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91. Tirukkaanapper


Location: Kaalayar Kovil near Sivaganga, Nattarasankottai
(Pandya Naadu)
Shiva: Kaalaiyeesar, Sundareswarar
Ambal: Meenakshi
Patikam : Sambandar, Sundarar
Travel Base: Madurai
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Description: Kaalaiyar Koyil is a highly revered Shivastalam in Pandya Naadu. There are three shrines in this temple  associated with the three functions of creation, preservation and completion.  This shrine  is regarded as the 10th of the Tevara Stalams in the Pandya region of Tamilnadu.

History: Sundaramoorthy Nayanaar and Varaguna Pandyan are associated with this temple. Maruda Pandyar of the Sivagangai Samastanam (Kingdom) has contributed immensely to the maintenance of this temple. The British threatened to destroy this temple, in order to force the Marudu Brothers (rulers) who were devoted to this temple to surrender. The tombs of the  brothers who were executed later on are seen near the temple.

Legends: Parvati is said to have been cursed to attain the form of the dark Kali; she is said to have killed the demon Chandasuran (at Marudavanam) and gotten relieved from the curse. Shiva is then said to have married her here and taken on the name Kaaleesar. 

The Temple: A lofty Rajagopuram (150 feet) and an imposing Teppakkulam tank (with a mandapam) named Aanai madu adorn this shrine. Airavatam the elephant of Indra is said to have created this tank. 

Festivals: Kaaleesar's festival is celebrated in the month of Thai where the chariot festival is observed during the Poosam asterism. Someswarar's Bhrammotsavam is celebrated in Vaikasi; the float festival also happens then. Aadi Pooram is celebrated for Swarnavalli amman..

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