Tiruvaadavur is the birthplace of Manikkavacakar,
one of the revered saints in the Tamil Saivite tradition. Manikkavacakar is the author of
the celebrated Tamil works Tiruvaacakam, Tiruvempaavai, Tiruppalliezhuchi,
Sivapuraanam and more.
Tiruvaadavur is located in the
Pandya Kingdom, near Melur near Madurai in Tamilnadu. It has been a center of worship,
even during the time of Maanikkavaacakar
(1st millennium CE).
enshrines Tirumarainaathar (Vedanayakar in Sanskrit) and Aranavalliyaar.
Shiva here is also known as Aatmanathar, Prananathar, Jivanathar.
Legend has it that Shiva
here was worshipped by Vaayu and by the Vedas. Legend has it that
Manikkavaacakar (who was born here) a royal minister of the Pandya Kingdom built the
temple at Tirupperunturai out of
funds earmarked for the purchase of horses for
the royal palace and that when time came for him to display his stock of horses, jackals
miraculously turned into fine steeds. It is to be noted that this particular
incident Tiruvilaiyaadal is celebrated in the Madurai Meenakshi temple.
The Saint Manikkavaacakar, hailed from the Pandya Kingdom. Shrines associated closely with
him are Madurai, Tiruvaadavur,
Uttirakosamangai and Tirupperunturai.
There is a shrine to Maanikkavacakar
close to the Tiruvaadavur temple.
The Temple: The
Tiruvaadavur temple has some interesting features. Ambaal's shrine, is
situated to the right of Tirumarainathar's shrine, as in the Madurai Meenakshi Somasundareswarar temple. The outermost
prakaram houses the Ambal shrine, the stala vriksham Makizha maram and
the 100 pillared hall. This hall is said to have been built by Maanikkavacakar
himself. Also in this prakaram is the Bhairava Theertham. There is also a
shrine to Kaaleesar in this prakaram.
The inner prakaram is centered
around the Tirumarainaathar shrine. In the inner prakaram is a shrine to
Manikkavacakar facing west. There is yet another shrine to Maanikkavacakar
within this prakaram, which also enshrines Vinayakar, Natarajar, Kaasi Viswanathar
and Visalakshi, as well as niche-images of Dakshinamurthy, Lingodbhavar and others.
Manikkavacakar is also enshrined in Natarajar's shrine. The innermost mandapam enclosing
the sanctum also bears festival images of all resident deities, as well as images of Kapilar
and Kapila Vinayakar.
worship services are offered each day. The annual Bhramotsavam in Vaikasi
and the Maargazhi Tiruvizha in the month of Maargazhi are the most
important festivals here. Also of significance are the Maanikkavacakar
festival during Navaratri, and the Puttu
Tiruvizhaa in the month of Aavani (Moolam), as well as the Shankhabhishekam
in the tamil month of Kaaritkai.