Veerasekarar Temple, Sakkottai, Sivaganga
Veerasekarar Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva located at Sakkottai in Sivagangai district near Karaikkudi. This was called Veeravanam in olden days. Moolavar is known as Veerasekarar (Thirumudithalumbar). Mother is called as Umayambigai (Umayaval). Lord Shiva in the temple is a swayambumurthy. Boiled rice is offered as nivedhana to the Lord.
The Brahmotsavam is conducted for 10 days in the month of Aani. Kanda Chola, Pandya kings have worshipped at this sthalam. U.Ve Swaminatha Iyer has sung the praise of this Lord. The temple is maintained by 130 pulli Devakottai Nagarathars through former Chief justice A R Lakshmanan and his family. They have their madam which was renovated recently.
Shiva curing leprosy of a King:
A hunter who wandered here once, dug a place to pick the Valli roots under the ground, but was shocked to find a Linga bleeding from there. He immediately informed the king. Sooner the king heard the news; he was cured of the leprosy he was suffering from. In expression of his gratitude, the king built this temple.
Miracle of Veerai Tree changing to Jack Tree:
A Pandya king who visited the temples doubted the miracles performed by Lord. When he went round the Lord first, the Veerai tree changed into a Jack tree. Shocked king sought the pardon of the Lord. God told him that his illness would be cured if he consumed the fruits of the tree. After his doing so, the tree became Veerai tree again. It is believed that after worshipping the Lord, if they worship the tree, their wishes would become a reality.
Boiled Rice as Nivedhana:
Saint Manickavasagar, during his services for the Pandya king, was on his way to buy horses for the king. As he had no raw rice for Lord’s nivedhana, he used the boiled rice he had with him for the purpose. From that day onwards, the boiled rice nivedhana has come into vogue in the temple.
Lord punishing Cheaters:
A childless Shiva devotee donated some of his cows to a Brahmin and sold the rest to another man. The donated cows went in search of the sold cows and joined them. When the Brahmin demanded his cows, the other man refused to part with them and claimed that the cows belonged to them. The case went to the king. The king asked both parties to have a dip in the sacred spring. The cheater lost his eyes. He handed over the Brahmin’s cows and sought Lord’s pardon. The Lord renders justice to the affected and punishes those who aspire for the wealth of others, is the lesson drawn from the story.
The temple is facing east with a 7 tier Rajagopuram and a temple pond in front with a mandapam. The temple was constructed in stages like a mada temple. There is no inscription on the Moolavar sanctum but available in the front mandapam, which is of latter period. In the inner prakaram 63 Nayanmars, Bairavar Subramaniyar, Gajalakshmi, Perumal (This Vishnu statue was unearthed during renovation at Nandavanam), Bairavar, Natarajar, Navagrahas, Veeramaram in stone with Nagars are located. In koshtam Vinayagar, Dhakshinamurthy, Brahma, Durgai are located.
Ambal Sannadhi is in the front mandapam with separate Dwajasthambam, Balipeedam and Nandhi. There are about 4 statues of Nagarathars sculptured on the pillars. They might have done Thirupani to this temple. There is a central Mahamandapam and one prakaram. On the inner side, to the north of the prakaram is the Vahana Mandapam which houses processional vahanams for the deities with exquisite workmanship.
In the east is the temple tank, Chola theertham. There is a path round the temple for the processional chariot. Presiding deity is called as Veerasekarar (Thirumudi Thazumbar) and Mother is called as Umayambigai. Sthala Vriksham is Veerai Tree. Sri Vinayaka of the temple is praised as Lord Vikrama Vijaya Vinayaka.
Lord Veera Sekhararar and Mother Umayambigai bless the devotees from their respective separate shrines. Lord Bhairava graces with two dog Vahanas. For the recent period inscription it was learnt that the kumbhabhishekam was conducted during 1887 and from other inscriptions, the temple might have constructed during 15th to 16th century.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.
Ten day Aani, Aadi months covering June to August; Shivrathri in February-March and Aipasi Skanda Sashti in October-November are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
Those concerned with the welfare of the children (facing Puthra doshas); those suffering with vision problems pray to Lord and Mother in the temple. Women offer Thalipottu (Mangal Sutra) to Mother Ambika. Those facing speech troubles and stammering tie bells in Lord’s shrine.
Sri Veerasekarar Temple,
Sakkottai- 630 108,
Phone: +91- 4565 - 272 117
Mobile: +91 - 99943 84649
Sakkottai is 10 km far from Karaikudi. Bus facilities are available. The temple is very near to Karaikudi, can be reached through Taxi and frequency of the bus is limited. Nearest Railway Station is located at Karaikudi and Nearest Airport is located at Madurai.