Sri Amirtha Kadeswarar temple of Shiva Sannadhi Street, Thirukadiyur, Thirukadaiyur-609311

At the temple almost every day begins with one celebration or other, as hundreds of pilgrims throng the temple to celebrate their 60th or 80 birthdays. Based on the legend of Markandeya, it is believed that worshipping at this temple will give longevity to couples who have reached the age of 60 or 80.

Temple Etiquette

  • Footwear not allowed inside

    Footwear not allowed inside
    Footwear to be left outside the temple. In summer be careful of the hot paving stones.

  • Prasad and donation

    Prasad and donation
    Use your right hand to accept prasad and give donations. The left hand is considered unclean in India.

  • Dress conservatively

    Dress conservatively
    Avoid shorts, skirts, tanktops and do not expose legs.

  • Circumambulation or pradakshina

    Circumambulation or pradakshina
    Devotees are to walk around the sanctum sanctorum in a clockwise direction

About Sri Amirtha Kadeswarar temple

Sri Amritaghateswarar Abhirami Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the Lord Siva in his manifestation as Kalantaka (Destroyer of Death) and his consort Parvati in her form as Sri Abhirami (meaning - Lovely One) located in Thirukkadaiyur,Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu in India.

This Hindu temple is particularly associated with Siva saving his devotee Markendeya from death and the tale of saint Abirami Pattar, a devotee of the presiding goddess.

Sage Mrigandu and his wife Maruthuvathi were praying to Lord Siva for a child .  The sage performed severe penance.  

The lord said that the couple would have a son who would not only be noble and wise but would live only to the age of 16. He was named Markandeya.  When he entered the age of 16, his parents were sad.  Knowing the problem, Markandeya took a pilgrimage to all Siva Temples.  He came to Tirukadayur.  This was the 108th temple of his pilgrimage.  That also happened to his day of destiny.  While he was praying to the lord, Deva Yama(God of Death) directly came there to take his life.  Seeing Yama, Markandeya embraced Lord Amirtha Kadeswara with all his might.  

When Yama threw his rope on Markandeya, it fell and covered lord also, who in all fury hit him and destroyed him with His trident.  Turning to Markandeya, the lord blessed him saying that he would remain 16 forever.

As Yama was no more, there was no death in the earth.  Mother Earth could not bear the amassed weight of beings living long without an end.  She appealed to Lord Siva telling her difficulty.  Lord shed his anger and restored Yama to life in this sacred bhoomi.  

In this Indian temple the lord is praised as Kala Samhara Murthy.  He is holding his trident pointing to Yama who lies under the lord.  Nearby is Gundodhara dragging Yama with a rope.  But Yama is not visible during darshan.  During the puja time, when the peeta is opened, we can see Yama.  The darshan of the lord with trident is called Samhara style and that with Yama is called Anugraha style.  Devotees can worship Lord Amirthakadeswarar in both forms.  Mother Balambika as a little girl appears with two hands with Mothers Lakshmi and Saraswathi nearby.

Abirami Pattar:

At this Hindu temple, many years ago, there lived a staunch devotee of the goddess Abhirami named Subramanian. He loved the goddess so much that he saw her everywhere and in everyone, but especially in all women. Any woman that entered the temple he would offer flowers to, worshiping her as the living embodiment of the goddess.

One day, King Saraboji visited the temple as Subramanian was meditating on the glories of Abhirami. Seeing that Subramanian did not bow before him as he entered the temple, the king became irritated. He asked one of the devotees in the temple who this man was that refused to recognize him. A priest told the king that Subramanian was mad, worshiping all women as the Divine Mother and showering them with flowers. However, another priest of the temple overheard this and corrected the man, saying that Subramanian was truly a saint and a great devotee of Mother Abhirami.

The king, confused by the two conflicting accounts of who this man was, decided to put Subramanian to  test. Therefore, he asked Subramanian whether that particular day was a full moon day or a new moon day. At that time, Subramanian was still absorbed in meditation on the Divine Mother, seeing her shining face in his mind. Subramanian, seeing the Goddess' face and mistaking it for the moon, responded to the king saying that it was a full moon day when it was actually a new moon day. The king, deciding that Subramanian must be mad, ordered that he be burnt at dusk if the moon failed to appear.

After some time, the king’s army awakened Subramanian and ordered him to come with them to be executed for his madness. On returning to ordinary consciousness, Subramanian realized that he had mistaken the face of the Divine Mother for the full moon, making him say it was a full moon day when, in actuality, it was a new moon day.

Standing at the pyre, with the flames rising all around him, Subramanian realised that only the Divine Mother could save him now. He began singing a song of one-hundred praises to Abhirami (called as Abhirami Antati or "Song to Abhirami"), begging her to come to his rescue.

While singing the seventy-ninth verse of his song, which states that the Divine Mother is an ocean of blessing without limit whose merciful eyes grant liberation, Mother Abhirami appeared before Subramanian, his executioners, and the unbelieving king. Throwing her earring into the sky, it took the form of the full moon.

The king, having realized his mistake and immensely pleased by his devotion, released Subramanian. From that day forward, Subramanian was called Abhirami Pattar, which translates to "priest of Abhirami", and the king became his disciple. To this day, Abhirami Pattar is still celebrated at Thirukadaiyur on the new moon day in the Tamil month of Thai (Jan to Feb).

60th & 80th

Almost every day at this Hindu temple begins with one celebration or other, as hundreds of pilgrims throng the temple to celebrate their 60th or 80th birthdays.

Based on the legend of Markandeya, it is believed that worshipping at this temple will give longevity to couples who have reached the age of 60 or 80.

A service called Sashtiapthapoorthi (completion of sixty) is celebrated in honor of a husband's 60th birthday and Sadhabishegam (Eighty) is celebrated in honor of his 80th birthday.

It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, where three of the most revered Nayanars (Saivite Saints), Appar, Suntharar and Tirugnana Sambhandar have sung the glories of this temple.

Presiding deity in the temple is a swayambumurthy. Of the Atta Veera Sthalas (8 Veera Siva Temple), Thirukadayur is one, where Yama was hit by Lord Siva.

Though there is only one Linga in the sanctum sanctorum, a closer look will show another Linga too in a shady form. The scar caused by the Yama’s rope is visible on the Linga only during abhishek times.  



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