The presiding Deity of this Thirukkadayur Temple is Shri Amrthalingeswara and the consort is shri Abirami. This place has been praised and sung by the three, Appar, Sundarar and Thirugnanasambandar. Thirukkadaiyur is siruated in Nagapattinam district between Mayiladuthurai and Porayar in Tamilnadu. Frequent public transport is available which enables you to reach here and have easy worship at Temple. It is 22 Kms from Mayiladuthurai and 8 Kms from Porayar. It is one of the important temples in the Chola country situated south of Cauvery.
Shri Amirthakadeswara materialized from the Linga in this Temple to save Markandeya from the Lord of Death and blessed Markandeya forever sixteen years of age and immortality.
Shri Abirami, to adhere to the wordings of Abirami Buttar, her devotee, materialized before him in this temple and brought full moon with dazzling light in the sky on a new moon day at Thirukkadaiyur.
The Abirami Buttar has made the string of 100 verses for the benefit of all and whoever chanted the Antadi with devotion shall attain all prosperity and blessings.
As the Presiding Deity is the Destroyer of the Lord of Death, people who have turned 60, for the good health worship this deity. The ceremonial rites connected with this are UGRARATHA SANTI.
Those who have turned 61 for the welfare of the whole family perform the rites of SASHTIYABTAPURTI or MANIVIZHA.
Those who have turned 70 for the welfare of their generation perform BHIMARATHA SANTI.
Octogenarians get themselves purified and protected by “SATHABHISHEKAM” and “AYUSHYA HOMAM”
During the churning of the milk ocean to extract the Nectar, the Devas stole a bit without the knowledge of anybody and without praying to Lord Ganapathy and hid it in a secret place. To teach a lesson to Devas for ignoring him in their haste, Lord Vinayaka simply changed the place of the Nectar pot. When they searched for it, they could not get it back. Lord Shiva advised the Devas to apologise to Lord Vinayaka to get back the nectar pot. After getting the pot, the Devas went for a bath. When they returned, they could not get the pot. It has become a Shivalinga. And that Shiva Ling is Amirthakadeswarar, the presiding deity of Thirukadayur.
When Markandeya was performing Abisheka to Lord Amirthakadeswarar with Ganga Water, Ippinjilam flowers too came with the water. Ippinjilam is a flower also called Jathi Malli (Jasmine that blossoms throughout the year). This flower is used only for the God and should not be used for human purposes. An archana with a single flower is considered equal to 1008 archanas.
The Linga is swayambu. The temple is west facing. If one observes closely, they could see another Linga too.
When the Lord of Death Yama, spread the rope on the Sivalinga, it caused a scar on the Sivalinga. It is still visible on the Linga. Of the 8 Attaveeratta holy temples, Thirukadayur is one because the God defeated Yama here. The Lord in the form of Kalasamaharamurthy, in the copper idol, looks furious, majestic,waving the Shoola on Yama and hit him by the left leg.
Many Siddhas performed penance here of whom, Pampatti Siddhar was one.
The nine planets have no power here, all devotees coming here perform pujas to the KalasamharaMurthy only. There will be no Rahu effects in Thirukadayur. It is also said that Goddess Abirami came from the Jewel of Mahavishnu. Brahma, Agasthya, Pulasthiya, Durga worshipped the Lord here of the 63 Nayanmars, Kari and Kungiliakalaya Nayanar lived here and served the Lord. This is the holy soil that gave birth to Abirami Pattar. Thirugnansambandar sings Thirukadayur, Appar and Sundarar praised in the Saivite World as Moovar Mudaligal.
Yama Samharam festival is celebrated for 18 days in the Tamil month Chithirai (April-May). During Mondays in the month of Karthikai (November-December) 1008 Sankabishekam is very famous. Purattasi Navarathri and Margazhi Vidhi Padam are one-day festivals. Adipooram, Navarathri, Poornimas, are very devotionally observed in the temple. Skanda Sashti, Mahasivarathri, Panguni Uthiram, Abirami Andhadhi recitation, monthly Pradosha days, Tamil and English New Year days, Pongal speical pujas are performed in the temple.
Thirukkadaiyur – Abirami – Amirthakadaeswarar Temple
Thirukkadaiyur is on the east coast of Tamil Nadu, about 260 kilometres south of Chennai. The original temple, Thirukkadaiyur Mayanam now called Thirumeignanam built in circa 11th century A.D. was ravaged by sea and is in ruins now. Another temple on identical plan was built later and is now thronged by people who pray for long life. This is one of the holy places of Saivism today. There is a legend woven around this place. Mrikandu was a sage and devotee of Lord Siva. He prayed to god for blessing him with a son. He was told that he would get a son who would live only up to the age of sixteen years. The boy, named Markandeya also grew up to be an ardent devotee of Siva. The destined time came. Yama tried to snatch the life of the boy, who went to the temple and clutched at the lingam in a bid to escape death. Siva rescued him from death and destroyed Yama. It is possible that there was a conflict between the worship of Yama and the newly emerging brahminised form of the Lord and the latter sect won. Interestingly, the temple has an appellation as Mayanam which means a burning ghat.