Avudaiyarkoil Athmanathar Swamy Temple also known as Tiruperundurai is an ancient temple constructed 500 years ago is located in Avudayarkoil, Aranthangi, Pudukkottai District, Tamil Nadu. Thiruperunthurai means the largest Harbor. Presiding Deities are Athmanathar (Lord Shiva) and Yogambikai (Parvathi Devi). Lord Shiva graces in three postures in this Temple as formless, form-formless as the Kurundha tree and informs as Manikkavasakar. One of Tamil Saiva Siddhanta’s sacred books, the Tiruvacakam of Manikkavasagar, comes from this shrine. Manikkavasagar is said to have converted the king to follow Shiva and built the temple with money intended for war horses.
While Shiva temples are generally facing east, Avudaiyarkoil temple is facing south. Surprisingly, the temple has no Nandi, Flagpole, Balipeedam, and Somaskandar are conspicuously absent as the Lord and Mother are formless. And instead of playing Nadaswaram, Melam and Berigai, the sound of the conch, the sound of the bell and Thiruchinnam is all the rage. Pujas are performed six times in this temple.
The annual festivals celebrated here are 10 days Aani Thirumanjanam and 10 days Margazhi Thiruvadhirai as in Chidambaram Nataraja Temple. In both the above festivals, Saint Manikkavasakar occupies all prominence. This is not just a festival for a Shiva devotee but is considered as one for Lord Shiva as Manikkavasakar is respected as Lord Shiva himself.
The annual festivals held here are 10 days Aani Thirumanjanam and 10 days Margazhi Thiruvadhirai like at Chidambaram Nataraja temple. In the two festivals, Saint Manikkavasakar takes center stage. It is not only a festival for a devotee of Shiva but it is considered a festival for Lord Shiva because Manikkavasakar is respected as Lord Shiva himself.
Boiled rice with its steaming condition is offered as Nivedhana to Lord along with other preparations Thane Kuzhal and Adhirasam, Appam and Vadai called in Tamil and with Arati. Usual Abishek and Aradhana’s are also offered.
Avudaiyarkoil Sri Athmanathar Swamy Temple Timings:
Morning: 6.00 AM to 12.00 Noon
Evening: 4.00 PM to 9.00 PM
Avudaiyarkoil Athmanathar Temple History:
Saint Manickavasagar, then heading the cabinet of Pandya king, came to this place Tiruperundurai, now Avudayarkoil to buy horses. He heard sounds of Shivagama Mantras there and saw a Guru sitting there. The prime minister fell at the feet of the Lord and begged Him to teach him wisdom. While learning, Manickavasagar plunged into deep meditation. When he opened his eyes, he found his teacher absent in the place and understood that his Guru was none other than Lord Shiva Himself. He spent all the money he carried for buying horses in building a temple for his Guru-Shiva and dedicated himself to the service of the Lord.
As the saint failed to carry out the order of the king, he ordered the saint to be arrested and jailed. Lord Shiva converted the foxes in the forests into horses, brought them to the king as instructed by Manickavasagar. After delivering the horses, Lord went away. However, at midnight, the horses became foxes and started howling. The angry king, made Manickavasagar stand on the sands of the Vaigai River in Madurai under the scorching Sun. To teach a lesson to the Pandya who acted against His devotee, Lord made Vaigai flow in spate. King ordered to strengthen the banks to avoid a breach. Lord also came to Madurai as a coolie for the repair work. The king struck him with a cane for not doing the work properly. The blow only fell on the king and everyone in Madurai leaving its scar on them. The King came to know that all that happened was Lord Shiva’s design, fell at the feet of Manickavasagar and begged his pardon. Avudayarkoil was the ground for this Tiruvilayadal Purana story (an epic by Paranjothi Munivar speaking of the great plays enacted by Lord Shiva for His devotees).
Athmanathar Swamy Temple Sculptures:
- Dundi Vinayaka idol,
- Stone chain with a snake spinning around
- Udumbu-a lizard-like creature and the monkey
- One thousand legs carved in just two pillars
- Sculptures Lords and Mothers in 1008 temple
- Horses of various countries
- 27 sculptures representing 27 stars
- Various signs of dance art – Nattiya Kalai Mudras
- Pillars expressing seven musical sounds
- The shade of Koodalvai appearing as the neck of a cow.
Athmanathar Temple Address:
Tamil Nadu – 614618.