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History and Significance of Sri Muktheeswarar Temple, Theppakulam  

King Thirumalai Naicker committed to build a tank for Mother Meenakshi and the land chosen was in front of the Muktheeswarar temple, hence the temple could not be extended further. As there was no Rajagopuram (main tower) for the temple, the one constructed in the centre of the tank, which would look as a tower built for Muktheeswara Temple if viewed either from within the temple or from the eastern side. Indira’s vehicle Iravadham the white elephant was relieved of its curse in this shrine. Of the Panchabhutha shrines in Madurai (Panchabhudhas – Air, Fire, water, earth and space making this universe), Muktheeswarar temple represents Vayu-Air. This is one of the temples worshipped by Sun. It is noteworthy that the rays of Sun falls on the Presiding Deity Muktheeswarar during the days from 10/11 to 22/23 in the month of March and again between September 18 to 30 and these rays remain for about 20 minutes each day. The Thiruvilayadals (miracle deeds) of Lord Shiva are very beautifully sculpted in the pillars of the temple, besides the scenes of penance of Rishis. There is also an idol of Ekabadramurthy combining the forms of Brahmma, Vishnu and Shiva with only two feet.

History of Sri Muktheeswarar Temple, Theppakulam

Indira’s vehicle, the while elephant Iravadham ignored a flower used in Shiva Pooja. It was cursed by Rishi Durvasa. It wanted among the wild elephants and finally was relieved of the curse. It worshiped Lord Shiva for his grace. As Indira could not find the Iravadha elephant even after the term of the curse, he set out in search of the animal. Before returning to the upper world with his Master Indira, the elephant wanted to worship Lord Shiva. It created a place after its name, worshiped Muktheswara. Even today, according to the documents of the temple, the place is known as Iravadhanallur.

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