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About Thirukadaiyur Temple

THIRUKADAIYUR, is one of the one of the Eight Viraattanams (Avadharams) of Lord Siva. This temple belongs to Dharmapuram Aadinam (Mutt). This temple deities are sung by the three Tamil Trinities i.e, Appar, Sundar and Thirugnanasambandanar.

Most of the temples are known either by the name of the Lord or His Consort. For Example, Madurai reminds us Lordess Meenakshi, Chidambaram for Lord Nataraj Kancheepuram for Lordess Kamatchi and so on.  However, there are a few temples that are well-known for the Lord and his Consort and Thirukkadaiyur is one among them. The Amirthakadeshwarar Abirami Temple of Thirukadaiyur is associated with the legends of Markandeyar and Abirami Battar.

In line with the grand temple architecture of the Cholas, the Temple occupies a very vast area of 11 acres, with five Prakarams, imposing temple towers and large and spacious Mandapams. Though the details of the king who consecrated 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 Raja Raja Cholan, that is, from the early 11th century.

Story of Every-16 Markandeyar

Markandeya, son of sage Mrikandu was predicted to live for only 16 years. As advised by his father, Markandeya worshipped Lord Amirthakadeshwarar in Thirukadaiyur, bringing the water from Ganges through an underground passage to the temple. The passage is in existence to this day, to a depth of a flight of 20 steps. On the destined day, Yama (Yaksha) appeared with his noose, kala paasa. Markandeya sought refuge in the Lord and embraced the Shiva Lingam. The Lord warned Yama not to touch Markandeya as he was under his protection. Yama did not listen and threw the noose that bound Markandeya and the Lingam together. Angered by this act of rashness, the Lord kicked him with the left leg and held him under his left foot, making him inactive.

Images in the temple depict the Lord with a raised forefinger, warning Yama. The mark of the kala paasa is visible on the Lingam. With Yama being rendered inactive, there were no deaths on earth. As nature should have its way, Kalasamharamoorthi, the other name by which Amrithakadeshwarar is known - Lord Shiva brought Death to life. It is here that the significance of 'kicking with the left leg' is spoken about. Had he desired to quell Yama forever, he would have held him under his right leg - as in the case of Muyalaka. The very fact that he used his left leg points to the fact that he intended it as a punishment for an act of rashness and not otherwise.

Ever-16 Markandeyar temple at Manalmedu (0.5 Kms from Thirukadaiyur)

Sri Markandayar has his own shrine near Thirukkadaiyur. It is purely a saivatic temple. This shrine lies south west of Thirukkadaiyur in a small village known as Thirumanalmedu. Here his parents prayed with devotion and dedication and performed a special puja to Lord Siva, for getting a male child and the Lord offered the same. In that temple Sri Markandayar worshiped Lord Siva and performed special poojas in order to attain immortality. Lord Siva bestowed him immortality with ever sixteen age. (It is aptly said that legend has it that Lord Siva prevailed over yaksha known as yama, the God of death, to save Markandayar’s life and bestowed him immortality with ever sixteen age). In this temple he sits in a alter opposite to the Lord Siva (as a Moolavar) and blesses the visitors a long prosperous life. Thus the shrine has its own importance. It is noted that Markandayar, becomes a truthful votary of Lord Siva.


Those who have come and wish to get the blessing of Lord Amirthakadeswarar and Lordess Abirami for their prosperous life at Thirukadaiyur, should also visit this Markandeyar's Temple for a full prosperous life and for the welfare of their family.

Important events at Thirukadaiyur

  • In the Tamil Calendar, during the month of Kaarthigai (Viruchiga Month), on each and every Monday during Somavarams, the Priests performs "Sangu Abishegam" with 1008 Sankus to the Deities for get the blessings for the welfare of the people.
  • Another famous ocassion is "Yama-Samharam" which takes place annually during the first month of the Tamil year Chithirai (Mesha Month) during Magam Star. This is being celebrated as Lord Shiva killed Yama, in order to save the life of his votary Maakandeyar.
  • A grand event called "Poornima Festival" is celebrated every year during the tamil month Thai to celebrated the Auspicious day on the occasion of Abirama Battar making New Moon day to Full Moon day.
  • Since Death was conquered at Thirukadaiyur, couples celebrate following Ayul Shanthi Pariharams at the famous Abirami Samedha Amirthakadeshwarar Temple:-
  • Ugraradha shanthi - Completion of 59 years (Starting of 60 years) 
  • Shastiapthapoorthi (Manivizha) - Completion of 60 years
  • Bhimaradha shanthi- Completion of 69 years (Starting of 70 years)
  • Sadabishegam - Completion of 79 years (Starting of 80 years)
  • Various other Homams / Fireworkships are being performed for increasing life longevity, to get rid of family problems, for success in business etc.

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