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Irumbai Mahakaleshwarar Temple, Irumbai, near Pondicherry

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In ancient times, Mahakalar Rishi went across the length and breadth of Bharatavarsha and established three temples for Mahakaleshwara (a form of Lord Shiva). The most popular is of course at Avantika (Ujjain) which was the Greenwich of Ancient times - for the whole world. No wonder we call Him (Maha-Kaaleshwara).
Second is at Ambar, near Mayavaram.
The third is at Irumbai near Pondicherry (approx 10 km).

How to reach?
Move out of Pondicherry via JIPMER hospital side, cross the NH66 toll-gate (towards Tindivanam) and move ahead. About 1.5 km after the toll-gate, Irumbai village is to the right.

The temple was built in the year ~3750 - ~3800 Kali Yuga (somewhere in the 7th century Christian Era). It is one of the Paadal-Petra Sthalams (one of the 275 Shiva temples in whose praise Thirugnanasambandar, Sundarar and Manickavasagar have sung). The Shivalingam is a Svayambhu-Lingam. About 600 years ago, Kaduveli Siddhar lived here and the place suffered from drught due to the heat generated by his penance. A dancer named Valli is said to have fed the Siddhar with appalams (in lieu of the peepal leaves he would eat from time to timeby spreading out his hands). After eating the appalams, his penance gradually became less deep, he emerged out of his meditative state and then stayed on in the village, blessing the people.
Once, during celebrations in the village, Valli was dancing and her anklet fell off her right foot. This disturbed the flow of the dance and the Siddhar went and tied it again. This drew a lot of criticism from the public present there. The Siddhar felt sad at being teased by the public and sang a soulful song to the Lord, who came out of the Lingam - splitting it into three. The two pieces are bound by a copper band till today, the third is still missing and is said to be 8 kms away. The Siddhar had cursed the village to suffer more drought. Then, he said that the curse would last only until foreigners would come and inhabit the place. It is believed that the establishment of Auroville was the event predicted by Kaduveli Siddhar and that they had brought back good times.

An interesting aspect of this temple is that all Navagraha are with their consorts.

A must visit to all tourists coming to Pondicherry and keen on seeking blessings from the most benevolent Sri Mahakaaleshwarar.
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