The rays of Sun fall on the feet of the Lord for 30 days commencing from Shivrathri day. The rays fall on the Lord during the mornings and on Lord Bhairava in the evenings. Generally, there is only one Goddess in temples. There are two Goddesses in this temple gracing the devotees from a single shrine.
Sri Mahalingeswarar Temple, Viralipatti, Odukkam Thavasi Medai – 624 304,
Via Sanarpatti, Via Natham, Dindigal district.
Phone: +91 95782 11659
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. continuously.
Masi Magam festival is very devotionally celebrated in the temple in February–March.
On his way to Ayodhya from Lanka with Mother Sita and Lakshmana, Sri Rama relaxed in the hermitage of Sage Bharadwaha. While taking food there, Sri Rama drew a line across the leaf to share it with Sri Anjaneya to acknowledge all the services he rendered during his difficult days in search of Mother Sita and in the battle against Ravana. Both dined on the same leaf sitting opposite to each other. It is said that since the event, plantain leaves began to grow with this partition line. Sage Bharadwaja, whose reputation is beyond words, worshipped in this temple. Also, the sage is one of the five sages who installed Mother Meenakshi in Madurai.
His reputation is beyond the power of words. Despite high power gained through intense penance, the sage was all humble in nature. The two peetas at the entrance of the temple are said to be Bharadwaja himself sitting there to have the touch of the feet of devotees on his head. Born in the Magam Star, special pujas are performed in his favour on this day. It is believed that many noble souls and sages partake in the pujas invisibly. It is advised that those born in Magam star should take Sage Bharadwaja as their Guru and worship Lord Shiva with abisheks and archanas on Magam star days, Panchami, Shashti, Ekadasi, Dwadasi, Pradosham and monthly Shivrathri days to sustain a happy and prosperous life.
Special pujas are conducted in the temple for Sage Bharadwaja on Magam star day each month as he belongs to this star. Lord Mahalingeswara graces facing east. The idols of Ambicas are smaller in size. Mothers Maragathavalli and Manickavalli grace from the shrine right to the Lord. They are named after Mother Meenakshi in Madurai.
Sage Bharadwaja performed intense penance here controlling his senses sitting on a platform. Hence, the place is known as Odukkam Thavasi Medai meaning the platform where the sage sat to perform penance. Sages worship Lord Shiva in a formless state. Therefore, to avoid any likely interruption through women, the Ambicas are in a corner.
Bhairava shrines are generally in the northeast direction in Shiva temples. Here, He is just before the presiding deity. Lord Mahalingeswarar is all powerful. As the devotees cannot bear the power during worship, Bhairava is before Him to absorb the intensity of the power. Hence, He is known as Aadhi Bhairava. There is a hole behind Bhairav. The devotees first worship Lord Shiva through this hole, Bhairava next and finally the Lord again.