Mayuranathaswami Temple, Mayiladuthurai

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Mayuranathaswamy temple
மயூரநாதசுவாமி திருக்கோயில்
Mayuranathar temple16.jpg
Gopura of the Mayuranathaswamy Temple
DeityMayuranathaswamy (Shiva)
StateTamil Nadu
Mayuranathaswami Temple, Mayiladuthurai is located in Tamil Nadu
Mayuranathaswami Temple, Mayiladuthurai
Shown within Tamil Nadu
Geographic coordinates11°0′N 79°15′E / 11.000°N 79.250°E / 11.000; 79.250Coordinates: 11°0′N 79°15′E / 11.000°N 79.250°E / 11.000; 79.250

Mayuranathaswamy Temple, Mayiladuthurai (மயூரநாதஸ்வாமி கோயில், மயிலாடுதுறை)[1] or Mayuranathar Temple is a Hindu temple in the town of Mayiladuthurai (formerly known as Mayavaram or Mayuram) in the Nagapattinam District of Tamil Nadu in India. The temple is dedicated to Lord Mayuranathaswamy, a form of Shiva, and has given its name to the town itself.[2]

The main icon is a lingam and the presiding deity is called Mayuranathar because the Hindu goddess Parvathi worshipped Shiva here in the form of a mayura.

On the day of the new moon in the Tamil month of Aippasi (November–December), religious Hindus have a ceremonial bath in the temple tank as it is believed to purify them from sins. An annual dance festival called the Mayura Natyanjali festival is celebrated within the precincts of the temple each year.

This temple is one of the six temples along the banks of the Kaveri which are considered equivalent to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. These temples are :

° Aiyarappar Koil, Thiruvaiyaru

° Mahalingeswarar Koil, Thiruvidaimarudur

° Mayuranathaswamy Koil, Mayiladuthurai

° Chayavaneswarar Koil, Sayavanam

° Swetharanyeswarar Koil, Thiruvenkadu

° Srivanchinadhaswamy Koil, Srivanchiyam


The Mayuranathaswami temple is located in the southern part of Mayiladuthurai about a mile from the Kaveri River.[3] The temple is on the ChidambaramThanjavur highway.[4]


It is one of the shrines of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams - Shiva Sthalams glorified in the early medieval Tevaram poems by Tamil Saivite Nayanar Tirugnanasambandar.


Hindu goddess Parvathi in the form of a peahen worshipping a shivalinga

The presiding deity is a swayambhu lingam or a self-manifested lingam, the symbol of the Hindu god Shiva. Shiva's consort is known by the names Abhayapradhambikai, Abhayambikai, Anjalanayaki and Anjalai.[citation needed] There are three smaller shrines to the Hindu god Ganesha and another to Shiva as Nataraja or "Lord of Dance".[5] One of the sculptures in the temple represent Shiva embracing Goddess Parvathi.[6] According to mythology, the goddess Parvathi, the consort of Shiva, once offended him.[6] Shiva was so annoyed he cursed Parvathi to be born as a lowly peahen.[6] Later, when Parvathi repented, Shiva reduced this sentence.[6] Parvathi had to pray first at Mylapore and then at Mayiladuthurai, at the end of which she was ridden of her curse and became known as "Abhayambal".[6] It is believed that Brahma, Lakshmi, sage Agastya, Manmatha, birds and animals worshipped Mayuranathar.[5]


Image of the temple

The temple was built by the Medieval Cholas.[citation needed] The oldest inscriptions on the temple walls date to the time of Kulothunga Chola I.[7] Massive renovations were carried out during 1907-1927 by Devakottai AL.VR.P.Veerappa Chettiar & Pethaperumal Chettiar[8] In May 1927, a temple entry of Dalits was organised on a big scale by the proponents of the Self Respect Movement thereby resulting in a huge clash.[9]


The temple complex is 719 feet (219 m) long and 520 feet (160 m) wide.[10] The gopura at the eastern entrance to the temple is nine storeys high[3] and measures 194 feet (59 m).[citation needed] The idol of Durga near the northern entrance of the temple is expertly sculpted and differs from those in other temples.[3] On the temple walls, there is the sculpture of a devotee trying to sever his head as an offering to the God.[3]

There is an expansive temple tank in the centre of the complex. People travel in large numbers to Mayiladuthurai to bathe in this tank on the day of the new moon in the Tamil month of Aippasi (November–December).[citation needed] This bath purifies a person of sins because the waters of the river Ganges and other Indian rivers mingle with the waters of the Kaveri river in this tank on this particular day.[11]


  1. ^ ta:மயிலாடுதுறை மயூரநாதசுவாமி கோயில்
  2. ^ The Imperial Gazetteer of India 1908, Vol 17. Clarendon Press. 1908. p. 238.
  3. ^ a b c d Tourist Guide to Tamil Nadu. Sura Books. p. 64. ISBN 978-81-7478-177-2.
  4. ^ Nanditha Krishna (2002). Sacred tanks of South India. C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre. p. 227.
  5. ^ a b V., Meena (1974). Temples in South India (1st ed.). Kanniyakumari: Harikumar Arts. pp. 36–37.
  6. ^ a b c d e Ayyar, p 271
  7. ^ Ayyar, p 280
  8. ^
  9. ^ S. V. Rajathurai (1998). Towards a non-Brahmin millennium: from Iyothee Thass to Periyar. Samya. p. 224. ISBN 978-81-85604-37-4.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Ayyar, p 249


  • P. V. Jagadisa Ayyar (1920). South Indian shrines: illustrated. Madras Times Printing and Pub. Co.

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