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147. Tirundudevankudi


Location: Tiruvisalur near Kumbhakonam, Tiruvidaimarudur
(Chola Naadu -North of Kaveri)
Shiva: Karkateswarar, Arumarundu Devar
Ambal: Arumarundu Nayaki, Aravinda Nayaki
Theertham: Pankaja Theertham
Travel Base: Thanjavur
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Description: This is a vast temple surrounded by a moat near Tiruvidaimarudur. Much of this area is surrounded by fields and shrubs. Close by is the Tiruvisalur temple dedicated to Yoganandeswarar (Tiruviyalur). It is speculated that the original name of this now non-existent village must have been Tiru Nandu Devan Kudi. Tirundudevankudi is considered to be the 42nd in the series of Tevara Stalams in Chola Nadu located North of the river Kaveri.

Legends: The worship offered by a crab is the reason for the name Karkateswarar, and the image of a golden crab can be seen on the Shivalingam during the ablution rituals. Shiva is said to have in the guise of an elder, rid a devout King of his painful affliction; he is also said to have directed him to the spot where the Shivalingam currently is now and then disappeared. He is also said to have promised to reveal to him medicines for other afflictions, hence the name Arumarundu Devar, the Lord of Medicine and Healing.

The Temple: There are two shrines to Ambal here, Arumarundu Nayaki and Apoorva Nayaki. The moat surrounding the temple is the Tirumaruvum Poikai. This vast temple has been in a ruined state, even in the late 1970s. It has been described as a 'pathetic spectacle of  fallen glory and local indifference'.

This temple covers an area of over 72,000 sqare feet. The legend of a crab offering worship to Shiva, is depicted in a panel on a stone pillar. This ancient brick and mortar temple was converted to a stone temple during the rule of Kulottunga I (1075-1120). The Ambal shrine also came into being then, as seen from inscriptions from the year 1117.   Inscriptions from the period of Vikrama Chola and Rajadiraja II are also seen here. No later inscriptions are seen, and the temple seems to have gone into a state of insignificance after the Chola rule.

It is believed that the vegetation covering the temple may be of medicinal value. It is speculated that in the days of its glory, this village would have been a medical care center with an Ayurvedic dispensary, providing herbal remedies to various ailments.

TheFestival images from this temple have been stored at the Tiruviyalur temple, nearby. Tiruviyalur is associated closely with Rajaraja Cholan I, the great Chola monarch.

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