Sri Thyagaragar Temple dedicated to the Lord Shiva, is located within the town of Thiruvarur in Tamil Nadu, India. The temple town of Thiruvarur was earlier known in the name of Aaroor (Arur). This has been mentioned in Tevaram, the 7th century saiva canonical work. The word "Thiru" is added to the cities that are notable for their temples. Thiruvarur is also referred to as Kamalayaksetra, the "an abode of lotuses". The town is additionally referred thus owing to the presence of the Kamalayayam tank and also the temple goddess, Kamalambigai. Lord Shiva is the main deity, and is represented by the symbol. It is one amongst the foremost ancient temple patronized by the majority the kings who ruled the southern part of India. The temple represents the religious, social and cultural history of the Tamil region for a period spanning over 1500 years. The vast temple complicated nowadays is a standing example of cultural, religious and architectural splendor.
About the temple
The temple is one of the saptha vidangam temples. Saptha vidangams is nothing but different dance styles performed by Shiva. The style of dancing in Shiva performed in this sthala is dance without chanting, resting on Lord Vishnu's chest. This temple is associated with the legend of Sundarar to whom the God served as a messenger of love and arranged his marriage with Paravai and Sangili Nachiars. Thyagaraja like Nataraja he performs the Ajapa dance here. Hence, He is known as 'Ajaba Natesar’. However, the presiding deity is God Vanmikanatha. The temple complex is spread over 20 acres with the eastern gopuram dominating. In front of the western gopuram is the Kamalalaya Tank covering an area of 25 acres with an Island temple in the centre. Vanmikanatha shrine is the earliest edifice, Akileswari is coming next and Thyagaraja the last. Many mandapams crowd the temple. The biggest one is the Devasiriya Mandapam. The Akileswara shrine contains beautiful sculptures of Ardhanareeswara, Durga, Karkalamurthi and Agastya in its niches. Paintings of Vijayanagar period adorn the ceiling of Devasiriya mandapam.Outside the temple is a beautiful sculptural representation of Manuneedhi Chola who ran his chariot on his own son to mete out justice to the cow whose calf was killed by his son, caught under the chariot. The temple car here is a beautiful structure and the biggest on which model is the Valluvar Kottam in Chennai built. The car festival is famous and attracts large crowd. The original car was burnt in 1922 in an accident and is now replaced in all its original grandeur. As in Srirangam, here the goddess piriyavidai Amman is called 'Padi Thandal’ (one who never goes out of the portals) and is never taken out in procession. The Nandhi in this temple, unlike the other Nandhis in sitting pose, is seen standing before Thyagaraja. The deity is on Ratna Simhasana (throne made of precious stones). In the southwest corner of the inner prakara Nilotpalambigai is seen blessing her child Muruga sitting on a maid’s shoulder. Goddess Kamalambigai is in yogasana pose during penance in another sanctum. Navagrahas are not as usual in a circle around the sun but standing in a row. Tiruvarur is the birthplace of musical trinity Thyagaiah, Shyama Sastri and Muthusamy Dikshithar. Rare musical instruments Panchamuga vadyam with five heads representing the five heads of Siva and a nadaswaram called Barinayanam could also be seen in this temple. The temple of Thiyagaraja became all the more famous by the visit to a galaxy of Gods and Angels from heaven, like Brahma, Dasharatha, Rama, Arjuna, Dharmaputra, Kings Nala and Harichandra, and Maharishis like Vashishtha and Vishwamitra. A Big temple was constructed at Thiruvarur by Viswakarma. Then the King installed a Siva Lingam in a portion of the temple and worshipped it for many years. Every year the Panguni Uttara peruvizha ends with Thepporchavam, which is celebrated in Kamalalaya Kulam in front of the temple. At the time of Theppa viza hundreds of people will get into the theppam with god then the theppam will go continuously round the Kamalalaya kulam for 3 days.Tiruvarur is the only temple that has more number of Thevaram hymns-353, Ganasambandar 55, Tirunavukkarasar 208 and Sundarar 87 and Manickavasagar 3. Lord Surya blesses from the prakara of Lord Shiva Shrine. People who face issues with debt should pray to Runa Vimochana Easwara. Lord Thiagaraja grants darshan on the Tiruvadhirai day in the month tamil month of Margazhi (December) from the Raja Narayana Mandapam. There is an Ashta Durga shrine in this temple. Sri Muthuswami Dishithar had sung on Durga in his celebrated Keerthanas. He has also composed a set of krithis known as Navavarna Krithis on Godess Kamalambika. Lord Dakshinamurthi graces from the outer wall of Ambika shrine with six disciples, though generally only four are with Him in other Shiva temples. Mother Neelotpalambal is seen in a separate shrine with a maid, holding up Lord Muruga. The idol of mother is beautifully made as if She is touching the head of Her beloved son Muruga. There is also a sannidhi for Goddess Manonmani in this temple.Mother Saraswathi who usually seen playing a Veena in other shrines, is not holding one here but graces the devotees in a penance posture. God Hayagriva, in his own shrine appears performing Shiva Puja. Shiva is Hayagriswarar in this temple. Students pray to Mother Saraswathi and God Hayagriswarar to shine in their academic pursuits. It is noteworthy that Mother Kamalambikai is greatly revered as a total personification of the devotional hymn Lalitha Sahasra Nama. Hence, the Theertha is praised as Kamalalayam. Bathing in this Theertha on the Panguni Uthiram day in March-April is considered equal to 12 Mahamagam bath in Kumbakonam. It should be noted that Mahamagam occurs only once in 12 years. It is said that all the Devas – 33 crore in number (Muppathu Mukkodi in Tamil) are worshipping God Thiagaraja during this puja. The devotee worshipping the God in the evening is blessed by all Gods, it is believed. Thiruvarur is very famous for the shrine of Shri Thiyagaraja. The temple is gigantic in structure. From a distance of miles the gopurams are visible. There are four gopurams on four sides. The tower on the west is made of brick and mortar. It is noteworthy for the fine sculpture. The massive structure of the temple could be well imagined from its length of 846 feet with breadth of 666 feet. There are several tanks belonging to this temple, wherein pilgrims take their bath before entering into the precincts of the temple. On the western side of the temple there is a famous tank known as Kamalalayam where Goddess Kamala (Lakshmi) took her birth. It is considered to be biggest tank in the whole of South India, having an island temple in the middle dedicated to the Goddess. She was born with the nectar during the course of churning of the Milky Ocean by the Devas and the Asuras. Varuna, the God of Water brought up Kamala, and after devoted penance she was married to Vishnu at Thiruvarur. Hence the name kamalalayam. Besides the tank, a peculiar musical instrument called Panchamukha Vadya and Sivalingam made of sapphire and called Marakatalingam are worth seeing. The musical instrument is with five faces and is decorated with the snake, the swastika and the lotus on three of them. The fourth face is plain without any decorations. The face in the middle is that of a deer. It is believed that Nandi played this musical instrument while Siva danced. The circumference of the instrument is fifty-six inches. Thiruvarur is one of the seven sacred places of God Thiyagaraja. The others are Tirumaraikkadu (Vedaranyam), Tirunagai (Nagapattinam), Tirukkolili, Tirukkaaraivaasal, Tiruvanmiyoor and Tirunallar. Another speciality of this temple is the placement of the Navagrahams, which are located towards south in straight line in northwest corner of 1st (prakaram). The temple has the maximum number of sannithis in India. The foot of Thyagaraja is covered with flowers and is shown onlybtwice a year. The left leg of the deity is displayed during "panguniuthram" festival and right leg on "thiruvathirai".
About the deity
God Thiagaraja is praised as the Raja-King of Gods. The form of Thiagaraja is one to emphasize that one can attain bliss even while being a family man with wife enjoying marital pleasures in a righteous way.
A demon Satya Gupta by name was a threat to Devas. He was caught in the aspect of Sani Bhagwan-Planet Saturn. Enraged, he began to fight with the planets. The planets appealed to God Shiva for protection. God Shiva protected the planets from the demon on condition that they should always be soft to His devotees. Hence, the planets are on straight line confronting the Lord. Ruler Vinayaka is likewise in this sanctum checking them whether they are delicate to Shiva aficionados. It in this manner turned into the tenet that however aficionados visit Tirunallru for Saturn reliefs, they ought to visit Tiruvarur additionally for love for total alleviation. Of the 84 Vinayakas in the sanctuary, four are exceedingly adored. Those agony from apprehensive issues and high strains, go to Nadukkam Theertha Vinayaka-Vinayaka shielding from trembling. Ladies go to Mattru Uraitha Vinayaka in the West Gopuram door before purchasing gems as He affirmed the touch nature of the gold recompensed by Lord Shiva to Saint Sundarar. Ruler Mooladhara Ganapathi seems leaning back and moving on a bloomed Lotus close to a five headed serpent. Those honing yoga love here. Ruler Vadhabi Ganapathi graces the fans from the first prakara of Lord's holy place. Extraordinary Carnatic Musician Sri Muthuswamy Dishitha, one among the Trinity of Carnatic Music legacy, sang the well known melody "Vadhabi Ganapathim Baje" from this sanctuary which performers sing first in their shows. Directing Lord Vanmeeka Nathar shows up smoothly wearing the sickle moon on His head. So Mother Kamalambal stipends darshan to Her enthusiasts with this Crescent Moon gem. She speaks to Mothers Saraswathi, Parvathi and Mahalakshmi holding a bloom in the right hand, keeping the left on the hip and legs on a Yoga stance as an Empress.It is the custom in Shiva Temples to end the Thevaram psalm droning with the word Tiru Chittrambalam as followed in Chidambaram sanctuary, thought to be first among all Shiva sanctuaries in the state. In any case, the artifact of Tiruvarur sanctuary is more old, thus, this word is not droned here. The Car (Rath) of Tiruvarur is greatest in size and lovely in the make. Ruler Shiva had played 364 supernatural occurrences (Tiruvilayadal in Tamil) in Tiruvarur alone. As salvation is an assurance for those conceived in Tiruvarur, Yama the God of Death had no work here. He appealed to Lord and took the spot of Chandikeswara. Those with trepidation of death ask here. Those glad of the face darshan of Lord in Tiruvarur likewise visits Vilamal sanctuary, 3 km from here, for Feet Darshan for complete fulfillment. The Feet Darshan mystery is said to be behind the sanctum sanctorum of A challenge emerged in the divine world on the honesty level in individuals. Yama the God of Death guaranteed the title. In any case, Maharshi Narada denied His privilege and said that King Manu Needhi Chola alone merited the title. Yama came to earth in the appearance of dairy animals with a calf. Sovereign Veedhi Vidangan was going ahead the imperial road of the city. The calf was gotten under the haggles murdered in the mishap. The Mother Cow (Yama) hurried to the lord's royal residence and looked for equity from the ruler Manu Needhi Cholan. The ruler concluded that he additionally ought to continue and endure the torment of losing a kid as the cow. He drove the rath on the body of his child, conveyed equity with life forever. Yama showed up before the ruler perceiving his trustworthiness and feeling of equity to non-people as well and vanished. This scene is portrayed in a stone rath model set in the upper east corner of the sanctuary. A contest arose in the celestial world on the integrity level in people. Yama the God of Death claimed the title. But Maharshi Narada denied His right and said that King Manu Needhi Chola alone deserved the title. Yama came to earth in the guise of a cow with a calf. Prince Veedhi Vidangan was coming on the royal street of the city. The calf was caught under the wheels and was killed in the accident. The Mother Cow (Yama) rushed to the king’s palace and sought justice from the king-Manu Needhi Cholan. The king decided that he also should endure and suffer the pain of losing a child as the cow. He drove the rath on the body of his son, delivered justice with life for life. Yama appeared before the king recognizing his integrity and sense of justice to non-humans too and disappeared. This episode is depicted in a stone rath sculpture placed in the northeast corner of the temple.
God Shiva is a swayambumurthi in the temple. The temple is huge in size and importance, with 9 Rajagopuras, 80 Vimanas, 12 tall walls, 13 mandaps, 15 wells of Theertha importance, 3 gardens, 3 prakaras, 365 Shiva Lingas representing the days of the year, shrines numbering above 100, 86 Vinayaka idols and temples within the temple numbering above 24. The temple is indeed great, huge, tall and a castle of Hindu Faith designed and built in stone. Those worshipping the Face Darshan of Lod Thiagaraja in Tiruvarur are advised to have His Feet darshan (Pada darshan) in Vilamal, 3 km far from this place. The 1000 pillars constructed many years back were meant to make tents (Pandal in Tamil) during festival days. It is believed that all the Devas (communities belonging to the upper world) would be worshipping God Shiva in all Shiva temples during this time. The body of Thiagesa is united with an energy called Kondi which is not separable from the God. Except the face, all parts of the idol are hidden with flowers. The darshan of the feet of God would be available to devotees only twice in a year, the left feet on the Aadhirai day in Margazhi (December-January) worshipped by sage Patanjali and the right on Panguni Uthiram (March-April) worshipped by Vyakrapada the tiger legged sage. Thiagaraja would come out only during the car festival day. The peculiar feature about this Lingam is that its shadow can be seen only in the eastern direction and it is also said that this shadow will not be visible to a man who is going to die within a period of six months. In this temple where Thiyagaraja’s idol is worshipped, the Navagrahas are placed in a line looking at the shrine, unique to this place.
The people who pay homage and pray to the deity are predominantly singers.
Lord Tyagarajar granting of Pada Darshan in the tamil month of Margazhi Tiruvadhirai - December-January; 10 day celebrations on Panguni Uthiraim festival in March-April with the flag hoisting on the day Hastha Star falls of the previous Tamil month Masi, the famous car festival (popularly known as Tiruvaroor Ther for its size) on the 10th day with the significance of the darshan granted to sage Vyakrapada; 10 day Aadi Pooram in the month of July-August; the Bhoodha Ganas carrying paddy bags to Saint Sundararar on Masi Magam Day in February-March; Chithirai festival in April-May are the important festivals of the temple.Besides the above, the monthly Pradosha Puajas are performed with great devotion.
Offering & Prasad
Prayers to Rahukala Durga are offered by the devotees who seek promotion and favourable transfers. Devotees who pray to beget children, pray to Mother Neelotpalambal and partake the nivedhana milk of the Arthajama Puja. Praying to Lord Runa Vimochana Perumal helps in relieving the devotees from debt burdens and ailments. Devotees pray to presiding deity Lord Thiagaraja for wedding, child, high ranks in education, employment opportunities, progress in trade and profession and promotion boons. Prayer to Lord Vanmeekanatha purifies the devotee of his/her sins, eliminates bad traits in him/her as arrogance etc. and grants many boons including prosperity. Students pray at the Akshara Peeta-a small mount with letters-for gaining excellence in education.
Devotees pray to Lord Brahmma Nandhi whose sannidhi is behind Lord Veedi Vidanga Vinayaka. They fill the tub with water seeking rain. They offer Arugu-grass to Brahmma Nandhi and feed their cows for increasing milk yield. Mother Kamalambal grants wisdom to devotees. Even dumbs become teachers to Guru Bhagwan-Jupiter. People offer milk rice nivedhana to Mother on Navami day in Purattasi (September-October) for salvation. Devotees suffering from fever and seeking longevity offer Pepper Rasam to Lord Juradeva.. Mukundarchana to Lord Thiagarajar is performed for total success in life. This archana was performed by Lord Vishnu. Emperor Mushukunda also did this for success.
Best time to visit Thiruvarur
Thiruvarur is a beautiful and picturesque tourist destination which is located in the state of Tamil Nadu. The place is known for its religious attractions and serene spots. The best time to explore these attractions is during the winter season. The temperature remains cool and pleasant during this season which is ideal for sightseeing around the place
Tiruvarur is linked by rail and road from important places of the state. The temple is in the heart of Tiruvarur town and is easily reachable.
Near By Railway Station
Near By Airport
Sri Thiagarajar Temple, Tiruvarur district,
Tiruvarur - 610 001, Tamilnadu.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- For matrimony related wishes
- For cure from illnesses
- To overcome financial crisis
- For strength and courage
- For excellence in arts
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.
The temple is open from 5.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.