Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Eydanur - The place where Tripura Samhara began!

The entrance to Adhipureeswarar Temple at Eithaloor
Recently, I had the privilege of writing and publishing the Sthalapuranam of Kailasanatha Temple at Nellikuppam near Cuddalore. More details about this temple can be found here on Aalayam Kanden. A young gentleman came forward to help with the publishing. When we went to Cuddalore for the event, he told me about Eiyaloor or Eydanur  (also called Nesanur) a small village near EID Parry on the outskirts of Nellikuppam and asked me to join him in visiting the temple.

We found the temple had been recently consecrated and had multiple unique features. First of all, the temple has the privilege of a complete puranam called Adhi pura thalapuranam . This thalapuranam is found in the Brahmaanda Puranam - Uttara Bhagam - Kshetra Vaibhava Kandam - 68th Chapter which explains the significance of this temple.

Tripura Samhara:

When Lord Shiva set out for Tripura Samhara, with the Devas as his army, the Earth as his chariot, the four Vedas as the horses pulling the chariot, Lord Brahma as the charioteer, Mount Meru as the bow, the snake Vasuki as the string and Lord Vishnu as the arrow, he started from Eydanur that came to be known as Adhipuri. The actual samhara is said to have taken place in Thiruvadhigai which was called Adhigaapuri. Adhipuri hence assumes equal significance as Adhigapuri. Over time, Adhipuri came to be known as Eydanur or Eyalur because it was here that the Lord strung his bow and shot an arrow to put an end to the Tripura Asuras.

Inside the Eydanur temple
Brahma Saapa Nivarthi Sthalam:

The temple has four lingams installed by Vishnu, Brahma, Surya and the Pandavas.

When Brahma was the charioteer for Lord Shiva during Tripura Samhara, he lost concentration watching the beauty of Lord Shiva as he strung the arrow in his bow. Because of this he failed in his duty of driving the chariot and in order to absolve himself of the sin, he came to Adhipuram in the Tamil month of Vaikasi, Sukla paksha Panchami, bathed in the Pinakini river and worshipped Adhipureeswara with its holy waters. Lord Shiva appeared before him and removed his curse. In gratitude, Brahma installed a theertham and a lingam in the temple.  Similarly, there was an argument between Vashista and Vishwamitra. When Surya was summoned by Brahma to bring Vashista, he came here to be rid of the sin of bringing him without the orders of Lord Siva. He also installed a lingam and theertham.

Surya Lingam and Vishnu Lingam at Eydanur temple
Vali and Ravana:

Every day the monkey king Vali would bathe in the four oceans, and worship Nandi, Goddess Parvathi and Lord Shiva in Kailash,  before beginning his chores. One day when he was bathing in the Southern Ocean, Ravana with an intention to catch him unawares,  slipped his hands through Vali's armpits from behind thereby disturbing his prayers . Vali lowered his arms and locked Ravana's hands under them and tied him up with his tail.

He then went on to complete his bath in the other oceans and reached Kailash with Ravana still tucked behind him. When he sought permission from Nandi to worship the Lord, he was informed that Lord Shiva was currently in Adhipuram preparing for Tripura Samhara and that Ravana could take him there. So Vali demanded Ravana to guide him to Adhipuram as a price for his freedom. Ravana requested Vali to release him first but Vali refused.

Unable to bear the pain, Ravana showed him the way to Adhipuram. Vali reached Adhipuram and bathed in the nava theerthams - Brahma Theertham in the East, Padma Theertham in the South West, Gnana Theertham in the West, Soma Theertham in the North, Surya Theertham in the South East, Chakri Theertham in the North West, Irudi theertham in the North East, and Vani Theertham in the shrine of Goddess Padmathala Nayaki. He also created a theertham in the South named after him.

Vali holding Ravana by the tail and worshipping Adipureeswarar at Eithanoor
He then worshipped Tripuranthaka Swamy and requested him to stay for ever at Adipuram and bestow his blessings upon those who worshipped him. He also requested him to release the Ganga into the Pinakini river (Gedilam as it is called today) created by Lord Vishnu, so that anyone bathing there would be removed of all their sins. Lord Shiva pleased with his selfless devotion, released the Ganga into the Pinakini river. Vali then appointed Sangukarna ( a  previous birth of Guru Raghavendra Swamy) to perform poojas to Lord Shiva as per the agamas at Adhipuram.

Birth place of Enadhi Nadha Nayanar:

Eithanoor is the birth place of Enadhi Nadha Nayanar
Enadhi Natha Nayanar, one of the 63 Nayanmars, was born in Eydanur. As his title Enadhi denotes, he was a general in the army, a skilled swordsman and master trainer of princes in warfare. He was also an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and treated anyone who wore the Sacred Ash as His incarnation. His competitor, jealous of his craft and fame, wanted to put an end to him and challenged him to a sword fight. Both men met with their forces in a bitter combat The competitor lost all his men and weapons and had to retreat.

Wanting to win by hook or crook, the competitor smeared sacred ash on his forehead the next day, covered it with his turban and challenged Enadhi Natha Nayanar to a duel. When Enadhi Nadha raised his sword to attack, he revealed the sacred ash. On seeing this, he dropped his weapons and stood motionless. Taking advantage, the competitor raised his sword to kill Enadhi Nadha. At that moment, Lord Shiva appeared and gave him mukthi. Enadhi Nadha Nayanar's life story is enacted every year during his Guru puja.

Brahma Sarma Moksham:

A devout Brahmin by name of Brahma Sarma lived in Eydanur. He spent all his time on the banks of Pinakini, seeking a vision of Lord Shiva. On a Sankaranthi day, Lord Shiva appeared before him. Brahma Sarma sought to find eternal rest in the golden feet of the Lord. Lord Shiva asked Brahma Sarma to witness the ceremony being conducted by Vali at the Adhipuram temple. On the fifth day, during the Pancha Moorthi procession, Brahma Sarma sang a verse on Lord Shiva called "Dwadasa Manjari". As he finished the verse, a dazzling light emerged from the Lord and from Brahma Sarma. Both merged into the Lord. Till date there is an image of Brahma Sarma at the location where he merged with the Lord.

An image of Brahma Sarma at the Eydanur Temple

Which is greater - Knowledge or Wealth?

In Eydanur, there lived two women - rich Roopavathi and knowledgeable Vidyavathi. Both argued among themselves as to what was better - wealth or knowledge and sought the intervention of Goddess Padmathalanayaki. Based on her instructions, Kubera ruled that knowledge was greater. Enraged, Roopavathi cursed Vidyavathi to become a ghost. Vidyavathi sought the help of Goddess Vani (Saraswathi) to be rid of her form. Goddess Vani created a theertham near the Padma Thala Nayaki shrine and asked Vidyavathi to bathe in it. She did and regained her form. Even today the theertham is found as a well inside the temple.Vidyavathi is seen worshipping at the feet of Dhakshinamurthy in this temple.

The Vani theertham or well of knowledge at Eydanur
Other unique features:
  • The Saptha Rishis - Athiri, Bringi, Vashista, Gautama, Pulaththiya, Kashyapa and Aangeerasa are seen on the vimana of Lord Adhipureeswara shrine as they have worshipped the Lord here. Since these rishis are the ancestors of the Nava Grahas, the Nava Grahas are not found seperately in this temple and it is believed that the Nava Grahas come to Adhipuram to worship the Rishis. Worshipping here is believed to rid one of Navagraha Dosha. 
The Saptharishis found on the Vimana of Eithaloor temple
  • Lord Brahma unlike the standing posture in the Goshta, is seen in a meditative posture on the Vimana.

Lord Brahma found in a meditative posture in the Vimana
  • Goddess Durga is found with Prayoga Chakra leaning on a lion with her feet on Mahisha. She is found in Tribhanga posture with four arms, her face resembling a middle aged woman.

Goddess Durga at Eydanur

  • Lord Vishnu is also seen with Prayoga Chakra.
  • Saint Thirugnanasambandar is said to have stayed here for some time.
  • From the flagpost one can worship both Goddess Padmathala nayaki and Lord Adhipureeswara at the same time.


1. 28th year of Kulothunga Chola Deva - Commences with his meikeerthi, and gives the different amounts of money received by the Sivabrahmanas from the Chief of Eydanur, Thiruvayindiran Viraiyan Senan for burning lamps at the temple of Tirumaandurai Aandar, at Solakulavallinallur, in Pattan pakkai nadu, a subdivision of Gangaikondasolavalanadu, and of Vadathali Mahadevar, Durgaiyar and Ganapathiyar of the same village. (ARE No.141 of 1933-34)

2. 29th year of Kulothunga Chola Deva - States that Sivabrahmana Tiruvegamban Maninaga Bhattan agreed to burn twilight lamps to the Lord for the money received by him from Thiruvayindiran Viraiyan Senan, the Chief of Eydanur. (ARE No. 142/1933-34)

3. Kulothunga Chola Deva - year lost - Records a gift of money by two individuals for burning two twilight lamps at the temple. Another inscription close to it belonging to the 35th year of the king, refers to another twilight lamp lit with the money provided by Viraiyan Senan. (ARE No. 143/1933-34)

4. 36th year of Kulothunga Chola Deva - States that a Sivabrahmana agreed to burn a twilight lamp in the temple of Tirumanduraiyur Kulothunga Sola Iswaramudaiyar at Sozhakulavalli Nallur from an endowment by the general (Enadhi) Araiyan Sankaran Tamilavelan. (ARE No. 144/1933-34)

5. 35th year of Kulothunga Chola Deva - Commences with his meikeerthi Pugalmadhu. Registers an agreement given by the Sivabrahmanas to burn a twilight lamp in the temple in return for a gift of Paddy made by Tiruvaiyidiran Viraiyan Senan. Mentions also the provision made in the 31st year of the king for burning twilight lamps in the same temple. (ARE No.145/1933-34)

6. 38th year of Kulothunga Chola Deva - Mentions Nambi Siriyan alias Kulothungasola Pallavarayan of Alapakkam made provision for a twilight lamp in the temple of Tirumandurai Mahadeva by grant of a gift of 12 sheep to a manradi. (ARE No.146/1933-34)

7. Another inscription in front of the temple states that the sluice called Sokkachchiyan was put up by Palaiyan Taniaanmaivallan.

A service called Eydanarkattalai seems to have been instituted by Thiruvayindiran Viraiyan Senan to the temple of Eydanur and the deity has been referred to as Tirumandurai Mahadevar or Kulothunga Sola Iswaramudaiyar.

How to get here:

At the Nellikuppam EID parry Road, turn left at Melpathi Varasiddhi Vinayakar Temple to reach Eithanoor.
Coordinates: 11.7561965, 79.684052

Contact Details:

Murugan Iyer - 9345055036

Temple Timings:

At the moment, the temple does not enjoy a large patronage, so please check with the Gurukkal about their availability before visiting.

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