Thanthondreeswarar Temple, Illupaikudi, Sivaganga
Thanthondreeswarar Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva located at Illupaikudi Village in Sivaganga District of Tamilnadu. This temple is nearly 500 years old in this region. The historical name of this place is Illupaivanam. It is one of the famous Vairavar Temple is located in Illupaikudi Village, which 5 Kms away from Karaikudi Town. Bhairavar is a special deity here, much worshiped in the locality.
A Siddha Yogi, Konganar by name in a place named Mathur used herbals and converted iron into gold of 500 touch. He prayed to Lord Shiva to grant him the power to further enhance the value to 1000 touch. Lord advised the Siddha to worship Lord Bhairava in the Iluppai jungle to realize his will. Siddha devotionally followed the advice. The gold thus produced by Konganar was very bright. When he tried to take it out; the gold disappeared in earth and reappeared as a Shivalinga. As the Linga appeared from a Jyoti, He was named Swayam Prakaseswarar – Shining by Himself and Thanthondreeswarar – one who appeared through Himself.
Presiding deity is called as Thanthondreeswarar and Mother is called as Soundaryanayaki. Sthala Vriksham is Vilwa. Theertham is called as Bhairavar Theppam. Aagama of this Temple is Shivagama. Lord Bhairava in the temple is praised as Swarna Akarshana Bhairava with twin dogs as his vahanam. He holds an Akshaya Patra – a bowl that never exhausts of food and other prosperous things needed for a happy life – instead of the traditional skull. It is said that the skull has changed into this prosperous bowl as Lord Bhairava played alchemy to change iron into gold.
Prayer to him brings all wealth to devotees. The other significance is that he has twin dog Vahanas, the one on the right is looking at the feet siting and the other at the left standing. Varasiddhi Vinayaka graces devotees in the temple. There are shrines for Lords Nataraja, Kasi Viswanatha, Perumal, Murugan, Mothers Visalakshi, Mahalakshmi and Sani Bhagwan and Navagrahas the nine planets.
A Yantra is also installed in the shrine. A special yajna is performed in Lord Bhairava’s shrine on the Ashtami day (8th day) of the new moon fortnight with 16 Kalasas – sacred pots filled with water – and this water is used for abishek to Thanthondreeswarar and Soundarya Nayaki followed by Gomatha puja – cow puja. Lord Thanthondreeswarar is small in size. The idol of Mother Soundarya Nayaki is made along with the Tiruvachi-the frame around the idol.
There is a plank with a dog figure on a pillar. Those bitten by dog, bathe in the Theertha, go round this plank and pray to Lord Bhairava for removal of the dog bite poison from the body. Konganar procession is celebrated during Chithirai Brahmotsavam. As Lord granted darshan in the Iluppai forest, the place is named Illupaikudi.
There is a Kutty Vinayaka (Tiny Vinayaka) sculpture in the pillar of the front mandapam just one inch size with fingers, eyelids, nails etc. very shown with minute clarity and workmanship. Lord Dakshinamurthy in the Shiva shrine goshta wall graces devotees with a crown, a different form. Mother Varahi sculpture is on a pillar before Ambica shrine.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.
Brahmotsavam in Chithirai (April-May), Shivarathri in Vaikasi (May-June), Karthikai in November-December, Annabishekam in Aipasi (October-November) are the festival celebrated in the temple.
Devotees pray for family prosperity, wedding and child boons and for removal of adverse aspects on children. People pray to Lord Bhairava for cure from diseases and good health. Women facing delays in marriages pray to Mother Varahi with sandal paste and lighting ghee lamps.
Devotees perform abishek to Lord and Mother offering new vastras. They offer garlands made of Vada a famous dish of Tamilnadu with special pujas to Lord Bhairava. Those cured of their diseases light ghee lamps on coconut shells to Lord Bhairava.
Sri Thanthondreeswarar Temple,
Illupaikudi, Ariyakudi Post,
Tamilnadu - 630 202
Phone: +91- 4561 - 221 810
Mobile: +91 - 94420 43493
Illupaikudi is just 8 km from Karaikudi. Buses are available only at specific hours. Nearest Railway Station is located at Karaikudi and Nearest Airport is located at Madurai.