Thirukoteeswarar Temple, Thiruvidaimarudur, Thanjavur
Thirukoteeswarar Temple is a Hindu temple located at Thirukodikaval in the Thiruvidaimarudur taluk of Thanjavur district in Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is dedicated to Shiva. Chitra Pournami festival is celebrated in a grand manner every year. The main God of this temple is Lord Shiva known as Thirukoteeswarar and Goddess as Vadivambigai. There are separate Sannadhis for Chitragupta and Yama. This Temple is considered to be the 37th in the series of Devaram Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalam located in Chozha Naadu on the Northern Banks of River Cauvery.
Chitra Pournami, or Chittirai Poornima, is a unique Tamil festival observed on the full moon day in the month of Chittirai. The day is dedicated to Chitragupta, the official keeper of deeds in the abode of Yama. It is believed that bathing in holy rivers and temple ponds on the day will wash away the sins committed.
In Hinduism, Chitragupta, the first assistant of Lord Yama, is the one who keeps record of the good and bad deeds of human beings on earth. After death, when one reaches the abode of Yama, it is he who tallies the good and bad deeds and declares it to Yama. Therefore, the day is dedicated to Chitragupta and devotees pray to him to forgive their sins.
Another important legend associated with Chitra Poornima, involves Lord Indra, the king of Gods, and his Guru Brihaspati. Once Indra and Brihaspati had an altercation, and the Guru stopped advising his pupil. Without the sound counsel of his Guru, Indra committed numerous sins. Finally, when Brihaspati relented and took up his duty. He then advised Indra to undertake a pilgrimage to the earth to alleviate the burden of sins committed by him in his absence.
One day during his pilgrimage, Indra had a sudden realization that he has been redeemed from his sins. He looked around and noticed a Shivalinga under a Kadamba tree. He was sure that it was Lord Shiva who had helped him in alleviating his sins.
The earliest inscriptions in the temple date from 750 AD and belong to the reign of the Pallava king Nandivarman. The present structure is believed to have been constructed by Sembiyan Mahadevi, the mother of Uttama Chola in 979 A.D.
Praises of the temple have been sung by the Saivite saints Appar and Sambandar. The temple was also visited by the saint Bhaskararaya of Bhaskararajapuram.
The temple has separate shrines for Vinayaga, Muruga, Gajalakshmi, Saptha Kanniyar, Bhairavar, Surya, Chandra, Sani, Durvasa and Nataraja.
· Morning: 6.00 am to 11.00 pm
· Evening: 4.00 pm to 8.30 pm
On the Chithirai month, the full moon day has celebrated in this temple. Chitrapournami has dedicated to the Chitragupta, who is the assistant of Yamadharmaraja; he deals with good and the bad things of the people (Karma Vinai).
On the Chitrapournami day, the people will worship Chitragupta to forgive their sins. Every Tuesdays, Pradoshams, Chitrapournami, Skanda Shasti, Ippasi Brahmotsavam are the festivals celebrated in this temple.
Thirukodikaval is situated on the northern bank of the Cauvery on the Kumbakonam-Mayiladuthurai route. It is about five km from Suryanar koil and two km from Kanjanur and five km west of Kuttalam town. Nearest Railway Station is located at Kumbakonam & Nearest Airport is located at Trichy.