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248. Tiruvallam


Location: Tiruvallam near Vellore, Ranipet
(Nadu Naadu)
Shiva: Vallanathar, Vilvavananathar
Ambal: Vallambika, Dhanumadhyambal
Vriksham: Vilva Maram
Patikam : Sambandar
Travel Base:Tiruvannamalai
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Description: This is a Shivastalam on the Western Bank of the Pennar river, near the town of Vellore/Katpadi with a large Nandi facing away from the shrine. This town was known as Teekaali Vallam and the waters of the Pennar were once known for their healing powers. Tiruvallam is referred to as a Muktistalam. The Ambal shrine is said to be of great significance here. This is the 10th of the 32 Tevara Stalams in the Tondai region of South India.

The Temple: There are several shrines in this temple. Although the presiding deity faces the East, the temple entrance faces the South. Inscriptions reveal that this was a grand pilgrimage center in the past with facilities for pilgrims travelling between Southern Tamilnadu and Benares. Sambandar's patikam honors this shrine, while Appar has referred to this shrine in a Patikam. There are several stone inscriptions in this temple, some from the peirod of Rajendra  Chola I (11th century). . A fine image of Perumaal also adorns this shrine..

Legends: The Nandi is said to be guarding the temple priest from a rakshasan Kanjan of Kanjamalai nearby. This relationship with the demon who later surrendered to the deity is enacted in the month of Capricorn. Avvaiyar is said to be associated with this shrine, and Vinayakar is said to have obtained the celestial mango from Shiva here. Vinayakar's circumambulation of Shiva here, caused the name Tiruvalam.  (Also see Tirukadikkulam).

Festivals: Full moon nights are considered to be special here.   The annual Bhrammotsavam is celebrated in the Tamil month of Maasi. Shivaratri, The Float Festival, Navartri, Thai Poosam are the festivals of significance here.

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