Siva temples are in abundance in India. One such great temple is at Thiruvidaimarudur, located in Thanjavur district. The shrine here contains the Moola moorthi, or the main lingam or Mahalingam. The deity here is known as Marudavanar, or Mahalingeswarar. 'Maruda' is a tree, and it is believed that this linga here is in between two other lingams-Mallikarjuna and Putarjuna, and hence it is also known by the name Madhyarjuna. The 'sthala vruksham' being marudu, the place came to be known as 'Idaimarudur'. Marudavanar's divine consort is known by the names, 'Perunalamaamulaiyaal' and 'Brihadsundarakuchambika'. Since this temple is 6 kms from Kumbakonam (in the Kumbakonam-Mayiladuthurai route), one can halt at Kumbakonam, and take a bus or a car to reach the place.
There are three passages around the sanctum. They are known by the following names: Aswamedha pradakshina prakara, Kodumudi prakara, Pranava prakara. The specialty of these prakaras is that each of them has a shrine enclosed in them.
Sarasathi, Lakshmi, Kaali, the Vedas, Vasishtar, Skanda, Vishnu and Agastya are believed to have worshipped the Lord here. Some of the grand temples in the vicinity constitute the parivara devata shrines of Tiruvidaimarudur, such as Tiruvalanchuzhi, Swamimalai, Tiruvarur, Tiruvavaduturai, Sirkazhi, Tiruseinganalur, the Suryanar temple and Alangudi respectively.
The Vinayaka idol in the form of Pranava is called Pranava Vinayakar. There is also a shrine for Murugan in the northern part of the temple. This was built during the Naik era. A stone mandapam fashioned on the model of a car with wheels is also seen. One can find the twelve zodiac signs on either side of the pillars. Outside the Aswamedha prakara is a separate shrine for
One of the staunch devotees of the goddess was Bhaskara Rayar. He was attracted by the divine powers of the goddess and he took the pains of shifting from Maharashtara to this abode. Many inscriptions in the temple glorify Her as Nritha Parameswari and Pidari. There is a popular belief that unmarried girls who sincerely observe a 40-day fast and worship Her will be blessed with a good wedded life.
During the period of the Cholas, an auditorium was donated to the temple in order to encourage performance of dance and music. An interesting fact about this place is that there were two currencies named after this place. One is Thiruvidaimarudur Marakkal and the other is Eka Nayakan