Vedaranyam – Vedaranyeswarar Temple


Vedaranyeswarar Temple is located in the town of Vedaranyam in Tamil Nadu, India. Vedaranyeswarar is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the nayanars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam.

The town Vedaranyam is named after Vedaranyeswarar, the presiding deity of the Vedaranyeswarar Temple. The place was earlier known as “Tirumaraikadu”,meaning the place where Vedas, oldest scriptures of Hinduism, originated. The 7th century Saivacanonical work Tevaram by Appar and Tirugnanasambandar mentions the place as “Tirumaraikadu”. As per Hindu legend, the Vedas worshipped Shiva in this place, giving the name “Vedaranyam” to the place. According to another Hindu legend, Rama, the seventh avatar of god Vishnu, is believed to have visited Vedaranyam to absolve himself from sins committed in the war against the demon king Ravana. The footprints of Rama is preserved in a place called Ramar Padam near Vedaranyam. According to a Tamil legend, the Vedas locked the gates of the temple after worshipping Shiva. The Nayanmars(Saiva saints) Appar and Tirugnanasambandar could not enter the locked temple. At this, on Tirugnanasambandar’s request, Appar sang devotional hymns praising Shiva, after which the gates opened. Tirugnanasambandar’s devotional hymns locked the gates again.

Vedaranyeswarar temple is a part of the series of temples built by Aditya Chola (871-907 CE) along the banks of river Cauvery to commemorate his victory in the Tirupurambiyam battle. It has several inscriptions dating back to the Chola period.

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