Travel Magazine

The Place Where Tripura Samhara Began!

By Priyabaskar

The place where Tripura Samhara began!

The entrance to Adhipureeswarar Temple at Eithaloor

Very unique and lesser known temples have a way of revealing themselves. You get an opportunity to visit them not knowing anything about them, and once you do, the full power of what is being revealed to you hits you and you are elated, delighted and excited, all at the same time.
Recently, I had the privilege of writing and publishing the Sthalapuranam of Kailasanatha Temple at Nellikuppam near Cuddalore. More details about this temple can be found here on Aalayam Kanden. A young gentleman came forward to help with the publishing. When we went to Cuddalore for the event, he told me about Eiyaloor (also called Nesalur) a small village near EID Parry on the outskirts of Nellikuppam and urged me to visit it.
Once we went there, we found that the temple had been recently consecrated without compromising the divinity. Once we stepped it, we had actually entered a treasure trove. The temple had multiple unique features.
First of all, the temple has the privilege of having a complete puranam called Adhipurathalapuranam . This thalapuranam is an extract from the Brahmaanda Puranam - Uttara Bhagam - Kshetra Vaibhava Kandam - 68th Chapter which explains the significance of this temple.
Tripura Samhara:
Why is Adhipuram so significant? When Lord Shiva set out for the Tripura Samhara, with the Devas as his army, the Earth as his chariot, the four Vedas as the horses pulling the chariot, Lord Brahma as the charioteer, Mount Meru as the bow, the snake Vasuki as the string and Lord Vishnu as the arrow, he is said to have started from this place. Hence it came to be known as Adhipuri. The actual samhara is said to have taken place in Thiruvadhigai which was called Adhigaapuri. Adhipuri hence assumes equal significance as Adhigapuri. Over time, Adhipuri came to be known as Eithanoor because it was here that the Lord strung his bow and aimed the arrow for Tripura Samhara.

The place where Tripura Samhara began!

Inside the Eithaloor temple

Vali and Ravana:

Every day the monkey king Vali had the habit of bathing in the four oceans, going up to Kailash and worshiping Nandi Deva, Goddess Parvathi and Lord Shiva before starting his duties of the day. One day when Vali was bathing in the Southern Ocean, Ravana slipped his hands through Vali's armpits while he was praying with an intention to catch him unawares from behind. Vali lowered his arms locking Ravana's hands in them and tied him up with his tail.
He then completed his bath in the other oceans in the same position and reached Kailash with Ravana tucked behind him. When he worshipped Nandi Deva and sought permission to worship the Lord, Nandi informed him that Lord Shiva was currently in Adhipuram preparing for Tripura Samhara and that Ravana knew the way to the place. So Vali demanded Ravana to guide him to Adhipuram as a price for his freedom. Ravana requested Vali to release him first but Vali refused.
Unable to bear the pain, Ravana showed him the way to Adhipuram. Vali reached Adhipuram and bathed in the Brahma Theertham in the East, Padma Theertham in the South West, Gnana Theertham in the West, Soma Theertham in the North, Surya Theertham in the South East, Chakri Theertham in the North West, Irudi theertham in the North East, and Vani Theertham in the shrine of Goddess Padmathala Nayaki. He also created a theertham in the South named after him as Vali Theertham.

The place where Tripura Samhara began!

Vali holding Ravana by the tail and worshipping Adipureeswarar at Eithanoor

He then worshipped Lord Shiva in the form of Tripuranthaka and requested him to stay for ever at Adipuram and bestow his blessings upon those who worshipped him there. He also asked him to release the Ganga into the Pinakini river (Gedilam river as it is called today) created by Lord Vishnu, so that anyone bathing there was removed of all their sins. Lord Shiva was pleased with his devotion and released the Ganga into the Pinakini river. Vali then appointed Sangukarna ( a  previous birth of Guru Raghavendra Swamy) to perform the poojas to Lord Shiva as per the agamas at Adhipuram.
Birth place of Enadhi Nadha Nayanar:

The place where Tripura Samhara began!

Eithanoor is the birth place of Enadhi Nadha Nayanar

Enadhi Natha Nayanar, one of the 63 Nayanmars, was born in Eithaloor. He was a skilled swordsman and trained the princes in warfare. He was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and treated anyone who wore the Sacred Ash on their forehead as Lord Shiva's incarnation.  His competitor, jealous of his craft and fame, wanted to put an end to him and challenged him to a sword fight. Both men met in a bitter combat with their forces. In the ensuing combat, the competitor lost his men and weapons and had to retreat.
Wanting to win by hook or crook, the next day the competitor smeared the sacred ash on his forehead, covered it with his turban and challenged Enadhi Natha Nayanar to a duel. When Enadhi Nadha raised his sword to attack the competitor, he revealed the sacred ash on his forehead. When Enadhi Nadha saw the sacred ash, he dropped his weapons and stood motionless. Taking advantage, the competitor raised his sword to kill Enadhi Nadha. Pleased with his devotion, Lord Shiva appeared before him and gave him mukthi. The episode of Enadhi Nadha Nayanar's life is performed every year during his Guru puja.
Brahma Sarma Moksham:

A devout Brahmin by name of Brahma Sarma lived in Eithanoor. He spent all his time, on the banks of the river Pinakini, meditating on Lord Shiva seeking his vision. On one Sankaranthi day, Lord Shiva, pleased with his devotion, appeared before him and asked him what boon he sought. Brahma Sarma sought to find eternal rest in the golden feet of the Lord. Lord Shiva asked Brahma Sarma to witness the ceremony being conducted by Vali. On the fifth day, during the Pancha Moorthi procession, Brahma Sarma sang a verse on Lord Shiva called "Dwadasa Manjari". As he finished the verse, a dazzling light emerged from the Lord and from Brahma Sarma. Both merged into the Lord. Till date there is an image of Brahma Sarma at the location where he merged with the Lord.

The place where Tripura Samhara began!

An image of Brahma Sarma at the Eithaloor Temple

Brahma Lingam, Surya Lingam and Vishnu Lingam:

Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Surya have all installed lingams and worshipped Adhipureeswarar here to be rid of various curses. Hence it is believed that Lord Adipureeswara will rid anyone worshipping him of curses known and unknown.

The place where Tripura Samhara began!

Surya Lingam and Vishnu Lingam at Eithanoor temple

Which is greater - Knowledge or Wealth?

Once there lived two women Roopavathi who was very rich and Vidyavathi who was blessed with knowledge in Eithanoor. Roopavathi argued that Wealth was greater and Vidyavathi knowledge. Both sought the intervention of Goddess Padmathalanayaki. Based on her instructions, Kubera ruled that knowledge was greater. Enraged, Roopavathi cursed Vidyavathi to become a ghost. Vidyavathi sought the help of Goddess Vani (Saraswathi) to be rid of her ghost form. Goddess Vani created a theertham near the Padma Thala Nayaki shrine and asked Vidyavathi to bathe in it and regain her lost beauty. Vidyavathi did as instructed and regained her original form. Even today the theertham is found as a well inside the temple and those worshipping Goddess Padma Thala Nayaki are said to be blessed with eternal knowledge. Vidyavathi is seen worshipping at the feet of Dhakshinamurthy in this temple.

The place where Tripura Samhara began!

The Vani theertham or well of knowledge at Eithanoor

Other unique features:

  • The Saptha Rishis - Athiri, Bringi, Vishista, Gautama, Pulaththiya, Kashyapa and Aangeerasa are said to have worshipped Lord Shiva at Eithaloor and hence are seen on the vimana of Lord Adhipureeswara shrine. This is something that is not found in any other temple. Since these rishis are the ancestors of the Nava Grahas, the Nava Grahas are not found seperately in this temple and it is believed that the Nava Grahas come to Adhipuram to worship the Rishis. Worshipping here rids one of Navagraha Dosha. 

The place where Tripura Samhara began!

The Saptharishis found on the Vimana of Eithaloor temple

  • Lord Brahma unlike the standing posture in the Goshta, is seen in a meditative posture on the Vimana.

The place where Tripura Samhara began!

Lord Brahma found in a meditative posture in the Vimana

  • Goddess Durga is found with Prayoga Chakra leaning on a lion and standing on the head of a bison. She is found in Tribhanga posture with four arms, her face resembling a middle aged woman.

The place where Tripura Samhara began!

Goddess Durga at Eithanoor

  • Lord Vishnu is also seen with Prayoga Chakra.
  • There are some inscriptions in the temple which speak about grants given by Rajasekara Pandiyan and Kulothunga III.
  • Saint Thirugnanasambandar is said to have stayed here for some time.
  • From the flagpost one can worship both Goddess Padma thala nayaki and Lord Adhipureeswara at the same time.
The place where Tripura Samhara began!

How to get here:
At the Nellikuppam EID parry Road, turn left at Melpathi Varasiddhi Vinayakar Temple to reach Eithanoor.
Coordinates: 11.7561965, 79.684052
Contact Details:

Kandan Gurukkal - 98947 53549
Senthil Gurukkal -   96557 91636
Temple Timings:
At the moment, the temple does not reach a large patronage, so please check with the Gurukkal about their availability before visiting.

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