History of Nitya Kalyani

             The area around the place where we see the Nithyakalyani Ambal temple now, was once upon a time, a "Bilwa" tree forest. The legend goes on like this: The King of Ayodhya Sree Dasaratha Maharaja was moving through the length and breadth of Bharath and praying at almost all the temples spotted by Him for getting his progeny. Thus he chanced upon the "Bilwa" forest in Kadayam, and while moving into the forest, he found a "Suyambu Lingam" and prayed to Lord Shiva. Thus this Lord was named as "Bilwa Vana Nathar" i.e. Lord of Bilwa forest. This name over a period of time became Sree Vilvaranyeswarar and his consort Nithya Kalyani Amman. There are stone inscriptions, which say that Nayakar's of Madurai developed the temple. Vilva tree is sthala vruksham and theertham is Chakkra theertham, around three hundred years old. If one breaks the Vilva fruit from the sthala vruksham, one can find a Lingam shaped formation inside, which cannot be seen in any other Vilva fruit. The temple is one of the Thevaara Vaippu Sthalamof Lord Siva. The main Raja Gopuram is seven storeys with three prakarams. It is said that the Peetam is a Dharani Peetam.Another legend says that the people were originally living around the Kalyani Amman temple and the usual noises and disturbances in the society like cries, laughter, shouting, etc. gave disturbing time for the Goddess and quiet peace eluded. She pulled out a Kadagam (Bracelet in ancient Tamil) and threw it to a distance and asked the inhabitants to go and reside round the spot where the bracelet fell. Thus, this place was known as Kadagam, which later came to be known as Kadayam.

             It is said that Goddess Nithya Kalyani was very powerful and the poojas performed in the temple during earlier periods were not perfect as desired by the Goddess. This led to lot of mis-happenings, resulting in the people staying away from visiting and praying at the temple. A Brahmin from Sringagiri who was well versed with Veda did santhi i.e. propitious ceremonies for the Goddess, resulting in some of Her powers passing into the peetam and a new sanctum sanctorium was constructed facing south. The Goddess has been bestowing wealth, happiness, well being and Anantha Kalyana Gunas to the people who worshipped and also those who performed poojas for her. From then on, she came to be known as Nithya Kalyani. (One who bestows well-being to everybody).

             There is a pushkar on the small hillock known as Sarabanga Mamuni Sunai theertham. There is a Mani mandapam where we see Natarajar with Sivakami Ammai, and also other deities like Sri Chandrashekara and Sri Soundra Nayaki, Sri Dakshina Moorthy, Somaskanda Murthy. The inscriptions on the temple walls say that Parivaara Devadhas were installed in the year 1216 AD. The temple is still older and finds a mention in Kapila Puranam. Sage Sundaramurthy Nayanaar has sung a Couplet in praise of the deities.

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