Vedaranyam is situated about 58-km from
Nagappattinam near Tiruvarur. It is one
of the 64 Sakti Peethas ("Sundara Peetha") of India and it is
also one of the 7 Saptavitanka Shrines special to Tyagarajar - associated
with the Mucukunda Chola legend.
According to The Legend prevailing it is believed that Lord Rama attempted to build a bridge to Sri Lanka from Vedaranyam but he was directed by Lord Shiva to proceed to Rameshwaram and build a bridge. It is also believed that Lord Rama bathed here and worshipped Shiva on his victorious return to Ayodhya.
People believe that Pandavas have installed the Pancha Lingams (also spelt as Linga) here. Brahma is said to have worshipped Shiva prior to commencing his work of creation and Agastyar was blessed with a vision of the divine marriage here.
The doors of the temple, which had remained, shut for ages, reopened when Appar composed his Patikam and shut themselves upon Sambandar's request with a Patikam. Vishwamitra worshipped Shiva to work his way towards the status of Bhrammarishi.
The Temple And Deities
Inscriptions belonging to the period of Chola, Vijayanagar and Maratha can be seen in the temple. It is a vast temple abounded by cultural wealth and the structure of temple resembles to that of the Tiruvarur temple. The temple faces the east and is at a slightly lower level when compared with the town.
The temple has pillared halls with interesting images, Yaalis with stone irremovable - rolling pillars in their mouths; images of the 12 zodiac signs and the 27 asterisms are some of the interesting features here. Within the temple, in the southeast lies the famous Manikarnika extending to about an acre with Mandapam built of bricks on the east and west. A wall of granite stones with Gopurams surrounds the temple. There are at present only two Prakarams inside the ramparts.
The Following Deities Are Enshrined In The Outer Prakaram Of The Temple:
Kalabhairava, Saptakanyas (seven matrons), Vishwanatha, Visalakshi, Setu- Madhava, Siddhi Vinayaka (also spelt as Vinayak), and Mooladhara. Ganapati, Parvati, Siddeshwara, Vishwamitra, the three Lingas (also spelt as Lingam) worshipped by Brahma, Agastya and Vishwamitra, Veerahatti Vinayaka, Subrahmanya in the company of his two consorts, Chandikeswara (also spelt as Chandikeshwara) and Sasta (Hariharaputra).
The Inner Prakarams Enshrines The Following Deities:
Vedaranyeswara or Satyagniswara in his marriage costume is in the garbhagriha. Parasakti known as 'Bhogasakti', 'Tyagaraja', 'Kalyana Sundara', 'Ardhanareeswara', the 63 Nayanmars, the Linga (also spelt as Lingam) enshrined by Sri Rama, Dakshinamurti, the 5 Lingas adored by the Pandavas, Mahalakshmi, Gajalakshmi, Saneeswara Bhagavan, Yoga Saraswati, Nagesa, Annapurni, Durga, Chandrasekhara, Nataraja and Navagrahas.
There is an image of Uma Maheswarar behind the Shivalingam in the sanctum. There is also a separate temple for Durga here.
Air: The nearest airport is at
Rail: The nearest railway station is at Nagappattinam, trains are available to Thanjavur, Trichy, Nagore and Chennai.
Road: Regular bus service is available from Nagappattinam.
Accommodation is available at the economy class hotels and lodges in Nagapattinam.