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Thiruvarur

Pilgrimage

Photo Credit: Flickr

Distance (From Thanjavur): 62 Kms

Trip Duration (Including Travel): 3-4 Hours

Place Location: On Thanjavur - Nagapattinam Road

Transportation Options: Bus / Cab

Travel Tips: Thiruvarur is situated between Thanjavur - Nagapattinam road. If you are visiting Nagapattinam, Thanjavur can be covered with 1 hour extra effort

At a distance of 2 km from Thiruvarur Junction, 40 km from Kumbakonam, 39 km from Karaikal and 62 km from Thanjavur, Thiruvarur is a famous temple town known for Sri Thyagaraja Temple is a Hindu temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is the fore most form of the Saptha Vidanga Sthalams.

Thyagaraja Swamy temple was first constructed by Aditya Chola I in 9th century. The temple was upgraded and rebuilt with stone by Rajendra Chola I in 11th century. The later expansions are attributed to Vijayanagar rulers. This temple is one of the biggest in the country and has the biggest temple chariot in Tamil Nadu.

Sri Vanmikanathar (Lord Shiva) is the presiding deity of the temple. According to the legend, Vishnu worshipped Shiva in the form of Somaskanda, associated with Ajapa dance. Shiva is said to have appeared in an anthill to Vishnu. So, no abishekam is performed for Vanmikanathar. Daily poojas are offered to a small idol referred to as Marakatha lingam and his consort Parvati is depicted as Kamalambal.

The image of Tyagarajar is the foremost of seven forms, which lord Indra had asked Muchukunda Cholan to pick up the original image of Somaskanda worshipped by Lord Vishnu. Muchukunda Cholan had picked the right one which is the present idol at Thiruvarur. Indra was pleased and rewarded all the 7 idols to Muchukundan, which he placed in 7 different temples in his territory which are Thiruvarur, Thirunallar, Thirukkuvalai, Thirukkaraivasal, Thirumaraikkadu, Thirunagai, and Tiruvaimur.

The temple complex occupies an area of around 33 acres with 9 Rajagopurams, 80 domes (vimanas), 12 high raised walls, 13 mandapams, 15 holy water wells, three gardens, three big enclosures and more than 100 shrines. The foot of Thyagaraja is shown twice a year and on other occasions it is covered with flowers. The left leg of the deity is displayed during Panguni Uthiram festival and right leg on Thiruvathirai.

Some of the major shrines in the temple are of Aananthiswarar, Neelothmbal, Asaleswarar, Adageswarar, Varuneswarar, Annamalieswarar and Kamalambal. Yama Chandikeswara and Nandi are also present at this temple. The temple has several halls, with six of them being the most prominent. Rajendra Chola hall houses the museum of the temple with historical artifacts related to the temple. The evening pooja has great significance here.

The annual chariot festival of the temple is celebrated during in Tamil month of Chitrai, April / May. The chariot is the largest of its kind weighing 300 tons with a height of 90 feet. The chariot comes around the four main streets surrounding the temple during the festival. The event is attended by lakhs of people from all over the state. The chariot festival is followed by the Theppam - Float Festival.

Timings: 5 AM to 12 PM and 4 PM to 9 PM