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Sri Vadaranyeswarar Temple – Story – Important Facts

Sri Vadaranyeswarar temple, situated in Thiruvalangadu, Tamil Nadu, boasts a rich history spanning over 2000 years. Within its sacred walls, Bhagavan Shiva is venerated as Vadaranyeswarar and Thevar Singha Peruman, while Goddess Parvati is adored as Vandarkuzhali.

This temple's origin is rooted in a dense jungle of banyan trees, where Mahadeva Shiva emerged as a swayambu. Hence, Bhagavan is affectionately known as Vada Aaranya Easwarar, signifying the "Lord of the jungle of the north."

Sri Vadaranyeswarar Temple – Story

In this banyan forest, two demons named Sumba and Nisumba established their abode, causing distress to the Devas (celestial beings). In their plight, the Devas beseeched Mother Shiva Parvathi for protection. In response, Mother Parvathi created a fearsome manifestation, Kali, who vanquished the demons and drank their blood, growing more formidable with each drop.

Upon the request of Sage Munjikesa Karkodaka, Mahadeva Shiva arrived at the scene. Kali, in her ferocity, challenged Mahadev to a dance-off, promising to relinquish her claim to the territory if He emerged victorious. The dance commenced, during which Bhagavan Shiva exhibited a remarkable feat by dropping His earring, catching it with the toe of His left foot, and reattaching it to His ear, all while dancing. Kali conceded defeat, acknowledging the unmatched prowess of Mahadev. She proclaimed that those who come to worship Shiva Bhagavan in this sacred place must first pay homage to her to fully benefit from their devotion. Consequently, Kali has her own temple in this divine complex.

The temple enshrines a swayambhu murti form of Mahadeva Shiva. Among the five renowned dance temples dedicated to Bhagavan Shiva, this temple is celebrated as the "Gem Sabha" or "Rathna Sabha."

Sri Vadaranyeswarar Temple And Karaikal Ammaiyar

Notably, it was at this temple that Lord Shiva affectionately addressed the great Shiva devotee Karaikal Ammaiyar as "Ammaye." Ammayar, in a unique display of devotion, watched the Lord's dance performance while standing on her head, believing that walking to the Lord's shrine with her feet was a sin. Her journey to this temple brought her ultimate bliss. The revered female saint Karaikal Ammaiyar composed her Mootha Thirupathigam hymn in this very temple. The temple's chariot is exquisitely crafted in the shape of a lotus flower.

This temple holds a special place in the hearts of saints, as it was praised by saints Sambandar, Tirunavikkarasar, and Sundar in their celebrated Thevaram hymns. It is the 15th temple in the Thondai region mentioned in Thevaram hymns.

The Margazhi Tiruvadhirai festival, celebrated in December-January, is a significant event in the temple. Various other Shiva-related festivals are devoutly observed, with devotees performing abhishekam (ritual bathing) and pujas to honor Lord Shiva on Tiruvadhirai festival day.

Aspiring dancers seeking mastery in their art often offer their prayers to Vadaranyeswarar, making this temple a revered destination for them.

The temple's sacred tree is the jackfruit tree, and its holy pond is known as Muthi.

The shrine is open from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM