Othandeeswarar Temple, Thirumazhisai, Thiruvallur
|Architectural style:||Dravidian architecture|
|Address:||Sri Othandeswarar Temple,Thirumazhisai,Thiruvallur District – 600124|
|Phone||+91 98415 57775|
Othandeeswarar Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located at Thirumazhisai Town near Chennai City in Thiruvallur District of Tamilnadu. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple was built during the 11th century by Chola king Kulothunga Chola II. Shiva is worshipped as Othandeeswarar and his consort Parvathi as Kulirvithanayaki. A granite wall surrounds the temple, enclosing all its shrines. The temple has a five-tiered Rajagopuram, the gateway tower. The Vijayanagar and Nayak kings made further expansion to the temple during the 16th century. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
Legend / Local stories
The temple has many inscriptions from the Chola period during the 11th century. Kulothunga Chola II is believed to have built the temple and the shrines in the current form. The temple exists before 11th century and Somaskandar believed to be of Pallava Period. Historians believe that the shrine of Vishnu seems to be later addition. The Vijayanagara kings, who ruled the region, have done benevolent endowments to the temple. Sengunda Mudaliyars built many shrines in the temple and refurbished the tank. The samprokshanam was performed in 1995. In modern times, the temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
Kai Thandha Piran:
Chola king Karikal Peruvalathan was proceeding on his elephant to worship Shiva in another place. On the way, one leg of the elephant was caught in a creeper. Despite efforts, it could not pull out from the bush. The king tried his hands to remove the bush but could not. He began cutting the bush with his sword which began to bleed. Shocked king, found a Shiva Linga hidden under the bushes. Realizing that he had offended the Lord, he unhesitatingly cut his hand with the same sword when Lord appeared before him with Mother on his Nandi and fixed the hand as before.
Remembering the event, Lord is praised as Kai Thandha Piran – Lord who gave hands. Lord consoled the king. The presiding deity at the temple is still believed to have a scar on it. Mother narrated to king the stories of Shiva devotees and cooled his mind. Kulirvithal in Tamil in this context means cooling the sorrows of devotees, hence, she is praised as Kulirvitha Nayaki.
As this place was full of Azhinjal trees, it was called as Azhisai in olden days. Later, after God took abode here, the word ‘Thiru’ was added to it and came to be known as ‘Thiru Azhisai’, which later corrupted to become ‘Thirumazhisai’.
Sage Agasthiyar worshipped Lord Shiva under Azhinjal Tree:
During the Shiva Parvathi wedding ceremony at Kailash, all the Devas, Gods, Rishis and Ganas gathered to witness the holy event. As everyone gathered at the North, that is Kailash, the whole earth tilted to one side towards North, because of the weight. To balance the Bhoomi, Lord Shiva directed Sage Agasthiyar to go to the southern part of the country. As Sage Agasthiyar felt sad that he would miss seeing the holy wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvathi, Lord Shiva granted him a boon that, from wherever Agasthiyar worships him, he would get the Dharshan of God’s complete wedding ceremony.
While traveling in Southern region, Sage Agasthiyar worshipped Lord Shiva at Velankaadu (today’s Thiruverkadu), where he wished to see Sri Shiva Parvathi wedding ceremony. The Lord too gave Dharshan of the whole wedding ceremony to Agasthiyar there. On realizing this, Pulasthiyar, who is the primary disciple of Agasthiyar and all other disciples, requested Agasthiyar that they too wish to see the wedding of the Lord.
Sage Agasthiyar along with his disciples came walking towards south of Thiruverkadu and stayed in this place, which was a forest filled with Azhinjal trees. As Azhinjal tree is considered most sacred, Sage Agasthiyar installed a Shiva Lingam and worshipped Lord Shiva here. God, pleased with Agasthiyar’s prayers again gave Dharshan of His wedding ceremony to Agasthiyar and all his disciples.
Sage Agasthiyar overwhelmed by the mercy of the God, requested God to take abode in this place in Kalyana Kolam (posture as just wed couple). As wished by Agasthiyar, Lord Shiva and Parvathi took abode here as Uma Maheshwara just behind the Shiva Lingam, worshipped by Agasthiyar. There are 3 places of then ‘Thondai Mandalam’, where Sage Agasthiyar had worshipped Lord Shiva under Azhinjal tree. They are Azhisoor near Kanchipuram, Thirumazhisai near Poonamallee and Chinnakkaavanam near Ponneri. The divine coincidence is all the 3 temples lie on a straight line.
Temple Opening Time
The temple remains open from 6.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.
It is believed that people who are left helpless in life, when prayed to lord here gets a helping hand from him, for sure. The faith is strong among the devotees that unity among the couple would be closer if they worship Lord Nataraja and Mother Ambica both looking at each other ensuring happiness in life. People pray for mental peace and forgiveness for wrongs committed. Devotees perform special pujas to Lord offering vastras.
The temple follows Saivite tradition. The temple priests perform the pooja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. As at other Shiva temples of Tamil Nadu, the priests belong to the Shaivite community, a Brahmin sub-caste. The temple rituals are performed four times a day: Kalasanthi at 8:30 a.m., Uchikalam at 11:30 p.m., Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m., and Sayaratchai between 8:00 – 8:00 p.m. Each ritual has three steps: alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Othandeeswarar and Kulirvithanayaki. There are weekly, monthly and fortnightly rituals performed in the temple.
The temple has many festivals in its calendar. They are
- Brahmotsavam Festival during Panguni (March – April)
- Sani Peyarchi (transit of planet Saturn)
- Karthikai in November-December
- Skanda Sashti
- Arudra Dharisanam
How to Reach:
Thirumazhisai is located on the western corridor a suburb of Chennai City in Tiruvallur District of Tamilnadu. Thirumazhisai is situated on Poonamallee – Thiruvallur – Thirupathi Highway. Thirumazhisai is located at about 5 Kms from Poonamallee, 17 Kms from Sriperumbudur, 24 Kms from Tiruvallur, 13 Kms from Avadi, 11 Kms from Thiruverkadu, 6 Kms from Narasingapuram, 8 Kms from Mangadu, 31 Kms from Thiruvallur, 26 Kms from Chennai Central Railway Station, 24 Kms from Egmore Railway Station, 24 Kms from Chennai Airport and 25 Kms from Chennai.
The Temple is located at about 500 meters from Thirumazhisai Bus Stand and 18 Kms from Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus. The Temple is located besides Thirumazhisai Koil Bus Stop. Buses ply every 30 minutes from Parrys (253,54B) / Koyambedu (153) / T. Nagar (597) / Tambaram (596). Frequent buses are available from Poonamallee and buses from various parts of the city to Thiruvallur passes through Thirumazhisai.
From Chennai take the Poonamallee high road, just after Motel Highway on the left-hand side, take the immediate right (usually taken en route to Tirupati). Be cautious as this is a major Bangalore highway and an accident-prone area. After making a right go for 500 yards to reach Thirumazhisai. This temple is located right on the main road to the right side when we go from Chennai.
Nearest Railway Stations are located at Pattabiram (10 Kms), Avadi (14 Kms) and Tiruvallur (20 Kms).
Nearest Airport is located at Chennai (24 Kms).
Sri Othandeswarar Temple,
Thiruvallur District – 600124
Mobile: +91 98415 57775