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Chayavaneswara temple is one of the popular temples of Tamil Nadu.

Chayavaneswara Temple

2 miles from Tiruvengadu, the magnificent Chayavaneswara temple is situated at Chayavanam in the Chaikadu district of Tamil Nadu. Just a mile away from Kaveripatnam, the place where the River Cauvery meets the sea, it is an important pilgrimage centre for the Hindus. Held in much reverence and sanctity, the pilgrims visit this temple after ablution at the confluence to offer their homafe to the deity, Lord Chayavaneswara, and seek his blessings. According to Hindu customs, having a holy dip at the confluence of a river with the sea is religiously meritorious and absolves one of all the sins and makes one pure to meet the Supreme Lord. However, there is an absurd but interesting legend attached to the temple to state its significance. It is said that the temple is closely connected with Iyarpagai Nayanar, one of the sixty-three Nayanmars (Saivite saints) of the South.

According to the legend, Nayanar used to contribute generously to the temples and was known for his charitable nature towards 'sadhus', especially, Saivite saints. He has earned a repute of feeding them well and satisfying all their desires. It is said that one day an old man in the form of Saivite saint approached him and asked him to give his wife as a gift to him. Iyarpagai Nayanar instantly gratified the old man's request and without hesitation sent his wife to him. All the relatives and friends and society definitely found his act as morally degrading and they condemned him. However, he insisted that wife should follow the 'sadhu', which she did as a respect to him. Touched by his great devotion towards his devotees, Lord Shiva who has just come to test the faith of Nayanar revealed his true form blessed him with salvation.

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