The district came to be known as “Mayiladuthurai” due to the ancient lore in which the divine goddess Parvathi manifested herself as a peacock to attract the attention of Lord Shiva through a miraculous dance. Till the 18th century, Mayiladuthurai was known as “Mayurapuram” and “Mayavaram.” But, through a government ordinance of 1982, the then Chief Minister Dr. M. G. Ramachandran promulgated an order to change the name of the place to “Mayiladuthurai.” The divine presence of God is manifested in the names of temples representing the nine planets; two of these temples can be found in and around Mayiladuthurai. one in Vaitheeswarankoil and the other in Keezhaperumpallam. Two historical learning centers, especially for Tamil tradition and culture, are found in Dharmapuram Mutt and Thiruvaduthurai Mutt. The presence of these two mutts has added to the fame and glory of Tamil culture and literature. Mayiladuthurai has another side to boast of. Gandhiji’s holy feet had walked through various areas of Mayiladuthurai. Thillaiyadi Valliammai, his devoted disciple, accompanied him to South Africa to assist the victims. To honor her, the government of Tamil Nadu erected a memorial expressing the sacrificial experiences of “Thillaiyadi Valliammai.” The years 1915, 1921, and 1927 are very important in the history of the Mayiladuthurai because these years added to the greatness of the Mayiladuthurai with the visit of the “Father of the Nation.”
Mayiladuthurai has yet another colourful feather on its cap due to the exemplary service & administrative acumen shown by Mayiladuthurai Municipality. In the composite Madras State including Andra Pradesh are gifted with 29 cities but among them, Mayiladuthurai has found a place due to the performances of Mayiladuthurai Municipality. There are a few institutions having the history of a hoary past by the performances of the Judicial Court. Sub – Collector’s Office & Municipal Higher Secondary School. Saints like Dhanvanthri Siddahar had added the greatness of Mayiladuthurai. There are great personalities who have contributed their mite both in spiritual and literary fields. For example, Therizhandur, a neighbouring hamlet of Mayladuthurai has yielded a great writer “Kambar”. Besides him MayuramVedhanayagam Pillai, Kalki Krishnamoorthy, Gopalakrishna Bharathi have raised the greatness of Mayiladuthurai by their contributions. A galaxy of intellectual luminaries like M.S. Udhayamoorthy, the father of Librarian movement S.R. Renganathan, M.K. Thiyagaraja Bahavathar, Sirkazhi Govindarajan, Natheswara Vidhwan Rajarathinam and the chess world champion Viswanathan Anand have carved permanent nitch for themselves forever and a day.
Mayialduthurai is famous for great religious festivel like “Cauveri Pushkaram”(Thula festival) reminding one of the great kumbamela of the North. The great clock tower with the historical past still stands high raising its head in the realms of cloud stands as a connect link between the graet past and the glorious future.We have thank Haji C.E.Abdul khadhar sahab for erecting a great tower in Mayiladuthurai.
The name of artist venugopal Sharma has immortalised the physical stature and the apperance of the architect thirukkural “Thiruvalluvar” as Mayiladuuthurai gave a place and name to draw the image of the graet writer.
It is in Tharangambadi that the holy alliance of the theraa elemenst of literature have taken shape.That is printing press,Letter types and paper factory are introduced in a massive sclae in india by the Danish missionaries,who lived in Tharangambadi,a harbaour near Mayiladuthurai.
It is in the same place Rejendra chola showed his international connections by building a place for business tranactions named “kottaimedu kodiyampalayam”.There are many more facets of Mayialaduthurai which still remain undiscoverd and unexpressed.
Thirumangai Azhwar (Original Name Kaliyan) born on B.C.2702 in Thirukkuraiyalur near Thiruvali-Thirunagari in Sirkali Taluk, Mayiladuthurai District.
Born in “Kallar Community” he worked as a military commander for the Chola King. He was rewarded a small territory called ALLI NADU to govern. Its Capital was Thirumangai. Kaliyan became to be known as THIRUMANGAI MANNAN.
He fell in love with one Kumudhavalli, an ardent devotee of Vishnu. She laid down a set of conditions for him to follow scrupulously and then only she will accept his love.
(1) He must become a Vaishnavite; and
(2) He must feed a thousand every day for over a year.
He accepted and started to follow the conditions set out by Kumudhavalli. Much attracted to Vaishnavism, he started constructing the temple walls of Sri Rangam. To meet the heavy expenses, THIRUMANGAI MANNAN resorted to Highway Robbery. He became a King turned Robber.
When he robbed a marriage party, though he was able to collect all the ornaments, he could not remove the toe ring (called “Minji” in Tamil) from the groom. He tried to remove it even using his teeth but in vain. Then he realised that the groom was none other than LORD VISHNU.
LORD NARAYANA HIMSELF taught the ASHTAAKSHARA . The robber turned a Saint (Thirumangai Azhwar) started singing PERIYA THIRUMOZHI.
THIRUMANGAI AZHWAR is the last of the 12 Azhwar Saints who are known for their affiliation to Vaishnava Tradition.
SAMBANDAR (later became THIRUGNANA SAMBANDAR), a prodigy poet, born and lived 16 only years in 6th – 7th century. He is one of the Most Prominent of the 63 NAYANMAARS.
He was born to Sivapaatha Hruthayar and Bhagavathi Ammayar.
When the child was three years old, his father took him to the Sirkali Temple. Leaving the child on the banks of the temple tank, the father bathed immersing his whole body in the tank. The child, unable to see his father, started to cry. On hearing the crying, Lord Shiva and Goddess Uma Devi appeared before the child and the Goddess fed the child with milk from a Golden vessel. The child stopped crying and the deities disappeared.
Coming out of the tank after bathing, the father saw milk on the lips of the child and asked him who gave the milk to him. The child replied with its first THEVAARAM SONG which begins as “THODUDAYA SEVIYAN” the first song of THEVAARAM, and indicated the Lord inside the temple.
The child is in the habit singing devotional songs (Thevaaram) clapping (for Thaalam) his small hands. Lord Shiva, to relieve the pain of the small hands, bestowed the child with a set of Gold Thaalam.
Gold Thaalam will not emit sound, so the Goddess gave sound to the Gold Thaalam. Hence the Goddess is also called The Deity Gave Sound (Osai Koduththa Nayagi).
The child started touring the Shiva Sthalas singing Thevaara songs. The Lord, unable to bear the pain the child’s tender feet will undergo, gave the child a pearl decked palanquin, pearl studded umbrella.
Thirugnana Sambandar cured the poisonous fever of Adiyaars by singing THIRUNEELAKANDA PATHIGAM.
In Pillayar Patteeswaram, a Siva Ganam fabricated a Pearl Pandal for Thirugnana Sambandar to take rest under it.
In Thiruvavaduthurai Thirugnana Sambandar prayed to the Lord to give him gold coins to meet the expenses of the Yagam his father is going to do, the Lord gave him a PORKIZHI through a bootha ghanam.
In Thirumarugal, Thirugnanasambandar gave life again to a man who died of snake bite.
Thirugnana Sambandar and Appar (known as Thiru Navukkarasar also) stayed together for some time and wordshipped the Lord there. To mitigate the sufferings of the people there due to the famine prevailing then, both Saints prayed the lord and the Lord offered a gold coin each daily. Selling the coins and buying the things needed the two Saints fed the people till the famine ceases.
In Madurai, he cured the stomach pain (Soolai Noai) of Kind Pandiyan Nedumaaran (who is an ardent Jainism follower). He later gave up Jainisim and reverted to Saivam. Thirugnana Sambandar defeated the Jain poets in many debates.
In Thiru Oaththur he transformed male Palmyrah trees into that of female Palmyrah trees and made them bear fruits.
Lastly, from the ashes and bones of a deceased one Thirugnaana Sambandar brought to life again the daughter of Saivite Devotee of Mylapore.
He attained the Lotus Feet of Shiva