1.The perceived difference between Shiva and Vishnu is replaced it one of amity and Vishnu and Shiva mix together!
2.The sages of the north seem to have a preference to go deep down to south to worship Deities.
3. The Goddesses, specifically the spouses of Vishn and Shiva gain more prominence than Vishnu and Shiva, as in Thiruvellarai and in Thirukkadavur.
These have historical significance and i shall be writing on this.
Near the tip of the eastern coast of India is Nagappatinam.
It is also called as Thirukkaaronam.
It means that instead of the individual soul merging with the Universal Soul, the Universal soul descends and merges with the Individual Soul.
The Kaayarohanar Temple of Shiva demonstrates this.
Lord Shiva embraced His devotee here.
Sage Pundarika as advised by Sage Kanwa performed penance on Lord Shiva seeking salvation. Granting His darshan, Lord embraced the sage and granted salvation. As a rule, the soul merges with the Lord attaining salvation. But in this case Lord embraced with the body (Kayam in Tamil) with that of Sage (Aaroganam). Hence Lord is named Kaya (body) Aarogana (embracing) Easwarar-Lord – Kayaroganeswarar.
King of serpents prayed to Lord and got a girl child. It had three breasts in birth itself. The king was sad to see this abnormality. Lord Shiva assured the king that one breast will disappear when a king of Surya dynasty visited his place. When king Shalisuhan came there, one breast of the girl disappeared. Happy Naga king gave his daughter to Shalisuhan in marriage. As Naga king worshipped here, the place came to be known as Nagai Karonam. Now it is Nagapattinam.’
Vishnu meets and travels with Shiva.
During festival procession, Lord goes round the Mada Veedhis (Streets) and return to the temple. But Lord beginning his procession from this temple, goes to seven places – Poigainallur, Poravacherry, Sikkal, Palur, Vadagudi, Thethi and Nagoor. Maharaja Salija worshipped Lord Shiva and performed puja in these seven places. The present system is to remember this history.
Nagappatinam is one of the Saptha Vidanga sthalas.
Please read my article on Satha Vidanga Sthalas.
As a Saptha Vidanga Sthala one finds a Ruby Shiva Linga in addition to a self formed Shiva Linga.
Against the practice of Lord coming in the Vrushab vahan on Pradosham days, Lord Vishnu too accompanies Lord Shiva in the guise of Mohini. When the milk ocean was churned, Nectar came out and was served by Lord Vishnu to Devas. Devas failed to pray to Lord Shiva who swallowed the Halahala poison to save the world. Realizing their folly, they begged the pardon of the Lord. Showing His mercy to them, Lord Shiva danced on Nandhi. This dance took place at the Pradosham time. Lord Vishnu’s Mohini Avtar took place a little before this time. This Vishnu darshan is available to the devotees on Pradosham day only.
Emperor Dasaratha came to know that Planet Saturn would be splitting the Rohini star causing severe famine in his country. He planned to fight Saturn to prevent him from doing so. Sun God advised Dasaratha to drop his plan but to beg Saturn to change his transit route in public interest. Saturn also admired the earlier plan of the emperor to meet him in war for the sake of his subjects without any selfish motive personally. The planet yielded to the emperor’s wish. Remembering this event, all the planets (Navagrahas) in the temple are facing west-the Lord.
Other special features.
The eyes of Mother Ambica is blue in colour as sea showing Her mercy as vast and deep as sea. Hence, named Neelayadakshi-blue eyed. She is also Karundhadanganni. She has Her own shrine with a flag post-Kodi Maram. Ambica graces as a virgin. Aadi Pooram is very grandly celebrated in the temple. Her shrine is designed as a Rath. On the festival day, Mother comes in procession in a Rath made purely in crockeryware.
As Ambica is a virgin, Lord sent Nandhi Deva to be Her guard. But Nandhi expressed his wish to be with Lord for ever seeing Him. Lord said that he can have His darshan though with Ambica. Nandhi in the temple is seen with its neck turned towards Lord with one eye on Ambica and other on the Lord. Hence, the Nandhi is known as Twin View Nandhi (Irattai Parvai in Tamil). Those having vision problems pray to this Nandhi.
Generally, temples are closed if a death occurs in a nearby place. In this place, the garlands and the clothes – vastras used for the Lord is placed on corpse. A fisherman, Adhipathar attained salvation with the grace of Lord Shiva in this place. Remembering this event, as a mark of respect to the community, this practice is followed in this temple. The body is placed before the temple without closing the doors. The garland and the vastras used for the Lord are placed on the body.
Ganesha Subrahmanya Thiagaraja present.
Nagappatinam is around 2 hours drive from Myiladuthurai. .
Buses available from all district head quarters.
AIRPORT. Thiruchirapalli, Pudhucherry.
Among many other places to visit in Tamil Nadu,Nagapattinam is the one that must not be skipped.Nagapattinam is well connected to other major cities of the country via regular buses.There are regular trains from other major cities of the country to Nagapattinam.Instead of Nagapattinam you can a get flight to Civil Airport on regular basis.