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154. Tenkudittitai

தென் குடித்திட்டை 

Location: Tittai near Thanjavur .
(Chola Naadu -South of Kaveri)
Shiva: Pasupateeswarar, Vasishteswarar
Ambal: Ulaka Nayaki, Sugandhamundalambika
Vriksham: Karuvelamaram
Theertham: Chakra Theertham
Patikam : Sambandar
Travel Base: Thanjavur
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Description: This Shivastalam is also known as Therur or Ratha puram (Sanskrit). The name Thittai comes from the temple's location on sand dunes between the Vennar and Vettar rivers. Tenkudittittai is also known as Vilvaranyam, Vasishtasramam, Dhenupuri. It is located at a distance of about 3 km from Thanjavur. Ten Kudi Tittai is considered to be the 15th in the series of Tevara Stalams in the Chola kingdom located south of the river Kaveri.  

The temple: This east facing temple enshrines Shiva in the form of a Shivalingam with horizontal markings. The temple is designed such that a drop of water falls on the Shivalingam once every few seconds. Images of Nartana Ganapati, Dakshinamurthy, Lingodbhava, Bhrahma and Durga adorn the niches. Ulaganayaki's shrine faces the south. Across from the Ambal shrine is a mandapam with carvings of the 12 zodiac signs. There is a separate shrine dedicated to Jupiter. There are also shrines to Surya, Ganesha, Kali, Balasubramanya, Nataraja and Gajalakshmi. 

Legends: The Vedas, Renukadevi, Vasishtar, Gowtama, Adi Seshan, Kamadhenu and Vishnu are said to have worshipped here.  Legend also has it that this shrine surfaced on a mound between the rivers Vennaar and Vettaar. The name Therur or Rathapuram arises from the legend of the chariot of a king by name Sumali getting stuck in the dunes here. Legend also has it that the dunes here emerged at the end of the deluge and that Shiva appeared here in the form of a Swayambhu Lingam.

Karunttattankudi or   Tiruvittakkudi a Tevara Vaipputtalam enshrining   Vasishteswarar is located nearby. Vasishtar's marriage with Arundhati is celebrated in the month of Vaikasi in the Rohini asterism. Karikal Cholan is believed to have been associated with this temple.

Two Gopurams adorn the front and the rear entrances to the Vittakkudi temple, which has 2 prakarams and a wealth of sculptural work. The Adhrnareeswarar image in the  niche of the sanctum shows Parvati constituting the right half of Shiva, in contrast to the norm, where she occupies his left. The Vittakkudi temple has inscriptions from the period of Uttama Cholan and his mother Sembiyan Mahadevi.  The niche images here include that of Sambandar, Natarajar, Appar, Bhikshatanar, Vinayakar, Dakshinamurthy, Agastyar, Ardhanareeswarar, Lingodbhavar, Kankalamurthy, Kalyanasundarar, Veenadhara Dakshinamurthy, Kalarimurthy, Bhikshatanar, Durga and Subramaniyar.

Festivals: Six worship services are carried out each day.  The annual festival at Tenkuditittai is celebrated in the month of Aries. The annual Bhrammotsavam at Tiruvittakkudi is celebrated in the month of Vaikasi (Taurus), where the chariot procession happens on the 9th day, and the glass palanquin Saptastana festival occurs on the 12th day. The Saptastanams here are Tenkudittittai, Vennaaru, Tanjaipureeswarar, Gudalur, Kadapadappai, Punnainallur and Poomalai Naaganathar.

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