Kundala Karaneshwarar Temple, Thirukkurankaval, Nagapattinam
Kundala Karaneshwarar Temple is a Hindu temple situated in the village of Kurakkukka in Mayiladuthurai Taluk of Nagapattinam District of Tamilnadu. Presiding deity is Kundala Karaneswarar, a form of the Hindu god Shiva and his consort Bala Tripura Sundari (Kuntalalambika). This place is also referred to as Thiru Kurakkukka or Thiru Korangu Kukka. This place is now called as Thirukkurankaval. This Shivastalam is located near the well – known Vaideeswaran Koyil. This is one of the 5 Kaavus, the others being Tirukkodikkaa, Tirukkolakka, Tirunellikkaa and Tiruvaanaikka.
This shrine was renovated and re consecrated in 1970. Appar has sung hymns in praise of lord of this temple. This is the 82nd Devaram Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 28th Sthalam on the north of River Cauvery in Chozha Nadu. This temple is located close to the Karuppariyalur temple. This Shiva Sthalam is located at around 7 kms west of Sirkazhi. Theertham is Ganapathy River and Sthala Vriksham is Vilwa.
Lord Sri Rama wanted to perform Puja to Lord Shiva in Sethukarai – Rameswaram and asked Anjaneya to get him a Shivalinga. Anjaneya went on the mission. Meantime, Mother Sita made a Linga of the sand, which Sri Rama worshipped. On his return with the Linga Anjaneya was disappointed that his Lord had completed the puja already and became angry. He wanted to break the Linga he brought with his tail but could not.
After Lord Rama vanquished Ravana in the battle of Ramayana, he returned to Ayodhya to be crowned as King. Ravana, although a personification of evil, had acquired his immense powers through years of penance and devotion to Lord Shiva. Hence while Lord Rama vanquished the evil that Ravana represented, he had at the same time also vanquished a devout Bhakt of Lord Shiva. To atone for killing a devotee of Lord Shiva, regardless of the justification, Lord Rama was advised to pay obeisance to Lord Shiva at Rameswaram in South Tamilnadu, within 2 days of the victory. His devotee Lord Hanuman was assigned the task of finding a linga suitable for the atonement-rituals. He was to be accompanied by Jadayu in his search.
Lord Hanuman & Jadayu searched high and low before finding one in Northern India, near present day Kashi. However they found it difficult to get their hands onto the lingam as it was guarded by Lord Kala Bhairava, another incarnation of Lord Shiva. A battle ensued between Lord Hanuman and Lord Kala Bhairavar with the former finally prevailing. Back in Rameswaram, time was running out. With no sign of Lord Hanuman or Jadayu, Lord Rama advised his consort Lord Sita to prepare a lingam out of the sea sand nearby. She did so, and this was used for the atonement rituals.
As the rituals were coming to a close, Lord Hanuman was sighted with the lingam in hand. However on noticing that the rituals were completed without his presence, he was extremely disappointed. He tried prevailing on Lord Rama to use the lingam procured by him, for the rituals, instead of the one constructed by Lord Sita. In a bid to appease him Lord Rama suggested that if that were to be done, Lord Hanuman would have to move aside the lingam constructed by Lord Sita and place the lingam brought by him, in its place.
As hard as Lord Hanuman tried, he could not move the lingam. Finally he tried to wrap his tail around it and yank it off the ground. The force he applied was so great that the lingam did get uprooted, but landed a few miles away from Rameswaram in a place called Hanuman Pallam (pit created by Lord Hanuman). In the process, his tail got separated from his body. Lord Hanuman realized his folly. It was pre-ordained that the lingam prepared by Lord Sita was to be used for the rituals and sought forgiveness from Lord Rama and Sita to regrow his tail.
Lord Rama suggested to Lord Hanuman that he seek forgiveness from Lord Shiva instead and suggested that Lord Hanuman visit Thirukkurankaval and worship Lord Shiva there to get back his tail. Besides flowers, he also offered his ear rings – Kundalam and secured the pardon of the Lord. As the Lord was worshipped with Kundalams, He is also praised as Kundala Keswarar. The testimony to this story is that it is one of the few Lord Shiva temples in the world, with a shrine to Lord Hanuman facing Lord Shiva.
Shiva (Aparadha Kshameswarar) is said to have blessed Hanuman at Karuppariyalur, and Hanuman is believed to have built a temple for Shiva at Kurakkukka nearby. It is said that a pack of monkeys enter the sanctum in the summer months of Chittirai and Vaikasi make offerings of flowers to the deity even today. It is also a metaphorical message that Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu (of which Lord Rama was an incarnation) are one and the same.
Presiding deity is Kundala Karaneswarar, a form of the Hindu god Shiva and his consort Bala Tripura Sundari (Kuntalalambika). Sthala Vriksham is Vilwa. A tributary of Cauvery, Ganapathy Theertham runs alongside this temple. Lord Shiva graces in the temple in the form of a Sand Linga. No Rajagopuram and Balipeedam are found in this temple and the temple is facing east. Sannadhi for Vinayagar, Valli Deivanai Sametha Subramaniyar can be found in this temple. Sculptures for Bairavar, Chandran, and Hanuman adorn this temple. Painting of Hanuman worshiping Lord Shiva of this temple adorns the walls of the temple.
Moolavar & Ambal vimanam are in globe shape. There is a separate Sannadhi for Hanuman. At the entrance of sanctum there are no sudhai Dwarapalakars or Sila moortham and only Dwarabakars painting are present. There is no Navagrahas Shrine in this temple. Dakshinamoorthy and Durgai can be found in the Koshtas. Lord Muruga with his consorts Valli and Deivanai graces in the corridor-prakara while Vanadurga, village deity Chelliamman grace from the side walls-Goshta. The famous Vaideeswaran Temple attributed to Planet Mars is just 8 km from this temple.
Sri Anjaneya shrine is opposite to that of Lord Shiva. He is known as Shiva Anjaneya and Shiva Bhakta Anjaneya. He enjoys more importance in the temple. A Homa is performed in the shrine on every New Moon day. It is one of the two places in the world (the other being Rameshwaram) where Lord Anjaneya, typically known as devotee of Lord Rama, is shown worshipping Lord Shiva.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Mahasivarathri in February – March, Tirukarthikai in November – December and Hanuman Jayanthi are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
It is the staunch belief of the people that village deity Chelliamman would take care of the welfare of their cattle and protects them from diseases. Those seeking child boon pray to Mother Kundala Nayaki offering bangles. Devotees perform abishek to Lord and Mother and offer vastras.
Saint Tirunavukkarasar has praised the temple in his Thevaram hymns. The handsome Lord is seated under the banyan tree thinking to hit the God of Death – Yama, surrounded by peacocks, all merciful to grace the monkeys and children. Appar has sung hymns in praise of lord of this temple. This is the 82nd Devaram Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 28th Sthalam on the north of River Cauvery in Chozha Nadu.
Sri Kundaleswarar Temple,
Thirukkurakkaa - 609 201,
Phone: +91 – 4364 – 258 785
The temple is located at about 13 km from Mayiladuthurai and 7 kms west of Sirkazhi. In the bus route Vaitheeswaran temple and Thirupanandal get down at Ilanthoppu and by the side of Hospital the temple is 3 Km (You have to make your own arrangement, since there is no bus facility). Town bus from Mayiladuthurai to Pattavarthi, get down at Ilanthoppu and proceed as above. Nearest Railway Station is located at Chidambaram, Mayiladuthurai & Kumbakonam. Nearest Airport is located at Trichy.