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104. Tirukkurukkai


Location: Tirukkurukkai near Mayiladuturai, Needur
(Chola Naadu - North of Kaveri )
Shiva: Veeratteswarar
Ambal: Gnanambika
Vriksham: Kadukkai
Theertham: Trishula Ganga
Patikam : Appar
Travel Base:Chidambaram
Description: This is one of the 8 Veeratta Stalams   Tiruvatikai, Tirukkurukkai, Tirukkadavur, Tiruvazhuvur, Tirukkovalur, Tiruppariyalur, Tirukkandiyur and Tiruvirkudi of Shiva. Tirukkurukkai is located 8 km northwest of Mayiladuturai and is considered to be the 26th in the series of the Tevara Stalams located in Chola Nadu north of the river Kaveri.

Legends: Tirukkurukkai is associated here with the destruction of Manmathan by Shiva.. Various towns around here bear names of incidents connected with Manmathan's tryst with Shiva. Eg. Kaalvalaimedu, Kanganamputhur, Vedanallur, Villiyanallur. The Pazhavaaru river to the north of this town is known as Gnaana Theertham, as it is believed that the tears of joy that flowed out of Shiva in a state of meditation merged with this river. Shiva is said to have been in a state of meditation under the Kadukkai tree after the destruction of the vain Daksha's yaagam, hence the name Yogeeswarar. After the slaying of Kaama, he is said to have brought him back to life - in flesh and blood for thesake of Rathi, and in a formless state for others, hence the name Kama Anga Naasan.

A rishi by name Deergavahu performed the ritual of visiting several Saivite shrines, invoking the Ganges through Yogic powers & offering the waters to Shiva; It is said that his arms shrunk as he did the same here, hence Tirukkurukkai.

The Temple:  This temple covers an area of about 2.5 acres A nine tiered Rajagopuram adorns this temple with 2 prakarams. Stucco images related to legends connected with the stalapuranam here are seen on the Vimanam.Natarajar's Sabha here is known as Kaamaanganaasini Sabha and the Taandavam here is Veera Natanam. Appar is believed to have visited this shrine after visiting Tiruppunkur and Tiruneedur.  Inscriptions from the period of Raja Raja Chola I (and his descendants) and the Vijayanagar rulers are found in this temple.

Festivals: Four worship services are offered each day here. The slaying of Kama is enacted on Masi Magham (full moon) while the annual festival concludes two days later. Other festivals celebrated here include Vinayaka Chaturthi, Navaratri and Sivaratri.

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