Mayuranatha Swami Shiva Temple – Mayavaram
The town of Mayiladuthurai also known by different names like Mayavaram or mayuram is home to a large Shiva temple called the Mayuranatha Swami temple. The name of the deity gave birth to this town’s name. The temple is located to the south of this town near the banks of Cauvery River. This town is one of the very ancient towns in the banks of the Cauvery. Mayuram is mentioned in an old saying “Aayiram aanaalum mayuram aahaathu (ஆயிரம் ஆனாலும் மாயூரம் ஆகாது)”, meaning even a combination of 1000 special places cannot be compared to Mayuram. This is one of the six temples considered equal to Kashi.
Main Deity: The Mayuranatha Swami Temple is devoted to Lord Shiva. In the past, the temple has been referred by different names such as the Sikliandipuram, Brahmavanam, Sudavanam and Brahmapuram. Besides lord Shiva, there are other shrines for Godess Parvati, Ganesha and Nataraja (Shiva’s dancing form).
Temple Architecture: Here, the lord is in his Lingam form and has self-manifested. The temple was built during the medieval Chola dynasty. The temple is almost 2000 year old. The temple has nine tired Gopurams and the Vimana (crowning) is called tridal vimana. The temple also has five prakaras (enclosed precincts). A Durga idol is placed near the Northern entrance to the temple.
There is also a massive water tank at the center of the temple complex. Above the lords sculpture one can see sculptures of two monkeys and two peacocks.
Temple Legend and Specialty: During Daksha yagya (where Daksha invited everyone except lord Shiva), the lord asked Parvati not to attend the yagya. But Parvati ignored her husband’s advice. Circumstances caused lord Shiva to destroy the yagya and Daksha. Because of her ignorance, Parvati was cursed. In order to complete her penance, Goddess Parvati had to take rebirth as a pea-hen (peacock = mayor in Sanskrit) to be united with her husband. Hence, this place is called Mayuram or Mayavaram. On similar lines, Lord Shiva is called Mayurnathar.
Another interesting story is that of Nadha Sharma and his wife Anavidyambikai. They came to the place in order to complete the holy snan (bath). However, the auspicious month of Ippasi when the snan takes place was already over. Hence, they sadly spent their time doing Puja of the lord. The lord appeared in their dreams and asked them to take a bath next morning and reap full benefits of this snan. Till date, the snan takes place even on the first day of Karthikai.
Lord Vinayaka (Ganesha) is said to have appeared from a sandalwood tree. Here he is known as Agasthya Vinayaka.
The idol of Nandi is in midst of the river Cauvery. Also, Shani Dev (planet Saturn) appears as Jwala Shani – with a ring of fire around his head. This is an extremely rare form to see.
Festivals and Prayers: During the Tamil month of Ippasi (Oct-Nov), a festival called Kadai Muzhukku which means “Holy Bath” takes place in this temple. In order to receive pardon for their sins, devotees would take a dip in river Cauvery and then offer Puja at the temple.
Every year, the Mayura Natyanjali – a festival of dance takes place at this temple.
Phone: +91- 4364 -222 345
Address: Sri Mayuranathaswami Temple, Mayiladuthurai-609 001. Nagapattinam district
Temple Timings: 5.30 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m
Directions: 70 km from Thanjavoor and 120 km from Trichy. This place is on the Chidambaram–Thanjavoor highway
Nearest Airport – Trichy
Nearest Railway Station – Mayiladuthurai railway station. It is well connected to major stations in South of India as well as other parts of the country.
By Road – Tamil Nadu State transport buses run from all major cities to this place. Also, one can hire private luxury buses at reasonable prices.
Location: Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu, India