|• Body||Town Panchayat|
|Elevation||38 m (125 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
Thiruvaiyaru (also spelled as Tiruvaiyaru or Tiruvayyaru) is a panchayat town in Thanjavur District in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Thiruvaiyaru is situated on the banks of the river Kaveri, 11 km (6.8 mi) from North of Thanjavur. National Highway No.136 from Thanjavur connect Thiruvaiyaru, Ariyalur, Perambalur byepass and Aththur bypass. State roads to Kumbakonam at 37 km (23 mi) in the East and Kallanai 33 km in the West connect Thiruvaiyaru.
Thiruvaiyaru has an old Siva temple dedicated to Aiyarappar or Panchanatheeswar. Though pilgrims flock to this temple throughout the year, Thiruvaiyaru is more renowned for its association with Saint Thyagaraja, who, along with Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Sastri, comprised the Trinity of Carnatic music. Thiruvaiyaru means Five Rivers around the city. The Five Rivers are Vadavaar, Vennaar, Vettaar, Kudamurutti and Kaveri.
Thiruvaiyaru is the headquarters of the Thiruvaiyaru taluk. Thiruvaiyaru is a small, quiet town. But due to the National Highway and State Highways going across the center of the town, frequent traffic jams happening for a long time. However, its modesty belies in its importance as a pilgrim Centre. On the highway from Thanjavur, you pass five bridges over the Vadavar, Vettar, Vennar, Kudamurutti and Kaveri, the five rivers from which Thiruvaiyaru gets its name (thiru = sacred; ai(ndhu) = five; aaru = river). The presiding deities of the Shiva temple here, God Panchanadeeshvara and Goddess Dharmasamvardhani in Sanskrit (in Tamil, Ayyarappar and Aram valarththa nayagi) both mean the same thing,`Panchanadeeswara got his name as the Lord of these Five Rivers. Thiruvaiyaru is considered as holy as Varanasi and bathing in the Kaveri here is as guaranteed to rid devotees of sins as bathing in the Ganges.
Near the Shiva temple is the one-roomed house where Thyagaraja composed some of his greatest works. Thyagaraja was interred on the banks of the river Kaveri and it is called the revered Samadhi (burial place) of the saint composer and it is here that the greatest music festival in the country takes place annually. Nearby are the Samadhis (burial places) of some of the other saints like Shiva Prakasha Swamigal and Bangalore Nagaratnamma, who actually identified and rebuilt the Samadhi of Sri Tyagaraja.
The Thyagaraja Aradhana festival is held in the Bahula Panchami Thithi of Margazhi (Margashirsha)Tamil month which falls on December or January when most of the leading exponents of Carnatic music come to perform and are watched by thousands of ardent fans of classical music. A huge complex is built at this site to accommodate the large audience that come to the concert in ever increasing numbers every year.
The vast temple in this town, known as "Dakshina Kailasam" (Southern abode of Siva), built in an area of approximately 60,000 square meters, has five prakaram (outer precincts used for religious purposes) and many 'mandapams' (great halls). Several inscriptions in the temple affiliates the temple to the Cholas, Pandyas, and other rulers. Karikala Chola, Rajaraja the Great, Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan, and Krishna Devarayar are associated with Thiruvaiyaru. The temple has two distinct divisions called 'Uttarakailasam' and 'Dakshinakailasam'. Uttarakailasam was built by Rajaraja Chola's chief queen Dantisaktivitanki alias Lokamahadevi in the late 10th century who also made several endowments. It was called Lokamahadevi Isvaram Udaiyar Mahadevar after the queen herself. She endowed several musical instruments during the time of Rajaraja while his daughter Gangamahadevi alias Arumoli Chandramalli gifted several fly-whisks to the presiding deity. Dakshina kailasam was renovated by Rajendra Cholan's queen. The Tevaram trinity (Appar, Sambandar, and Sundarar) have composed more than 100 songs on the presiding deity of this temple town. The town is called as "Ai-aaru" (ஐயாறு), meaning five rivers, by them. The Tiruvaiyaru temple has also a shrine for Aatkondar or Kala Samharamoorthy, which is unique in the world. A Homa Kund started by saint Shri Adi Sankara can be found outside the shrine of Aatkondar. In the Kund a sort of incense-like called "Kungaliyum" powder is dropped in it. It is believed this wards of scorpion stings or some such bites and also gives longevity of life. The Kungaliyum is available from vendors around there hand-packed in loose papers. Thiruvaiyaru is greatly praised by "Kalki Krishnamurthy" in his novel "Ponniyin Selvan".
This temple is among the six temples in Kaveri river bank which are equivalent to Kasi. The list of temples on Kaveri river bank which are equivalent to have powers of Kasi Visvanatha temple are mentioned below
The Thiruvaiyaru Town Panchayat has population of 16,164 of which 7,895 are males while 8,269 are females as per report released by Census India 2011. Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. Thiruvaiyaru has an average literacy rate of 76%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 81%, and female literacy is 70%. In Thiruvaiyaru, 9% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Most of the shops and businesses include services for farmers from nearby villages. Other than services and retail, Important sectors that provide employment in the town are state government, health, primary education.
The town area is densely populated and lined up with a litany of retail shops ranging from small to medium. The main business areas are South street, Theradi (where the temple car is parked) and Odathurai street where the new revamped bus stand with retail shops is located. Thiruvaiyaru has a Government hospital and few (3+) 24/7 private hospitals as well.
The following banks have branches located in Thiruvaiyaru
- State Bank of India
- Indian Bank
- Lakshmi Vilas Bank
- Co-operative Bank
- Canara Bank
- Ujjivan Bank
- Indian Overseas Bank (Nadukadai)
On the law and order front, Thiruvaiyaru has a Munsif court and police stations (including an all women police station) to tackle crime and other issues related to civic unrest.
Performing Arts and Music
Thiruvaiyaru is known for its annual Thyagaraja Aradhana music festival. There are so many private music teachers and Bharathanatiyam teachers available in town. The only tertiary education provider in town, Tamilnadu Government Music College offers courses in music from Diploma through to Doctoral programs
- Amalraj Matriculation Higher Secondary School,
- Srinivasarao Higher Secondary School
- Balaganapathy Vidhya sala School
- Government girls Higher Secondary School,
- St.Joseph's High School,
- Immaculate Matriculation School
- Saraswathi Ambal Aided Primary School
- Avvai primary school
- Govt high school kandiyur
How to get there
By Air: The nearest airport to reach Thiruvaiyaru is at Thiruchirapalli, which is located at a distance of about 56 km. Regular flights are operated from this airport. Thus, the place is well connected to the major cities of the country by air.
By Rail: Nearest railway station is situated at Thanjavur, which is very well linked to the important cities such as Chennai, Thiruchirapalli, Madurai, Coimbatore, Nagoor etc.
By Road: There is a direct bus service from Thanjavur, which lies at a distance of 11 km from Thiruvaiyaru.
Distance of places from Thiruvaiyaru
- Thanjavur - 11 km
- Thirukkattupalli - 18 km
- Kallanai - 33 km
- Poondi Madha Kovil - 20 km
- Ariyalur - 33 km
- Kumbakonam -33 km
- Kandiyur - 2 km
- Mathur - 7 km
- Chennai - 335 km
The Aiyāṟappar temple, an ancient temple to Siva
- K. M. Venkataramaiah, International School of Dravidian Linguistics. A handbook of Tamil Nadu. International School of Dravidian Linguistics, 1996 - History - 544 pages. p. 360.
- S. R. Balasubrahmanyam. Middle Chola Temples: Rajaraja I to Kulottunga I, A.D. 985-1070. Thomson Press (India), 1975 - Hindu temples - 424 pages. p. 89.
- Archaeological Survey of India, India. Dept. of Archaeology. Annual Report on Indian Epigraphy for ... Manager of Publications, 1995. p. 7.
- Tiruvaiyaru Panchanadeeswarar -Aiyaarappar Temple - Sivasthalam
- Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Thiruvaiyaru
- Tamilnadu Government Music College - Thiruvaiyaru
- "List of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies" (PDF). Tamil Nadu. Election Commission of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2008.
Places Names changed as per the Tamil Nadu State Government Gazette Notification No. 14 Dated 1 April 2020.