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167. Tirunaarayur


Location: Tirunaarayur near Chidambaram, Kattu Mannargudi
(Chola Naadu -North of Kaveri )
Shiva: Soundareswarar
Ambal: Tripurasundari
Vriksham: Punnaga Maram
Theertham: Karunya Theertham
Patikam : Sambandar, Appar
Travel Base: Chidambaram
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Description: This shrine is associated with Pollaappillayar - who is connected with the legend regarding the recovery of the Tirumurais from the Chidambaram temple by Rajaraja Cholan and Nambiyaandaar Nambi. It  is considered to be the 33rd in the series of the Tevara Stalams located in Chola Nadu north of the river Kaveri.

Nambiyaandaar Nambi: To Nambiyaandaar Nambi goes the credit of compiling and classifying this collossal collection of Tamil Tirumurais. He compiled the works of the 3 saints into the 1st through 7th Tirumurais; Manikkavacakar's Tiruvacakam & Tirukkovaiyar into the 8th. He included Tiruvisaippaa and Tiruppallaandu in the 9th & Tirumoolar's Tirumantiram in the 10th. Tirumukhappaasurm and other works were included in the 11th Tirumurai. With the aid of a descendant of the musical Nilakanta Yaazhpaanar he assigned and fitted Panns to the Tevaram Hymns, (after worshipping Shiva at Erukkattampuliyur) . Nambi is also credited with several other literary and devotional works..

Legends: A Naarai (stork), Surya and others are believed to have worshipped here. Pollaappillaiyaar (formerly PoLLaappillaiyaar - one untouched by a chisel) is said to have aided the monarch and the devotee in recovering the Tirumurais hidden in a vault in the Chidambaram Temple.

The Temple: An Ardhachandra Vimanam with 2 kalasams decks this shrine and a 78 feet high Rajagopuram adorns this temple covering an area of 5.5. Acres. Nambiandar Nambi's image is also housed here.

Festivals: The Nambiandar Nambi (Vaikasi) festival, sponsored by the Tiruppanandal Matham witnesses the chanting of the Tirumurais. Other festivals include Navaratri and Skanda Sashti. Images of Rajaraja Chola and Nambiyaandaar Nambi adorn this temple.

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