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252. Tiruvaimur


Location: Tiruvaimur near Tiruvarur, Tirunellikka
(Chola Naadu -South of Kaveri)
Shiva: Vaimurnathar
Ambal: Paalinum nan mozhiammai, Ksheeropavachani
Vriksham: Palaamaram
Theertham: Surya Theertham
Patikam : Sambandar, Appar
Travel Base: Thanjavur
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DescriptionThis Shivastalam is one of the 7 Saptavitanka shrines of Tyagaraja associated with the Mucukunda legend of Tiruvarur - Neelavitankar, Kamala Natanam. It is located near Tirunellikka and Tirukkolili, on the route between Nagappattinam and Tirutturaippundi at a distance of 24 km south east of Tiruvarur. This shrine is regarded as the 124th in the series of Tevara Stalams in the Chola Region south of the river Kaveri.

Tiruvarur.  Ettukkudi, a shrine dedicated to Subramanya is located nearby. The seven Vitankastalams are Tiruvarur, Tirukkuvalai, Tirukkaaraivaasal, Tirumaraikkaadu, Tiru Naagai, Tirunallaaru and Tiruvaimur.  

Legends: Surya is said to have worshipped Shiva here (the temple tank here is named Surya Theertham, and the suns rays strike the sanctum on two days in the Tamil month of Pankuni).

The image of Tyagarajar at Tiruvarur   is the foremost of the 7 from which Indra is believed to have asked Muchukunda Cholan to pick the original image of Somaskandar worshipped by Mahavishnu. . Muchukunda Cholan is believed to have picked the right one (the image at Tiruvarur) , and Indra is believed to have rewarded him with all of the 7 images, which the latter installed at 7 different places within his territory, and it is these 7 temples which constitute the 7 Vitankastalams.

The Temple: This temple occupies an area of about 2 acres and it has a single prakaram and a beautiful 3 tiered Rajagopuram. Across from the temple is the Surya Theertham. The Navagrahams are in a single file as in Tiruvarur. Nataraja's tandavam here, is known as Madhya Tandavam. The sun's rays illuminate the sanctum on the 12th & the 13th days of the Tamil month of Pankuni.

The Rishabha Dakshinamurthy shrine here is of significance as in Kaichinnam neaby.

The Vedaranyeswarar and Tyagarajar shrines are located to the North and to the south of the sanctum. The bronze image of Karaikkal Ammaiyar is of great workmanship.  There are seven forms of Bhairavar here; it is believed that 8 were in existence. Legend has it that Tirunavukkarasar was directed by Shiva in one of his visions to visit this shrine, Sambandar is believed to have visited this shrine with him.

The original brick and mortar  temple was reconstructed of stone during the reign of Vikrama Chola, just prior to 1130. Inscriptions from the period of Rajadiraja II, Kulottunga III and Rajaraja III speaking of grants made to the temple are seen here.

Festivals: The 18 day Vasantotsavam in the month of Vaikasi is of great significance here.

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