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171. Tiruneedur


Location: Tiruneedur near Mayiladuturai.
(Chola Naadu -North of Kaveri )
Shiva: Arulsomanathar, Somanathar
Ambal: Veyurutoliammai, Adityapradambika
Vriksham: Magizhamaram (Bakula)
Theertham: Senkazhuneerodai
Patikam : Appar, Sundarar
Travel Base: Chidambaram
Description: Needur has been mentioned in ancient Sangam literature (Akanaanooru), and its richness and natural wealth have been described by Sundarar and Appar. It is believed that this shrine will remain indestructible through the great deluge (hence Needur). This Shivastalam is located at a distance of 1 km from the Needur railway station near Mayiladuturai. Tiruanniyur, another Shivastalam is located in the vicinity. Needur is considered to be the 21st amongst the Tevara Shivastalams located North of the river Kaveri.

Legends: Indra, Surya, Chandra and Kali are said to have worshipped here. Indra is believed to have fashioned a Sivalingam with the earth from the banks of the Kaveri. Shiva is also known as Karkateswarar and this name  comes from the belief that a crab had offered worship to Shiva. Legend has it that Surya worshipped Shiva at daybreak on the first Sunday in the months of Aries and Leo. Needur is also known as Vakularanyam, Makilaranyam and Magizhavanam.

The Temple:  Appar has sung of Tiruneedur and Tiruppunkur in the same Patikam. He is said to have visited Tirukkolakka with Sambandar and then gone on to Karuppariyalur, Tiruppunkur on his way to Tiruneedur. As in Tiruppunkur, the Shivalingam is a Prithivi lingam (Putru); there is also a shrine to Tiruppunkur Sivalokanathar here. Sundarar refers to Shiva here as Needur Koothan.

There is an imposing shrine to Bhadrakali - Aalaalasundari here. The shrine to Sun is worshipped on Sundays in the month of Leo. Ambal here is also known as Aditya Abayambika.

The ancient structure from the period of the Nayanmars, was replaced with a stone structure in the first decade of the 12th century. The Somaskanda image of Shiva here, is considered to be a picture perfect and it dates back to the end of the 11th century. . Inscriptions from the period of Kulottunga I, Rajadiraja II and Rajaraja Chola III are found in this temple speaking of endowments made during the later Chola period (11th - 13th centuries).  Three worship services are offered each day here.

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