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242. Tiruvakkarai


Location: Tiruvakkarai near Mayilam.
(Nadu Naadu)
Shiva: Chandrasekharar
Ambal: Vadivambikai .
Patikam : Sambandar
Travel Base:Chidambaram
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Description: This Shivastalam is a  vast temple in the town of  Tiruvakkarai near Mayilam, Villuppuram, known for its fossils. Tiruvakkarai is a village on the banks of the Varaha (Senji) river, and is located at a distance of 19 km from Villuppuram on the Mayilam Senji road. Natarajar's tandavam here is known as Vasanta Tandavam. Arunagirinathar has also sung of this shrine. This is the 30th of the 32 Tevara Stalams in the Tondai region of South India.

Legends: Chandra is said to have worshipped Shiva - Chandrasekhara here. Vishnu is said to have vanquished the demon Vakrasura here. Legend has it that the drops of blood that spilled when Vishnu vanquished Vakrasura, were devoured by Kali. There are shrines for Vishnu and Kali in this temple.

This shrine is also known as Kundali Vanam. There is also a shrine for Kundala Rishi.. The three faces of Shiva here, are said to have blessed Chandra, Bhrama and Vishnu.

The Temple: A seven tiered 85 ft high Rajagopuram and a large Nandi adorn this temple with 2 prakarams covering an area of 3 acres. The Kali shrine dates back to the Pallava period. Inscriptions reveal that this temple was in receipt of grants even during the early 10th century during the period of Aditya Chola I; the temple was reconstructed in the days of the queen Sembian Mahadevi. The 100 pillared hall in the outer prakaram built in the form of a chariot and the outer gopuram built by a certain Gandara Suriyan Sambuvarayan dates back to the period of Kulottunga Chola III (circa 1180 CE).

The image of Nataraja here shows him dancing with his right foot raised.  (The image shown above is that of a panel at the entrance to the inner prakaram of the Tiruvalankadu Shivastalam in Tondai Naadu).

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