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Sri Vlivavaneswarar Temple - Thiruvaikavur 

 Main Deity: Vilvavaneswarar

Goddess: Valaikainayaki  

Significance: Swayambulinga

Theertham: Ema theertham

Raja Gopuram View

A saint named Thavanitha was performing his worship in the temple,at the time, a hunter was chasing a deer. The Muni gave asylum to the animal.  Seeing this, Lord Shiva came there in the form of a tiger and chased the hunter. The hunter climbed a tree for protection and stayed on the tree waiting for the departure of tiger waiting to kill him. The hunter out of fear climbed the Vilva tree in the temple, waiting for the tiger to relent. The tiger was relentless and the hunter spilled vilva leaves one by one the whole night , It was Maha Sivarathri night.  The leaves fell on the tiger, which was but Lord Shiva himself and thus unknowingly performed a Shiva Puja on the holy Sivarathri day. The Lord gave Darshan and salvation to the hunter.The Lord of Death Yama came there to take away the life of the hunter as it was his expiry day.  Nandi were driving Yama out of the temple. Lord Siva was unhappy about Nandi and just to avoid Siva's wrath Nandi faces the temple entrance. We can also see Dakshinamoorthy holding a soolam.Yama worshipped Shiva and made a tank opposite to the temple performed pujas and took leave.. No place for the Navagrahas.It is believed that praying in this temple on the day of Shivaratri wards off the fear of death. This was a unique temple with four Nandis (the sacred Bulls ) all facing the entrance Gopuram, with the backs facing The Lord.

The temple is reversed by the verses of Thirugnana Sambandar,Appar.Brahma and Agni held theertham here to worship lord here,Sapthamathars(Seven lady Gods) worshipped the Lord here by having a holy dip in Yama theertham.

Festivals :Sivarathiri is a famous occasion here.
Travel Information:Thiruvaiakavur is 17 Kms from Kumbakonam, 45 kms from Thanjavur and 7 kms from Swamimalai.. It is on the Kumbakonam-Thiruvaiyyaru bus route near Andakudi , has bus facilities from Kumbakonam. For those coming from other places, car journey would be convenient. Nearest Railway station is Kumbakonam.
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