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History and Significance of Sri Shikanathar Temple, Kudumiyanmalai 

Though a Shiva temple, the pillars bear sculptures of the Dasavatara scenes of Lord Vishnu. There are two such sculptures, one a youth on a horse and the other an aged man on a horse. This is explained as Kalki Avtar when both young and old would be destroyed. Of the Navagrahas the nine planets, this temple belongs to Sani Bhagwan – Saturn, it is believed. During the 10th century, this place was known as Thiru Nala Kundram. Emperor Nala who had to experience the ordeal of Sani Bhagwan worshipped Lord Shikanathar for relief. Those facing the adverse aspects of Sani Bhagwan pray to Lord Shika Nathar. There are invaluable epigraphic details written in Grnatha letters about the art of music which are useful to those in the field. It is said that king Parama Maheswaran disciple of Rudrachariar was proficient in the Ragas mentioned here. But nobody can go near the place now as honey bees have their hives around. Dwarapalakas-securities appear with a face of authority in temples both facing east. Here one is smiling and the other with a hard look facing north and south. Besides a shrine of Mother Akhilandeswari, there is another Ambica shrine. A Devadasi, Umayalnachi by name built an Ambica shrine in the temple and named Her Malaya Mangai. It is believed that this would have changed as as Soundarya Nayaki shrine in the days that followed.

History of Sri Shikanathar Temple, Kudumiyanmalai

Kudumian in Tamil means a person of good qualities. Kudimi also means a mount. As the Lord is in a temple near a mount, He is praised as Kudumian, it is explained. The priest of the temple had a sweetheart who will visit the temple both for worship and meeting her lover. One day, when they were happy in talk, the king visited the temple without prior notice. The priest hurriedly took the flowers from the head of his lover, placed to Lord and gave it as Prasad to the king. The king saw a piece of hair in the garland and enquired the priest. Placing his fate at the feet of the Lord, the priest said that it may be from the Kudumi-tuft of Lord. The priest promised to show the tuft next day. The king said that he would test it the next day. When the king saw the Linga next day, he was surprised to see the Kudumi on the head. The priest and his sweet heart shed tears of pleasure and fell at the feet of Lord. Their marriage took place then.

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