Location: Tillaisthanam aka Tiruneittanam, 1km from Tiruvaiyaru, near Tanjore town, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights:One of 274 Paadal Petra Sthalams (the most important temples of Lord Shiva)
Nearest Railway Station:Tanjore
How to reach:Well connected by road from Tanjore, Tiruvaiyaru and Kumbakonam
Hotel: Go to Tanjore or Kumbakonam for good hotels
Restaurants: Go to Tanjore or Kumbakonam for good restaurants
Tillaisthanam is a small village located adjacent to Tiruvaiyaru near Tanjore town in South India. The villagehas an important Shiva temple called as Neyyadiappar Temple. It is considered as the 52nd among the Devara Paadal Petra Sthalams(274 most important temples of Lord Shiva) located in Chola region north of Cauvery river.
Sambandhar and Appar have revered the temple in their verses in Devaram.
Pugalendi Pulavar and Ottakkootharhave also revered the temple in their poems.
Dakshinamurti is portrayed in the standing posture.
It is considered as the 7th of Tiruvaiyaru Sapta Sthana temples.
God - Neyyadiappar aka Kritapureeswarar
Goddess - Balambikai aka Ilamangai Ammai
Teerth (Holy water) - Cauvery
As per the legend, Saraswati, Kama Dhenu and Gowthama Rishi worshiped the Lord in this site.
The temple has a grand 75 feet five stories tower facing the east direction. Two small sub-shrines of Ganesha and Murugan are located at the entrance. The temple's area is huge and is spread across two acres. It is believed to have been built by the Cholas as the Chola inscriptions are found in this temple. However, few pillars in the temple are supposed to be of Pallava style; there is a possibility that even Pallavas would have contributed some sections of the temple during their rule. The Sri Lankan ruler named Kayavahu had the Lord of this site as his "Kula devta".
The temple has two prakaras. The sanctum sanctorum is facing the east direction. Lord Shiva in this temple is called as Neyyadiappar or Kritapureeswarar. He is found in the form of a moderately big Shiva Linga.
Facing the sanctum sanctorum the bali peetha, flag staff and Nandi mandapa are located. There is a small artistically beautiful inner tower at the entrance of the maha mandapa.
The Goddess Balambikai who also has a beautiful Tamil name, Ilamangai Ammai, is found in a separate shrine facing the south direction and is located in the outer prakara. A separate Nandi idol is located facing the Amman shrine.
The inner prakara has the sub-shrines of Ganesha, Subramanya-Valli-Devasena, Chandikeshwara, Lakshmi and Saraswati.
The koshta images of Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are found on the wall around the sanctum sanctorum. Dakshinamurti is found in the standing posture which is unique. All the koshta images except Durga appear to be very old. The exterior wall of sanctum sanctorum as well as the vimana have not lost the antique beauty yet.
A separate Ganesha idol is located at the entrance of Ardha Mandapa. Bhairava, Surya, Anugraha Bhairava, Chandra and seven Shiva Linga idols representing Sapta Sthana sites are all located in the inner prakara.