Muktheeswarar Temple, Madurai
Muktheeswarar Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in Madurai City in Madurai District of Tamilnadu. The Temple is also called as Karuneshvarar Temple. The temple is located south of Vaigai river at Vandiyur. This temple is situated near the famous Teppakulam area of Madurai. The temple is one of the Pancha Bootha Sthalams of Madurai. This Temple is the Vayu Sthalam of Madurai District. While constructing the famous Sri Meenakshi temple, the sand for the construction was taken from this place. Later it was converted into a water tank. Muktheeswarar temple is on the western side of the tank.
Indira’s vehicle, the while elephant Iravadham ignored a flower used in Shiva Pooja. It was cursed by Rishi Durvasa. It wandered among the wild elephants and finally was relieved of the curse. It worshiped Lord Shiva for his grace. As Indira could not find the Iravadha elephant even after the term of the curse, he set out in search of the animal. Before returning to the upper world with his Master Indira, the elephant wanted to worship Lord Shiva. It created a place after its name, worshiped Muktheeswarar. Even today, according to the documents of the temple, the place is known as Iravadha Nallur.
Pancha Bootha Sthalams:
Of the Panchabhuta shrines in Madurai (Panchabhudhas – Air, Fire, water, earth and space making this universe), Muktheeswarar temple represents Vayu – Air. This is one of the temples worshipped by Sun.
The temple has just one outer prakaram. The mandapam leading to the sanctum sanctorum is big. Presiding Deity is called as Muktheeswarar. It is noteworthy that the rays of Sun Rays fall on the Presiding Deity Muktheeswarar during the days from 10/11 to 22/23 in the month of March and again between September 18 to 30 and these rays remain for about 20 minutes each day. As Sun God himself is worshipping the Lord with his rays submitted at his feet, there is no special shrine for the Navagrahas – 9 planets.
It is also believed that a direct prayer to Lord Muktheeswarar would relieve the devotee from the adverse effects of the planets. Mother is called as Maragathavalli. The Thiruvilayadal (miracle deeds) of Lord Shiva are very beautifully sculpted in the pillars of the temple, besides the scenes of penance of Rishis. There is also an idol of Ekabadramurthy combining the forms of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva with only two feet.
thala Vriksham is Vilwa Tree. There are four varieties of Vilwa trees here called Nelli, Kiluvai, Mavilangai and Vilwa. The Vilwa tree and the Vinayaka in the Northwest grace the devotee his needs who commences lighting a deepa before this Lord on any bright moon day and come around thrice and continue it for 48 days. Theertham is Vaigai River.
Temple Opening Time
The temple remains open from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Navarathri (9 days festival) in Purattasi – September-October, Adipooram and Krithika month Mondays with Sandal paste bathing, Thiruvadirai in Margazhi-December-January, Fridays in the months of Adi-July-August and Thai-January-February are the important festivals celebrated in the temple. Pradosha days (13th day from the New Moon or Full Moon days) each month, Pongal, both English and Tamil New Year days, Ganesh Chaturthi, are also observed devotionally in the temple. During Thai Poosam festival, Sri Meenakshi and Sri Sundareswarar from Meenakshi temple visit this temple. A Theppam (boat) with both Sri Meenakshi and Sri Sundareswarar goes around the tank.
Lord Muktheeswarar relieves his devotees from affliction of adverse effects caused by the nine planets. Those who pray to the Lord and Goddess Maragathavalli attain salvation after life and peaceful life during lifetime. The devotees are graced with good marital alliances, wise children etc. Offering Vastras (clothes) to the Lord is considered as a means to accumulate the goodwill of the Almighty. This is known as a great Punniyam during life time.
Those seeking higher education seek the blessings of the Lord here. Those aspiring the benefits of performing Ashvamedha Yaga, bathe the (Abishek) the Lord with tender coconut, those aspiring for a berth in Mount Kailash, the Abode of Lord Shiva bathe him with pure rice and those seeking the benefits of performing a consecration of a temple do Panchamritham Abishekam. The Vilwa tree and the Vinayaka in the Northwest grace the devotee his needs who commences lighting a deepa before this Lord on any bright moon day and come around thrice and continue it for 48 days.
Theppakulam – 625 009,
The Temple is located at about 600 meters from Teppakulam Bus Stop, 400 meters from Vandiyur Mariyamman Temple, 3.5 Kms from Meenakshi Amman Temple, 5 Kms from Koodal Azhagar Temple, 5 Kms from Periyar Bus Stand, 5 Kms from Mattuthavani Integrated Bus Terminus, 6 Kms from Madurai Railway Junction, 12 Kms from Thiruparankundram and 13 Kms from Madurai International Airport. This temple is situated near the famous Teppakulam area of Madurai. Teppakulam is an important landmark of Madurai. Muktheeswarar temple is on the western side of the tank. Town buses are available from Periyar Bus Stand and from Mattuthavani Bus Stand.