Atcheeswarar temple at Acharapakkam is just off GST Road and is only 5 Kms from Melmaruvathur. There are two presiding deities at this temple. They are Emai Atcheeswarar and Umai Atcheeswarar present in seperate sannadhis (sanctum sanctorum). His Consorts here are Ilangili Ammai and Umayambigai. The Shivalingam here is a Swayambhu or a self manifested one. This is one of the Padal Petra sthalams. Thirunavukkarasar and Thirugnanasambandar have sung in praise of Lord Shiva here. This is the 29th temple in Thondai Nadu.
The legend of this temple is associated with Tripurasura Samharam. Tripurasura is the collective name given to the three Asuras or demons – Tharakakshan, Vidyunmali and Kamlakshan. These three were sons of Tharakasura. The undertook severe penance on Lord Brahma, who was pleased with their devotion and appeared before them. They wanted to become immortals. Since Brahma did not have the powers to grant them that boon, they asked him another boon. They wanted three forts, the first made of Gold, the second made of Silver and the third made of Iron. The three forts were to be built in different worlds and should allign only once in a 1000 years. The three forts combined would be Tripura and if someone could destroy all the three forts in a single arrow, that would mean death for the three. Brahma granted them the wish. The golden fort was built in the heaven, the silver fort was built in the sky and the iron fort was built on Earth. Emboldened by this boon, the Tripurasuras went about tormenting everybody. The Demigods approached Lord Shiva and asked Him to save them from the Tripurasuras. Lord Shiva consented and set out to kill the three demons Tharakakshan, Vidyunmali and Kamlakshan. He had not prayed to Lord Ganesha before he embarked on His mission. The axle of His chariot broke and then Lord Shiva realised His folly and prayed to Lord Ganesha. The name of this place gets its name from the legend. As the achchu or the axle broke into two, this place is known as Achirupakkam or its corrupted from which is more popular – Acharapakkam. These demons Tharakan and Vidyunmali are the Dwarapalakas at this temple.
A Pandya King was once passing though Acharapakkam and saw a Golden Monitor Lizard. He ordered his men to capture it. The men went in pursuit of the monitor lizard and saw it go near the root of Sarakondrai tree (English name Indian Laburnum or Golden Shower Tree). He ordered the tree to be cut down so that he could capture the Golden Monitor Lizard. As the King’s men started using their axe near the roots, blood oozed out. Later that night a Divine voice directed the King to unearth a Lingam from under the tree. He was also asked to build a temple at that spot. The King unearthed the Shivalingam. The scar cause by the axing of the tree is believed to be present on the back side of the Shiva Lingam. The King then entrusted the task of building the temple to Sage Trinetradhari and continued on his journey. On his way back the King noticed that the temple had two sanctum sanctorums. When questioned Sage Trinetradhari replied that “one is for the Lord who is in your heart and the other is for the Lord who is in my heart”. Thus came about the names for the two Presiding Deities – Umai Atcheeswarar and Emai Atcheeswarar. Umai Atcheeswarar shrine is alligned with the Rajagopuram and Emai Atcheeswarar shrine is alligned with the Dhwajasthambam and Bali Peetam. The Umai Atcheeswarar shrine has a Nandi in a meditative posture, below which the samadhi of Sage Trinetradhari is believed to exist.
Behind the Shivalingam in the Umai Atcheeswarar shrine, one can find Shiva and Parvathi in human form. They are in Kalyana kolam. Sage Trinetradhari had been in a penance under the Sarakondrai tree. He had a darshan of Lord Shiva alighting from His chariot after Tripura Samharam. On the evening of the seventh day during the festival in the tamil month of Chithrai, this event is commemorated by celebrating the Kondraiadi Sevai.
Devotees believe that they can attain power and position by lighting ghee lamps at the shrines of Ganesha, Umai Atcheeswarar, Emai Atcheeswarar, Elangili Amman and Achchu Muri Vinayakar. It is a staunch belief that prayer here will alleviate the doshas and be blessed with peace of mind & all round success in their lives.
Temple Timings: 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Sri Atcheeswarar Temple,
Phone: +91- 44 – 2752 3019, 98423 – 09534.
Temple Gurukkals: Karuna 99945 41154 and his elder brother Shankar – 98423 09534