The Lord in the temple is a swayambumurthy. Lord Aadhi Mayuranathar graces from a separate shrine in the prakara. While the Presiding deity is in the form of a Shivalinga, Ambica appears as a peacock worshipping the Lord. Lord Muruga in the prakara is praised by saint Arunagiriar in his Tirupugazh hymns.
Moola, Poorvashaada, Utharashada (1)
Sri Mayuranathaswami Temple, Mayiladuthurai-609 001. Nagapattinam district.
Phone: +91- 4364 -222 345, 223 779, 93451 49412.
The temple is open from 5.30 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Vaikasi Brahmmotsavam in May–June, Aipasi Thula Snanam (bathing in Cauvery) in October–November and Laksha Deepam on the last Friday of Aadi month–July–August are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
Daksha, the father of Mother Parvathi conducted a yajna but intentionally failed to invite Lord Shiva to humiliate Him. Lord Shiva did not want Parvathi too to attend the yajna. Yet, with a view to correct her father, Parvathi attended the function but was humiliated by Daksha. Lord Shiva took the Veerabadra form and destroyed the yajna.
A peacock used for the rituals sought asylum at the feet of Mother Parvathi. As She ignored Lord 's advice, She was cursed to become a peacock. She came to this place as a peacock and performed severe penance to get back Her Lord. Pleased with Her penance, Lord Shiva appeared before here as a Peacock Himself and danced as a peacock – Mayura Thandavam. Ambica was restored to Her original form. As the Lord came here as a peacock–Mayura, He is praised as Mayuranathar.
The Gouri Thandavam dance performance of the Lord is celebrated here as Mayura Thandavam – Mayura-peacock. Lord Nataraja graces from a separate shrine. The first puja in the evening is dedicated to Lord Nataraja. Mayilamman shrine is opposite to Nataraja shrine where both the Lord and Mother grace in the form of a peacock.
Two peacocks and two monkeys are depicted in the banyan tree above the Lord Dakshinamurthy sculpture in the goshta wall. There is also a Nandhi. Legend hs it that Nadha Sharma and his wife Anavidyambikai came to this place for the Cauvery bath-Thula Snanam. Before they arrive at the place, the 30 days time (Aipasi month-October-November) expired. They sadly stayed at the night worshipping Lord Shiva.
The Lord appeared in their dream and advised them to have the bath before sunrise the next day and assured that they would have full benefit of the Tula Snanam bath. Based on this, the practice of this bath continues even now on the first day of Karthikai month. As Lord Shive froze the bath time for His devotee couple, this bath is called Mudavan Muzhukku. "Mudakku" in Tamil means freezing, "Muzhukku" means bath.
The couple merged with the Lord then. This Linga is facing west. The Linga with which his wife Anavidyambikai merged is at the right of the Ambica shrine. This Linga is dressed with Red Sari only. It also indicates the oneness of male and female. Lord Dakshinamurthi appears slightly slanting on a side with His legs folded.
Mother Aadi Poora Ambal graces from a separate shrine in the Veera Shakti form praised as Abhayambikai. She is also brought in procession to the banks of the Cauvery on Aadi Pooram day and Fridays of this month covering July-August. Lord Vinayaka in the prakara appearing earlier from a sandal tree is praised as Agasthya Sandana Vinayaka – Sandanam-Sandal.
Tula Snanam: It is said that Lord Shiva blessed Nandhi by destroying its pride. This Nandi is in the midst of Cauvery. People take their holy bath in the river during the Aipasi month (October-November) and the first day of following Karthikai month. The Lord visits Cauvery each day during this period of 31 days. It is also said that Holy Ganga had Her sins washed off with a dip in Holy Cauvery. This day is Aipasi new moon day-Deepavali. A bath in Cauvery on this day cleanses the devotee of all his/her past sins according to mythology.
Planet Saturn in the Navagraha shrine appears as Jwala Saturn with Agni-fire on his head. Also a Saturn of normal form with his crow vehicle is by the side facing north performing Shiva puja. This is a very rare form of Sani . Those facing adverse aspect of this planet pray here to reduce its intensity.
There are five prakaras in the temple. Juradeva is by the side of the feet of Lord Nataraja. Mother Durga graces with demon Mahisha at Her feet and also with two demons on both sides. This is also said to be a rare form of Durga. Chandikeswara and Tejas Chandikeswara are in the same shrine. Lord Mahavishnu worshipping Lord Shiva is in a separate shrine. Mothers Ashta Lakshmis and Sattainahar are in the prakara. There is also a shrine for Kudhambai Chithar who attained salvation here. People pray to Kanakkadi Vinayaka to take care of their accounts. Kanakku means accounts in Tamil.