Immaiyil Nanmai Tharuvar Temple in Madurai is an important place of worship in this temple town. Located on West Masi Street, the temple is walking distance from Koodal Azhagar Temple and is significant because it is one of the panchaboodhasthalams of Madurai District. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and praised as Bhooloka Kailash – Kailash in Earth.
About The Temple
Immaiyil Nanmai Tharuvar Temple is one of Madurai’s significant temples. Devotees need to enter the rear of the shrine for darshan of Shiva. According to rules, Shiva Puja should be performed by sitting westward. Lord Shiva along with Mother is performing the Linga Puja this way, hence the devotees have the rear side darshan.
When the coronation festival is celebrated in Sri Meenakshmi Amman Temple in the city, Lord and Mother visit this temple first. They are placed facing the sanctum sanctorum. Pujas and Deepa Aradhana are offered to Lords Immayilum Nanmai Tharuvar, Lord Meenakshi Sundareswarar and Mother Meenakshi simultaneously. It is said that Lord Shiva Himself is performing this puja.
Mother Madhyapuri Nayaki graces from a separate shrine. As the temple is at the centre (Madhya) of Madurai city, she is so named. She is also praised as Mangalya Vara Prasadini as those praying to Her for timely marriage, are blessed with happy matches. Mother Madhyapuri Nayaki appears in a standing posture on a lotus designed peeta. The peeta is adored with a Sri Chakra carved in stone. Generally, Sri Chakra is drawn on copper sheets and installed in temples. This is a difference in this temple.
Lord Lingodhbava is under a Bodhi tree (Arasa Maram in Tamil) behind Mother Madhyapuri Nayaki shrine. Virgins facing delays in marriage worship here with milk abishek to Lord Lingodhbava, offering a skirt, mangal sutra, turmeric and kumkum seeking a good match for them.
The priest in the temple performs Shiva Puja standing before the Linga and Suyarupa Shiva. Abishek is offered to Shivalinga only. Thaila (oil) abishek is offered to Suyarupa Shiva on New moon, (Amavasya), full moon days (Poornima) days and 30 days in the month of Margazhi, all totaling to 54 days in a year. On Shivarathri night (in February-March) conch abishek (Shangabishek) is performed with Homas.
During the morning puja (Vila Puja) Dosa (a popular dish of Tamilnadu) is offered as nivedhana to Lord Shiva. Of the five components comprising the Universe – Land, Space, Fire, Water and Wind – this place belongs to Prithvi-land category. Hence, those constructing new building, place a handful of sand in the Shiva shrine and then mix it with other building materials. It is noteworthy that Lord Shiva had His Coronation here and performed Linga Puja Himself here. Those aspiring for leadership and respectable positions perform Raja Upachara Archana – Respecting the Royals to realize their wish.
Lord Shiva is said to have played 64 Tiruvilayadals-play of miracles. In Madurai, appearing as Vallaba Siddha, He made an Elephant of Stone eat Sugarcane. He is sitting in Padmasana (one type of Yoga sitting) showing the sky (Space) by the right hand and holding some puja materials (kungiliyam, Sambirani etc.) in the right hand. People pray to Vallaba Siddha on Mondays. Special pujas are performed to Lord Siddha on full moon days in Thai (January-February) and Chitra (April-May) months and on new moon day in Aadi-July-August.
Lord Kasi Viswanatha in the front Mandap is fair in complexion. Mother Visalakshi is nearby. It is worth recalling that Lord Sri Rama performed Shiva Puja in Rameswaram with a sand Lingam for relief from the dosha of killing Ravana a Shiva devotee. Remembering this event a Sand Linga was installed in this temple too. Lord Rama appears with His Kodandam Bow behind this Linga. Devotees can also have the darshan of Jura Deva with His consort Jura Shakti who cures all types of fevers. Devotees offer Pepper Rasam and rice as nivedhana here.
Sri Chandikeswara who is maintaining a register of the devotees visiting Shiva temples and recommending to Lord to listen to their prayer, is not offered any special pujas generally in temples. Devotees do it in this temple. They worship Lord Shiva with a garland and offer it again to Sri Chandikeswara seeking His help to take their prayers to Lord Shiva. Hence, He is praised as Recommendation Chandikeswara.
Pookuzhi walking (walking on a fire pit as a prayer commitment) is a ritual generally seen in Shakti temples. Such a custom is followed by devotees for Lord Muruga in this temple, the next day after the Vaikasi Visakam festival. Those attaining the age of 60 and 80 celebrate their birth days in this temple.
The Vilwa tree in the temple has ten leaves in a stem – Dasadhala Vilwa. Those facing adverse aspects of Jupiter planet worship Lord Dakshinamurthy in the temple with special pujas.
About The Deity
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the lingam here is known as Immayil Nanmai Tharuvar and the Goddess is Madhyapuri Nayaki / Naduvoor Nayaki. Shivalinga in the temple is facing west. Lord Shiva and Mother Parvathi are behind the Shiva Linga. Based on the name of the city-Madurai-, Lord Shiva and Mother Madhyapuri Nayaki are also praised as Madura Nayaka and Madura Nayaki respectively.
Legend and Stories
Goddess Parvathi born as a daughter to a Pandya king ‘Malayadhvajan’. Parvathi was called at Madurai as Meenakshi. Lord Shiva married Parvathi, and become king of Madurai. It has been an ancient custom to perform pooja to Shiva lingam, before assuming any important positions or initiating major tasks. Accordingly, the Lord appears here in a posture, performing pooja to the Shiva lingam. By Hindu belief, generally one gets absolved to the sins committed during the current birth in the next birth; however, worshipping the Lord here is believed to absolve the sins in the current birth itself. Hence the name ‘Immayilum Nanmai Tharuvar’ for the deity.
Morning: 06:15 am to 11:30 am
Evening: 04:30 pm to 09:30 pm.
Some of the significant festivals celebrated at Immaiyil Nanmai Tharuvar Temple include Masi Shivrathri and Brahmmotsavam in February-March, Vaikasi Visakam in May-June, Aavani Shiva Puja in August-September and Tirukarthikai in November-December.
People seek pardon for sins committed. They also seek boons for leadership position and respectable jobs.
How to Reach Immaiyil Nanmai Tharuvar Temple, Madurai
Nearest airport: Madurai
Madurai is the nearest railway station and the temple can be reached within ten minutes.
All buses to Madurai Periyar central bus stand will take you to this temple.
Immaiyil Nanmai Tharuvar Temple,
15, Glasskara St, Periyar, Madurai Main,
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India,
Pincode – 625001.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- To ensure happiness
- For salvation
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.