This is a vast grand temple with 5 prakarams, imposing towers and ornate mandapams -
hailed as one of the 8 Veeratta Stalamsof Shiva. 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.
Tirukkadavur is located on
the road linking Mayiladuturai and Tarangampaadi.
Abhirama Bhattar composed his famed Abhirami Andadi here. Tirukkadavur
is considered to be the 47th in the series of Tevara Stalams in the
Chola kingdom located south of the river Kaveri.
Legends: Markandeya the 16 year old youth was saved from the clutches
of death (Yama) by Shiva. The conquest of Yama is acknowledged through celebration of 60th
& 80th birth anniversaries by hundreds of pilgrims here, . and on the 6th day of
Annual Fest in Chittirai. . Muthuswamy Deekshitar's kriti Sankaram Abhirami Manoharam in
Kamalamanohari praises this shrine.
The Shivalingam is hailed as a manifestation of the celestial nectar which was obtained
by the Devas (and Asuras) upon churning the milky ocean, hence the name Amritaghateswarar.
The Shankhabhishekam (abhishekam with a conch) is of great importance here (as mentioned
in Deekshitar's kriti) , in keeping with the belief that Markandeya had performed this
form of worship; and the mandapam associated with this is the Shankhu mandapam.
Kaalasamhaaramurthy is the fierce form of Shiva, believed to have saved Markandeya from
the clutches of Yama (Bhayankara Ghora Roopa - Yama Niigrahanugraha).
Several colorful legends are also associated with Abhirami Amman whose shrine attracts
thousands of visitors throughout the year.
The Temple: This temple covers an area of about 11 acres and is under
the able administration of the Dharumapura Adhinam. A huge Rajagopuram with attractive
stucco images depicting the stalapuranam adorns its entrance. The Amrita Pushkarini, Kaala
Theertham and Maarkandeya Theertham are all located in the temple. All of the 3 Tevara
Mudalvar have sung praises of this temple. Kungiliyakkalaya Naayanar, associated with
Tiruppanantaal, was born here.
On the basis of the inscriptions seen here, it is concluded that the stone base of the
central shrine was in existence even during period of Raja Raja Cholan (early 11th
century). During the period of Kulottunga Chola I (1075-1120), its brick walls were
replaced with stone walls and the frontal mandapam came into being.
Festivals: Six worship services are offered each day here.Water
required for daily rituals is brought from the Kaasi Theertham at the Tirukkadavur Mayaanam temple nearby. Virtually every other
day marks some kind of celebration or other here, as hundreds pilgrims throng here
to celebrate their 60th or 80th birth anniversaries. The annual Bhrammotsavam is
celebrated in the month of Chittirai. As mentioned before, the Shankhabishekam in the
month of Kartikai is of great importance here. Other festivals include Navaratri and Aadi