This Shivastalam is located 10 km south of Tiruvidaimarudur
- on the road between Kumbhakonam and Karaikkal. Tirunallam
is considered to be the 34th in the series of Tevara Stalams in the
Chola kingdom located south of the river Kaveri. Worship offered here on Tuesdays and
Fridays is considered special. Natarajar here, is of significance. Shiva here is referred
to as Umaikkunallaar in the Tevaram hymns.
Legends: It is
believed that Bhumidevi was instructed by Mahavishnu to build this temple, hence the name
Bhumiswaram. It is also believed that a certain king Pururavas was cured of leprosy here,
and in return gilded the temple vimanam with gold, and instituted the Vaikasi full moon
This temple was built by Sembiyan Mahadevi the Chola queen (of
Gandaraditya). Images of Gandaraditya Chola and Sembian Mahadevi as well as several
inscriptions are seen here in this temple. These images are about a 1000 years old.
Sembiyan Mahadevi is believed to have provided for the upkeep of the temple and for the
performance of the daily rituals. This temple is also known as Gandaradittam. The
inscriptions here are of great value as they offer an insight into how, the various
sections of society then were involved collectively and separately in the day
to day activities of the temple. Inscriptions speak of musicians, persons who prepared
sandal paste, watchmen, reciters of hymns, managers, accountants, dyers, blacksmiths, etc.
The niche images of Nataraja, Dakshinamurthy, Lingodbhavar, Ardhanareeswarar in this
west facing temple are all of great beauty. The mukhamandapam in front of the sanctum is
known here as Pugazhaabarana mandapam. Bronze images of Natarajar, Kalyanasundarar dating
back ao the 10th century are of great beauty here.
This is regarded as a fully developed early Chola temple. It is well preserved, and it
has the finest and richest collection of bronze images.
Festivals: Six worship services are offered here each day. This temple
has about 21 vaahanams used during festivals. The annual Bhrammotsavam in Vaikasi,
Kartikai Deepam, Arudra Darisanam, Sivaratri, Aadi Pooram, Navaratri and Skanda Sashti are
the festivals celebrated here.