Abodes of lord Shiva

52. Arulmigu Balambikai sameda Neyyadiyappar Temple - Thiruneithanam (Thilaisthanam)

 
Moolavar   Neyyadiappar, Kruthapureeswarar
Utsavar  
Thayar   Balambikai, Ilamangaiammai
Kshethram  
Theertham   Cavery theertham
Pose & Direction  
Vimanam  
Sthala Vruksham   Vilwa Tree
Paadiyavar   Thirunavukarasar, Sambandar, Sundarar
Travel Base   Thiruvaiyaru
Nearest Railway Station   Thanjavur
 

 

Location

Thillaisthanam-Tiruneithanam is 2 km from Tiruvaiyaru on way to Tirukattupalli. Nearest Railway Station is Thanjavur.

 

History

A cow in this region was habitually pouring its milk at a specific place. The milk impacted by Sun heat and rain changed into ghee. When a shepherd tried to check the cow, it disappeared. He could not know that it was the very divine cow Kamadenu. When people came to the spot and dug the place, they found a Shivalinga here. The news reached the King. He built a temple, performed consecration and arranged abishekam with ghee each day. The ghee abishekam is followed even now. Ghee means Nei in Tamil, hence the name of the Lord Neiyadi Appar. The place has another story too. A Shiva devotee had the habit of picking the palak leaves (keerai in Tamil) while returning after lighting lamps in the temple. He told Lord one day that he was lighting lamps in the temple each day and sought his mercy as he was aging. Lord replied that what mercy remains to be shown to him as he had taken the Palak leaves grown in the temple as wage for the job, according to sthala Purana. Legend has it that Saraswati worshipped at this shrine. Legend also has it that Kamadhenu and Gowthama muni worshipped Shiva here.

 

Architecture

Thiru Gyana Sambandhar and Thiru Navukkarasar sang hymns on Lord Siva here. Arunagirinathar sang Thirupugazh on Lord Murugan of this temple. Ottakkoothar and Pugazhendi Pulavar (poet) sang on Lord of this place. Mother Balambika, as the name suggests is ever young in appearance. This is the only temple in the hymns of Thirunavukarasar praising Ambica for her beauty. Lord Aiyarappar visits this temple thrice a year from Tiruvaiyaru. Of the Sabthasthanam (seven important temples of the district) Thillaisthanam is the seventh. The sculpture of Nardana Ganapathy does need a mention. Lord Dakshinamurthy graces the devotees in a standing form. Pallavas had paid their due share for the renovation of the temple. Kings of Sri Lanka had worshipped Lord as their Kuladeiva-family deity. The temple has a grand 75 feet five stories tower facing the east direction. Two small sub-shrines of Ganesha and Murugan are located at the entrance. The temple's area is huge and is spread across two acres. It is believed to have been built by the Cholas as the Chola inscriptions are found in this temple. However, few pillars in the temple are supposed to be of Pallava style; there is a possibility that even Pallavas would have contributed some sections of the temple during their rule. The temple has two prakarams. The sanctum sanctorum is facing the east direction. Lord Shiva in this temple is called as Neyyadiapparor Kritapureeswarar. He is found in the form of a moderately big Shiva Linga. Facing the sanctum sanctorum the Bali peetham, flag staff and Nandi mandapa are located. There is a small artistically beautiful inner tower at the entrance of the maha mandapa. The Goddess Balambikai who also has a beautiful Tamil name, Ilamangai Ammai, is found in a separate shrine facing the south direction and is located in the outer prakara. A separate Nandi idol is located facing the Amman shrine. The inner prakara has the sub-shrines of Ganesha, Subramanya-Valli-Devasena, Chandikeshwarar, Lakshmi and Saraswati.

Arulmigu Balambikai sameda Neyyadiyappar Temple
Thillaisthanam, Thanjavur - 613203
Phone: 4362-260553
Temple Timings : 10.00 am to 11.00 am, 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm