Abodes of Ganesha
Abodes of Shakti
Abodes of Shiva
Abodes of Skanda Abodes of Surya
Abodes of Vishnu
Templenet Archives

Templenet Encyclopedia
Travel and Tourism
Festivals and Fairs
Beliefs and Legends
Glossary of Terms
About Templenet

tn.jpg (19837 bytes)
The Ultimate Source of Information on Indian Temples

Temples of Tamilnadu
Temples of Kerala
Temples of Karnataka
Temples of Andhra

Temples of Orissa
Temples of Central India
Temples of Maharashtra
Temples of Western India
Temples of the Himalayas
Temples of the Gangetic Plains
Temples of North Eastern India
Temples of Bengal

Feedback & Information:

K. Kannikeswaran
All Rights Reserved
No part of this website may be reproduced or used in any form without permission.
Tradition Meets

tn.jpg (19837 bytes)Temples of Tamilnadu


The month of Maargazhi is an appropriate time to get a glimpse of the life of Maanikkavaacakar, the Saint Poet, in whose honor, the 10 days prior to Aarudra Darisanam are celebrated in Saivite temples all over Tamilnadu (Dec 31 2000 - Jan 9, 2001), where these temples take on a festive look with the chanting of the Tiruvempaavai and Tiruppalliezhuchi hymns composed by him, several centuries ago.

Maanikkavaacakar: the Saivite Saint Poet is the author of the renowned Tiruvaacakam and Tirukkovaiyaar that comprise the 8th Tirumurai of the Saivite liturgy.

maanikka1.jpg (21739 bytes)

Maanikkavaacakar: The Saint Poet spent much of his life in the Pandya Kingdom. Chidambaram,Tirupperunturai Tiruvannamalai and Uttarakosamangai  are some of the shrines linked with the Saint's life.
Miracles associated with the life of Maanikkavaacakar at Tirupperumturai and Madurai are narrated in the Tiruvilaiyaadal Puraanam. Maanikkavaacakar's association with Chidambaram: Several miracles are associated with Maanikkavaacakar's tenure at Chidambaram. Aarudra Darisanam: Visit Templenet's earlier feature on Arudra Darisanam - covering aspects of the Maanikkavaacakar festival at Chidambaram.
Tiruvaadavur near Madurai is the birthplace of Maanikkavaacakar. A grand temple to Shiva is located here; there is also a shrine to the Saint Poet here. Tirupperunturai near Arantaangi near Thanjavur houses a grand temple to Shiva built by Maanikkavaacakar. This temple is a treasure house of sculptural wealth. Maanikkavaacakar spent a portion of his life Uttarakosamangai in the Pandya Kingdom, near Rameswaram with a grand shrine featuring an emerald image of Nataraja
The Natarajar temple at Chidambaram, one of the greatest cultural centers of India, is closely associated with the life of Maanikkavaacakar.

nataraja_small.jpg (3675 bytes)

Maanikkavaacakar composed the Tiruvempavai hymns while at Tiruvannamalai. The Tiruvempavai hymns occupy a special place in the Maargazhi worship services.

Shrines revered

in the Tiruvaacakam

hymns of Maanikkavaacakar
Chidambaram, Madurai Tirupperunturai, Tiruvaadavur, Uttirakosamangai and Tiruvannamalai are associated with the life of the Saint Poet. Avinaashi:   located in Kongu Naadu, near Coimbatore is a Shivastalam held in great regard - and is also associated with Sundara moorthy Nayanar. Tiruvaarur: located near Thanjavur enshrines Tyagaraja - Somaskanda and is a shrine held in great reverence in the Saivite tradition. It is the foremost of the Sapta Vitanka Stalams.
Tiruvaanaikkaaval: located near Tiruchirappalli is one of the Pancha Bhoota Shivastalams. It is a very ancient and a well visited shrine, located near Srirangam. Tiruvidaimarudur: The vast temple complex here, near Kumbhakonam enshrines Mahalingeswarar - and is also known as the Madhyarjuna Kshetram. Eengoi Malai near Tiruchirappalli is an ancient Shivastalam associated with the legend of Agastyar taking up a form of a fly to get past the surging thousands to worship Shiva.
Kanchipuram: The sprawling Ekambreswarar temple at Kanchi, is one of the Pancha Bhoota Shivastalams representing the element Earth. Tiruvaiyaru: The vast temple complex at Tiruvaiyaru is an ancient center of worship, also closely associated with the Saint Appar. Kadambur: This ancient temple is built in the form of a chariot replete with sculptural work and is considered to be have been a model for later temples of this type.
Kailasam: The snow covered Mount Kailash in the lofty Himalayas is considered to be an Abode of Shiva. Tirukkalunkunram: Located near Chennai, this vast twin temple complex, on a hill and at the foothills, is an ancient one with sculptures from the Pallava period. Kutralam: The holiday resort of Kutralam, located in verdant surroundings near Tirunelveli, houses the Chitrasabha, one of the five dance halls of Nataraja.
Tiruchirappalli: The Rockfort temple complex at Tiruchirappalli enshrines Taayumaanavar (Maatrubhuteswarar) and Ucchi Pillaiyaar. Panaiyur: is one of the five Shivastalams associated with palm trees, that have been revered by the Tevaram hymns. Tiruppazhanam is considered to be one of the Saptastanam temples of Tiruvaiyaaru, located near Thanjavur.
Tiruppurampayam  near Kumbhakonam is known for its shrine to Dakshinamurthy and is associated with the legend of the great deluge. Tiruppoovanam: is located between Madurai and Rameswaram in Pandya Naadu. Nataraja's Taandavam here is known as Bhramha Taandavam. Tiruvaanchiyam: is located near Nannilam near Thanjavur. Manikkavacakar  sings of the miracle of a Naga kannika (Snake princess) who worshipped Shiva and became one with Him here.
Tiruvenkaadu: located near Mayiladuturai has grand shrines to Aghora Veerabhadrar and Natarajar (Aadi Chit Sabha). Mahendram, Devur, Idavai, Ooriyur, Kalladam, Kavaittalai, Kazhumalam, Chandradeepam, Santamputtur, Paandur, Paalai, Puliyur, Poovalam, Velamputtur Tirutturutti: located near Mayiladuturai at Kutralam, is connected to several interesting legends surrounding Shiva's marriage with Parvati.