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5. Tiruvatikai


Location: Panruti near Cuddalore
(Nadu Naadu)
Shiva: Veerateswarar
Ambal: Tirupurasundari
Vriksham: Sarakkonrai
Theertham: Garuda Nadi
Patikam: Sambandar, Appar, Sundarar
Travel Base: Chidambaram

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Description: Tiruvatikai is one of the 8 VeerataStalams of Shiva and is associated with the legend of his destroying the Tripurams (Tripurasamhaaram). The red earth surrounding the temple is said to illustrate the legend. The eight Veeratta Stalams are Tiruvatikai, Tirukkurukkai, Tirukkadavur, Tiruvazhuvur, Tirukkovalur, Tiruppariyalur, Tirukkandiyur and Tiruvirkudi. Tiruvazhuvur is considered to be a Tevara Vaippustalam, as it has no Patikams dedicated to it. This is the 7th of the 22 Tevara Stalams in the Nadu Naadu  region of Tamilnadu.

History:. Tiruvatikai is  very closely associated with Appar, who got his name Tirunavukkarasar here. Tiruvatikai is known for its sparkling streets, thanks to the Uzhavaarathondu of Appar and Tilakavati (his sister) who is said to have relieved Appar of his ailment prior to his composing his first Patikam.

Architecturally this vast temple seems to fall into the Pallava style of temples. The beautiful Vimanam is chariot shaped and has several stucco images on it the Tripurantaka image deserving mention. There are shrines to Appar and Tilakavati here. A lofty Rajagopuram, spacious prakarams, the Sankara Theertham and the Soolai Theertham ornament the temple. A panel depicting the marriage of Shiva and Uma is seen behind the Shivalingam in the sanctum. The Pallava origins of the temple are inferred from the panel described above. This temple covers an area of 7.5 acres, and the Rajagopuram towers to a height of 110 feet.

Festivals: Aadipooram, Vasantotsavam, the annual Bhramotsavam, and the Appar Vizha are some of the festivals celebrated here.

Templenet acknowledges the contribution of the image above, by C. Vedanarayanan, London.

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