275 Thevara Shivasthalam !! Thiruneelakkudi Thiru Neelakandeswarar Temple !!

Jai Sriman Narayana !!
Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara !!
Thiruneelakkudi is one of the 275 Thevara Shivasthalam of Lord Shiva located in Thanjavur District, Tamil Nadu.  In this temple Lord Shiva worshipped in the form of a self-manifested Linga.
Presiding deity – Thiru Neelakandeswarar/Thiruneelakkudeeswarar with his consort Goddess Sri Azhakammai/Anupamasthani / Bakthabhishta Pradayini/Oppillamulaiyal
Mangalasasanam – Thirunavukkarasar
Sthalavruksham – Pancha Vilvam/Jackfruit tree
Festivals –Maha Shivaratri, Chithirai Brahmostavam was initiated by Sage Markandeya, Panguni Uthiram, Navaratri, Aippasi Annabhishekam, Arudra Darisanam, Markazhi Utsavam, Adi Pooram, Thirukarthikai, Navaratri, Adi Pooram,
Theertham – Devi Theertham, Brahma Theertham, Markandeya Theertham, Ksheera Kundam,
Worshipped by – Goddess Parvati, Lord Brahma, Lord Varuna, Sage Vashishta, Sage Markandeya,  Virgins of celestial world, Soorapadman, Kamadhenu,
Sannidhis – Lord Ganesha, Lord Nandikeshwara, Lord Subramanya with his consorts Goddesses Sri Valli & Deivayanai, Goddess Sri Anupamasthini & Sri Bakthabhishtapradayini,
The legend has that Sage Mrigandu worshipped Lord Shiva to have a virtuous offspring and underwent severe austerities. Lord Shiva was pleased at the devotion of Sage Mrigandu and offered him two sets of boon to choose anyone out it. The two boons were a child with long life and no intelligence and another one was a virtuous child with high brilliance but short life. Soon, Sage Brigandu opted for the second boon. As a result, Sage Brigandu and his wife Madhurmathi had a stunning boy child. They named him Markandeya. Markandeya was grown into a blameless brilliant boy. He was a zealous devotee of Lord Shiva from the childhood. The life span allotted for this virtuous child Markandeya was ended when he attained the age of 16 years. Lord Yama chased Markandeya with his rope to get hold of him. Markandeya scurried to this temple and surrendered to Lord hugging the Linga firmly. Lord Yama followed Markandeya and threw the noose of the rope on his neck; eventually the noose tightened the Linga as well. The most infuriated Lord Shiva trampled Lord Yama to death. Thus, Markandeya was saved from Lord Yama and blessed with immortality. Consequently, Sage Markandeya remained on Earth until the deluge was taken place.
Another legend has that while churning the milky ocean by deities and demons at the divine instruction of Lord Vishnu.  There were several precious resources were emerged out of the ocean preceded by Halahala poison which was gracefully accepted by Lord Shiva to protect the Universe from its destruction.   Hence, Lord Shiva was adorned with the title Nilkand Mahadev/Thiru Neelakandan.  The most important ritual in this temple is sacred bath to Linga with the sesame oil.  The large quantity of sesame oil poured on the Linga disappears without leaving any trace on it and the surface of the Linga remains always dry without any oil substance.
This temple remains open from 6.00AM to 11.30PM in the morning and 5.00PM to 7.30PM in the evenings.
Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara !!
Jai Sriman Narayana !!

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