Tiruvidaimarudur is a fertile village, situated 10 km from Kumbakonam in the Kumbakonam- Mayiladuthurai road, with river Cauvery flowing in the Northern boundary of the village. The famous sprawling Shiva temple here is more than 1300 years old. Lord Mahalinga with his consort Brahadsundaragujambal is the presiding deity in this temple.
Lord Mahalinga was worshipped by the famous sages like Agasthya, Romasa and Markandeya. The saivite quartet of Appar, Sundarar, Gnana Sambandar and Manikka Vasagar visited this temple and sang in praise of Lord Mahalinga. The holy temple and its presiding deity were also eulogised by various saints like Karuvoor Thevar, Pattinathaar and Badragiriyar. It is said that King Raja Raja Chola visited this temple in order to understand the nuances associated with temple architecture before embarking on his project to build the Brahadeeswara Temple at Thanjavur.
Varaguna Pandiya, who was suffering from Brahmahatti dosham was liberated from the dosham after he offered his prayers and worshipped Lord Mahalinga in person. As a mark of gratitude, the Pandiya king painted 32 kinds of dancing Vinayaka in the Chitra Praharam, besides depicting the karna mudras of Bharatanatyam in intricate sculptures along this prahara. It was here that Adi Shankara was blessed by the God who echoed the phrase “ Satyam Advaita” ( Non dualism is the ultimate truth) through unseen voice.
During the seventh and the eighth centuries, the Chola kings patronised the music and dance artists in this place through endowments created for this purpose. This tradition continued during the rule of Nayaks and Marattas in Thanjai. In fact during the period of Sarafoji II, Bharatanatyam exponents were settled in Tiruvidaimarudur to spread this art form among common people. During the 18th and 19th centuries music and dance flourished as fine arts in Tiruvidaimarudur.
Since then, a number of artists in music and dance have been either born or brought up in Tiruvidaimarudur. It is a fitting tribute and thanks giving to Lord Mahalinga that Natyanjali is performed in this ancient temple.
Indeed, it is our humble attempt for the beginning of a cultural renaissance in this great and tradition rich place called Tiruvidaimarudur, embellished by the vibrant presence of Lord Mahalinga with His consort, who is ever ready and willing to bless endlessly all his devotees, who offer their prayers to Him in utter supplication.