Sri Singaravelan Temple (Sri Navaneetheswarar) Sikkil, Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu, India

Sikkal is a very small village on the trunk road between Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam. Basically this is a Sri Shiva Temple but the importance is for Lord Sri Muruga known as Sri Singaravelan. The legend says that Sri Parvathi devi handed over the Vel to Lord Sri Muruga when he assumed the post of the commander of devas to attack asura Soorapadman. Hence, he is known as Sri Deva Senadhipathi.This place is the cradle for Nadhaswaram students as there are many specialized schools to learn Nadhaswaram and Thavil.

Actually this is a Saiva temple with Lord Siva bearing the name Śrī Navaneetheswara. But the main deity is Lord Subrahmanya called Singaravelavar. Sage Vasishta made a sivalinga made of butter obtained from the milk of the divine cow Kamadhenu for worship. After puja, the sivalinga could not be shifted and got stuck and hence the name sikkal in Tamil for this place. This temple was worshipped by sages Vasishta, Viswamitra, wish-granting cow Kamadenu and Emperor Muchukunda of Deva Loka. Saints Sambandhar and Arunagirinathar have sung in praise of the Lord Sikkal Singaravelavar.The name of the goddess in the standing posture here is Velnedunganni. Ganapati, Mahalakshmi, Nataraja, the sixty three Nayanmars, Bhairava, Surya and Chandra are also having sannadhis at the respective places as per agamic standards. The sthala vriksha (sacred tree) here is jasmine. There are three holy tanks for this temple namely Ksheera (ie. milk), Gaya and Lakshmi Tanks. During the Tamil month of Arpasi, Skanda Shashti is celebrated in a grand manner for the main ruling deity Singaravelavar. Tradition tells us that the Lord received the Vel at Sikkal and killed Surapadman at Tiruchendur the next day. During Skanda Shashti, Lord Singaravelavar will receive the Vel one day prior to Surasamharam from his mother to destroy the demon Surapadman. After receiving the Vel even today, one will find Muruga's face perspiring, which is a miracle. The Singaravelavar is in the form of utsavamurti with his consorts Valli and Devayanai, showering his divine grace.Legend has it that Muchukunda Cholan, associated with the Tiruvarur legend built this temple. Vasishta is said to have prayed to Shiva to recover his Kamadhenu, whose milk flowed and froze to form butter. Fashioning a lingam out of butter (Venneippiran), Vasishtar tried in vain to move it; it had gotten stuck (sikkal). Interestingly, Tirukkannankudi - a Vaishnava Divyadesam (near Keevalur nearby) has a legend associated with Vasishtar offering worship to an image of Krishna which he had fashioned out of butter. The Ksheera Pushkarini (Paal Kulam) tank is located behind the temple. Legend also has it that Vishnu sought the blessings of Shiva before venturing out to the court of the demon king Mahabali, and there is a Kola Vaamana Perumaal shrine adjacent to the temple.

The annual brahmotsavam is celebrated in the month of Cittirai. Singaravelar receives his Vel (spear) from Devi during Skanda Sashti festival in the month of Libra; and it is believed that his image then breaks out in sweat. Soorasamharam is enacted here during this festival.

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