Lord Shiva in the temple is a swayambumurthy. There are two Goddesses in the temple against one normally seen in Shiva temples. They are in separate shrines. There is a hole on the body of Shivalinga made by a Karkadam –Cancer , a sea creature and an injury scar caused by Indira.
Sri Karkadeswarar Temple, Tirundhuthevankudi–612 105,
Vepathur Post, Tiruvidaimarudhur Taluk, Thanjavur district.
Phone: +91 435 - 2000 240, 99940 15871
The temple is open from 9.00 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.
Mahashivrathri in February–March and Tirukarthikai in November–December are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
Sage Durvasa was mocked at by a Gandharva that he was walking like a cancer–nandu or crab. The sage was just completing his Shiva Puja. The angry sage cursed him to become a crab. When he begged for pardon, the sage advised him to worship Shiva for relief. He followed the advice and got relieved. As the Lord graced the Nandu–Karkadaka, He is called Karkadeswarar.
Indira the king of Devas, following the advice of his Guru Prahaspati worshipped the Lord here with 1008 flowers daily after a dip in Pushkarini and corrected himself for the wrongs he committed. Tirundhu means correcting oneself. Devan is Indira. Hence the name of the place is Tirundhu Devan Kudi. Locals know the place only as Nandu Koil.
Those belonging to Ayilya star or nakshatra are advised to pray in this temple as often as they could or on their star days or on their birthdays. It is said that the Swaymbulinga in the place was buried under the sand due to heavy floods during the reign of a Chola king who was suffering from paralysis. No treatment yielded results. He was praying to Lord Shiva for remedy. An aged couple practicing medicine came to his court and offered him the sacred ash with water. Surprisingly, the king was cured instantly and stood up majestically. He begged the old couple to stay with him as doctors of the royal family in the palace but they refused. He offered them gold and other gifts which too they declined to accept. The king promised them that he would give them anything they wished. They brought the king to this spot and asked them to build a temple for Lord Shiva. They merged with the Shivalinga there. Realizing that the couples were none other than Lord Shiva and Parvathi, the king built the temple at the place. Worshipping Shiva here ensures all cures from any illness.
There are two Ambicas in the temple. When the king built the temple, he could not get the original Ambica idol. He made a new one and installed it as Arumarundhu Nayaki – Goddess of rare medicine. Within a few days, the original idol also appeared. Installing that too, he named her Apoorva Nayaki who is the principal Goddess of the temple.
This is the temple for remedies needed for Punarvasu (Punarpoosam), Ashlesha (Poosam) and Ayilayam (Aslesha) nakshatra natives falling under Cancer square in the zodiac. Planet Moon is in a shrine at the entrance of the temple in meditating form as Yoga Chandra. Those undergoing Moon main period in their life are advised to offer white vastras (clothes) to Chandra if they have adverse aspects.
Aslesha–Ayila star under Karkadaga-Cancer Rasi has naturally medicinal powers. They also have the confidence that they can achieve this through divine backing. They have a firm mind. They should pray to Lord of this temple on their star days, new moon days, Tuesdays, Saturdays and on Ashtami days in the new moon fortnight. People of other stars too depend on Lord Karkadeswara and Arumarundu Nayaki for cure from prolonged or chronic diseases.