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Mayiladuthurai alias Mayuram (or Mayavaram)
is a compact town,
situated on the banks of Cauvery.
Popularly it is known as the Banaras of the South India.
It is 280 kms south of Madras and can be reached by trains going via Main line and also through road. Mayiladuthurai is one of the major junctions in Southern railway with lines branching off to Madras, Trichy, Thiruvarur and Tharangampadi. The town was in the composite Thanjavur district but now it is part of Nagappattinam district. It is the headquaters of an Educational district and is one of the 39 parlimentary constituencies in TamilNadu.
History of Mayuram
Mayuram means peacock in sanskrit and it was later translated as Mayiladuthurai in tamil. Lot of sidhars have lived here. Even today we find an area called Sidharkaadu, a suburb of Mayuram. Legends also tell that it was a part of Tharukavanam.
The legend goes that Daksha did not invite his
daughter Parvati, and his son-in-law Lord Siva to the sacrifice he
conducted. Being vexed at the disrespectful attitude of Daksha
towards him, Lord Siva sent Veerabhadra, a minor deity, to go and
desecrate the sacrifice conducted by Daksha. Lord Siva at the same
time instructed Parvati Devi not to attend the yaga. However, the
Devi attended the yaga, disobeying her Lord's prohibition.
While Veerabhadra was desecrating the yaga, a peahen got injured and it
immediately ran to Parvati Devi and took refuge under her. After everything was over, Parvati Devi repented very much for having disobeyed the Lord. To wash off the sin, she entered the fire. At the time of entering the fire, she was thinking about the peahen to which she gave refuge and so in the next birth she took the form of a peahen and came to this place.
The Devi conducted penance for many years and at last attained re-union with Lord Siva. Hence the place came to be known as Mayuram or Mayavaram (Mayuram means peahen). The Lord of the temple came to be known as Mayuranatha. The other names by which this place is known are Sudavanam, Sikliandipuram, Brahmapuram, and Brahmavanam etc. The Devi is known as Abhayapradambika, Abhayambika, Anjalanayaki, Anjalai, etc., meaning one who gave refuge to the peahen.
Some Words about Mayuram
"Aayiram Aanaalum Mayuram Aagadhu" is an old
saying. Maha Vidhwan Meenakshi Sundaram pillai lived in Mayuram.
Tamil Grandpa U.Ve. Swaminadha Iyer was a student of Meenakshi
Sundaram pillai. Mayuram Vedanayakam Pillai, who wrote "Prathaba
Mudaliyar Charithiram" , the first Tamil Novel was a Munsif here.
Amarar Kalki Ra.Krishnamurthy studied in Municipal high school,
Mayuram. Renouned Carnatic musician Madurai Mani Iyer , Mayuram
Rajam Iyer , Violin artist Mayuram Govindaraja pillai ( disciple of
kumbakonam Rajamanikkam pillai ) were citizes of Mayuram. Sri Gopala
krishna Bharathiyar who wrote "Nandanar Sarithiram" lived in
Anandathandavapuram, 5 kms from Mayuram. One of the institutions
that was formed for the flourishing of Saivam and Tamil, Dharmapuram
Adhinam ( Mutt ) is in the easter part of Mayiladuthurai.
Mayuram possesses a speciality of fine cotton and silk cloth, known as Kornad from the suburb in which the weavers live.
During October and November the town is the scene of a great pilgrimage to the holy waters of the Cauvery.
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