Irumbai Mahakaleshwarar Temple Villupuram - History, Timings, Festivals & Address!

Irumbai Mahakaleshwarar Temple Villupuram

Irumbai Mahakaleshwarar Temple Villupuram

Mahakaleshwarar Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located at Irumbai Village in the vicinity of Auroville International Township (near to Pondicherry) in Villupuram District of Tamilnadu. This place is also called as Thiru Irumbai Maakalam. There are 3 Maakalam where Shiva gave Dharshan, of these this is the center of the three (North – Ujjain, south Ambar Maakalam and this is at the center). Tirugnanasambandar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple. This is the 32nd and last of the Devaram Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalam in Thondai Nadu.

Irumbai Mahakaleshwarar Temple Villupuram Legends

Kaduveli Siddhar

The temple is particularly associated with the legend of Kaduveli Siddhar, a famous yogi who lived in the area some four to five hundred years ago. According to the legend, Kaduveli Siddha was performing harsh penance sitting under a Peepal tree in yogic pose for days. The heat of his body was so intense that the rain gods suffered, no rains came and the people were exposed to hardship and drought. The situation was so bad that it finally came to the ears of the King, who ruled from Edyanchavadi village.

No one dared to disturb Kaduveli in his penance as he chanted the mantra of Eshwara, and soon an anthill started to rise up around him. Finally, a temple dancer, named Valli, devoted to the Lord Shiva, decided to do her best to get the attention of the yogi, and to rescue the King and his people from the adverse effects of his tapasya (penance). She observed that occasionally the Siddha would, with his eyes shut, put out his hands to catch and consume the falling, withered Peepal leaves.

So, she prepared some thinly fried Appalam (pappad), and started placing them in the yogi’s outstretched hands, as he tried to catch the falling leaves. Soon he started eating the Appalams and getting his taste back. Slowly he grew fatter until finally the anthill broke and he was once more exposed to the rays of the sun. Finally, he opened his eyes. Valli was extremely happy and was able to take him back to her house where she kept him happy, dancing for him and learning songs for him.

Meanwhile the God of Rain was relieved from the torture he felt from the heat of the yogi’s tapasya, the rain fell in plenty, and the people were happy once again. In order to celebrate this event, the King ordered a big Puja to be held at Irumbai temple, which was to be followed by a classical performance by Valli in which she would act out the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva, in the form of Nataraja. During the performance, however, one of her anklets fell off, and she started to lose her balance and rhythm.

Kaduveli, who saw the Lord Shiva in Valli, picked up the anklet and put it back on her feet. This exposed him to the ridicule of the King and court for having touched the feet of a dancing girl, and he was heckled and jeered. Furious, he invoked the Lord Shiva to come out of his temple by singing a song and prove his innocence by causing a rain of stone.
The song that the Siddhar sang is as follows:

“வெல்லும் பொழுது விடுவேன் வெகுளியை
செல்லும் பொழுது செலுத்தினேன் சிந்தையை
அல்லும் பகலும் உன்னையே தொழுதேன்
கல்லும் பிளந்து கடுவெளியாமே”

Immediately the lingam in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple exploded into three pieces, and wherever those fragments fell, that place became a desert. The Siddhar cursed that these places would become uninhabited and devoid of all vegetation. To this day, there is such a desert called “Kaduveli” at a distance of about three kilometers from this village.

On realizing the truth and power of the Siddhar the King begged for forgiveness and pleaded him to quench the effects of the curse. The Siddhar was appeased by the King’s request and said that although he could not change what had already happened, in the future, people from far-off lands would come and make the deserted lands green and fertile again.

Further, the Siddhar was also requested to mend the broken Shivalingam. He sang the following song to join the broken fragments. When he finished this song, the fragments were joined together.

“எட்டும் அறிந்த உந்தனுக்கு
எட்டும் அறியாத எந்தனுக்கு
எட்டு அறிந்தும் ஒன்று சேருமே”

Today, there are villagers who feel that the Aurovilians are the people from far-off lands mentioned by the Siddha and that the curse is now beginning to leave them. This story was put together by several Aurovilians, based on a tape-recorded conversation with the temple Brahmin at Irumbai.

Mother performed penance on Lord Shiva

Two demons securing boons from Lord Shiva wanted to have Mother Parvathi for them and marry her. Mother Parvathi incarnated as Maha Kali and destroyed them. For killing the lives, even Mother was inflicted with the Brahmahatti Dosha and was wandering in this place. She performed penance on Lord Shiva and got relieved of the Dosha.


Later, a Rishi, Maakalar by name, during his pilgrimage installed one Linga in Ujjaini in North and one at Ambar Makala near Mayiladuthurai in South and worshipped them. By knowing the reputation of this place, he installed one Linga here too and named the Lord Makalanathar.

Kuyil Mozhi Nayaki

Ambica was watching the penance of Kaduveli Siddhar and was telling Lord the greatness of his penance in her sweet voice, hence, the name Kuyil Mozhi Nayaki.


Another reasoning behind the name Irumbai is that this place was once densely populated by Iluppai trees and so the village got the name Iluppai. Over a period of time this name got changed to Irumbai.

Irumbai Mahakaleshwarar Temple Villupuram History

It is believed that this temple was built by Chola King Kulothungan III. As per the inscriptions on the stone walls of the temple, the village’s name is mentioned as “Iruncheri”. This temple is associated with the legend of Kaduveli Siddhar, a famous yogi who lived in the area about five hundred years ago.

The Temple

There are two arches on the east and south side. Presiding Deity is called as Mahakaleshwarar / Maga Kalanathar. The Shiva lingam in broken form and tied together with a copper string. Lord Shiva in the temple is a Swayambu Murthy. Shivalinga in the temple is split into three parts with three faces. All the three faces are covered by a copper plate and pujas performed. It is said that the three faces represent three Lords, Brahmma, Vishnu and Shiva. This form of Lord Shiva is very rare in temples.

The vimana, tower above the sanctum sanctorum is of Ekadala design. Vinayagar, Dhakshinamoorthy, Lingothbavar, Brahma and Vishnu Durgai are the niche idols located around the sanctum. Urchavar of this Temple is Chandrasekharar. Mother is called as Mathura Sundara Nayagi / Kuyil Mozhiyammai. Mother Ambica is worshipped as Kuyil Mozhi Nayaki – Ambica with a voice as sweet as that of nightingale.

She is seated on a Lotus designed peeta facing south with features of Mother Mahalakshmi the Goddess of Wealth. Ambica was watching the penance of Kaduveli Siddhar and was telling Lord the greatness of his penance in her sweet voice, hence, the name Kuyil Mozhi Nayaki. People use to perform abishek to Ambica with honey and consume it seeking her blessing for a sweet voice and mastery of fine arts.

Lord Nataraja graces from a shrine left of that of Ambica. His leg is seen slightly folded which is attributed to his pleasant state of mind. There is a fire circle around Lord Nataraja, Mother Shivakami, which is rare darshan for the devotees. As this shrine is just before that of Ambica, the devotee can have the darshan of presiding Shiva, Nataraja and Ambica simultaneously.

Behind is the shrine of Lord Muruga with six faces accompanied by his consorts Valli and Deivanai. Kala Bhairava graces from a separate shrine facing south. Sri Vinayaka of the temple is worshipped as Lord Sundara Ganapathi. Lord Moon-Chandra has his shrine in the prakara facing west, holding a palm leaf praised as Kala Chandra. Devotees worship him with milk rice seeking his blessings to shine in education and arts.

The significance of the Navagraham in this temple is that all the nine planets are with their respective consorts - Suryan (Usha and Pradusha), Chandran (Keerthika), Angarakan (Sakthi Devi), Budhan (Gana Devi), Guru (Dhara Devi), Sukran (Sirungini Devi), Sani (Jesta Devi), Raghu (Singi Devi) and Kethu (Chitraleka). Sun is on Lotus peeta in sitting form with his legs folded with his spouses Usha and Pradusha on his lap. This is a rare darshan of Sun.

Shrines of Vayu Lingam, Hanuman and Chandikeswarar can also found in the prakaram of the Temple. The inner corridor walls have intricate sculptures and reliefs that beautifully depict the story of Kaduveli Siddhar. Sthala Vriksham is Punnai Tree. Theertham associated with this Temple is Makala Theertham.

Irumbai Mahakaleshwarar Temple Villupuram Opening Time

The Temple remains open from 6.30 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.


Masi Magam and Shivarathri in February-March, Tirukarthikai in November-December and Panguni Uthiram in March-April are the festivals celebrated in the temple. The shrine to Subramanyar here is of significance, and Panguni Uthiram is celebrated in splendor here. Mondays in the month of Karthikai are also considered to be special. Also, all Pradosham are celebrated in a grand manner.

Literary Mention

The temple is praised in the hymns of Saint Gnanasambandhar and Arunagiriar. Saint Arunagirinathar has also sang songs in praise of Lord Murugan of this temple in his revered Thirupugazh. This is the 32nd and last of the Devaram Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalam in Thondai Nadu. Saint Tirugnanasambandar had praised the Lord of the temple in Thevaram hymn as one wearing the sacred ash, accompanied by the daughter of the Mount (Parvatha Rajakumari), one who stripped the skin of the wild elephant, wearing the crescent moon and worshipped by those of impeccable traits, all merciful in Irumbai.
Devotees visiting this temple should make it a practice to recite this Pathigam.

மண்டுகங்கை சடையிற் கரந்தும் மதிசூடிமான்
கொண்டகையாற் புரம்மூன் றெரித்த குழகன்னிடம்
எண்டிசையும் புகழ்போய் விளங்கும் இரும்பைதனுள்
வண்டுகீதம் முரல்பொழில் சுலாய்நின்ற மாகாளமே.

வேதவித்தாய் வெள்ளைநீறு பூசி வினையாயின
கோதுவித்தா நீறெழக் கொடிமா மதிலாயின
ஏதவித்தா யினதீர்க் கும்மிடம் இரும்பைதனுள்
மாதவத்தோர் மறையோர் தொழநின்ற மாகாளமே.

வெந்தநீறும் எலும்பும் அணிந்த விடையூர்தியான்
எந்தைபெம்மா னிடம்எழில்கொள் சோலை யிரும்பைதனுள்
கந்தமாய பலவின் கனிகள் கமழும்பொழில்
மந்தியேறிக் கொணர்ந்துண் டுகள்கின்ற மாகாளமே.

நஞ்சுகண்டத் தடக்கி நடுங்கும் மலையான்மகள்
அஞ்சவேழம் உரித்த பெருமான் அமரும்மிடம்
எஞ்சலில்லாப் புகழ்போய் விளங்கும் இரும்பைதனுள்
மஞ்சிலோங்கும் பொழில்சூழ்ந் தழகாய மாகாளமே.

பூசுமாசில் பொடியான் விடையான் பொருப்பான்மகள்
கூசஆனை யுரித்த பெருமான் குறைவெண்மதி
ஈசனெங்கள் இறைவன் னிடம்போல் இரும்பைதனுள்
மாசிலோர்கண் மலர்கொண் டணிகின்ற மாகாளமே.

குறைவதாய குளிர்திங்கள் சூடிக் குனித்தான்வினை
பறைவதாக்கும் பரமன் பகவன் பரந்தசடை
இறைவன்எங்கள் பெருமான் இடம்போல் இரும்பைதனுள்
மறைகள்வல்லார் வணங்கித் தொழுகின்ற மாகாளமே.

பொங்குசெங்கண் ணரவும் மதியும் புரிபுன்சடைத்
தங்கவைத்த பெருமானென நின்றவர் தாழ்விடம்
எங்குமிச்சை யமர்ந்தான் இடம்போல் இரும்பைதனுள்
மங்குல்தோயும் பொழில்சூழ்ந் தழகாய மாகாளமே.

நட்டத்தோடு நரியாடு கானத் தெரியாடுவான்
அட்டமூர்த்தி யழல்போ லுருவன் னழகாகவே
இட்டமாக இருக்கும் மிடம்போல் இரும்பைதனுள்
வட்டஞ்சூழ்ந்து பணிவார் பிணிதீர்க்கும் மாகாளமே.

அட்டகாலன் றனைவவ் வினான்அவ் வரக்கன்முடி
எட்டுமற்றும் இருபத்திரண் டும்மிற வூன்றினான்
இட்டமாக விருப்பா னவன்போ லிரும்பைதனுள்
மட்டுவார்ந்த பொழில்சூழ்ந் தெழிலாரு மாகாளமே.

அரவமார்த்தன் றனலங்கை யேந்தி யடியும்முடி
பிரமன்மாலும் மறியாமை நின்ற பெரியோனிடம்
குரவமாரும் பொழிற் குயில்கள் சேரும் மிரும்பைதனுள்
மருவிவானோர் மறையோர் தொழுகின்ற மாகாளமே.

எந்தையெம்மா னிடமெழில்கொள் சோலை யிரும்பைதனுள்
மந்தமாயம் பொழில்சூழ்ந் தழகாரு மாகாளத்தில்
அந்தமில்லா அனலாடு வானையணி ஞானசம்
பந்தன்சொன்ன தமிழ்பாட வல்லார்பழி போகுமே.

Irumbai Mahakaleshwarar Temple Villupuram Prayers

People pray to Lord Mahakaleshwarar for longevity. Innocent people blamed unjustly pray for the removal of such scars. Devotees perform special abishek to Lord with vastras on realizing their wish. Those who suffer from speech impediment and aspiring musicians pray to the Goddess by offering her honey and partaking the honey prasadam. The belief is that she cures the speech impediment and endows the aspiring musicians with a great voice.

How to Reach Irumbai Mahakaleshwarar Temple Villupuram?

This Temple is located at Irumbai village in the vicinity of Auroville International Township. The Temple is located at about 3 Kms from Thiruchitrambalam Koot Road, 4 Kms from Moratandi, 5 Kms from Moratandi Prathiyangara Devi Temple, 4 Kms from Panchavati Anjaneyar Temple, 4 Kms from Auroville, 9 Kms from Thiru Arasili, 6 Kms from Sedarapet, 9 Kms from Vanur, 14 Kms from Kiliyanur Agastheeshwarar Temple, 12 Kms from Pondicherry, 26 Kms from Mailam, 27 Kms from Mailam Murugan Temple, 33 Kms from Tindivanam and 158 Kms from Chennai.

This temple can be reached either from Tindivanam or Puducherry. The Temple is located at about 3 Kms from 3 Kms from Thiruchitrambalam Koot Road Bus Stop, 12 Kms from Pondicherry Bus Main Station and 33 Kms from Tindivanam Bus Stand.

Irumbai Mahakaleshwarar Temple Villupuram Address

Mahakaleshwarar Temple,
Irumbai Mahalam,
Vanur Taluk,
Villupuram District – 605 111,
Phone: +91 413 268 8943,
Mobile: +91 98435 26601 / 80981 44813.

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