One of the greatest Shiva temples in Kumbakonam is that of the Tiruvidamarudhur temple. It is only a surprise that this temple isn't that popular like the Meenakshi temple or Chidambaram.
Everything about this temple is magnificent and huge. Spread over a large area this temple has several praharas or parikramas. A huge Nandhi invites us at the entrance. The Sivalinga is of the height of an person. The great advaitin, Sri Adi Sankara is said to have visited this temple and performed pujas to this deity.
Huge Nandhi at Tiruvidaimaruthur Temple
The first prahara is called Pranava Prahara. In this temple, going around the praharas itself is considered as a puja given the size of the praharas. The second is called Aswamedha Prakara and by going around this prahara one attains the punya of an Aswamedha Yagna.
Prahara of Tiruvidaimarutoor temple
This is one of the only two temples which has Nakshatra Lingas. For each of the 27 stars, there is a seperate Shivalinga. People of that Nakshatra perform pujas or light lamps to that Shiva Linga.
The Main Deity is called Mahalinga Swamy and this is a brahma hatya dosha nivarana ksetra meaning one who has unknowingly committed the sin of killing a pious one can get rid of his sin by offering prayers in this temple. There is a special puja in this temple for this dosha(Bramha hatya doasha). Behind the Mahalinga Swamy shrine there are Pancha Lingas representing each of the 5 elements of nature. There is also a sahasra Linga, which is one Shiva Linga with 1008 lingas in it - Seen in the image.
Sahasra Linga - One linga with 1000 lingas
There is a huge lamp(Paavai Vilaku) donated by one of the queens to the Lord as a mark of her devotion. This lamp can be seen on the entrance to the temple and it measures 120 cm (height), 411 ¾ cher (Weight) and is in brass. There are two shrines for the divine mother. It one of the 51 Shakti Peeth. The Goddess is named Bruhatsundara Gujamabika. The other is Mookambika where a Sri Yantra has been installed.
There is one temple tank outside the temple which is full of water all the time. Perhaps this is one of the very few tanks where one can really take a bath. Inside the temple, there is Simha teertha which is a holy well in the shape of a Lion. It is opened only on special occasions and it is believed that there are special yantras which are installed in this well.
Simha Teertha Holy Tank-Side View
The temple car (Rath) is one of the most artistically designed in TamilNadu and it is a must see.The Hindu saint Pattinathar and BadraKiriyar have lived outside this temple for several years. Sri Sridhara Ayyaval is supposed to have merged with the deity here. This temple is a must see for visitors to Kumbakonam in every aspect - Religion, Architecture, Size, Majesty, Heritage.