Amirthakadeswarar Temple is situated in the village of Sakkottai, in the Kumbakonam taluk of Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu.
Amirthakadeswarar temple is glorified in epic Tevaram and revered as one of the Paadal Petra Sthalam, temples that are revered in the verses of Saiva Nayanars in the 6th to 9th century CE and are amongst the greatest Shiva temples of the continent.
The temple is believed to be built by the Chola dynasty during the 9th century. And was later said to be contributed by Thanjavur Nayakars.
The temple is built in a Dravidian style of architecture and it has a three-tiered Rajagopuram (gateway tower).
It is also said that this place was originally occupied by Buddhists, a nontheistic religion that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on teachings attributed to Gautama Buddha or simply called as Chalukkiyar, and hence the place is known as Cakkiyarkkottai, which later came to be called as Sakkottai.
The temple is closely related with Sakya Nayanmar, one of the 63 Saiva saints. And the temple contains various shrines inside its temple complex.
The legend says that the saint Sakya was a great devotee of Lord Shiva and he wear dresses in Sakya style, which is not a dressing type of Saivism. He worship Lord Shiva at this place every day by adorning the Lord with stones instead of flowers. One day he forgot to austerities to Lord Shiva and started having food. And he realized his mistake and ran to the place where he worship Lord Shiva every day, to find stones to adorn Lord and to worship. But the stones started falling at his feet and Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati appeared before him. Being a Sakya, the saint worshipped Lord Shiva at this place with a great devotion and hence the place is named as Sakkottai.
The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Amirthakadeswarar (Lord Shiva) also called as Amirthakalasanathar. And the goddess of the temple is Amirthavalli Thayaar (Goddess Parvathi).
Lord Dhakshinamurthy in this temple is depicted with four hands, upper right hand holds a pellet made of Rudraksha, and upper left hand is depicted holding Agni (fire), lower right hand with Cinmudra, and lower left with palm leaves. The other deities of the temple are Lord Murugan, Lord Ganesha, Lingothbhava, Ardhanarishvara, Nandi, the bull mount of Dhandapani Muruga, Dhandapani Muruga, etc.
The temple is said to be administered by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
The Theertham (temple tank) of Amirthakadeswarar temple is called as Nalveda Theertham.
- Ushathkala Pooja – 5.30 AM
- Kalasanthi Pooja – 8.00 AM
- Uchikala Pooja – 10.00 AM
- Sayarakshai Pooja – 6.00 PM
- Irandamkala Pooja – 8.00 PM
- Ardha Jamam Pooja – 10.00 PM
- Chitra Poornima – April/May
- Vaikasi Brahmotsavam – May/June
- Navarathri – September/October
- Maha Shivarathri – February/March
- Karthikai Deepam Festival – November/December
- Aadi Poornima – July/August
- Thai Poosam – January/February
- Aipasi Poornima Annabishekam – October/November
- Margazhi Tiruvadhirai – December/January
Location and Transportation
The nearest airport to reach Amirthakadeswarar Temple is Tiruchirapalli International Airport.
The nearest railway station is the Thanjavur railway junction, which has three rail heads leading to Tiruchirapalli, Kumbakonam and Thiruvarur. Thanjavur is connected by rail with most important cities and towns in India.
The National Highways 67, 45C, 226 and 226 Extn pass through Thanjavur. The city is connected with Chennai, Coimbatore, Tirupur, Vellore, Erode, Cuddalore, Tiruchirappalli, Madurai, Kumbakonam, Karaikal, Mannargudi, Pattukkottai, Dindigul, Pudukkottai, Tirunelveli, Bangalore, Karaikal, Ernakulam, Nagercoil, Tirupathi, Thiruvananthapuram and Ooty through regular bus services.
- Brihadeeswara Temple
- Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple
- Rameshwaram Temple
- Darasuram Temple
- Tirumanancheri Temple
- Tiruvarur Temple
- Thirukkadaiyur Temple
- Garbharakshambigai Temple