Sri Vajrathampanatha temple in Thirumazhapadi, on the banks of the river Coleroon in Ariyalur district, 45 km from Tiruchi, has a rich and hoary past. The temple has been praised by the Nayanmars in their devotional hymns, and patronised by the Pandya, Maratha kings, Pallava, Vijayanagara, Chola, Hoysala, besides the local chieftains like the Mazhavarayars of Ariyalur.
About The Temple
This temple is known for Lord Shiva`s Taandavam with the Mazhuvaayudam for Markandeyar. Purushamriga Munivar built a shrine for Lord Shiva here and Lord Brahma unable to remove it called it Vajrastamba Moorthy. The Lord of the temple is praised in the Thevaram hymns of Saint Sundarar.He addresses the Lord saying that whom he would think of after seeing his gold skinned Lord, clad in tiger skin, with lightning bright hair, kondrai flowers spreading fragrance from His head, the crescent moon, his King, and a precious gem blessing the world from Mazhapadi.This is the 54th Lord Shiva temple on the northern bank of river Cauvery praised in Thevaram hymns.There are two Ambika shrines – Sundarambika and Balambika. The wedding of Nandhi is celebrated on the Panguni Punarvasu star day in March-April. It is believed that those who attend this festival will get married soon, hence there will be more youths of marriageable age attending the festival. Lord Somaskanda made of a monolith graces from a separate shrine. In the shrine of Lord Brahma in the temple, there are four Nandis representing the four Vedas. There are two shrines of Lord Dakshinamurthi and a shrine for Goddess Katyayini.
The temple is praised in the hymns of Saints Tirunavukkarasar and Sundarar. There are three pits between Lord Shiva and Nandhi which devotees consider as Navagrahas, light Deepas and pray. Sage Markandeya grants darshan in the temple on Vaikasi Visakam Star day holding a Mazhu-a battle axe-like weapon. Hence, the place is named Mazhuvadi.
About The Deity
The presiding deity of the temple is Vaidyanathaswamy and his two consorts are Balambigai and . Sundarambigai There are separate shrines for the two consorts. Legend has it that Vaidyanathaswamy performed dance with “Mazhu” (an axe like weapon) in his hand on “Vaikasi Visakam” for Markandeya, a saint. Thus, the name “Mazhuvadi” formed the basis for the name “Thirumazhapadi.” It is said that the Lord took avatar by breaking open the earth for the sake of “Purushamirugam” — a Siva bhaktha.
Legend and Stories
Sage Siladha, a resident of Tiruvaiyaru performed penance of Lord Shiva seeking child.. A voice spoke to the sage telling him that his wish could be realized if he conducts the Puthrakameshti Yajna and he would get box with a child while tilling the land for the yagna. He was advised to bring up the child having longevity of just 16 years only. Siladha found the box and on opening it, found a child with 3 eyes, 4 shoulders and crescent moon adoring the head. Shocked sage closed the box and opened it again to find the child in normal human form. He named the child Japesar. Japesar reached the age of 14 just short of two years to complete the destined term of life. The sage was very sad. Knowing his father’s agony, Japesar started penance by standing on one leg on the Ayana Theertha tank in Tiruvaiyaru. The creatures of the tank slowly began to consume him. Japesar was not deterred by the danger. Lord Shiva, moved by his penance, cured him completely and granted a long life. Later, Japesar was married to Suyasambikai in Tirumazhapadi. Japesar continued his penance even after the marriage and was rewarded with a position as the chief of Shiva Ganas and further elevated as the first security chief at the first gate of Kailash and was named as Nandhi Deva.
The car festival is celebrated in the month of Masi (February-March). The temple car has more than 300 beautifully carved wooden panels, with over 100 figures that representing the stories from the Hindu mythology.
Vaithyanathaswamy temple at Thirumazhapadi is related to the Panchanatheeswara temple at Thiruvaiyaru, which is on the other bank of the river and is located at a distance of 15 km from Thirumazhapadi. Nandi Kalynam is celebrated on the Punarvasu nakshatra of the Panguni month. Bachelors and bachelorettes who visit the temple during the festival get their Marriages fixed. This brings in a huge unmarried crowd.
Lord Nandikeswara, the bridegroom is from Thiruvaiyaru and is married to Goddess Swayambikai Devi of Thirumazhapadi temple. Vaidyanatha swamy renders the bridgegroom Nandi a ceremonial reception on the banks of Coleroon. The groom is brought in a palanquin to Thirumazhapadi dressed in Maratha outfit. Their marriage is performed by the temple priest and after which they are taken on a procession around the village. Later they are taken around to seven Shiva temples, the Sapthasthanams around Thiruvaiyaru. These temples are located so close to each other that they can be visited in one stretch. In the month of Chitirai, the deity of Thiruvaiyaru is carried in a palanquin to all these temples. This is one of the most important festivals in these temples around Thiruvaiyaru.
These seven temples to be visited in order as follows:
The other important festivals celebrated in this temple are Maha Shivrathri in Masi (February-March); Aipasi Annabishekam in October-November; and Tirukarthikai in November-December.
Those suffering from severe diseases, bathe in the sacred spring and pray to Lord Vaidyanathaswami. Those suffering from high temperature offer boiled rice with rasam as nivedhana to Lord Jura Haraharar in the temple.
Nearby Place To Visit
Kaliyuga Varadaraja Perumal
Tirumazhapadi is 28 kms from Thanjavur, Lalgudi and Arialur is linked with direct buses from these places.
Sri Vaidyanathaswami Temple
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.