The Pennadam, Pralayakaleswarar temple is situated in Pennadam, in Cuddalore. Virgins (Penn in Tamil), Divine cow (Aa) Kamadenu and Elephant (Gadam) are worshipped Lord here, hence the name Penn- aa- Gadam – Pannagadam which in later changed as Pennadam. This temple is 1000-2000 years old. The temple is praised in the hymns of Saint Tirunavukkarasar It is in this temple the saint appealed to Lord Sudarkozhundhu Nathar to inscribe the stamp on him with the symbol of His Trident and of His Nandhi – Vrushba if He so considered him deserving the honour. Lord honoured the saint with all His mercy. This episode is described by divine poet Sekkizhar in his magnum opus Peria Puranam in touching devotional lines. This is the 2nd temple in Nadunadu region praised in Thevaram hymns.
About The Temple
The Temple is located in the center of Pennadam town. Nandi at this temple is very unique as it is turned fully and facing the entrance of the temple (or facing the village instead of facing the Lord Shiva). This temple was sung by Shaivite sages Sampanthar and Appar. The main temple town is constructed with 5 levels. In the entrance of the temple Vinayagar Sannidhi is located. Inside the main entrance there is a small garden. There is plenty of beautiful carvings of idols in the main Tower. In the west side of the temple Meykandar Sannidhi is there. Shaivite sages Meykandar and Kalikamba Nayanar were lived in this place so it is one of the important Shiva temple in the state. The main karpagraha is Vimana looks like an elephant standing to represent the “Iravatham” (White elephant of Indra) worshipped at this temple.
Kayilai Theertham, Indira theertham Mukkulam, Vellaru.
About The Deity
Lord Shiva known as Piralaya Kaleeswarar, Sudarkozhundeesar, Kadanthai Nathar, Pushpavaneswarar. Female deity known as Kadanthai Nayagi, Aamodhanaambikai. The main Linga is self-formed and it is huge. Except the main entrance of the karpagraha all the other 3 directions have balconies to worship the Shiva linga. North side of Karpagraha there is one more Shiva idol called as Sounderswarar located in a separate Sannidhi. There are separate Sannidhis for Sekkizhar, Dhandapani, Kodi Vinayagar, Somas kandar, Visweswarar, Murugan and Maha Lakshmi. Ambal at this temple is “Piralaya Kaleeswari” is located in a dedicated Sannidhi.
Legend and Stories
Piralaya Kaleeswarar temple is constructed at least 1000 years back. Once this place had six thousand brave army men were living. They were called as “Kadanthayar” and this town used to be called as “Kadanthai Nagar”. Once Shiva had decided to destroy the world. Deva’s pleaded to Shiva at least to save the people near to this temple when he is going to destroy. Shiva agreed and ordered Nandi to stop the flood when the world is going through the catastrophe. Until then nandi was facing Shiva, turned back and faced the village. When the flood came to Pennadam and the Nandi swallowed all the water to save this place. Hence the Lord Shiva also is called Piralaya Kaleeswarar (Piralaya-catastrophe). As per another mythological story women from paradise (Indraloga) came down to earth to collect flowers for the pooja. When they reached this temple they got mesmerized of the Lord and they stayed here. In search of them Indra sent the holy cow Kamadenu to the earth. That also didn’t return. Then he sent his vehicle Iravatham(white elephant) to search of the women and Kamadenu. All of them stayed at Pennadam and started worshipping the Lord. Finally Indra came down himself in search of women, Kamadenu and Iravatham. He also worshipped the Lord Shiva. Hence the place is called as Pennadam. (Women – pen, Cow – aa, elephant – kadam in Tamil). There are lots of stone scripts at this temple date back to Chola times. The information in the stone scripts talks about the donations like land, cow, gold etc. offered by different kings.
12 day Chithirai Brahmmotsavam in April-May is a grand festival of temple. The other important festivals are Navarathiri, Shashti, Thai poosam, Shivarathiri.
Devotees perform abishek to Lord Shiva and offer vastras.
People pray to Lord of the temple seeking cure from hand ailments.
The nearby airports are at Chennai and Trichy. The nearby major railway staion is at Cuddalore. Pennadam is 18 km from Vruddhachalam and 12 km from Thittakudi. Bus facilities are available from both ends.
Sri Pralayakaleswarar Temple,
Pennadam – 606 105,
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Relief from diseases
- Purchase of vehicles
- Gain Knowledge
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.