Tirukkadaiyur is one of the eight "Veeratta Stalams:
(also spelt as Sthalams) of Shiva, located on the road linking
Mayiladuturai and Tarangampaadi. The Shivalingam (also spelt as
Shivalinga) is hailed as a manifestation of the celestial nectar, which
was obtained by the Devas (and Asuras or Demons) upon churning the milky
ocean, hence the name Amritaghateswarar. Abhirama Bhattar composed his
famed "Abhirami Andadi" here.
Markandeya was a 16-year-old youth who was saved from the clutches of death (Yama) by Kaalasamhaaramurti, a fierce form of Shiva. The Shankhabhishekam (abhishekam with a conch) is of great importance here (as mentioned in Deekshitar's kriti), in keeping with the belief that Markandeya had performed this form of worship; and the Mandapam associated with this is the Shankhu Mandapam.
About The Temple
It is a grand temple with 5 Prakarams, imposing towers and ornate Mandapams covering an area of 11 acres. Based on the inscriptions seen here, it is inferred that the stone base of the central shrine was in existence even during period of Raja Raja Cholan (early 11th century).
A huge Rajagopuram adorns the entrance with attractive stucco images depicting the stalapuranam. With in the temple complex there are three tanks called the 'Amrita Pushkarini', 'Kaala Theertham' (also spelt as Teertha) and 'Maarkandeya Theertham'. During the period of Kulottunga Chola I (1075-1120), its brick walls were replaced with stonewalls and the frontal Mandapam came into being.
All of the 3 Tevara Mudalvar have sung praises of this temple. Kungiliyakkalaya Naayanar, associated with Tiruppanantaal, was born here.
Services And Festivities
The worship services are offered six times a each day in the temple. Virtually every other day marks some kind of celebration or other here, as hundreds of pilgrims throng here to celebrate their 60th or 80th Birth anniversaries.
The annual 'Brahmotsavam' is celebrated in the month of Chithirai (April-May); the 'Shankhabishekam' celebrated in the month of Kartikai (November-December) is also of great importance here. Few other festivals celebrated over here include Navaratri and 'Aadi Pooram'.
Road: The nearest town is Kumbakonam, which is an important pilgrim centre and is well connected with all the places in the state. Regular bus services are available from Kumbakonam to Thirukkadaiyur.
Accommodation is also available at the moderate and small budgeted hotels and choultries at Kumbakonam.