– Dr. A Pranesh
Thyagaraja swamy temple is located in Thiruvarur, about 50 kms from Tanjavore, Tamilnadu. The consort of Thyagaraja swamy is Niloptalambal. Behind Tyagaraja swamy temple is Kamalambal temple, where she is in deep meditation.
The temple is ancient and very huge. It is one of the holiest Shiva temples of south India. Evening Aarati to Thyagaraja swamy is very popular.
According to the legend, Vishnu worshipped Shiva in the form of Somaskanda, associated with Ajapa dance. Shiva is said to have appeared in an anthill to Vishnu. The image of Tyagarajar is the foremost of seven forms, which lord Indra had asked Muchukunda cholan to pick up the original image of Somaskanda worshipped by Maha Vishnu. Muchukunda cholan had picked the right one the present idol at Thiruvarur). Indra was pleased and rewarded all the 7 idols to Muchukundan, which he placed in 7 different temples in his territory. These seven temples constitute seven
Vitankastalams. They are Thiruvarur, Tirukkuvalai, Tirukkaaraivaasal, Tirumaraikkadu, Tirunagai, Tirunallaaru and Tiruvaimur.
This temple is known for its architecture. The vast prakarams has several shrines of Shiva and his parivara devatas
The idol of Tyagarajar is housed in a separate sanctum. A special feature of the idol is that most part is covered with cloth, flowers and jewelry, only face is visible. Their feet are kept open on the occasion of Paada Darshanam festival.
This temple is renowned for music and dance traditions from ancient times.
Thiruvarur was the cultural center for Cholas who extended great patronage here, especially Raja Raja Cholan I. Sundaramoorthy Nayanar is known for his close association with Thiruvarur. His shrine faces Tyagarajar shrine.
The pillars and walls of the temple are adorned with beautiful carvings. In fact we find an idol of Buddha which was excavated in the vicinity of the temple.
The vast Kamalalayam tank is situated to the west of the temple. A shrine of Naganathar is located at the center of the pond.
Achaleshwara is a temple built in the prakaram which is another Shiva stalam sung by the Nayanmars.
Great musicians like Shyama shastrigal, Tyagaraja and Muthuswamy Dikshitar- the trinity of Karnatak music were born here. Dikshitar in particular composed Kamalamba Navavarana, Thyagaraja vibhakti and Neelotpalamba kritis here.