Acharapakkam is a small town in Kancheepuram district in Tamil Nadu, India. It is located along the National Highway (NH45), 96 kms away from Chennai and 4 kms away from the famous temple town Melmaruvathur. Atcheeswarar temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva located near Acharapakkam, Tamil Nadu, and India. The temple is praised in the hymns of Saint Tirugnanasambandar. This is the 29th shrine in Thondai region praised in Thevaram hymns. This temple is around 1000-2000 years old.
About The Temple
It is believed that Arulmigu Aatcheeswarar Temple is associated with the legend of Tripurasamhaaram (related to that at Tiruvatikai Veerattaanam). Legends state that when Lord Shiva was travelling in his chariot to destroy the Tripurams, the axle of the chariot broke in this village into two pieces. Lord Shiva recollected that he didn't pray to Lord Ganesha before setting out for travel.
It is also said that a Pandya King, who was on his way to bring soil from river Ganga’s banks for construction of a dam on a local river nearby this place happened to pass through this village in his chariot. While passing, the axle of his chariot is also said to have broken in this very village in to two pieces.
Hence the name of this village came to being as Achu Iru Paagam Meaning- "Axle into two pieces" Later this name eventually became Achirupakkam and then to Acharapakkam.
Deva, Banu and Conch theerthas
About The deity
The temple has two presiding deities Atcheeswarar and Umai Atcheeswarar blessing the devotees from two separate inner sanctums. Also, two Mother-Goddesses Ilangili Ammai and Umayambigai grace from their respective shrines. Lord Shiva’s idol is a Swayambumurthi, i.e, manifested on own. Sages Kanva and Gauthama worshipped Lord Shiva in this temple. Saivite Saint Tirunavukkarasar mentions this temple in Kshetra Kovai hymns. Saint Gnanasambandar has praised this temple in his Thevaram hymns. Demons Tharaka and Vidyunmali killed by Lord Shiva are the Dwarapalakas here. Nandhi in meditating pose is situated in front of shrine of Goddess Umai Atcheeswarar.
Lord Atchipureeswarar is also praised as Acheswarar and Achu Kondu Arulia Thevar. Lord Vinayaka is known as Achu Muri Vinayaka. The Rajagopuram comprises of five tiers. Lord Srinivasa with Mother Alamelumanga Thayar graces in a shrine in Prakara.
Legend and Stories
Three cruel demons Tharaka, Kamalaksha and Vidyunmali, proud of the blessings received by Lord Brahma, as a result of their penance; started troubling the devas. Unable to face their harassment, Devas approached and prayed to Lord Shiva for protectio. Lord Shiva set out to kill the demons. According to scriptures, every work should start with Lord Vinayaka’s worship. Lord Shiva being no exception. In his hurry to wage the war against the demons to save Devas, Lord Shiva forgot this protocol. Devas too, having Lord Shiva himself with them ignored Lord Vinayaka. Angered by this Lord Vinayaka stopped Lord Shiva’s march by breaking the axis of His chariot. Axis in Tamil means Achu. Realizing the mistake, Lord Shiva asked Lord Vinayaka to help him in his mission to kill the demons. Lord Vinayaka, being an obedient son, he immediately obliged. This event took place here. Hence, the place came to be known as Achu Iru Bagam (where axis broke) and later Achirupakkam came into use to refer to Lord Atcheeswarar.
As per history of the place, Once a Pandya King was on a pilgrimage to Lord Shiva shrines, when the axis of his chariot broke down.. While his men were repairing the wheel, the king noticed a golden chameleon and followed it. The creature hid itself in a Sarakondrai tree. When his men axed the tree, it began to bleed but the chameleon could not be traced despite all efforts. Lord Shiva appeared in the dream of the king and told him that He appeared here in the guise of the creature to inform that He was there as a swayambu murti( self-incarnated idol).
The king, by the command of Lord Shiva decided to build a temple. He came across a Shiva devotee Trinetradhari and sought his help in the construction of the temple. Entrusting the job of building the temple to Trinetradhari, the king proceeded on his pilgrimage. When he came to meet the devotee, he saw the temple with two presiding deities in two inner sanctums.. One was in the middle of the temple in front of the flag post (kodi maram) and Nandhi as Lord Atchipureeswarar and the second behind this and opposite to the Rajagopuram for Umai Atchipureeswarar. In the inner sanctum, Lord Shiva graces with his wife, in the form of Shiva-Parvathi wedding behind the Shivalinga.
When the king asked the devotee the reason for building such shrine in this form, the devotee said, “Lord who blessed you, also blessed me in the form of chameleon. I built one sanctum for the Lord who graced you as Umai Atcheeswarar – (Umai meaning “You” the king) and one for Emai Atcheeswarar (Emai meaning Me the devotee) which is the main sanctum. ”The King was convinced of the logic. Emai Atcheeswarar is the Swayambulinga and is considered prominent. The flag post and Nandhi are slightly away from the Rajagopuram.
The devotee, Trinetradhari graces in the shrine of Sarakondrai Easwarar under the tree in a worshipping form. Flowers blossom in the tree only during the Chithirai festival days.
Lord Achumuri Vinayaka (Vinayaka who broke the axis of the chariot of Lord Shiva – this story forms part of the history of the temple) graces outside the temple facing west. This event is mentioned in the first Tirupugazh of saint Arunagirinathar as Achiru Vinayaka. It is believed that prayer to Achiru Vinayaka would help the devotee to defeat the obstacles coming in the way of his/her endeavors.
10 day Chithirai Brahmmotsavam in April-May, special pujas on new moon and full moon days are observed in the temple.
Devotees perform special abishek to Lord offering vastras.
It is strongly believed that prayer to Lord Atchipureeswarar would raise the devotee’s social position with leadership abilities. It is also believed that, as the Lord is in the form ‘Letters – Akshara’ the devotee will excel in education. Participation in the special pujas would relieve the devotees from various doshas accumulated in every birth and remove any obstacles in the way of their professional progress and ensure peace of mind.
Nearby Places to Visit
1. Kamakshi Amman Temple
2. Kachi Anekadhangavadeswarar Temple
3. Deivanayaka Easwarar Temple
4. Satyanathaswami Temple
5. Kalva Perumal Temple
6. Tiru Magaral Easwarar Temple
The nearest airport is at Chennai.
This place can also be accessed via rail route as the Melmaruvattur Railway station is quite nearer, which has rail connectivity to Chennai.
The Arulmigu Atcheeswarar Temple is well-connected to other areas of Kanchipuram district and to the main cities of Tamil Nadu state. This village is on the National Highway (NH) 45, which is around 96 kms away from Chennai, the state capital and 28 kms away from Tindivanam.
Sri Atcheeswarar Temple,
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Elevate the devotee to higher position
- Shine in education
- Relief from various doshas
- Removal obstacles in the way of professional progress
- Peace of mind
Kailaasarana Shiva Chandramouli Phaneendra Maathaa Mukutee Zalaalee Kaarunya Sindhu Bhava Dukha Haaree Thujaveena Shambho Maja Kona Taaree
Meaning -Oh Lord Shiva who is seated on Mount Kailash, where the moon decorates his forehead and the king of serpents crown his head, who is merciful and removes delusion, You alone can protect me. I surrender to thee.
Aum Trayambakam Yajaamahey Sugandhim Pusti Vardhanam Urvaarukamiva Bandhanaath Mrutyor Muksheeya Maamritaat
Meaning -We worship the fragrant Lord Shiva, who has 3 eyes and who cultivates all beings. May He free me from death, for immortality, as even a cucumber is separated from its bond with the vine.
6 a.m. to 11 a.m. 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.