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118. Tirukkodikka


Location: Tirukkodikkaval near Kumbhakonam, Mayiladuturai
(Chola-North of Kaveri)
Shiva: Kodikka Eswarar, Trikoteeswarar
Ambal: Vadivambikai, Tripurasundari
Theertham: Mukkoti Theertham
Patikam : Sambandar, Appar
Travel Base: Thanjavur
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Description: This Shivastalam represents one of the five 'Kaa's or 'Solai's, the othere being Aanaikka, Kolakka, Nellikkaa and Kurakkukka. All of the multitudes of Gods (Koti) are said to have worshipped here at this  shrine beautified by countless gardens (kavu), hence Kotikka. Tirukkodikka is considered to be the 37th in the series of the Tevara Stalams located in Chola Nadu north of the river Kaveri.

Legends: Shiva is said to have escorted a devotee Haradatta to Kanjanur nearby, and mysteriously disappeared. (The image above is that of the Kanjanur Temple). Vasishtar is said to have installled an image of Ganapati fashioned out of earth.

It is believed that the Alwars were asked by Venkatar of Tirupati to worship Tripurasundari here before offering worship at Tirupati. Agasthyar is said to have helped them cross the Kaveri in spate, by having them worship Karaiyetru Vinayakar. Tripurasundari Amman is then said to have blessed them with a vision of Venkatachalapati

The Temple: There are two prakarams and a 5 tiered Rajagopuram in this temple which covers an area of about 3.5 acres.  The niche images here include those of Vinayakar, Agastyar, Dakshinamurthy, Lingodbhavar, Bhrama, Durga, Bhikshatanar and Ardhanareeswarar.  There are about 50 inscriptions in this temple, from the days of the early and later Pallavas, the Imperial Cholas and Pandyas

This temple was rebuilt of stone by Sembiyan Mahadevi (10th century) who caused earlier inscriptions to be re-engraved. Surrounding the main central shrine and the maha mandapam, is a wall known as Vikramacholan Tirumaligai with a pillared and covered platform running its entire length. It was during the period of Kulottunga I and his son Vikrama Chola that such walls were raised in several temples all over the empire, enclosing courtyards within. The image of Surya was set up here by Ilaiyan Aditta Pidaran. There are several inscriptions from the period of Kulottunga I and his son Vikrama Chola, in the Mahamandapam of the temple.

Festivals: Four worship services are offered each day. Arudra Darisanam, Kartikai Deepam, Navaratri, Sivaratri, Chitra Pournami, Sivaratri, Aadi Pooram and Vinayaka Chaturthi are the festivals celebrated here.

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