Thiruvaiyyaru, the place of five rivers, is a very holy place. The huge temple here is dedicated to Lord Shiva known as Sri Ayyaruappan in Tamil and Sri Panchanadeeswarar in Sanskrit, which means the Lord of the 5 rivers. The Devi's name is Sri Parvathi and is located in a separate temple within the same compound.
The very name Thiruvaiyyaru brings to one's mind carnatic music since the saint Sri Thiagaraja, though born in Tiruvarur, actually lived in Thiruvaiyyaru and composed all the Kritis while here. Even now every year in the month of January on the death Anniversary day of Sri Thiagaraja, hundreds of musicians come here and sing in chorus the five famous Kritis of St. Thiagaraja known as the Pancha Rathna Kritis and thereafter Aarathi is performed.
The five thirthams in this temple are Surya Pushkarani, Ganga Theertham, Chandra Pushkarani, Palaru and Nandhini Theertham. Sage Neymesa built this temple at the instance of Lord Sri Shiva. There are two shrines near east gopuram known as Dakshina Kalasha and Uttara Kalasha. The Mukthi mantapam is famous for performing Panchakshara japam. This holy place is considered as chief among the Saptha Stana Stalas, The other six are Thiru Pazhanam, Thiruvan chottu Thurai, Thiruvadai Kudi, Thirukandiyur, Thirupanthurai and Thiruvai thanam.
Uthrabhadra (in Sanskrit)
Uthirattathi (in Tamil)
Uthrattathi (in Malayalam)
Sri Aiyarappan Temple, Tiruvaiyaru-613 204, Thanjavur district.
Phone: +91-436 -2260 332, 94430 08104
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Maha Shivrathri in February-March is very devotionally celebrated in the temple.
Nandeeswarar is the bull vehicle of Lord Shiva commonly called Nandhi. Nandikesar is the founder of the Tiru Kayilaya Parampara-dynasty. Dharumapuram Adheenam and Tiru Avaduthurai Adheenam belong to this heritage.
Nandikesar was born to Sage Siladha with four hands. The sage placed the child in a box and opened it then. It was beautiful child with two hands. He left the child in Tiruvaiyaru. Lord Shiva performed abishek to the child with the breast milk of Mother Ambica, the foam from Nandhi's mouth, nectar-amirtha- Saiva Theertham and Surya Pushkarini Theertham – totally five items – hence, the Lord of the temple is praised as Aiyarappan – Lord of five theerthas.
Mother Goddess in the temple is praised as Aram Valartha Nayaki in Tamil and Dharma Samvardhini in Sanskrit meaning Mother who upholds Dharma. To emphasize the fact that every day is a Good Day, the wedding festival for mother is conducted on Ashtami nights. There is generally a belief that Ashtami – eighth day of new moon or full moon fortnights is not an auspicious day.
A priest of the temple could not be present for his puja duty in time. It was reported to the king. He rushed to the temple to check but was astonished to see the priest on duty doing abishek to Lord. The priest returned to the place only next day from his Kasi pilgrimage. The king and people were more surprised to know the truth and understood that it was Lord Aiyarappar, in the form of the priest, was conducting pujas for Himself.
It is note worthy that devout Saivite Saint Appar – Tirunavukkarasar worshipped here and had the Mount Kailash darshan from here. He had his holy bath in the Manasa Sarovar at Kailash and returned from the Tiruvaiyaru tank. This Surya Pushkarini Theertha is all sacred. Mother Dharma Samvardhini is praised as Lord Mahavishnu in this place. Hence, there are no Vishnu temples around this place.
Lord Shiva in the temple is a swayambumurthy. It is believed that His long and thick turf is spread throughout the place behind the shrine. As a devotee cannot afford to tread on the Jatamudi of Lord, circumambulation is prohibited. Lord Dakshinamurthi in the prakara has a special significance. Lord Vishnu had worshipped Him. He is the only Guru in Tamilnadu worshipped by Perumal–Vishnu. He is praised as Soouru Hari Shivayoga Dakshinamurthy. In the place of Muyalagan – symbol of ignorance – we usually see under His feet, there is a tortoise.
The architectural skill of the temple is such that multiple echoes could be heard if one loudly calls Aiyarappa standing at a particular place. Foreign engineers had tried to find out this miracle but could not till this day. Of the Navagraha importance, the place belongs to Sun. He is facing west. The temple has five corridors-prakaras. Devotees choose the prayer hall (Mukthi Mandap) for mental peace and meditation.