About the  Thirukadaiyur Temple

The temple’s main deity is Lord Shiva in his incarnated form as Kalantaka and his wife Parvati as Abhirami.

Hence the temple is popularly known as “Abirami Temple”.

There is a shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the incarnated form of Amrithanarayana and Sri Mahalakshmi is regarded as Amrithanarayana.

The temple is located near Thirukkadaiyur, Tamil Nadu, 21 km to the eastern side of Mayiladuthurai.

The Thirukadaiyur temple is considered one of the eight locations where Shiva is said  to have manifested as “Kalasamharamurthy” to rescue Markandeya from the fatal grip of Yama

Thirukadaiyur Temple Timings

Day Morning Evening
Monday to Sunday 6 am to 1 pm 4 pm to 9 pm


Brief History of  Thirukadaiyur Temple

The Temple contains several Chola sculptures from the middle ages.

The inscription, dates from Rajaraja 1’s 13th reign, and is located on the southern wall of the central deity.

This writing is a hint to the agreement to provide rice to the temple in exchange for the temple’s grant of land.

Another document in the temple mentions the record of Rajendra Chola’s donation of paddy for the temple’s annual eight-day festival.

According to a third document on the same wall, during the reign of Rajadhiraja Chola in 1054 AD, a devotee of the deity denoted land to feed 17 other needy devotees.

The fourth record of history tells that from the Kulothunga Chola I era in the temple mentions that Tirukadavur Mahasabha selling 1.74 velis of land.

The land had been fallow for 50 year in this place where the current temple is located.

An intriguing Rajaraja II-era sculpture from the outer area of the temple precinct describes the theft of the lands from a custodian.

This person conspired with Vaishanvites.

A number of such stories are inscripted in the temple’s architecture that uplifts the struggle of the locals and the devotees.

Also are music, theatre, dance, and other performing arts in the walls of the temple.

The authority of Dharmapuram Adheenam looks after and runs the temple with pride to date.

Legend of  Thirukadaiyur Temple

The Thirukkadaiyur temple gets its name from the “POT” also known as Gatam in the Tamil language.

It was the ambrosia pot that was brought to this place by Lord Vishnu, Indra Deva, and other Gods.

This pot was carried with the purpose of savoring the sweet drink that had been created during the Samudra Manthan.

The Devas neglected the fact to offer prayer to Lord Ganesha before heading to anything.

Enraged Lord Ganesha stole the pot of Amrita and hid it at Tirukkadaiyur because he was saddened and outraged by the deva’s unintentional offense.

Ganesha poured some of the Amrita over a Shiva Linga that he had made and dedicated to his parents.

The concept of Amrita Ghat Eshwarar, the Shiva Lingam at this temple, literally translates as “Lord that leads to immortality”.

Here Immortality means Amrita, Step means Ghat  and Lord means Eshawarar in Sanskrit language.

It is also a popular belief that Abhirami took on this form, all due to Lord VIshnu’s strength.

As per a popular legend related to this temple, a sage called Mrikandu and his wife Madrimati lived close to the Tirukkadaiyur temple.

They both prayed to Lord Shiva day and night for many years, praising him and asking him for blessing them with progeny.

Lord Shiva finally showed up for Mrikandu and Marudmati after many years of penance. 

They had the option of having a bright son who would only live to the age of sixteen.

Alternatively, a son of low intelligence who would live a long life, he said, adding that he heard their pleas.

Mrikandu and Mardumati opted for the former, and as a result, they were blessed with Markandeya.

A morally upright son who would pass away at the age of sixteen.

Markandeya’s adoration for Lord Shiva deepened as he matures thereon. Markandeya followed his father’s advice.

 He began Lord Shiva’s worship in Lingam form at Tirukkadaiyur, using a tunnel to convey water from the Ganges River to the temple

On the death day of Markandeya

Yama, the god of death, showed up with his noose to tie around Markandeya’s soul and take it with him.

Markandeya embraced the Shiva Lingam and sought safety in the temple.

Yama was advised by Lord Shiva not to touch Markandeya because he was protected by him.

Yama cast the rope, tying Markandeya and the Lingam together, despite Shiva’s refusal to listen not to proceed further.

Siva was constantly enraged by Yama’s extreme haughtiness and kicked him while holding him.

He held him under his foot to render Yama motionless.

Later Lord Shiva granted Markandeya the lifetime wish to live forever at the age of sixteen.

Hence this temple of Lord Shiva earned the moniker “kala-Samhara”.

Yama was rendered dormant during this time, therefore there were no deaths on Earth, but there were stillbirths.

The Legend Continues

The Goddess of Earth, pleaded with Shiva for assistance since she was extremely overwhelmed by the weight of so many people and was unable to satisfy their hunger.

Shiva freed Yama out of compassion for the goddess.

Shiva’s symbol in this temple, yet, is portrayed with his fingers raised in caution as a message to Yama to never again attempt to kill anyone while they are worshipping Shiva.

The Lord is known as Mrityunjaya because it is claimed that Lord Siva conquered Yama in Thirukkadaiyur.

Architectural details of Thirukadaiyur Temple

The Thirukadaiyur Abirami Temple is built in the  Dravidian style of architecture of the Chola dynasty, and it is extremely huge, measuring about 11 acres.

The temple has 5 courtyards, numerous majestic towers, and large, open mandapas.

The inscriptions in the temple give a hint that it has been in existence since the least the 10th or 11th century.

During the reign of Raja Raja Chola I, the identity of the king who dedicated the temple is unknown. 

However, the temple’s brick and walls were changed to stone kind of architecture during the next king of Chola’s Kulothunga Chola I.

The main mandap which is still today under operation in the front was built by Kulothunga Chola I

The temple has about 5 sizable sectors and is widespread across an area of 4.5 hectares.

The temple is accessible via a seven-tiered raja gopuram which is a pyramidical temple tower

This tower faces the west

A linga-shaped representation of Amrithakadeswarar is housed in the main shrine.

The rescue of Makrandeya, Kalasamharamurthy, has a separate temple next to the sanctum.

The bronze work of art has four arms that extend out of a Linga.

Images of Durga, Dakshinamurthy, and Chandikesha may be found in the niches of the walls around the first precinct.

This Chola temple is home to 5 sets of stone sculptures.

Amrita Pushkarani, Kaala Theertham, and Maarkandeya Theertham are the names of three Hindu vessels or tirtas.

Abhirami receives honors in a distinct temple. It is a thought that the Abhirami Anthathi was performed in the shrines’s front hall by the Shakta Saint Abhirami Pattar.

Also, the temple keeps a separate place for Markandeya devotees of Kalasamhara Murti.

There is a historic Vaishnava temple at Thirukkadaiyur, despite the fact that it is a Shaiva temple.

Sri Amrita Narayana – a form of Lord Vishnu and Amrita Valli – Lord Vishnu’s consort Sri Mahalakshmi, the couple Gods, are devoted to in this temple.

Abirami’s shrine lies next to the entry gate and looks east, also a statue of Ambirami Pattar can be found in the precinct.

Religious Significance of Amritaghateswarar Abirami Temple

  • Kungiliya Kalaya Nayanar and Kari Nayanar, two of the 63 Shaiva writers and saints renowned to scholars as the Nayanars where devoted here.
  • They also obtained emancipation over the cyclical process of life and death.
  • Kalaya Nayanar was a devout Shiva follower who used his meager income to illuminate shrine candles and burn incense.
  • He was out of work at some point in life, and the entire household was in dire financial straits.
  • The wide of Kalaya handed him a gold ornament to be sold to cover the entire daily expenses.
  • Kalaya also marketed the gold and used the proceeds to buy oil for the shrine lights.
  • His home began to fill with grains as he lit more and more lamps.
  • A divine voice explained how prosperity was a result of his affinity for the ruling deity.
  • He came to be popularly known as Kungili Kalavanar.
  • It has also been praised by the Nayanars Appar, Sundarar, and Tirugnana Sambandar and visited by all the Siddhas of the 12th century.
  • The temple is popular as the Paadal Petra Sthalam, one of the 276 temples mentioned in the Shaiva canon, because it is honored in Tevaram.


  • The 8th canto is the third Thirumai Deva contains the 11 songs of the Sambandar.
  • The 31 songs of Appar are collected in the 4th Thirumrai, 10 under the 31st and 107th of the cantos, and the last 11 under the vicinity of the 11th canto in the 5th Thirumrai.
  • The ten songs of the Sundarar are collected in the 7th Thirumurai in the 28th cantor
  • Shiva in this temple is found to be holding a bow and arrow, spear, and trident, his instruments.

Festivals celebrated by the temple

The temple is devoted to celebrating a lot of festivals

Festival Month Festivals
April-May Yama Samharam
Yearly Kalasamhara Murthy Darshan every 6th day of the month
November Karthigai Poornami/1008 Sangu Ahishegam
October Navarathri
July-Aug Aadu Pooranam
Oct-Nov Skanda Shasti
Feb-March Maha Shivarathri
March-April Panghuni Uttiram
Jan- Feb Andadhi Parayanam


Along with regular pooja and seva Annadanam ritual is conducted everyday in the temple to devotees at 12.15 pm

Dress code in the Abirami temple

The temple expects the devotees to be decently dressed in Indian traditional outfit.

Pooja and other seva services by the Thirukadaiyur temple

The temple is devoted to performing various poojas at different timings to serve the devotees and offer prayer to the deity


Pooja  Timings
Ushakalam 5.30 am 
Kalasanthi 8 am
Uchikalam 10 am 
Sayarakshai 6 pm
Irandam Kalam 8 pm
Ardha jamam 10 pm

These poojas have dedicated 4 steps of procedures, like Abhishekam, Alangaram, Naivedyam, and Deepa Aradhana

Ways to reach Thirukadaiyur Temple?

Devotees can follow any means of transportation as per their convenience to reach the temple:

By Air: The nearest airport to the temple is Trichy Airport located 165 km away.

By Train: The nearest available railway station to the temple location is Mayiladuthurai about 25 km.

By Road: The local transport of buses available for the Thirukadaiyur temple is from the city of Mayiladuthurai about 21 km away.

Budget Accommodation nearby Thirukadaiyur Temple

  1. Hotel GK Residency Thirukadaiyur
  2. Hotel Aishwaryam
  3. Hotel Sadhabhishegam
  4. Hotel Abhirami residency
  5. Geethana residency


  • What is the unique name of Thirukadaiyur temple?

The temple is also known as Vilvavanam, in the remembrance of Vilva seeds given by Lord Shiva to Lord Brahma Deva.

Do you know Additional Information?

If the listed information is incorrect or If you know more information about this temple,
Please let us know through the mail to sakalamblog@gmail.com, We will change it so other devotees will know the correct information.

Also, If you could send the photos of the temple, we will upload it for devotees references.

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