Padagalingaswami Temple (Padaga Pillaiyar Temple), Malayankulam, Thirunelveli
Padagalingaswami Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva located at Malayankulam Village in Thirunelveli District of Tamilnadu. Presiding Deities are two Shivalingas – Mahalingam and Padagalingam. Mother is called as Padagalinga Nachiyar. Sthala Vriksham is Vilwa Tree. Theertham is Padagalinga Theppam.
Lord Shiva granted darshan Chera King & Queen:
The queen of a Chera king wanted to have a round in the jungle here alone. After a long walk, she felt thirsty. She found a spring. Before stepping into the spring, she left her anklets-padagam or Thandai – an ornament worn by women at the feet – on the bank. After drinking water, she could not come to the bank and cried in fear. People working there informed the king who came and rescued the queen.
The anklets left by the queen on the bank were stuck on a bamboo tree nearby. The king cut the bamboo to take the anklet. It bled. The king left the place in fear. He returned the next day with his Guru. He found two Shivalingas in the place of the anklets. A voice said and asked the king to build a temple. The king built the temple.
Lord Shiva granted darshan to the king and wife and also directed them to stay there. They obeyed and spent their days serving the Lord. After sometime, they merged with the Lord. Idols were made for the king and his wife also and installed in the temple. As they were worshipped by the villagers here as guardian deities, the king was named Chitraputra Dharma Sastha and the queen Padagalinga Nachiyar.
Story of Seven Brother Statues:
There were seven brothers in this region living together with their only sister. A youth belonging to a different caste wanted to marry her. The brothers did not agree to the proposal. The youth came to this temple with the girl chased by the brothers. Sri Chitraputra Sastha appeared before them and suggested a compromise not acceptable to the brothers. The deity simply changed them into statues then. Seven brothers, their sister and the youth are in the temple as statues. One of them is seen with his hand on the head.
There are two Shivalingas – Mahalingam and Padagalingam both small in size in the sanctum sanctorum. There is also a small Nandhi the bull vehicle of Lord Shiva nearby. Behind the Lingas are Mother Padagalinga Nachiyar and Chitraputra Dharma Sastha. Vahanas elephant, horse and Nandhi are in front of the sanctum. Vinayaka of the temple is also called after the name of the Lord as Padaga Pillaiyar.
Though the presiding deity is Lord Padaga Lingaswami, the temple is more known as Padaga Pillaiyar Kovil. Those who do not know their family deity, consider Dharma Sastha as their family deity. Special pujas are performed to him on Wednesdays and Saturdays by the devotees. Naga (serpent) idols are placed in the form of Navagrahas the nine planets. Those facing adversary planetary effects pray here.
There are also guardian deities in the temple – Sangili Boothathar, Thalavai Madan, Thalavai Madathi, Vana Pechiamman, Brahmmaratchi, Gangadevi, Pechiamman, Vidu Madan, Vidu Madathi, Thakkarajan, Sudalai Madan, Thambiran, Chinnathambi, Karupusamy, Thundimadan, Palavesakaran, Bommakka, Thimmakka and Pattavarayan.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays. On other days the timing is from 8.00 a.m. to 10.00 a.m. only. Those coming to the temple during other hours are advised to contact the priest on the telephone in advance.
Aavani Onam in August-September and Panguni Uthiram in March-April are the festivals celebrated in the temple. Onam is celebrated in the temple for 3 days as the temple was built by a Kerala king and also as Sastha was born to Shiva and Vishnu when special pujas are performed in the temple including an event of inviting Mother Padagalinga Nachiyar from the spring nearby. Special Alankaras are offered to Mother.
Those concerned about the welfare of children and wedding matter astrologically pray to Brahmmaratchi offering Pottuthali (mangalsutra) and a tilak on her forehead called Manjanai made of a mixture of kumkum, turmeric, borneol (pachaikarpuram), saffron, rose water and castor oil for relief from the adverse effects. Devotees execute their prayer commitment to the guardian deities with Padayal – Pudding-Pongal.
Sri Padagalingaswami (Padaga Pillaiyar) Temple,
Malayankulam, Thirunelveli District
Phone: +91 – 4634 – 254 721
Mobile: +91 – 93603 12580
The devotee has to reach Kallidaikurichi 35 km from Thirunelveli. The temple is 9 km further far from Kallidaikurichi. Bus facilities are very infrequent. Autos and cabs may be hired. Nearest Railway Station is located at Thirunelveli. Nearest Airport is located at Madurai.