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Sri Karkadeswarar temple



This is the choice of the temple for the starrer Ayilyam. Tirundhudevankudi Lord is a Swayambumurthy. There are two Ambicas in this temple against the traditional one in Shiva temples. The hole through which the Cancer (Nandu in Tamil) entered the body the Lord and scar caused by Indira are visible on the body of the Linga.

The worship offered by a crab is the reason for the name Karkateswarar, and the image of a golden crab can be seen on the Shivalingam during the ablution rituals. Shiva is said to have in the guise of an elder, rid a devout King of his painful affliction.

He is also said to have directed him to the spot where the Shivalingam currently is now and then disappeared. He is also said to have promised to reveal to him medicines for other afflictions, hence the name Arumarundu Devar, the Lord of Medicine and Healing.

Sri Vinayaka of the temple is worshipped as Karkadaka Vinayaka. Lord Muruga with his consorts Valli and Deivanai graces from a shrine in the prakara.  Lord Nataraja appears in a Sudha Sculpture.  There is no shrine for the Navagrahas the nine planets. 

As Indira realized his mistake and corrected (Thirundhuthal in Tamil), the place is named Tirundhudevan Kudi, the name is not familiar with the people of the locality.  They know the place as Nandu Koil only.



A swayambulinga existing in this place then got buried under the sand here. A chola king was ruling this place then. He had an attack of paralysis and no doctor was able to cure him. He fell at the feet of Lord Shiva finally. 

An aged couple came to his court, gave him the water dissolved with sacred ashes.  The king got up completely cured and requested them to stay in the place as royal doctors which they declined. 

He offered them gifts of gold which too they denied to accept.  When the king asked them what exactly they wished, brought him to this place and asked him to build a temple where the Shivalinga was then and simply disappeared then. 

The king understood that the visitors were but Lord Shiva and Mother Parvathi and built the temple.  People pray to Lord here for relief from disease-Pini in Tamil. Saint Gnanasambandar has mentioned Lord in his hymn as Pini Neekkum Shiva.

Generally, we find only one Ambica shrine in Shiva temples.  There are two Ambica shrines side by side.  During the construction of the temple, Ambica in the place was lost. 

Hence, a new Ambica idol was made and installed and named Arumarundhu Nayaki meaning that She came as a medico.  Within a few days, the original Ambica idol also was found and installed with the name Apoorva Nayaki.  She is the main Ambica of the temple.

This is the temple to seek relief from the Karkadaka-Cancer in English and Nandu in Tamil-zodiac sign comprising of three stars-Punarvasu, Poosa and Ayilya. 

The hole on the body of the Linga created by the Nandu and the scar caused by Indira is still visible.  There is a shrine for Moon-Chandra at the entrance of the temple.  Those having problems due to Moon aspects pray in this shrine.

Temple Timings:

The temple is open from 9.00 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.

Temple Festivals:

Maha Shivrathri in February-March and Tirukarthikai in November-December are the festivals celebrated in the temple.

Do & Don't

Do & Don't


  • Do pray your Ishta Devata before pilgrimage to Temple.
  • Do contact Temple Devasthanam information centre for enquiry, temple information and for Pooja details etc.
  • Do reserve your travel and accommodation at Temple well in advance.
  • Do bath and wear clean clothes before you enter the temple.
  • Do concentrate on God and Goddess inside the temple.
  • Do maintain silence and recite your Istamantram to yourself inside the temple.
  • Do observe ancient custom and traditions while in Temple.
  • Do respect religious sentiments at Temple.
  • Do deposit your offerings in the hundi only.

Don't s:

  • Do not come to Temple for any purpose other than worshipping of God and Goddess.
  • Do not smoke at Temple.Do not consume alcoholic drinks at Temple.
  • Do not eat non-vegetarian food in the Kshetram.
  • Do not approach mediators for quick Darshanam. It may cause inconvenient to others.
  • Do not carry any weapon inside the temple.
  • Do not wear any head guards like helmets, caps, turbans and hats inside the temple premises.
  • Do not perform Sastanga Pranama inside the Sanctum Sanctorum.
  • Do not take much time while performing Sparsa Darshanam to God in Garbhagriha.
  • Do not buy spurious prasadams from street vendors.
  • Do not encourage beggars at Temple.   
  • Do not spit or create nuisance in the premises of the temple.

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