are said to be manifestations of Mayuranathar.
Interestingly, the "Tiruppariyalur Veerattam", where the Dakshayagnam is believed to have been performed, is located at a distance from 8 -km from this temple.
Thousands of pilgrims converge here during the Tulaa (Libra) festival. A noteworthy feature of the Mayuranathar temple is the daily processional ritual to the banks of the Kaveri throughout the monsoon month of Libra. Shiva's dance is enacted at the Aadi Sabhai on the 7th day of the grand festival in the month of Libra. The annual festival Brahmotsavam is observed in the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May-June).
Rail: Mayiladuturai has a railway station.
Road: Mayiladuturai is well connected by road with Sirkazhi, Chidambaram, Kutralam, Nagapattinam, etc.
Accommodation is available at the economy class hotels and lodges in Kutralam (also spelt as Courtallam), Nagapattinam and Sirkazhi.