Mayuranathaswami Temple, Mayiladuthurai – History
The temple was built by the Medieval Cholas. The oldest inscriptions on the temple walls date to the time of Kulothunga Chola I. Massive renovations were carried out in the 17th century. In May 1927, a temple entry of Dalits was organized on a big scale by the proponents of the Self Respect Movement thereby resulting in a huge clash. Around 17 inscriptions about the ancient rulers have been found by Archaeological Survey of India in AD 1907, 1911. Parandhaga Chola (10th century), the second Rajathi Rajan (AD 1711), third Kulothungan (AD 1201), Rajaraja Devan (AD 1228), Third Raja Rajan (AD 1245), Jadavarman Sundarapandian and rulers of Vijayanagara renovated this temple.
From available inscriptions it is inferred that the Avayambal shrine came into existence during the period of Rajaraja Chola III (13th century). Till then, there must only have been a Bhogasakti bronze image in the sanctum of Mayuranathar, as was the practice till separate Ambal shrines were introduced during the reign of Kulottunga Chola I (1075-1120).
Puranas such as Skantha Purana, Shiva Purana, Brahmmanda Purana, and Chidambara Purana refer to the greatness of Mayiladuthurai and glorify the presence of Cauvery. There is also a reference of Lord Muruga making his way here to invoke Lord Mayuranathar’s blessings and then moving on from here to Thiru Vidaikkazhi (near Thiru Kadaiyur).
While the temple was under the control of the Chozhas from the 11th Century AD when this was separately referred to as the Swami temple and the Ambal temple of Mayiladuthurai, Thiruvaduthurai Aadheenam took over the management once it was established. Originally the temple was of brick construction and was renovated to big Granite construction only in the early 20th century AD. Ancient inscriptions indicate significant contributions by Rajendra I, Kulothunga III, Raja Raja and Sadaya Varma Sundara Pandya.