|Location||Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India|
|Temple tank||Yama Theertham|
Tiruvaikavur Temple or Thiruvaikavur Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the holy village of Tiruvaikavur, Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is incarnated by the hymns of Tirugnana Sambandar and is classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam.
The legend behind the temple
A saint named Thavanithi was performing his worship in the temple. A deer chased by a hunter held the aegis of the saint. The saint took the form of a tiger to frighten the hunter. The hunter out of fear climbed the Vilva tree in the temple, waiting for the tiger to relent. The tiger was relentless and the hunter in an effort to keep him awake all night spilled vilva leaves one by one the whole night. Incidentally the vilva leaves fell on a Shiva Lingam that happen to be present under the tree. Since it was Sivarathri that day, the hunter got the blessings of Lord Siva as a result. The next day was to be the last day of the hunter in bhoologam. Yama, the death god approached the hunter to take him to Yama Logam. Dakshinamoorthy(Guru) with his soola(trident) and Nandi were driving Yama out of the temple. Lord Siva was unhappy about Nandi and just to avoid Siva's wrath Nandi faces the temple entrance. We can also see Dakshinamoorthy holding a soolam.
It is also believed that Vishnu performed his penance here to overcome the curse of a chaste woman - the Lord Siva here is called Ariyeesar hence.
Sapthamathars (Seven lady Gods) worshipped the Lord here by having a holy dip in Yama theertham, the temple tank here to regain the Ashtamasiddhi (powers) lost on account of a curse from the sage Uttala. Lord Siva and Parvathi rose here in the northern banks of Cauvery and Bhooma Devi is believed to have worshiped the Lord. The place is called Bhooomipuram hence.
During the great destruction period, the land was supposed to be destroyed and the world worshipped the Lord, who rose in the form of Vilva tree to save the land. The Lord obtained the name Vilvavanehswarar hence.
Lord rescued the life of a child who was killed by a thief for his jewels on a Sivarathri. God obtained the name of Makavaruleeswarar.
There is no form of life that does not fear death. The Yama theertha(Temple tank named after Lord Yama) here reduces the fear of life. The Yama Theertham is one similar to the one present in Tiruneelivaneswarar temple in Trichy.
Sivarathiri is a famous occasion here and it garners a crowd of around 2 lakh people.
The temple is located 8 km away from Swamimalai and 14 km from Kumbakonam on the Kumbakonam-Tirvaikavoor road. The temple is 5 km away from Kapisthalam. The best mode is taking town buses from Kumbakonam or mini buses from Kapisthalam.
- Tirujñān̲asambandhar: philosophy and religion.P. S. Somasundaram
- Concise classified dictionary of Hinduism .Kodayanallur Vanamamalai Soundara Rajan
- Festivals In Indian Society (2 Vols. Set). Usha Sharma
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