768969870, Theerthapureeswarar Temple, Thirunelvayil Arathurai, Cuddalore
768969870, Theerthapureeswarar Temple, Thirunelvayil Arathurai, Cuddalore

Theerthapureeswarar Temple, Thirunelvayil Arathurai, Cuddalore

Date built:
Deity: Theerthapureeswarar, Thirunelvayil Arathurai
Architectural style: Dravidian architecture
Major festivals
Locale: Cuddalore
District:: Cuddalore
Address: Theerthapureeswarar Temple,Thiruvattathurai Post,Thittakudi Taluk,
Cuddalore District – 606111
Phone +91 4143 246 467 / 246 303
 Theerthapureeswarar Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located at Thirunelvayil Arathurai Village near Thittakudi in Cuddalore District of Tamilnadu. Thirunelvayil Arathurai is presently called as Thiruvattathurai. Saint Thirugnanasambanthar, Saint Thirunavukkarasar (Appar) and Saint Sundaramurthy (Sundarar) have praised Lord Shiva of this Temple in Devaram Hymns. This is the 33rd Devaram Padal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 1st Sthalam in Nadu Naadu on the banks of river Neevaa.


Legend / Local stories

Thurai Temples:

Saptha Rishis worshiped Lord Shiva here and the fingerprints of all the seven sages can be seen on this lingam. They have worshiped Lord Shiva in a similar manner at seven holy places on the banks of river Vellaru /Nee Vaa. These are called the Thurai Temples and they are –

  1. Adi Thurai (Kaariyanoor);
  2. Thirumaanthurai;
  3. Thiruvalanthurai;
  4. Aduthurai;
  5. Thiruvathittathuri (Thittakudi);
  6. Thiruvattathurai (Thirunelvayil Arathurai),
  7. Thirukkaranthurai (Pelanthurai)

Saint Thirugnanasambanthar got Muthu Chivigai, Muthu Kodai and Muthu Chinnam:

It is believed that after worshiping the lord Sri Pralaya Kaleswarar at Pennaagadam, Saint Thirugnanasambanthar stayed overnight at Maranpadi (Eraiyur). From there, the journey to this temple was tiring and exhausting. On knowing this, the Lord advised the local Vethiyars (Brahmins) to take the pearl palanquin (Muthu Chivigai), a pearl umbrella (Muthu Kodai) and other pearl-bedecked paraphernalia (Muthu Chinnam) to Eraiyur, offer them to Thirugnanasambanthar and bring him here. It is believed that the lord himself had arranged these items for Saint Thirugnanasambanthar.

On the way to Eraiyur, they met Thirugnanasambanthar at a place called Kudalur and brought him to this temple in a procession in that palanquin. Lord Shiva bestowed him with the title of “Acharyan” (Teacher). From there on, Thirugnanasambanthar travelled to many places in this Muthu Chivigai. As Saint Thirugnanasambanthar got the pearl palanquin here which is considered to be a turning point in his life, devotees believe by worshiping the lord here will also bring changes to their life. Devotees also believe that worshiping the lord here will give them fame, recognition and a better position in life.

Nandhi’s head turned towards the right side:

The distinctive feature of this temple is that the Nandhi’s head is lifted up and turned towards the right side. The story behind this that once there was a flood in the river Neeva and on the advice of Lord Shiva, Nandhi turned its head towards the river and prevented the water from causing any damage.

People worshipped Lord Shiva here:

It is believed that Lords Mahavishnu, Brahma, Adhiseshan, Saneeswaran (planet Saturn), Angaraka (planet Mars) and sages Valmiki, Sanakar and Bharadhwaja have worshiped the lord here. It is also believed that king Janakar (Sita’s father) and the kings of Chera, Chola and Pandiya kingdoms have worshiped the lord here.

River Nee Vaa:

It is believed that Lord Shiva helped the Saptha Rishis to perform their rituals in this place by calling the Vellaru river here (“Nee Vaa” meaning, you come here). Because of this the river is also called Nee Vaa.

Sage Vasishtar got Raja Rishi title here:

Sage Vasishtar performed rigorous penance here and was blessed with the title of “Raja Rishi” by Lord Shiva. On the basis of this title, he was appointed as the ‘Kula Guru’ (family teacher) for the royal families of Chola King Manu, Dasaratha and Sri Ram. As the guru of Sri Ram, Vasishtar gave a collection of advices which was written down and codified as the ‘Gnana Vasishtam’. This is similar to the Bhagavad Geeta which contains dialogue between Arjuna and Lord Krishna.

Dosha Parihara Sthalam:

Since Saneeswaran and Angaraka worshiped the lord here, devotees believe that worshiping the lord here would relieve them of the “Dosham” related to these two planets.

Temple for Maham Nakshatram:

The sacred tree of this temple is a banyan tree. This tree is believed to be representing the “Maham Nakshatram” (Maham constellation). Due to this reason, this temple is famous with devotees born in the period of the Maham Nakshatram.


Aadhi Sesha worshipped Shiva here and hence the name Aravatturai, which became Aratturai. Thirunelvayil Arathurai is another name of this place.

Temple Opening Time

The temple remains open from 7.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.


10 days Brahmotsavam (Maasi Maham festival) in the Tamil month of Maasi (Feb-Mar), Maha Shivarathri in the Tamil month of Masi (Feb-Marc, Thiruvadirai in the Tamil month of Margazhi (Dec-Jan) and Panguni Uthiram in the Tamil month of Panguni (Mar-Apr) are the important festivals celebrated in this temple. Pradosham is also observed regularly.


Lord Shiva mercifully responds to all prayers of devotees. Devotees perform abishek to Lord and Mother offering vastras.

Photo Gallery

How to Reach:

The Temple is located at about 1 Km from Kodikkalam Bus Stop, 8 Kms from Pennadam, 10 Kms from Thittakudi, 25 Kms from Virudhachalam, 22 Kms from Veppur, 24 Kms from Thozhuthur, 48 Kms from Perambalur, 30 Kms from Srimushnam, 67 Kms from Chidambaram, 85 Kms from Cuddalore, 103 Kms from Puducherry and 257 Kms from Chennai. The Temple is situated on the Pennadam to Thittakudi route.

In Thittakudi – Pennadam route take a diversion at Kodikkalam for 1 Km towards South. Better to take left turn at Thozhuthur on National High way 45 to Thittakudi. All other branch roads to Thittakudi on National highway are full of pot holes. Nearest Railway Station is located at Pennadam (9 Kms) and Eachangadu (7 Kms). Nearest Airport is located at Puducherry (110 Kms) and Chennai (238 Kms).

Contact Details

Theerthapureeswarar Temple,
Thiruvattathurai Post,
Thittakudi Taluk,
Cuddalore District – 606111
Phone: +91 4143 246 467 / 246 303

Browse Temples in India