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History and Significance of Sri Padampakkanathar Temple, Tiruvottriyur 

The temple is one among the Saptha Vidanga Sthalas. Lord Thiagaraja is the main deity of the temple. A devotee, Elelasingar was keeping some ornaments studded with precious stones to be given to the king. Two Shiva devotees came to him from Kasi. Lord asked Elelasingar to give the jewels to the devotees which he obeyed. When king came and asked for the ornaments, Elelasingar stood dumbfounded when Lord came to his rescue and gave the precious jewels. Hence, Lord is praised as Manicka Thiagar. Manickam-precious stones. Serprent Vasuki performed penance in this place as advised by sage Upamanyu. Lord blessed Vasuki in the form of an anthill. Vasuki merged with Lord. Lord came to be praised as Padampakka Nathar. There is box-like cover above the Lord. He cannot be touched and hence no abishek to Lord but to Avudayar the base peeta only. Even the priests do not touch the Lord – Theenda Thirumeniyar- Lord untouched by human. Lord Padampakka Nathar is ever under cover and can be seen plain only for three days following Karthikai Poornima-full moon day in November-December for Thaila Kappu purpose-oil application on the body. He will be covered again on the night of the third day. It is said that Lords Vishnu, Brahmma and Vasuki are worshipping Lord during these three days. Mother Vadivudai Nayaki is facing south. Of the 51 Shakti Peetas, this peeta is praised as Ikshi Peeta. Sri Chakra is installed below the idol. Only Namboodris of Kerala are performing the puja in this shrine. Pushpanjali Seva is dedicated to Mother at 9.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. each day with fragrant flowers. People whose marriages are delayed pray here and contribute for this Alankara. This is known as Wedding Pushpanjali. After the injustice she was subjected to at Madurai, Kannagi burnt Madurai City and came to this place with all fury. When she reached this place, Lord and Mother were playing dice. To soften her fury, Lord Shiva rolled the dice towards a well and made it fall into the well. Kannagi got down into the well to take the dice, when Lord shiva closed the well with a rock round in shape. Kannagi came out in the form of a rock. Later, an idol was made and installed near this Vattaparai-round shaped rock, hence Ambica is praised as Vattaparai Amman. Acharya Sankara had also installed the Sri Chakra to soften the fury of Amman. Devotees pray here with turmeric and kumkum. The place is closely linked with the life of Sundarar, one among the four celebrated saivite saints and Sangili Nachiar wedding. While at this place-Tiruvottriyur, Sundarar was happy to see Sangiliar plunged in the service of Lord Shiva and desired to have her hand. He prayed to Lord Shiva to have her. Lord advised Sangiliar to marry Sundarar. She expressed her fear to Lord that Sundarar may leave her half the way as he was already married to Paravai Nachiar. Lord promised that He would get her the assurance from Sundarar to be ever with her. Knowing Lord’s design, Sundarar begged Lord to leave the sanctum for a while and be under the Magizham tree when he would make the required promise to Sangiliar before the sanctum. But Lord advised Sangiliar to demand the promise under the Magizham tree to trap Sundarar. Their wedding went on. Thus Magizham became the sacred tree of the temple. This wedding festival is celebrated in the temple on the Magam star day in Masi month-February-March. Lord solemnizes this marriage under the Magizham tree known as Magizhadi Servai. Foot prints of Lord Shiva are under the tree. Those facing delay in their wedding worship here adoring the Feet with sandal. Married couples also pray here. A staunch devotee, Kalianar used to light lamps at the temple each day without fail. Lord wanted to test his piety and made him poor. As Kalianar had no money to buy oil for the lighting, he decided to cut his neck and light the lamp with his blood. Lord appeared before the devotee and made his devotion public and elevated him to the status of Nayanar. His Guru Puja is conducted in the Aadi Jeyshta star day when people use to light lamps in the shrine. Pattinathar, a merchant from Poompuhar prayed to Lord Shiva seeking salvation. Lord appeared before him, gave a sugar cane and asked him to go places with it. Lord added saying that when Pattinathar felt sweetness at the end of the sugarcane, he would attain salvation. That happened in this place-Tiruvottriyur. Realizing his end, Pattinathat asked people to cover him with a bowl. Removing the bowl then, people found a Linga here. A temple for Pattinathar was built later here. Pattinathar is revered as Lord Shiva Himself and pujas on Pradosha days, Shivrathri and Aipasi Annabishek are performed in this shrine also. His Guru Puja is performed on the Uthrashada star day close to Poornima-full moon day in Aadi month-July-August. Mother Vadivudai Nayaki is all merciful. Vadalur Saint Ramalinga Vallalar was greatly devoted to Ambica. Once, he was late to return home after Arthajama Puja worship. The doors of the house were closed. He simply retired to bed outside the house without night dinner. Ambica came to Vallalar with Pongal and fed him. Saint Tirunavukkarasar in one of his hymns says that Lord in this sea shore temple is the torch bearer to those unable to choose the right path in life, as a light house does for the ships in the sea. The meaning of life is understood by those worshipping in this temple. No tax zone: King Mandhadha was the ruler of this place represented by a chieftain. The king sent a notice to him demanding tax. There was a correction in the demand notice reading ‘barring Tiruvottriyur’ thus exempted this place from taxes. This is mentioned in the celebrated Saivite Epic Peria Puranam being the 12th part of Saivite Tirumurai collections. Lord praised as Kauleeswarar is blessing the devotees from a separate shrine. He appears in a Yoga form holding a bowl on His left upper hand and the lower hand on the chest. His right hand shows the Chin Mudra promising protection and wisdom to devotees. Children are advised to pray here for shining in education. Lord Vinayaka in the mandap before the shrine of Padampakka Nathar is praised as Gunalaya Heramba Vinayaka. People pray here to develop noble habits. There are 27 Shiva Lingas in the prakara representing 27 stars, all facing north. Pujas are performed to these Lingas on Shivrathri day. Those facing adverse planetary effects, pray here with pujas and abisheks on their star days. They offer sweet pudding-Sarkarai Pongal nivedhana and donate paddy for relief. Lord Shiva as Truptheeswar – Lord of Satisfaction – graces from a square stone. People not satisfied with the going in their lives light ghee lamps here. Presiding deity is under the Gajabrushta Vimana. Nandhi in the prakara is on a high peeta. Akasha Linga shrine is also in the prakara. The place is praised by names as Aadhipuri, Poongoil, Shivaloka on earth. Lord played His Padma Thandava dance for Nandhi Deva here. Conch abishek is performed in Lord Thiagaraja shrine on the 3rd Monday of Karthikai in December-January. Aipasi Annabishek is offered on the Poornima day-full moon day for Lord Aadhi Pureswarar. Lord Muruga here is praised by Saint Arunagiriar. Those suffering from stomach pain worship here for relief. Pujas are also performed at Sundarar-Sangiliar shrine on Poornima days. Those seeking child boon pray at Lord Kuzhandeeswarar shrine.

History of Sri Padampakkanathar Temple, Tiruvottriyur

A new world comes into being after every pralaya flood. During one such pralaya, Brahmma wanted to prevent the destruction of the world and performed a Yajna dedicated to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva appeared in the form of Agni-fire and became a Linga as prayed by Brahmma. The Yaga Kunda – the pit, became a temple. As Lord Shiva dried the flood water-Ottral in Tamil, the place came to known as Tiruvottriyur. Lord Shiva being the first-Aadhi- to appear here, He is praised as Aadhi Pureeswarar.

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