- May 21, 2021
🛕 Then Thiru Aalavai Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in South Masi street in Madurai City in Madurai District of Tamil Nadu. Presiding Deity is called as Thiru Aalavayar / Sundareswarar / Then Thirunathar and Mother is called as Meenakshi. The Temple is believed to be 1000 years old. Of the 64 divine events (Tiruvilayadal) described in the sacred epic Tiruvilayadal Puranam by Saint Paranjothi Munivar, this temple is about marking the boundaries of Madurai.
🛕 Pancha Bhoota Sthalams of Madurai refers to five temples dedicated to Shiva, each representing a manifestation of the five prime elements of nature: land, water, air, sky, and fire. Pancha indicates five, Bhoota means elements, and Sthalam means place. Of the Pancha Bhootha Sthalams in Madurai, this temple represents Agni-fire. Pancha Bhoota Sthalams of Madurai are as follows;
🛕 During the mid-7th century, Tamilnadu, Madurai in particular was the centre of an intense religious battle between Jainism and Saivism, the former indulging in many tactics to influence their philosophy with political backing engaging themselves to crush Saivism. King Koon Pandiyan (hunchback Pandiyan) embraced Jainism while Queen Mangaiyarkkarasi and Prime Minister Kulachirayar were staunch Saivites. The queen prayed to Lord Shiva to turn her husband to Saivism. Koon Pandiyan could not bear the heat in the body when Jain Monks tried their best with their Tantras to cure him.
🛕 Lord Shiva appeared in the dream of the queen and advised her to perform Abishekam to the Lord of Then Tiru Aalavai and bring the sacred ashes blessed with the hymns (Tiruneettru Pathigam) of Tirugnanasambandar and apply it on the body of the king. The queen followed the directions of the Lord. The king was totally cured and turned back to Saivism knowing the grace of Lord Shiva. His hunchback also straightened and became majestic of a king. He surrendered to the feet of the Lord. From then, he is called as Nindra Seer Nedumaran.
🛕 There is a chapter in Tiruvilayadal Puranam describing the way to Madurai whose borders were erased due to a tsunami then. King Vangia Sekhara Pandya prayed to Lord Shiva to reconstruct Madurai in its original form and size. Lord Shiva threw a long snake named Aalavai which circled around the whole Madurai city. The mouth and the tail of the snake met at a place where the temple now stands on the southern (Then) part, hence the name Then Tiru Aalavai.
🛕 This is the place where Saivite Saint Tirugnanasambandar sung the glory of the sacred ash – Tiruneettru Pathigam.
🛕 Lord here is known also as Vaidhyanatha – doctor of doctors – as He graces his darshan to the devotee when Yama approaches them and free them from the fear of death. When Yama comes to take the life of others, he also prays to Lord for his own safety and takes the sacred ashes wearing it on his body.
🛕 Lord Yama, the God of Death, worshipped Lord Shiva in this temple.
🛕 Presiding Deity is called as Thiru Aalavayar / Sundareswarar / Then Thirunathar and Mother is called as Meenakshi. Sthala Vriksham is Arasa Maram (Bodhi Tree). Theertham associated with this Temple is Shiva Theertham.
🛕 The temple remains open from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
🛕 Madurai, known as city of temples is also known as city of festivals. Six-day Skanda Sashti in October-November (Aipasi) with special pujas and abishekam to Lord Muruga and Annabishekam on the full moon day in the same month, Aadi Pooram in July-August, Abishek with conches – Sankabishekam – on Karthikai Mondays (November-December), Pujas with lamps – Vilakku on each full moon days, Aadi Fridays (July-August) and Thai Fridays in January-February are the important festivals celebrated in the temple very devotionally. Also, Pongal falling almost on January 14, Deepavali in October-November, Vinayaka Chaturthi on August-September, Tamil and English New Year days are celebrated in the temple with special poojas, abishek etc. Crowd of devotes is usually large on all such festival days.
🛕 Majority of devotees come here for remedy from illness and for early discharge from hospitals. They experience mental peace. Mother Meenakshi graces the devotees with early and happy wedding and children. People offer Vastras to the Lord. They also pray for academic excellence and for profitable results in the endeavors they take on some aims. Devotees perform abishek to Lord with milk, honey, oil, green coconut, sandal and rose water. They offer Saris to Mother. Feed the poor and offer contributions in cash suiting their purse for the maintenance and renovation of the temple.
🛕 If a patient, left by the best doctors as hopeless, go around the sacred tree – Arasamaram – 108 times and submit his/her prayers sincerely, they are cured marvelously. It is experienced even today. Also, those desirous of longevity follow this procedure. 60th and 80th birth days are celebrated in this temple. Of the Pancha Boodha places in Madurai, those praying to the first and ancient Chokkanatha are blessed with prosperity, while Immayil Nanmai Tharuvar (God gracing in this birth itself) attain good positions. Then Tiru Aalavai Lord frees the devotee from the fear of death.
🛕 The Temple is located on the eastern corner of the South Masi street. The Temple is located at about 400 meters from Palace Road Bus Stop, 450 meters from Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple, 1 Km from Koodal Azhagar Temple, 1.5 Kms from Periyar Bus Stand, 6 Kms from Mattuthavani Integrated Bus Terminus, 2 Kms from Madurai Railway Junction, 9 Kms from Thiruparankundram and 11 Kms from Madurai International Airport. Town buses are available from Periyar Bus Stand and from Mattuthavani Bus Stand.
Then Tiru Aalavai Temple,
South Masi street, Madurai
Madurai District – 625 001
Phone: +91 452 2344360.