The glory of the Lord of the temple is praised by a host of saints and pundits as Tirugnana Sambandar, Tirunavukkarasar, Arunagirinathar, Kumara Guruparar, Chidambara Munivar, Ramalinga Adigal, Padikkasu Thambiran, Kalamega Pulavar and Vaduganatha Desikar of Darumapura Aadheenam. This is the 16th Lord Shiva Temple on the northern bank of Cauvery praised in Thevaram and Tirupugazh hymns.
10 day Thai month festival from Tuesday dedicated to Lord Selva Muthukuraswami (Muruga) with daily procession in January-February; 28 day Panguni Brahmmotsavam with abishek to Panchamurthi and procession; 6 day Aipasi Skanda Sashti in October-November; Vaikasi Mannabishek, Mandalabishek and monthly Kruthikas are grandly celebrated in the temple. The temple will be overflowing with devotee crowd on monthly Pradosha days. Deepavali, Makar Sankranthi, Tamil and English New Year Days are also celebrated in the temple with special pujas, abishek etc.
Lord Shiva is a swayambumurthi in the temple. The five towers – Gopurams of the temple are on a straight line. The Maragatha Linga (Emerald Linga) is very famous. There are two flag posts-Kodimaram before the presiding deity made of silver and gold. Navagrahas the nine planets are generally in the front side of the sanctum facing different directions in Shiva temples. Here they are behind the sanctum on a straight line obeying the presiding Lord blessing the devotees freeing them of their adverse aspects, it is believed.
The temple is protected by Lord Bhairava in the east, by Lord Veerabadra in the west, Lord Vinayaka in the south and Mother Kali in the north. The temple with its five tier Rajagopuram is facing west. The temple belongs to Darumapuram Aadheenam of Tiru Kayilaya Parambara – descendants of Kailash dynasty.
Devotees from all parts of South India throng the temple as Lord Vaidyanatha is the the Kula Devatha of many families. People pray here for remedy from various ailments, boils, pimples and scars. They get the special oil from the temple and apply them on the body. As this is the place where Danvantri Siddha attained Samadhi, people pray here for relief from various ailments.
Also the sandal and sacred ash used in the Arthajama puja for Lord Muruga – Lord Selva Muthukumarswami, offered to devotees as Prasad is an effective medicine as experienced by devotees. Praying to Lord Vaidyanatha brings mental peace and relief from hardships. People pray here for employment opportunities, progress in trade and profession, promotions, wedding and child boons and relief from adverse planetary aspects. Many consume the medicine offered in the temple
Devotees offer punugu a cosmetic paste, borneol (pachai Karpooram in Tamil) sandal, lime, rosewater and flowers to Lord Muthukumarswami for the Arthajama puja with milk rice nivedhana. They perform abishek with sandal and offer sari for Mother Thaiyal Nayaki. For Lord, they perform abishek with rice flour, turmeric powder, cosmetic powders and oil, milk, curd, sacred ash, rose water, green coconut, panchamirtha, lime fruit, honey, sandal etc. Devotees also undertake tonsuring. Ear boring ceremony is celebrated in the temple. They also light Maa Vilakku made of rice flour and ghee, offer mangal sutras and god symbols as a prayer commitment. They place salt, pepper and mustard and eye symbols made of silver in the Ambica shrine. Some devotees arrange Annadhanam-feeding. Distribute the nivedhanas to visiting devotees with usual abisheks etc. Some contribute for the renovation of the temple.
Many Siddhas in days of yore performed abishek to Lord of this place with nectar and gained many boons. The nectar used for the abishek mixed with the holy spring. 18 theerthas are mixed in this tank which cures all diseases people suffer from. When Sage Sadananda was performing penance here, he saw a snake trying to devour a frog. As the incident disturbed his penance, he cursed them. Since then, no snake or frog comes near this tank.
The place is also known as Pullirukkuvelur. Pul means Bird-here the eagle king Jatayu the noblest character in Ramayana in the service of Lord Sri Rama, Irukku the Rig Veda, Vel-Lord Muruga and Oor the place make the name Pul Irukku Vel Oor = Puulirukkuvelur.
The place is the headquarters of medical science that offers cure for 4448 diseases, it is said. A medicine ball is made of the anthill sand, abishek water, veppilai the neem leaves and abishek sandal and abishek sacred ash. Consuming this brings total relief for any disease. Those suffering from skin problems get the punugu oil, apply it on their body for relief. Lord Vaidyanatha cures not only the physical pains of the people but also cures them from the recurring disease of births and deaths. He grants every wish of the people, jobs, wedding, children, mental peace, relief from planetary problems etc. According to scriptures, worshipping Lord facing west brings the devotee the benefit of worshipping in 1000 Shiva temples. Both Lord Aadhi Vaidyanatha in the entrance of the temple and the presiding deity Vaidyanatha are facing west. Lord Muruga got His Vel weapon from this place only. Lord Sri Rama worshipped here.
The place of Mars-Sevvai in the horoscope of a person decides his/her wedding prospectus and other living conditions. Mars covers 7 years in one’s life. For those facing adverse effects, special pujas are performed for solution of their problems. People pray to Angaraka-Sevvai-Mars for success in land deals, freedom from debt burdens and joint pains in the body. People do the prayers on Kruthika star days and Tuesdays undertaking fasting and performing abisheks offering clothing in red.
Jatayu Kundam-pit: Jatayu the eagle engaged in the service of Lord Rama was killed when he prevented Ravana from abducting Mother Sita. As requested by him, Sri Rama performed the last rites for the bird in the Vibuthi Gundam here. A king, Veerasenan by name came here with his son suffering from tuberclosis , bathed in the theertha and offered sweet nivedhanas. He consumed the nivedhana with his son. His son was cured completely.
As a beloved son of Lord Vaidyanatha and Mother Thaiyal Nayaki, Lord Muruga in the temple is praised as Chella Muthukumaraswami – Chella-beloved. The Prasad containing items used in the Arthajama Puja as described above is an effective medicine for various diseases devotees suffer from. Lord Muruga enjoys all prominence in the temple. Hence all festivals are dedicated to Him.
Pujas to Lord and Mother are offered only after pujas to Lord Muruga. A 10 day festival is celebrated in January-February beginning from Tuesday. 28 day Panguni Brahmmotsavam is celebrated in March-April. Of the Navagrahas (9 planets) importance temples in the state, this belongs to Mars-Angaraka. Lord Muruga is facing west. A medicine prepared with sacred ash, anthill sand and oil is an effective medicine for leprosy.
Lord Muruga is always worshipping His divine Father and Mother in the temple. While the Navagrahas are generally seen in the front side of the sanctum sanctorum, they are behind the presiding deity here. Lord Rama had worshipped in this temple. Mother Thaiyal Nayaki ensures the welfare of the children. Planet Angaraka-Mars blesses the devotees on his Goat Vahan on Tuesdays. Medical students pray here to pass their exams with distinction.