Achaleswarar Temple, Thiruvarur
Achaleswarar Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva located within the Thyagaraja Temple in Thiruvarur District of Tamilnadu. Historically the place is called as Achaleswaram and Araneri. This temple is located in the Southern prakaram within the grand Thyagaraja Temple. It is one of the 276 Thevara Paadal Petra Sthalams. Presiding Deity is called as Sri Achaleswarar / Araneri Appar and Mother is called as Ambal Achaleswari / Vandarkuzhali. It is one of the shrines of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams - Shiva Sthalams glorified in the early medieval Thevaram poems by Tamil Saivite Nayanar Thirunavukkarasar.
Naminandhi Adigal was worshipping Lord Achaleswarar every day without fail. One evening when he came to the temple, he noticed that the Deepa – the lamp was nearly extinguishing as the ghee was exhausted. It would be too late to continue the lighting if he went to his house to bring the ghee. He approached some neighbours for ghee. They belonged to a different faith and mocked at Naminandhi Adigal saying that his Lord Shiva was a powerful God as he himself was holding a torch and even told him that if his faith- was true, he can light the lamp with water.
Adigal felt very much hurt. He came to Lord and asked him, “You were witness to what they said. Am I so sinful to hear such words?” A voice from the space said that Adigal may bring water from the tank in the temple and light the lamp. Doing so as instructed by the voice, he was excited to see the lamp burning brighter than before. He lighted all the lamps in the temple with water instead of with ghee or oil. The whole temple became bright as in the day with sun rays.
Hearing the wonderful devotion of Naminandhi Adigal, the Chola king made him the head of the temple administration and offered all help to conduct the festivals in the temple. Lord Shiva placed Adigal as one of the 63 Nayanmars. The Jains who mocked at Adigal regretted their attitude. The shade of the presiding deity would fall only eastward.
The Chola Queen Sembian Mahadevi rebuilt this temple of stone (10th century). Presiding Deity is called as Sri Achaleswarar / Araneri Appar and Mother is called as Ambal Achaleswari / Vandarkuzhali. This west facing temple consists of a sanctum and an Ardhamandapam. Inscriptions from the period of Raja Raja Chola are found here.
The niche images here include those of Arthanareeswarar, Durga, Bhikshatana, Brahma, Lingodhbava, Dakshinamurthy, Agastya and Natarajar. Theertham of this Temple is Sangu Theertham. Sthala Vriksham is Pathiri Tree. The shade of the presiding deity would fall only eastward. Thanjavur Brihadeeswarar temple is modeled based on this temple only.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 5.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.
Saivite saint Thirunavukkarasar has praised the temple in his Thevaram hymns. This is the 88th Shiva temple on the southern bank of Cauvery praised in Thevaram hymns (Paadal Petra Sthalam) in Chola Naadu.
Tiruvadhirai in Margazhi (December-January) and Mahasivarathri in February-March are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
People pray for removal of obstacles in marriage talks and for child boon. Devotees perform abishek, archanas and offer vastras to Lord and Mother.
Sri Vandarkuzhali-Achaleswarar Temple,
Arur Araneri, Tiruvarur,
Phone: +91 – 4366 – 242 343
Mobile: +91 – 94433 54302
The temple is in the second prakara of Thyagarajar temple in the heart of Tiruvarur town. Thiruvarur is located at about 70 Kms from Thanjavur, 120 Kms from Trichy, 42 Kms from Kumbakonam, 26 Kms from Nagapattinam, 31 Kms from Thiruthuraipoondi, 41 Kms from Karaikkal and 29 Kms from Mannargudi.