Abodes of lord Shiva

152. Arulmigu Kamalambikai sameda Vanmeekinathar Temple - Thiruvarur

Moolavar   Vanmeekinathar
Thayar   Kamalambikai
Theertham   Kamalalayam
Pose & Direction  
Sthala Vruksham   Pathiri Tree
Paadiyavar   Thirunavukarasar, Sambandar, Sundarar
Travel Base   Thiruvarur
Nearest Railway Station   Thiruvarur



Thiruvarur is the District Headquarters of Thiruvarur District. It is well connected by road , rail to the other parts of tamilnadu. It is 70 kms from Thanjavur, 42 kms from Kumbakonam , 41 kms from Mayiladuthurai and 25 kms from Nagapattinam. The temple is situated at the heart of the town. Nearest Railway station is Thiruvarur Jn.



Once while Shiva and Parvati were resting in the groves of Kailasam, a male monkey kept throwing Vilva leaves on them. This irritated Parvati who was about to curse the monkey when Shiva intervened. He reminded her that it was Shivarathri that day and the monkey had indeed performed a divine deed by placing Vilva leaves on them. Thus, a likely curse turned into a blessing and the two. Pleased with this, the male monkey requested that he be born with a monkey face in memory of his previous birth. Also, he asked if he could be born as a great devotee of Lord Shiva. This was Musukuntha Chozha who ruled the Chozha kingdom with Karuvurai as his capital. It was here that Goddess Lakshmi undertook penance invoking the blessings of Lord Shiva. The severity of the penance is seen from the fact of standing on water and on hot sand in the summer. Pleased with the penance, Shiva, Devi and their son appeared before Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi and blessed them with a child. However, Uma Devi was upset that Vishnu had ignored her presence and cursed that the new born will also see death from the same person (Lord Shiva) who blessed his birth. A saddened Vishnu asked sculptor Vishwakarma to create an idol similar to the one who appeared before him. This was Somaskanda and he offered his prayer to this idol. The three of them appeared again and a pleased Uma Devi said that while the curse will have to be fulfilled, she will bring him back again and will make him the leader of the army. He was to be the God of Love. Vasantha Utsavam is one of the most special festivals at the Thiruvarur temple. Manmatha who knitted flowers for the Lord had grown arrogant and was reduced to ashes by Lord Shiva’s eyes as per the earlier curse of Uma Devi. Rathi invoked the blessings of Uma Devi who then provided Rathi with an exclusive darshan of Manmatha (for her alone). Delighted at this, the two celebrated by creating a festival for Lord Thyagaraja in Panguni invoking his blessings. In his memory is celebrated the Vasantha Utsavam. A demon called Kaliyan invaded the heavens. Indra approached Vishnu for the Somaskanda with whose protection the heavens were defended successfully. Again another demon Valan attacked the heavens. This time Indra turned to Muchukunda, a Chola King who assisted him in winning the battle against the demon. A delighted Indra took Mucukunta to his abode. There when Mucukunta found the idol of Thyagaraja, an invisible voice directed him to take the idol to Thiruvarur. After having taken him around, Indra offered a boon to the king for helping him win. The king asked for the idol leaving Indra stunned. That night, Indra asked sculptor Vishwakarma to make 6 similar idols. The next day, Indra offered the king any of the 6 idols hoping that the king would not be able to distinguish the real one and would take one of the 6 that were created the previous night. Thanks to his true devotion, as he stood in front of the original idol, Mucukunta Chozha sensed that this was the original one. Delighted with the sincerity of the king’s devotion to Lord Shiva, Indra handed him all the 7 idols. Musukuntha made his way to Thiruvarur in a Chariot procession and celebrated with a grand festival. He took the other 6 idols and installed it at Thiru Kolili, Thiru Kaaraayil, Thiru Maraikkadu, Thiru Vaaimoor, Thiru Nallaru and Thiru Nagai. These 7 are referred to as Saptha Vidanga Kshetram. These seven places are called "Saptha Vidanga Sthalams" of Sri Thyagaraja and he is called by various names in these places and various forms of dances were attributed to them. At Tiruvarur, Sri Thyagaraja is called Sri Vidivitankar and the dance is ‘Ajapa Natanam' - dancing like the chest movement, moving up and down and forward and backward. At Tirunallar near Karaikkal, he is called Sri Nahavitankar and the dance is called Unmatta Natanam - dancing like a mad man. At Nagapattinam he is called Sri Sundaravitankar and the dance is called Paravarataranga Natanam, dancing like the waves of the sea. At Tirukaravasal, he is called Sri Adivitankar and the dance is called Kukutta Natanam - dancing like a cock. At Thirukkuvalai, he is called Sri Avani Vitankar and the dance is called Bhringa Natanam - dancing like a bee which hovers around a flower. At Thiruvoimoor, he is called Sri Neela vitankar and the dance is called Kamala Natanam i.e dancing like a lotus, which trembles in breeze. At Vedaranyam, he is called Sri Buvani Vitankar, and the dance is called Hamsapada Natanam i.e dancing with the gait of a swan. Ajapa dance of Lord Thyagaraja signifies the control and maneuver of breathing. Sri Appar, one of the four Tamil stalwarts, refers to this association of Sri Thyagaraja with the breathing methods in his Devaram. Tirumular also glorifies the importance of Ajapa dance. At the entrance to the Thyagaraja Sannidhi, there is a beautiful sculpture of Musukuntha Chozha in memory of this event. There is also a sculpture of Indra. The Lord’s Ajapa dance is special here at Thiruvarur and presents the true philosophical meaning of each of his steps. 18 musical instruments are used to praise Lord Thyagaraja at different pooja times



Arulmigu Kamalambikai sameda Vanmeekinathar Temple
Thiruvarur, Thiruvarur - 610001
Phone: 4366 - 242343,9443354302.
Temple Timings : 5.00 am to 12.00 noon, 4.00 pm to 9.00 pm