Abodes of lord Shiva
26. Arulmigu Gnanambikai sameda Veeratteswarar Temple - Thirukorukkai
Architecture Arulmigu Gnanambikai sameda Veeratteswarar Temple
Trishul Ganga and Pasupathi Theertham
Nearest Railway Station
Korukkai is 12 Km from Mayiladuthurai and 30 from Sirkali. The village where this reputed shrine stands is five kilometers north-west of Nidur railway station which is on the Madras - Trichy main line. One has to travel on the Mayiladuthurai - Manalmedu bus route and get down at a village known as Kondal. The Shivasthalam is about 3 Kms from Kondal. Town Bus facilities are available from Mayiladuthurai. Bus facilities are not convenient. Cabs can be hired to reach the temple. Nearest Railway Station is located at Mayiladuthurai
This is one of the Attaveerattana (one of the eight heroic deeds) Sthalam of God Shiva. God Shiva is believed to have burnt alive Manmathan at this Sthalam by opening his third eye in the forehead. According to the legend, Once, Demon Tharagan did penance to Brahma for a long time in his garden with his two hands raised upward and standing on one leg. The Lord did not appear before him. But he did not give up his efforts. Again he supported himself on one big toe with the other leg folded up and did penance to the Lord for many years. Even then he did not succeed. At last he did penance standing on Panchagni for many years. As he was doing the penance there was a fire ball that rose from his head and went all over the universe. All devas and people of the earth suffered from the heat. Every one prayed to Lord Brahma and requested him to grant what-ever boon Tharuka wished for. Brahma appeared before Tharuka and asked him the purpose of his aggressive Penance? The demon bowed to Brahma and pleaded to the Lord that "I should not be killed either by Devas or human beings. If I have to die it should be only at the hands of Lord Siva's son". Brahma granted the boon as he wanted. Demon Tharugan happily returned home. Hearing the news about Lord Brahma's boon all other demons arrived at Demon Tharugan's place and they made him as their supreme. In due course Tharuka showed his true nature and conquered the world. Devas and hermits and ordinary people of the earth became his slaves. Devas were vexed by the demons torture. So they prayed to Brahma and appealed to the creator about the demon's cruelty. Brahma said that he could do nothing about this problem because he gave a boon that Tharuka could be killed only by Lord Siva's son. Lord Shiva was under deep meditation. The heat that emanated from the penance had its impact everywhere. The Devas, unable to bear the heat, approached Lord Muruga to stop Lord’s meditation and save them. But Muruga refused to disturb his Father’s penance. They finally approached Manmatha. Without thinking of the consequences, foolish Manmatha applied his love arrows on Lord to disturb the penance. Lord opened his eyes and burnt him with the fire sparks from his third eye in his forehead. Rathi his wife fell at Lord’s feet and begged for her husband’s life. Lord assured her that he would be sent to Devaloka for her on a new moon fortnight. Thus Manmatha had his rebirth here. Shiva is said to have brought him back to life – in flesh and blood form for the sake of Rathi; and in a formless state for others, hence the name Kama Anga Nasam. In memory of the event, the bow is still seen in the Chathura Peedam and the Lord is referred to as Kama Dahana Murthy. Rathi and Manmatha are seen as procession deities at this temple. According to the legend a saint by name Deergavahu Munivar used to visit Shiva temples and with his divine powers he offered Ganga waters to Shiva and worshipped him. When the saint reached this Sthalam unaware of the divinity that characterized the waters of the Soola Theertham, Saint Deergavahu Munivar stretched out his hands as usual towards the Heavens to receive the holy Ganges water. But at once he was shocked to see his long hands grow short. His pathetic appeal to Lord Vinayaga was of no avail. In a state of despair, he began to knock his head against a stone but there shot out of the stone a hand to protect his head and bless him. Deergavahu who was so blessed came to be known as Kurungai (Kurumkai – short hand) Munivar. The village’s name is Kurungai which later on got corrupted into Kurukkai or Korukkai. The glory of this sacred sthalam is supposed to have been narrated to the Devas by the reputed Sage Vyasar. Shiva is said to have been in a state of meditation under the Kadukkai tree after the destruction of the vain Daksha’s Yaagam, hence the name Yogeeswarar.
The main Raja Gopuram of this temple is of five storey and two prakarams. Main Deity is Swayambu Lingam known as Veeratteswarar, facing west and his consort, Gnanambikai Amman facing south side. Sthala Vinayakar is known as Kurukkai Vinayakar seen in separate sanctum to outer prakaram. The hands of Vinayakar are small in size. Sthala Vriksham is known as Kadukkai tree. Teertham is soola Teertham in front of the temple. This temple covers an area of about 2.5 acres. The temple has two towers facing west with 2 prakarams. Stucco images related to legends connected with the Sthalapuranam here are seen inside the temple. There is a pit 200 meters from the temple which is referred as "Viboothi Kuttai" in Tamil. As per the legend, it was here Manmathan was burnt to ashes by Lord Shiva. White ash is found in this pit and has the distinct odour of holy ash, or Vibhuthi. The surrounding areas have red coloured mud or sand. The main Ganesha in this temple is known as Kurungai Vinayakar, probably derived from the name of this village. On the top of Main sanctum of Lord Siva, we see sculptures of Lord Siva as Yogeeswarar, Poorani Ammai, Manmathan and Rathi. As we go around we see Sthala Vriksham at the back of the temple. Here under the sthala Vriksham we see small nandi, in a small mandapam, facing Lord Siva. This is something unique in this place. Natarajar’s Sabha here is known as Kamanaganasini Sabha and the Taandavam here is Veera Nadanam. Lord Shiva is a swayambumurthy in the temple. Puthrakameshti Yaga is performed in the temple by those seeking child boons. Lord is praised as Yogeshwara. As Lord is in meditation forever, it is difficult to have his darshan. It is not possible to have the darshan when one desires it. Some obstacle would intervene. A devotee, lucky enough to have darshan when he plans, would be blessed with the power of penance, it is believed. Lord forgives anyone praying to him for sins committed unintentionally and unknowingly. The Vimana above Lord Kurungai Ganapathi is of Gajapushta design. People seek remedies for effects of past births, seek child boon and celebrate their 70th birthdays in the temple. Those surrendering at the feet of Lord Yogeshwara get back their lost properties. They are freed from lust and enmity qualities. Cupid-Manmatha, the deity of love and lust was burnt here and had a rebirth in this place. Of the eight places known as Atta Veera Sthalas of Lord Shiva, this is the place where cupid-Manmatha was burnt; hence Lord is praised as Kama Dahana Murthy. He appears in a sitting posture with his left leg folded, right hanging down, right hand assuring his devotees – with Abhaya Mudra – and the left hand on the left leg. It is worthy to note the places linked with the history of this temple in Kurukkai. This is the place where Manmatha attempted to disturb the penance of Lord. Kanganam Puthur is the place where he decided to disturb the penance of Lord Shiva and tied the vow thread in his hand. He drank the milk at Palakudi. Manmatha took his bow at Villinur and aimed at the Lord at Kavalamedu. Those who followed him at Ivanallur suggested action from here. As the place was not suitable, Manmatha came to Mettu Korkai and tried directions. Finally, he applied the arrow on Lord from a corner. There is a lotus flower design in the Avudaiyar-the seat or peeta on which the Linga is placed. Rathi and Manmatha are in the temple as procession deities. The place has the reputation of Sage Theerthavagu bringing Holy Ganga for the consecration of the temple. The sacred tank popularly called Soola Theertham in front of the temple is considered as holy as the Ganges. It was renovated by the Adeenakarthar of the Dharmapura Adheenam. There are several stone inscriptions here giving valuable information about the temple. There is a separate shrine for Sri Durga Parameswari Amman. Poojas are performed four times daily by hereditary Brahmin priests according to the principles of the Agama Sastras. The temple own a Rishabam, a peacock, a swan, a bandicoot and a parrot vahanam all made of wood.
Korukkai, Nagapattinam - 609203
Temple Timings : 7.00 am to 12.00 noon, 3.30 pm to 9.00 pm
26. Arulmigu Gnanambikai sameda Veeratteswarar Temple - Thirukorukkai
Arulmigu Gnanambikai sameda Veeratteswarar Temple