This temple is unique that even when you plan and visit seldom can you have a darshan of the lord as Shiva is in Yoga nidra (Deep meditation) and only if you are blessed you will be able to see the lord. The day I finally visitedf after many many obstacles that too after planning for more than 6months I was not fortunate to see the lord as the priest's mother had died and the main sannidhi was closed.The substitute priest visiting hours were not known. It is a huge temple but in dire need of attention.
How to reach:
This in itself was an obstacle race.There are two ways to reach and I would recommend that you travel from Mayavaram to Nidur to Korukkai. The road is narrow but buses ply on this trail and it can be navigated.This is the route I came back in. It is easier .
I made the first mistake of travelling from Kumbakonam via the Kallanai,to Poompuhar road going via Suriyanar koil. The ride of 37 kms in my Mobilio was surely an endurance drive on narrow roads where we encountered Sugarcane laden lorries and Buses too in essentially 5 feet good asphalted/cemented roads most drive at breakneck speeds and do not respect rules and are unwilling to give way there were many off road experiences scary and also tension filed but made it with adrenal pumping and shaken legs.
Legends and stories of the temple:
There was a sage called Deerga bahu (Long Arms) who used to invoke aakashaganga and do puja to Lord shiva, Here his arms got shortened and the sage was shocked. He prayed to Vinayaga here and not getting a reply started banging his head soon Vinayaka’s arm shot out and blessed the sage here Hence there is a sannidhi here for him Kurunkai vinayakar.Shortened arms- Kurukai in Tamil=Korkai now.
Lord Shiva was in deep meditation here which caused heavy heat troubling all the jeeva rashis. The devas initially asked murugan to intercede but he refused to oblige as he was scared of his father’s anger. The devas then asked Manmatha who readily agreed to cut short the meditation through love arrows. He visited many areas nearby in preparation like Kanganam Puthur the place where he decided to disturb the penance of Lord Shiva and tied the vow thread in his hand. He drank the milk at Palakudi. Took his bow at Villinur. Aimed at the Lord at Kavalamedu. Those who followed him at Ivanallur suggested action from here. As the place was not suitable, Manmatha came to Mettu Korkai and tried directions. Finally, he applied the arrow on Lord from a corner. The instant it hit Shiva he opened his third eye and Burnt Manmatha. At Metu korkai there is a pit filled with ashes .Rathi Manmathas wife at once fell at the Lord’s feet and cried the Lord mercifully restored both to devaloka in Physical form
The huge lake in front of the temple
There is only one praharam now the nandi in front of the praharaam
The main sannidhi of Shiva which was closed during my visit
The Kosta vigrahas were all reversed as the lord is west facing
Nandi in front of the Lord
There was a Gaja prushti vimanam with Lingodhbhavar at the eastern side
I found a Snake in the precincts of the deserted temple
Narthana ganapathy with the Figure of Deerga Bahu on the left
Korukkai vinayakar sannidhi
Ambal Gnambikai sannidhi
The ambience is very peaceful
I did not get to see the Shivalingam itself .it is supposed to be self manifested based on a Lotus shaped pedestal .
I also did not see the Yogeshwara who is in deep meditation with abhaya hastha, left foot hanging and right foot folded .
The ambal was also not seen by me this time
hopefully I shall be blessed enough in future to have a darshan and shall update this post