About Thirukadaiyur

Thirukadaiyur is one of the important temples in the Chola country situated south of famous River Cauvery which is in Nagapattinam district between 22 Kms from Mayiladuthurai and 8 Kms from Porayar in Tamil nadu. South India. The Deity of this Thirukadaiyur Temple is Shri Amrthakadeswarar and the consort is Shri Abhirami Ambal.

Frequent public transport is available from Chithambaram, Mayavaram(Mayiladuthurai), Sirkazhi, Poombhukar, Karaikal, Thirunallar to here to you for easy worship at Temple.

Temple Worship Timings:-
6.00 AM to 1.00 PM
4.00 PM to 9.00 PM

About Temple

Shri Amirthakadeshwarar Vishvarooped from the Linga in this Temple to save Markandeyan from the Lord of Death Yama and blessed Markandeyan forever sixteen years of age and Eternality. Shri Abhirami, to adhere to the wordings of Abhirami Bhattar, her devotee, materialized before him in this temple and brought full moon with glittering light in the sky on a Amavasa day at Thirukadaiyur.

As the Presiding Deity is the Destroyer of Yama,(Lord of Death), the people who have turned age 60 worship this deity for the good health.
The ceremonial rites connected with this are UGRARATHA SANTHI.

Those who have turned 61 for the welfare of the whole family perform the rites of SHASTIAPTHAPOORTI or MANIVIZHA ,

Those who have turned 70 for the welfare of their generation perform BHIMARATHA SANTHI,
Octogenarians get themselves purified and protected by SATHABHISHEKAM and
can be done for all ages.

In Tamil nadu, most of the temples are known either by the name of the Lord or His Consort. Chidambaram for Lord Nataraja Moorthy, Kanchipuram for Lordess Kamatchi Amman, Well known Madurai for Lordess Meenakshi Amman, and so on. Still, there are a few temples that are well-known for the Lord and his Consort and Thirukadaiyur is one among them. The Amirthakadeshwarar Abhirami Temple of Thirukadaiyur is associated with the legends of Markandeyar and Abhirami Bhattar.

Substantiate the grand temple architecture of the Cholas, the Temple occupies a very vast area of 11 acres, with 5 Prakarams (corridors), magnificent temple towers and large and spacious Mandapams. Though the details of the king who sanctified the temple could not be ascertained, it is seen from the inscriptions in the temple that it has been in existence during the period of RajaRaja Cholan, that is, from the early 11th century.

During the period of Kulottunga Chola I (1075 - 1120) that the brick walls of the temple were replaced with stonewalls and the Mandapam in the front was constructed. The Rajagopuram is replete with images made of mortar, depicting the legends associated with the temple.

Tale of LORD of DEATH

Mrikandu was a sage and devotee of Lord Siva. He prayed to god for blessing him with a son. He was told that he would get a son who would live only up to the age of 16 years. The boy, named Markandeya also grew up to be an ardent devotee of Siva. As advised by his father, Markandeya worshipped Lord Amirthakadeshwarar in Thirukadaiyur, bringing the water from famous river Ganges through an underground passage to the temple. (Still this passage is in existence to this day, to a depth of a flight of 20 steps.) On the destined day, Yama appeared with his lasso, (kala paasa). Markandeya sought refuge in the Lord Amirthakadeshwarar and hugged the Lord Shiva Linga. The Lord warned Yama not to touch Markandeya as he was under his safeguard. Yama did not listen and threw the lasso that bound Markandeya and also the god lingam together. Angered by this act of rashness, the Lord kicked him with the left leg and held him under his left foot, and made him static.

Images in the temple depict shows as the Lord with a raised forefinger, warning Yama. The mark of the kala paasa is visible on the Lingam. As Yama being static, there were no deaths on earth. As nature should have its way, the Kalasamharamoorthi ( Kala = Yama , Samhara = put to death, Moorthy = Lord ) the other name by which Amirthakadeshwarar is known brought Death to life. It is here that the significance of 'kicking with the left leg' is spoken about as in the case of Punishment for an act of rashness, otherwise, He would have held him under His right leg and made him completely inactive. Since Death was conquered at Thirukadaiyur, it is usual to see couples who have celebrated their Shasthiapthapoorthi (completion of 60 years), Bheemaratha Shanthi (70th Birthday) and Sadhabishegam (completion of 80 years) make it a point to have a darshan of the Kala-samhara-moorthy.

Story about MOON

Abhirami Bhattar lived during the rule of King Sarabhoji. He was completely devoted to the goddess Abhirami. He would sit in meditation and in the blissful state of trance for hours - sometimes days - together in the presence of the Devi. Once King Sarabhoji visited the temple and saw this priest, who lost in himself and did not even standing up as a basic mark of respect to the Him. Abhirami Bhattar was under deep rumination on that time and was immersed in the vision of the glowing visage of the Divine Devi Abhirami.

King was annoyed with Bhattar for not showing the respects and enquired about him with the persons standing next by him. Unfortunately, he was told that 'this man' was a FRAUD..

The King then approached Abhirami Bhattar and asked him for the Thithi (lunar day) of that day. Actually it was new moon day. Since the mind of Abhirami Bhattar was filled with the luminescent vision of the Devi's face, he - even without opening his eyes - said that it was full moon day. King was angered by this reply and he thought that he had a chance to the 'true bearings' of this fraud.

King warned Bhattar that , 'If there is no full moon rising this evening,' 'He will be put to death.' Abhirami Bhattar was told what had happened only after he opened his eyes after a long time, from his meditation. Poetry, Evocative, moving and having the power to melt the hearts of all, flowed from him right from that moment. He sang a hundred verses in praise of Abhirami. The verses are known as Abhirami Andhadhi, a unique kind of poetry that begins with the last foot - or a portion of it - of the previous verse. And the last foot of the last verse would end with the first foot of the first line of first verse.

Goddess Devi took her earring and threw it in the sky. That shone in the sky brighter than the full moon. King Sarabhoji realized the greatness of Abhirami Bhattar. Despite the refusal of Bhattar, he had documented his authority on copper plates to donate one-hundredth part of his revenue from all villages to him and his successors. The copper plate is still in possession of the successors of Abhirami Bhattar.

Here, there are 3 temple tanks (Theertham) - known as 'Amrita Pushkarini', 'Kaala Theertham' and 'Markandeya Theertham'.

The worship services are offered 6 times a day in the temple. Almost every day dawns with one celebration or other, as hundreds of pilgrims throng the temple to celebrate their 60th, 70th or 80th birthdays and other special Occasions.

Other Importance

Kalla pillayar

During the churning of the milk ocean to extract the Nectar, the Devas stole a bit without the knowledge of anybody and without praying to Lord Ganapathy and hid it in a secret place.

To teach a lesson to Devas for ignoring him in their haste, Lord Ganesha simply changed the place of the Nectar pot from where it is. Devas unable to find it, and approached Lord Shiva . Lord Shiva advised the Devas to apologize to Lord Ganesha to get back the nectar pot. After getting the pot, the Devas went for a bath. When they returned, they could not see the pot.

It has become a Shiva Linga. And that Shiva Linga is Amirthakadeshwarar
i.e., Amirtham (nectar) + Kadam (pot), the presiding deity of Thirukadaiyur.

Jathi Malli

When Markandeya was performing Abisheka to Lord Amirthakadeshwarar with Ganga Water, Pinjilam flowers too came with the water. Pinjilam is also called as Jathi Malli (Kind of Jasmine that blossoms throughout the year). This flower is used only for the Devotional and not for human purposes. An archana doing with a single flower is considered equal to 1008 archanas.


The temple is west facing and the Linga is swayambu. If you observes closely, you can see another Linga too. Out of 8 Attaveeratta holy temples, Thirukadaiyur is one because the God defeated Yama here.

The Lord in the form of Kala-samhara-moorthi, in the copper idol, looks furious, majestic, waving the Shoola on Yama and hit him by the left leg. Many Siddhas performed penance here of whom, Pampatti Siddhar was one. The Navagraha (nine planets) have no power here; all devotees coming here perform Poojas only to the Kala-samhara-moorthi.

Also there will be no Rahu effects in Thirukadaiyur. It is also said that Goddess Abhirami came from the Jewel of Maha Vishnu. Brahma, Agasthya, Pulasthiya, Durga worshipped the Lord here.

Of the 63 Nayanmars, Kari and Kungiliakalaya Nayanar lived here and served the Lord.
This is the holy soil that gave birth to Abhirami Bhattar. Thirugnansambandar , Appar and Sundarar also praised about Thirukkadaiyur
Yama Samharam festival is celebrated for 18 days in the Tamil month Chithirai (April-May). During Mondays in the Tamil month of Karthigai (November-December) 1008 Sankabishekam is very famous. Purattasi Navarathri and Margazhi Vidhi Padam are one-day festivals. Adipooram, Navarathri, Poornimas are very devotionally observed in the temple. Skanda Sashti, Mahasivarathri, Panguni Uthiram, Abhirami Andhadhi recitation, monthly Pradosha days, Tamil and English New Year days, Pongal special Poojas are performed in the temple.

Brokers & Mediators are making this Divine Service as Commercial.
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