Tiruvatikai is one of the 8 VeerataStalams of Shiva and is associated
with the legend of his destroying the Tripurams (Tripurasamhaaram). The red earth
surrounding the temple is said to illustrate the legend. The eight Veeratta
Stalams are Tiruvatikai, Tirukkurukkai, Tirukkadavur, Tiruvazhuvur, Tirukkovalur, Tiruppariyalur, Tirukkandiyur and
Tiruvirkudi. Tiruvazhuvur is considered to be a Tevara
Vaippustalam, as it has no Patikams dedicated to it. This is the 7th of
the 22 Tevara Stalams in the Nadu Naadu region of Tamilnadu.
Tiruvatikai is very closely associated with Appar, who got his name Tirunavukkarasar
here. Tiruvatikai is known for its sparkling streets, thanks to the Uzhavaarathondu of
Appar and Tilakavati (his sister) who is said to have relieved Appar of his ailment prior
to his composing his first Patikam.
Architecturally this vast temple seems to fall into the Pallava style
of temples. The beautiful Vimanam is chariot shaped and has several stucco images on it
the Tripurantaka image deserving mention. There are shrines to Appar and Tilakavati here.
A lofty Rajagopuram, spacious prakarams, the Sankara Theertham and the Soolai Theertham
ornament the temple. A panel depicting the marriage of Shiva and Uma is seen behind the
Shivalingam in the sanctum. The Pallava origins of the temple are inferred from the panel
described above. This temple covers an area of 7.5 acres, and the Rajagopuram towers to a
height of 110 feet.
Festivals: Aadipooram, Vasantotsavam, the annual Bhramotsavam, and the
Appar Vizha are some of the festivals celebrated here.
Templenet acknowledges the contribution of the image above, by C. Vedanarayanan,