I left Vaitheeswaran Koil by 10:15 am, moving further to Mayiladuthurai (Peacock Town). Before the temple visit, the driver stopped at an old Coffee House called New Kaliakudi Coffee Hotel for breakfast. The food was good and Coffee was amazing. As usual, I tried Dosas and Medu Vada.
After the breakfast, I went to Mayuranathaswami Temple, while the driver parked the car in the nearby lane.
There were hardly any people in the temple. I did not had to wait in long queues, instead took a quick tour of the temple. Photography is prohibited inside the temple.
Mayurnathaswami Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of Lingam called Mayurnathar and his consort Abhayambika appears as peahen.
As per the Legend, Daksha, father of Goddess Parvathi, conducted a Yagna but intentionally didn’t invite Lord Shiva to humiliate him. Lord Shiva did not want Parvathi also to attend the Yagna. But Goddess Parvathi attended the function and was humiliated by Daksha. Lord Shiva in Veerabadra form destroyed the Yagna. As Parvathi ignored Lord’s advice, she was cursed to become a peahen. To overcome the curse, she performed severe penance to please Lord Shiva here, Lord Shiva appeared as Peacock before her and performed Mayura Thandavam. Ambica got back to her original form. Hence, the name Mayurnathar.
The temple was built during the time of Medieval Cholas. This temple has 5 Prakarams (Temple Compound), a 9 tiered 165 Feet high Main Gopuram, 14 Vimanam with severl stucco images. This temple was reconstructed with stone, during the period of Sembiyan Mahadevi (10th century); however renovations from the 19th century have destroyed the older structures and the inscriptions. Fine stone sculptures of Vinayakar, Natarajar, Siva-Uma-Alinganamurthy, Dakshimamurthy, Lingodbhavar, Brahma, Ganga Visarjanamurthi, Durga and Bhikshatanar from the period of Sembiyan Mahadevi have been well preserved in their niches.
From available inscriptions, it is inferred that the Avayambal shrine came into existence during the period of Rajaraja Chola III (13th century). Till then, there must have been only a Bhogasakthi bronze image in the sanctum of Mayuranathar, as was the practice till separate Ambal shrines were introduced during the reign of Kulottunga Chola I (1075-1120).Like other temples, large Gopurams, temple Tank & Large temple enclosure is the main features with beautiful carvings on the pillars of Mahamandapam. The temple Complex has smaller shrines for Vinayakar, Natarajar and Durga.
Since, there was no crowd, I managed to complete the tour in 30 minutes. The driver dropped me at the Mayiladuthurai Bus Stand, for my further journey to Kumbakonam.