Kayarohanaswami Temple, Nagapattinam – The Temple
According to Legend, Emperor Muchukunda got seven Lingas from Indira for the helps he had rendered him. These Lingas were small – Vidanga in size. The Emperor installed the Linga in Seven Places called Saptha Vidanga sthalas. This is one such Sthalas with a Linga so beautiful made of Ruby. Hence, the Lord is named Sundara (beautiful) Vidangar. Lord Thyagaraja is in a separate shrine right of the sanctum sanctorum.
In majority of the temple, people can see only the face of Lord Thyagaraja. During the Vaikasi Visaka and Margazhi Tiruvadirai festivals, Lord is dressed (Alankara) showing his right hand and feet. Lord comes in procession waving his hands to and fro and in a dancing form. This dance is called Paara Vaara Nadanam.
The eyes of Mother Ambica are blue in colour as sea showing her mercy as vast and deep as sea. Hence, named Neelayadakshi-blue eyed. She is also Karundhadanganni. She has her own shrine with a flag post-Kodi Maram. Ambica graces as a virgin. Aadi Pooram is very grandly celebrated in the temple. Her shrine is designed as a Rath. On the festival day, Mother comes in procession in a Rath made purely in crockery ware.
As Ambica is a virgin, Lord sent Nandhi Deva to be her guard. But Nandhi expressed his wish to be with Lord for ever seeing him. Lord said that he can have his darshan though with Ambica. Nandhi in the temple is seen with its neck turned towards Lord with one eye on Ambica and other on the Lord. Hence, the Nandhi is known as Twin View Nandhi (Irattai Parvai in Tamil). Those having vision problems pray to this Nandhi.
Lord Vinayaka graces his darshan wearing a serpent around his body with another one another one above his head as an umbrella. He is worshipped as Nagabarana Vinayaka. Those facing adverse serpent planet effects perform milk abishek to Nagabarana Vinayaka at Rahu Kalam times. Also during the transit of these planets in the zodiac circle, special pujas are performed here to please the planets.
Lord Bhairava, usually appearing with his dog vehicle, has Lion – Simha as his vahanam. When Sage Pundarika worshipped Lord Shiva here, Holy Ganga sprang up in this place along with Lord Bhairava. He is gracing as Kala Samhara Bhairava in this temple. The Simha vahanam is behind him.
It is believed that Lord Shiva himself is gracing the devotees who hit Yama the God of Death. As Lord Kala Bhairava is facing south, devotees pray to him for longevity. As he looks furious, two smiling Vinayakas are installed before him.
There is a shrine for Mother Ashta Bhuja (eight hands) Kali in the temple. The deities for the eight directions have their due place in the temple. Mother Gajalakshmi in her sitting form graces the devotees with two elephants offering abishek. Lord Dakshinamurthi is in the ghoshta wall with his four disciples. As the temple is on a sea shore, it is said that Lord Shiva is ruling the region as a king, hence the name Shiva Rajadhani capital of Shiva Kingdom.
Behind the Linga in the sanctum sanctorum is the Somaskanda form of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva comes to the sea for a bath on the Masi Magam day in February - March. The idol of Lord Muruga is made with 12 hands with weapons. He is praised in the Thirupugazh hymns of saint Arunagirinathar. The Zodiac circle is in the Mandap. People pray from here for relief from planetary problems.
The event of sage Pundarika entering the shrine of Lord Shiva and merging with him is celebrated during the Arthajama Puja (the last puja of the day) on the Ayilyam star day in the month of Aani-June-July. Sri Chandikeswara shrine is on the side of prakara. Lord Shiva as a Swayambumurthy appears very handsome. The fruits of the Mango tree taste citric, sweet and bitter. Viewing the tree from the southeast prakara, it looks like a Nandhi.
The Vidangar in this temple is the Sundara Vidangar and the Abhishekam is performed at 9 AM and 8 PM every day. However, this one is not one of the original lingams, which was stolen ages ago, and recently replaced by a Gomedakam lingam.