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Temples of Tamilnadu
Abodes of Shiva

Photo Feature on Lalgudi

Templenet would like to recognize Mr. C. Veda of Lalgudi for his contribution of images to illustrate this article.

Tiruttavatturai at Lalgudi near Tiruchirappalli is an ancient shrine dating back to the period of the Nayanmars. Although a formal patikam of ten poems penned by the Nayanmars has not been discovered yet,  this shrine has been regarded as  one of the Tevara vaippu talangal (referenceed by the Tevaram) as the Saivite canon Periya Puraanam narrates that Sambandar had visited this shrine in the course of his travels.

Tiruttavatturai  is located about 20 km east of Tiruchirappalli. It is an interesting observation that the red towers adorning this town caused the newly arrived muslim rulers to refer to this place as Lalgudi. This west facing temple covers an area of about 2 acres and is adorned with a five tiered Raja Gopuram at its entrance.

The presiding deities  here are Shiva, worshipped as Saptarishiswarar and his consort Srimathi. There are also shrines to Ganesha, Murugan and the seven sapta rishis. Other iconic forms of Shiva such as Bhikshaadanar, Ardhanaareeswarar, Veena Dakshinamurthy are also enshrined here.

Legend has it that the sapta rishis were relieved of a curse upon worshipping Shiva at this shrine and hence the name Sapta Rishiswara. There are also legends associated with the worship of Shiva by Lakshmi, Vishnu and Murugan here. Legend also has it that Kali (Bhairavi) was defeated in a dance duel with Shiva (as in Tiruvalangadu).  In a legend similar to that at Tiruttalaichangaadu, there is a legend here that Vishnu obtained his discus (chakram) upon worshipping Shiva here at Tiruttavatturai.

The sacred grove associated with this temple centers around the stala vriksham of arasamaram. The sacred water sources (theertham) are known by the names Sivaganga and Chakra Theertham.

The annual festival is celebrated in the Tamil month of Vaikashi. The annual Arudra Darisanam festival is celebrated in grandeur here.