This temple is located in the vicinity of the Annamalai University at Chidambaram and is
very similar to the one at Sivapuri nearby. Tiruvetkalam
is the 2nd in the series of Tevara Stalangal on the
northern banks of the river Kaveri in the Chola region of Tamilnadu. Also near this temple is the Shivastalam Tirukkazhippalai.
associated with legends from the Mahabharatam.
Shiva is said to have appeared in the form of a
hunter and then blessed Arjuna with the Pasupatastram & this event is
enacted during the festival in the month of Vaikasi. The bows Gandipam and Pinakam are
said to have been formed here. There are festival images of Arjuna, and Shiva with the
Many villages around this shrine are associated with the legend of Arjuna's encounter with Shiva. Usuppoor
is where Arjuna is said to have chased a wild boar which disturbed his meditation; Nakkar
Ugandakudi is another (Nakkattankudi). Eesanporveli
is where Arjuna is believed to have fought with Shiva, and Villeruttaan Kuttai
is where Arjuna's bow is said to have been broken by Shiva.
Sambandar, considering the entire town of Chidambaram to be the holy temple, resided in
Tiruvetkalam, and visited the Chidambaram temple
from here. It is said that Appar visited this shrine after visiting
Chidambaram; he is than said to have visited Tirukkazhippaalai and
then returned to Chidambaram.
The Temple: Inscriptions from the Nayaka period (16th century) are
seen in this temple. This east facing temple has a Naagalinga tree and a
temple tank in front. There are shrines to Siddhi Vinayakar and
Somaskanda in the outer circumambulatory passage. There are also
shrrines to Sundareswarar, Murugan and Mahalakshmi. In addition
to the festival images described above there are also images of
Nataraja, Sivakami and the four Saivite Saints.
mandapam in front of the shrine, there are sculptural depictions of
Shiva and Parvati in the guise of a hunter and a huntress accompanied
by hounds, the battle between Shiva and Arjuna etc.
festival in this temple is celebrated in the Tamil month of Vaikashi
on the Vishaka asterism where the stalapuranam of the
temple is enacted. Festivities are also held during Sivaratri
and during the Navaratri season. Mondays in the month of Kartikai
are considered sacred.