Vaitheeswaran temple known in Hindu scriptures as
'Pullirukkuvelur' (Pul - Irukku - Vel - Ur, the words in
Tamil meaning Bird (Jatayu), Rig-veda, Lord Murugan and Sun
respectively) is one of the important Shiva temples in the South.
People with various illnesses come here to get cured and hence
the popular name Vaitheeswaran - the one who cures of
The station of the same name is about 1 km from the temple, on
the Madras - Mayavaram route. There are good public transports
from the surrounding towns such as Chidambaram, Mayawaram,
The temple is situated in the middle of the town and is
enclosed by a tall wall. There are two large entrance towers on
the east and west side of the temple compound and a smaller tower
on the north and an entrance with no tower on the south. The
outer perimeter wall encloses two large corridors within which
there are corridors surrounding the separate shrines to the Lord
and the Goddess. The Lord is known as Vaithianathaswamy who is
facing west while the Goddess is called Thaiyalnayaki and is
facing south. There are other minor deities along the corridors.
Lord Kumarakuruparar is enshrined on the inner side of the
western corridor and the shrine to Lord Muththukumaraswamy is in
the northern corridor with a small tower adorning the shrine. On
the eastern outer corridor is the 'neem' tree that is the
'sthala vriksha' of this temple. On the southern side
opposite the sanctum of the Goddess is the 'theertham'
known as 'Siththamirtha theertham'. There are also other
minor deities enshrined on the southern corridor. 'Jatayu
kundam' where Jatayu is believed to have been cremated by Sri
Rama is also situated on this corridor. The sacred ash
–(Viboothi) available in the 'Jatayu kundam' is
supposed to have miraculous power to cure illnesses.
There are many legends associated with this temple. It is said
that Lord Murugan received his 'Vel' in order to vanquish
the demon king Soorapathman in this place. It is also believed
that Lord Shiva himself appeared at this place with Goddess
Thaiyalnayaki carrying the 'Sanjeevi thailam' (panacea
for all ills) and the soil from the roots of the 'vilva'
tree in order to cure all illnesses of mankind.
A king by the name of Veerasena was a devotee of Lord Shiva
and he found that his son Chithrasena was suffering from an
incurable illness. So he took the advice of his Guru and arrived
at this place, and after offering 'pooja' to the deity
smeared his body and that of his son Chitrasena with the sacred
ash 'viboodhi' found in the 'Jatayu kundam'
whereupon he found that his son was cured of his illness.
The tank in front of the temple of Goddess Thaiyalnayaki is a
very holy 'theertham'. It is said that this water cured
the white leprosy of a devotee called Suntharan and red leprosy
of Ankaragan, and when this 'theertham' was sprinkled on
the severed head and body of Thakkan, the two pieces miraculously
joined together and he was brought back to life.
Festivals and Opening Hours
There are six daily worships and the temple is closed in the
afternoon between12 noon and 5pm. There are festivals throughout
the year. There are special pooja every month during
'karthikai' with the main festival falling on the month
of 'Thai' (Jan/Feb) to Sri Selvamuththukumarar. There are
special 'pooja' for Ankaragan on Tuesdays and he is taken
in procession. On these days large numbers of devotees bathe in
the water of the Siththamirtha theertham and offer their prayers
to the deities in order to receive divine blessing.
On entering the temple by the western tower you can see two
pillars (Thwajasthambam), one made of gold and the other of
silver. This is an unique feature in this temple. There are about
18 'theerthams' scattered in and around this temple of
which some are more sacred than others depending on their
association with incidents in 'puranic' legends.
Another feature of this temple is that there are no frogs or
snake living in 'Siththamirtha theertham'. The legend is
that a sage by the name of Sathananthar was praying on the banks
of the theertham. A frog chased by a snake jumped on him. Angered
by this disruption he pronounced that there should be no frogs or
snakes in this theertham and accordingly there are no frogs or
snakes in this tank of water.
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