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228. Tirumazhapadi


Location:Tirumazhapadi near Tiruvaiyar (Chola Naadu -North of Kaveri )
Shiva: Mazhuvaadeesar, Vajrastampeswarar
Ambal: Azhagammai
Theertham: Kollidam
Patikam :Sambandar, Appar, Sundarar
Travel Base: Thanjavur 

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Description:   Tirumazhapadi is a revered Shivastalam in the vicinity of Tiruvaiyaru and its Saptastana Temples, and is closely linked to Tiruvaiyaru through one of the annual festivals celebrated here. The Kollidam river flows northward here in the vicinity of the temple. Tirumazhapadi  is considered to be the 54th in the series of Tevara Stalams in the Chola kingdom located north of the river Kaveri.

Legends: Several colorful legends abound in this shrine, known primarily for Shiva's Taandavam with the Mazhuvaayudam (hence Mazhapadi) for Markandeyar. (Parasu Nartanapuram in Sanskrit). Purushamriga Munivar is said to have established a shrine for Shiva, and Bhrama in his inability to remove it referred to it as Vajrastamba Moorthy.

The Temple: Somaskandar is in the form of a monolithic stone image here & there are 2 shrines to Dakshinamurthy. Sundarar is said to have been reminded of this shrine in a dream. King Sibi is said to have been rid of his afflictions here, there are no Navagrahams, only 3 pits in front of the sanctum.

The temple is a vast one with a seven tiered Raja gopuram. There are two shrines to Ambal here. The 100 pillared hall, the Somaskanda mandapam and the murals in the Natarajar shrine are of interest. The Cholas have contributed immensely to this shrine, as testified in the many inscriptions seen here. There are inscriptions from the time of the Pandyas, Hoysalas and the Vijayanagar emperors.

.Inscriptions at Tiruveengoimalai testify to the Vijayanagar empire's contribution to this shrine.

Festivals: Bhramotsavam in the month of Masi. Nandi's marriage with Suyahambikai is celebrated in the month of Pankuni when Aiyarappar of Tiruvaiyaru crosses the Kollidam and arrives at Tirumazhapadi and conducts the wedding, in a grand ceremony.

Templenet acknowledges the contribution of the image above by C. Vedanarayanan, London.

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