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131. Sikkal


Location: Sikkal near Nagappattinam, Tiruvarur
(Chola-South of Kaveri)
Shiva: Venneipperumaan, Navaneeteswarar
Ambal: Velon Kanniyaal, Saktiyudakshi
Vriksham: Mallikai
Theertham: Ksheera Pushkarini
Patikam : Sambandar
Travel Base: Thanjavur
Description: This Shivastalam is a maadakkovil built at an elevation in Sikkil, near Nagappattinam and Tiruvarur. It is considered to be the 83rd in the series of Tevara Stalams in the Chola kingdom located south of the river Kaveri. . There is a Tyagaraja Shrine here, although it is not one of the Saptavitanka Stalams.   The shrine to Singaravelar here, is of  great significance. Keevalur is located in close proximity to Sikkal.

Legend has it that Muchukunda Cholan, associated with the Tiruvarur legend built this temple.Vasishta is said to have prayed to Shiva to recover his Kamadhenu, whose milk flowed & froze to form butter. Fashioning a Lingam out of Butter (Venneippiran), Vasishtar vainfully tried to move it; it had gotten stuck (Sikkal). Interestingly, Tirukkannankudi - a Vaishnava Divyadesam (near Keevalur nearby) has a legend associated with Vasishtar offering worship to an image of Krishna which he had fashioned out of butter.  The Ksheera Pushkarini (Paal Kulam) tank is located behind the temple.

Legend also has it that Vishnu sought the blessings of Shiva before venturing out to the court of the demon king Mahabali, and there is a Kola Vaamana Perumaal shrine adjacent to the temple.

The Temple: The 7 tiered Rajagopuram that adorns the entrance to this temple  is about 80 feet in height. Inscriptions from the Imperial Chola period and from the Vijayanagar period abound in this temple which covers an area of about 2 acres. The Kartikai Mandapam in the forefront exhibits a number of paintings depicting legends related to Subramanya.

Festivals: Six worship services are offered each day here. A number of marriages are performed in this temple in the kalyana mandapam. The annual Bhrammotsavam is celebrated in the month of Chittirai. Singaravelar receives his Vel (Spear) from Devi, during Skanda Sashti Utsavam in the month of Libra; and it is believed that his image then breaks out in sweat. Soorasamharam is enacted here during this festival.

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