Moovalur Marga Sahayeswarar Temple, Nagapattinam
Marga Sahayeswarar Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva located at Moovalur Village in Nagapattinam District of Tamilnadu. It is believed that it was built in the early 10th century. This Place is also called as Punnaagavanam. This place is Avathara Sthalam for Namashivaya Moorthigal, Muthal Kuravar of Thiruvaduthurai Adheenam. Moovalur is also famous for social reformer Moovalur Ramamirtham; she was a Tamil social reformer, author, and political activist of the Dravidian Movement, who worked for the abolition of the Devadasi system in the Madras Presidency. She was born in the village of Moovalur, in Mayiladuthurai taluk.
The Holy Trinity of Hinduism, Ari (Vishnu), Ayan (Brahma) and Aran (Shiva) are believed to have worshiped here and hence the name Moovalur (Moo – Three). Saptha Mathars, Brahma, Vishnu and Durga worshipped Shiva here.
Margasagayeswarar Temple, Moovalur seems to have been built around the 10th Century CE. Stone inscriptions belonging to Chola, Pandya and Vijayanagar period are found here. The temple is Vaiputhsthalam, having been mentioned by Appar in his Thevaram Hymns. Though mentions are found in Periyapuranam of Tirugnanasambandar having worshiped here, but the Hymns sung by him have not been located.
Marga Sahayeswarar Temple, Moovalur is a large, beautiful and ancient temple facing east with a 5 tier Rajagopuram, 2 Prakarams and a pond a little way to the east. The three Nandis around the Balipeedam and the fourth larger main Nandi facing the Lord is a unique feature here. The Dakshinamurthy idol here is also different with many forms of life and the four Saivite saints depicted below him. Many beautiful carvings can be found here particularly around the goddess shrine.
Presiding Deity is called as Marga Sahayeswarar and he is facing east. Mother is called as Mangalambikai and Soundara Nayagi facing south. Thala Vriksham is Punnai Tree. Theerthams of this Temple are Cauvery River, Chandra Pushkarini, Durga Pushkarini, and Ubamanyu Koobam. Balipeedam in this Temple is located at center and four Nandhis are located on the four corners and a huge Nandhi is located in front of it. This arrangement is a rare feature.
There was a sculpture of Aatkondar and Uyyakondar at the entrance of sanctum. Three Vinayagar idols are kept in a Sannidhi in the outer prakaram. Apart from the Sthala Vriksham Punnai Tree, an Older Jack Fruit Tree is also there in the Temple. Below the idol of Dakshinamoorthy, Face of Elephant, Deer, Lion, Rishabam, Muyalagan, Sanagathiyar and four disciples are sculpted and it is a rare feature.
Soundara Nayagi is located in a separate shrine. In the sanctum outside walls, rare sculptures can be seen. This temple has been built during early 10th century. Inscriptions belong to Cholas, Pandyas, Vijayanagara Kingdom can be found in this Temple. This place has been referred as Jayamkonda Chozha Valanaattu Thiruvazhunthoor Naatu Thirumoovalur in one of the inscriptions.
Natarajar, Dakshinamurthy, Lingothbhavar, Brahma, Durga, Chandikeswara, Sabtamadar, Bhairava, Saneeswara, Muruga, Nalvar, Ganesha, Navagraha, Annamalaiyar, Unnamalai amman, Sambandar, Vishwanathar, Visalakshi, Sokkanathar, Meenakshi, Arthanareeswarar, Brahma, Vishnu, Daksha, Kandavel, Gajalakshmi, Sadayappar, Muruga with consorts, Karkodagan, Kariyasenar, Karmasenar, Pippalar, Veerasenar and Aadhimaragasahayar are the idols found in the Temple.
This is one of the Vaipu Sthalams. The temple has been praised in Appar Hymns. Though there was reference of Thirugnanasambanthar worshipped Shiva of this temple in Periyapuranam but hymns of Thirugnanasambanthar praising the Lord are not available.
Moovalur is located 48 Kms towards North from District headquarters Nagapattinam, 266 Kms from State capital Chennai. Moovalur is about 5 Kilometers west of Mayiladuthurai on the Kumbakonam Road. Bus facility is available from Mayiladuthurai. Nearest Railway Station is located at Mayiladuthurai and Nearest Airport is located at Trichy.