Arulmigu Giriraja Kannigambal Sametha Jalanatheswarar Koil in Thankkolam is one of the Padal Petra Sthalams. Thirugnanasambandar has sung in praise of the Lord here. There is a seperate sannadhi for Ambal.This temple was originally built by the Pallavas and later improvements and additions were made by the Cholas and Hoysalas.
There are a few interesting legends associated with the temple. One of the loegends is associated with kamadhenu, the celestial cow. Sage Udhadhi, the sun of Guru Bhagavan had a son named Theerkadar. One day he saw Kamadhenu near his ashram. He was conducting a yagam and asked Kamadhenu to be there. Kamadhenu politely refused saying that she cannot take part with Lord Indira’s permission. The infuriated sage cursed Kamadhenu tolose all its Divine powers. Kamadhenu in turn cursed the sage to lose his spiritual powers and be an ordinary man. Sage Udhathi was saddened by this and approached Sage Narada for advice. Sage Narada advised him to worship Lord Shiva for salvation. Accordingly, he worshiped Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva then asked him to perform puja to Nandhi. He also asked him to perform abishegam to Him with the water that would spring from Nandhi’s mouth. The Sage did accordingly and got his son relieved from the curse of Kamadhenu. Kamadhenu too performed severe penance on the Lord and offered abhishegam with her milk. Lord Shiva was pleased with her devotion and restored her powers.
Another story is associated with Dakshan. Dakshayani was Dakshan’s daughter and married to Lord Shiva. There was an ego clash between the father-in-law and son-in-law. Dakshan planned to conduct an Yagna and did not invite Lord Shiva just to insult Him. However, Dakshayani wanted to visit the yagna. She went ahead and attended the yagna inspite of Lord Shiva not approving of the same. Dakshan insulted her too. This angered Lord Shiva and He sent Veerabadra to forcibly stop the Yagna. Veerabadra descended on the scene of the yagna with his army and created havoc there. He was instructed by Lord Shiva not only to cause destruction in the Yagna but also to destroy anyone who was in attendance. The attendees included the Devas and Lord Vishnu also. They were all killed by Veerabadra and his army. Lord Brahma then pleaded with Lord Shiva to pardon them and bring them all back to life. Lord Shiva acceded to Brahma’s request. However, since Dakshan’s head was severed and destroyed in the Yagna fire, he got the head of a goat and stayed so thereafter. Dakshan then realised his folly and cried out loudly to Lord Shiva here. The name of the village Thakkolam is derived from Dakkan + Olam meaning cry of Dakkan. Dakshan later performed the yagna in the prescribed manner and according due honour to Lord Shiva.
Meanwhile Dakshayani too was performing penance on Lord Shiva to pardon Her for going to the Yagna without the Lord’s approval. She made a Shiva Lingam out of sand on the banks of river Vrindha and performed penance on the Lord. There was flooding in the river and Dakshayani gently hugged the Lingam to save the Lingam from being washed away by the flood water. The impression formed by her chest can be seen on the Shiva Lingam.
This Shivalingam is not touched by anybody including the priests. He is known as Theenda Meniyar. It is believed that the Goddess is still hugging the Shiva Lingam and hence nobody touches it. There is no abishegam performed to the Shiva Lingam. The Shiva Lingam’s colour is white during the Dakshinayana period. Dakshinayana is the six month period from the Summer Solstice to the Winter Solstice. During Uttarayana which is between the Winter Solstice and Summer Solstice the colour of the Shiva Lingam is red.
Another interesting feature of this temple is that instead of the Lingothbavar as Koshta Murthy behind the Shiva Lingam one can see Mahavishnu in a sitting posture.
This is also a Guru Pariharam Sthalam. This is third after Abathsahayeswarar temple Alangudi and Medha Dakshinamurthy temple at Mayiladuthurai. Guru Bhagavan is in a very unique posture here. He is seen standing, with his left leg raised and placed on a platform. His head is slightly tilted to His left. Most of the idols in the koshta of this temple are slightly tilted to one side. It is very interesting, but I could not find out the reason for that.
Other Temples nearby:
Thripurandhakeshwarar Shiva temple, Coovum
Arambeshwarar Temple – Ilambayan Kottur
Arulmigu Subramaniaswamy Temple, Thiruthani,
Temple Timings: 6 AM to 12 Noon and 4 PM to 8 PM. However, on thursdays and sundays alone the Sivachariar obliges the devotees even if they visit outside these hours.
Arulmigu Giriraja Kannikambal sametha Jalanadeeswarar Temple,
Thakkolam – 631 151,
Temple Phone Number: +91-4177-246427. If you are visiting the temple on a thrusday or a sunday and are getting delayed for any reason, it will be a good idea to call up Babu Gurukkal and inform him of your ETA. His number is +91-9994786919