Airavateshwarar Temple, Maruthuvakudi, Thanjavur
Airavateshwarar Temple is a Hindu temple located at Maruthuvakudi near Aduthurai in the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu, India. The famous Tamilnadu Rice Research Institute is located beside the temple is one of the landmark.
The "Kumbhabhishekam" (consecration ceremony) of this temple recently took place on 31 August 2006. This Kumbabishekam was performed at this temple after 200 years.
Indra, the god-king of Heaven, and his white elephant Airavata were cursed by Sage Durvasa for throwing a garland given to them by the god Brahma. Indra lost his Kingdom and Airavata turned black. He worshipped the god Shiva here and was eventually released from the curse. It is also the place where Shiva slew the demon Marutthuvasura, from which the name of the village originated from.
Chandra worshipped here to cleanse off his sins and so there is a Chandra Theertham. Sri Krishnar worshipped and got Rukmini Devi. Sri Aadhi Seshan worshipped here and got the power to hold the earth. Agasthiar also worshipped here.
A learned Brahmin who was too greedy started taking ill dhanam which fetches more money because the person who is giving the dhanam will be transferring his sin also. Over a period of time, the Brahmin became black and huge ugly figure due to sins he accumulated. To get back to normal form he started penancing in the middle of fire for 12 years. Shiva was pleased with his worship and granted boon but he started troubling everyone again. Indra was afraid of the Brahmin and he worshiped the Lord here. Shiva sent Agoramurthy to punish the Brahmin and to take him into custody. Since he was a true devotee, Shiva excused him for his sin and made in charge for the Nandavanam.
The temple was constructed from bricks and stone. It is built with Dravidian architecture in the Chola style. The Gopuram is six stories high. It was said to be built during the reign of the Chola queen Sembiyan Mahadevi, which is attested by some stone carvings at the temple. The temple was ruined then restored.
The lingam icon of Shiva is said to be made of white clay and was not sculpted by man but formed spontaneously (syambu). The stone image of Nandi faces the Shiva, and is located slightly away from its original position. It is named Baana Nandi and looks pored on its surface. It is believed the Nandi was injured with Marutthuvasura arrows and protected his master Shiva.
Besides Shiva, his consort, the goddess Parvati as Abirami Amman worshipped here. In addition to the famous Thirukkadaiyur temple of the goddess, there are five temples dedicated to her.
Shiva's son, Ganesha, called "Viruchaga Vinayagar" (who has a trunk resembling Viruchaga-Scorpion) is worshipped. He is believed to be able to heal poisonous insect bites of those who worship him. Shiva's other son Murugan is worshipped with his consorts.
There is a railway station and a bus terminal in the Maruthuvakudi town connecting other parts of Tamil Nadu. Bus route numbers 1, 13, 5A 27, 33 and 53 operates via the bus terminal. Various private and government long haul buses stop here connecting this town with major cities like Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai. The nearest major railway station, Kumbakonam, is 14 kilometers away. The daily Rockfort Express train to Chennai stops there.
The town is located on the Mayiladuthurai – Kumbakonam highway, and buses are available from Mayiladuthurai and Kumbakonam. This Temple is located 1 km south of Adhudurai en route Tiruneelakudi.