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Sri Ilamaiyaakinaar temple
 
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Moolavar: Tiruppuleeswarar
  Urchavar: -
  Amman / Thayar: Tirupurasundari
  Thala Virutcham: Thillai tree
  Theertham: Ilamai Thirtham
  Agamam / Pooja : Kaamigam
  Old year: 1000-2000 years old
  Historical Name: Tiruppuleeswaram
  City: Chidambaram
  District: Cuddalore
  State: Tamil Nadu
 
Singers:
     
  -  
     
 Festival:
     
  Navarathiri, Annaabishekam in Aippasi, Sivarathiri, Thirukkarthigai.  
     
 Temple's Speciality:
     
  On the Visaaka star of the month Thai, the festival of Lord Siva bestowing grace on Thiruneelakantar is celebrated. During the festival Lord Siva in the guise of a sage giving the begging bowl (thiruvodu) to Thiruneelakantar and asking him to take a vow at the riverbank are celebrated with much fanfare.  
     
Opening Time:
    
 The temple is open from 7.00 am to 12.00 noon and in the evening from 4’o clock to 8.30 pm. 
   
Address:
   
  Arulmigu Ilamaiyaakinaar Tirukkoil, Hereditary Trustee, Karaikudi Peri. Me. Pa. House, 11, Ilamaiyaakinaar koil street, Chidambaram – 608 001. Cuddalore District  
   
Phone:
   
  +91 4144 - 220 500, 94426 12650 
    
 General Information:
     
  At the prakaaram are Ganapati, Murugan with Valli and Deivanai, Dakshinamurti, Gajalakshmi, Saraswathi, Brahma and Nandhi.  
     
 
Prayers
    
  Couple separated because of incompatibility and those who are cross with opinion differences can pray here to be united in their views. 
    
Thanks giving:
    
  When their prayers are granted, devotees light ghee-lamps and conduct abhishekam to the Lord. 
    
 Greatness Of Temple:
     
 

Devotee illuminated by bhakti:  A devotee had the habit of lighting the lamps in every Siva temple.  To test his devotion, Lord Siva made him suffer in poverty.  The devotee continued his service by selling away all his properties. At a point of time, he could not even get the wick required to light the lamp. He made a wick out of the ‘kanam grass’ and lighted the lamp at this sacred place.  He came to be known as ‘Kanampullar’. Lord Siva in appreciation of his devotion granted him the status of one of the Nayanmar.  His ‘Guru Pooja’ is conducted on the Thirukaarthigai Day.

Holy Place of the Couples:  This temple is situated at the west of Chidambaram Nataraja temple.  Opposite to the temple is the ‘Ilamai Theertham’.  On the Thai Visaakam day, the festival of Lord Siva bestowing grace on Thiruneelakantar is celebrated.  During the festival Lord Siva in the guise of a sage giving the begging bowl (thiruvodu) to Thiruneelakantar and asking him to take a vow at the riverbank are celebrated with much fanfare.  Opposite to Siva’s sanctum, near Nandhi stands Vyaagrapaadar prayerfully with joined palms.  Apart from this, he has another sanctum in the prakaaram.  His birthday celebration falls on the Thai Poosam day.

On that day he goes to ‘Ilamai Theertham’ and has ‘theerthvaari’ (Holy immersion). In the prakaaram are the sanctum of Thiruneelakantar and his wife Ratnaasalai and Kanampulla Nayanar. Special thirumanjanams are performed on Visaakam star to Thiruneelakantar and on Karthigai day to Kanampullar.  On the ashtami (8th day) of the waning moon fortnight special pooja with homam is performed to Bhairavar.

 
     
  Temple History:
     
  Vyaagrapaadar desirous of seeing Lord Nataraja’s dance, came to Chidambaram.  He established a Sivalingam at the banks of the theertham, erected a hut nearby and carried on his tapasya.  Sage Vyaagrapaadar, by the grace of Lord Siva had tiger’s legs.  Since he worshipped the Lord, Siva came to be known as ‘Thiruppuleeswarar’ and Chidambaram,  ‘Thiruppuleeswaram’. outh-granting Siva:  One of the names of Lord Siva is Thiruneelakantar.  A devotee of Lord Siva, a potter, always worshipped Lord Siva by repeatedly uttering this name.  So, this name became the potter’s name.  He and his wife Ratnaasalai used to make begging-bowls for the Siva devotees and distribute to them. Once, Thiruneelakantar went to another woman’s house.  His angry wife told him: “You should not touch me hereafter. This is a promise on Thiruneelakantam (Lord Siva)!”  Because of his bhakti to the Lord, Neelakantar adhered to the vow made in the name of the Lord.  He did not touch his wife for many years.  In order to make the world know his bhakti, Lord Siva in the guise of a Siva-devotee met Neelakantar and gave him a begging-bowl, saying, “This is a priceless treasure.  I’ll get it back after I return from Kaasi”.  After a few days he returned and asked for the begging-bowl, but it was missing.  Though the grief-stricken devotee pleaded pardon, Lord Siva did not accept it.  He demanded a pledge from him to be made before the Brahmins of Chidambaram that the begging-bowl was lost, by getting drowned in the ‘theertha kulam’ with his wife.  Since Neelakantar could not openly talk about the problem he had with his wife, he said that he would descend into the pond by holding a stick on one end and on the other end by his wife.  He did so when the congregation accepted this. At that moment Lord Siva who came in the guise of a Siva-devotee revealed himself with Ambigai, seated on Rishaba.  He granted youth to the Thiruneelakantar couple by wiping off their old age.  Neelakantar was also made as one of the Nayanmar.  Hence, the Lord came to be known as ‘Ilamaiyaakinaar’.  Next to the Brahmins of Thillai, Neelakantar is hailed as the first Nayanar.  
     
Special Features:
     
   
     
 
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