This temple praised by Gnanasambandar is one among the three Maakalam temples in India. The first one is located in Ujjain, second near Mayiladuthurai (Ambar Maakalam) and third one is this temple known as Irumbai Maakalam.
The entire temple is now renovated with beautiful paintings on the inner walls of the temple and it is a delight to have Darshan. The Shiva lingam here is an aggregate of three pieces and one can see that there is a metallic strap kind of arrangement on the lingam. The temple is open from 7 am to 12 noon and from 4 pm to 8 pm daily.
Lord Siva: Maakaleswarar
Ambal (Goddess): Kuyil Mozhi Ammai
Sthala Vriksham : Punnai
Theertham : Maakala Theertham
How to reach
This temple can be reached either from Tindivanam or Puducherry. The placed called Irumbai is located on the highway 66 from Tindivanam to Puducherry passing via Kiliyanur. Temple is located at about 2 kms inside from the highway. There are no direct buses to the temple. Auto facility is available from a nearby place called Thiruchitrambalam Koot road which can be reached by bus from Tindivanam.
Kaduveli Siddharwas performing penance under a tree in this region. There was no rainfall which resulted in an acute drought and famine. The King ruling that region wrongly thought the drought was due to the penance of Kaduveli Siddhar, hence he distracted his penance with the help of a beautiful dancer. Kaduveli Siddhar came out of his trance but he was not agitated when he realized that the intention of the King was to save the people from the drought. He took pity on the people and prayed to the Lord for rainfall. In due course there was substantial rainfall alleviating the worries of the King and his people. There was a grand festival organized to celebrate the prosperity and the same dancer who had earlier distracted the penance of Kaduveli Siddhar was dancing before the procession. While dancing, one of her anket fell down and the Siddhar immediately tied the anklet to her leg with an intention that there should not be an interruption to the performance. However, people who are gathered around mocked at him for his act. The Siddhar when he realized that the same people whom he saved from the drought are ridiculing him got angry and prayed to Lord Shiva because of which the Siva Linga inside the temple exploded into three parts. The King and his citizens realized their mistake and appealed to him to forgive them. Siddhar’s anger subsided and the three pieces of lingam got restored as one piece.
Another legend is that Parvati has worshipped the Lord in this shrine to absolve her sins of killing two demons. These demons – Amban and Ambasuran wanted to marry Parvati, agitated by this atrocious act of demons, the great mother took the form of Mahakali and slayed them.
Puducherry is very close to this temple. Auroville dome will be visible from the Tindivanam-Puducherry highway.
Two more Paadal petra sthalams – Kiliyanur and Olunthiyapattu are located at a distance of about 12 km from this place. Thiruvakkarai another shrine is located at about 25 kms from here.