Known locally as Neelayadakshi Kovil, this shrine is one of the 7 Sapta Vitanka Stalams
sacred to Tyagarajar, housing Sundara Vitankar (Paravara Taranga Natanam). This temple is
regarded as one of the 64 Shakti Peethams of India. Nagappattinam is
considered to be the 82nd in the series of Tevara Stalams in the Chola
kingdom located south of the river Kaveri.
is a Shivastalam in the vicinity of Nagappattinam.
Lttle of its past glory
remains in this vast temple. The Gometaka Lingam representing Sundara Vitankar was stolen
in the recent past.
The seven Vitankastalams are Tiruvarur, Tirukkuvalai, Tirukkaaraivaasal,
Naagai, Tirunallaaru and Tiruvaimur.
Legends: Pundarika Munivar ascended to divinity with his mortal body,
hence Kaya Aarohanam. The name Nagappattinam is believed to have been derived from the
legend that of Adiseshan worshipping Shiva there. Adiseshan's daughter is believed to have
married Saaleeswaran, a devotee of Shiva.
The image of Tyagarajar at Tiruvarur
is the foremost of the 7 from which Indra is believed to have asked Muchukunda Cholan to
pick the original image of Somaskandar worshipped by Mahavishnu. . Muchukunda Cholan is
believed to have picked the right one (the image at Tiruvarur) , and Indra is believed to
have rewarded him with all of the 7 images, which the latter installed at 7 different
places within his territory, and it is these 7 temples which constitute the 7
The Temple: As with the other 7 Saptavitanka shrines, there are
separate shrines for the moolavar, Tyagarajar and Ambal. There is a shriine to
Sundaramoorthy Nayanar and Paravai Nachiyar across the hall from Tyagar, very much along
the lines of Tiruvarur nearby. Nagabharana
Vinayakar and Maavadi Vinayakar are the names of Vinayakar here. The Deva Theertham is to
the South of the temple while the Pundarika Theertham is to the west. Neelayadakshi's
shrine here is of great significance. The bronze image of Panchamukha Vinayakar is
worth mention (as in Tiruvarur and in Vedaranyam). There are several inscriptions relating
to the period of Dutch rule at Nagappattinam, in this temple.
Festivals: The annual Bhrammotsavam is celebrated in the Tamil month
of Vaikasi. Aadi Pooram celebrates Ambal's Utsavam for 10 days. The Panchakrosa festival
in the month of Aani, witnesses the divine marriage of Shiva and Parvati before the image
of Saleeswara Maharaja in this temple.