Patteeswaram Sri Durgai
Patteeswaram is situated just 8 kms from Kumbakonam, which is in South India. Sri Durgai shrine is very popular here. Originally Patteeswaram is known for the Shiva Temple called Sri Dhenupureeswarar temple located here. Goddess is Gnanambikai. Patteeswaram got its name as, Patti, daughter (calf) of sacred cow Kamadhenu worshipped here. According to legend, Parasakthi wanted to perform Thapas and was trying to locate a peaceful place. She found this place and started her Thapas. Knowing this, Kamadhenu, sent her daughter to be of help to Parasakthi during the Thapas. Lord Shiva, pleased with the Devi’s Thapas gave Dharshan to her here and assumed the name, Gabardeeswarar. On seeing this, Patti who was helping Devi for her Thapas, also installed a Shiva Linga and started worshipping Lord Shiva here. Lord Shiva was pleased with her worship and blessed Patti here and hence the place got named after Patti as Patteeswaram.
Once, Thirugnaana Sambandar came walking down to Patteeswaram to have the dharshan of Lord Shiva. The scorching heat of the summer made Sri Sambandar very tired. Lord Shiva, realizing Sambandar’s pain, ordered his Bhoodha Ganas to hold a Muthu Pandhal (Umbrella woven with pearls) along the way to the temple, so that Sambandar can walk in the shadow. Also Lord Shiva was too eager to see Sambandar. He was looking at the way to the temple from his Sanctum. As Nandhi was sitting in front of the Lord, he couldn’t view properly. And Lord Shiva ordered Nandhi to move a bit, so that his view is not obstructed and Nandhi obeyed. Sambandar with overwhelming joy, sung 10 hymns on Lord Shiva here. Even today, one can see Nandhi facing a bit away from the Lord.
Sri Durga (also called Vishnu Durga) in this temple has been installed by Cholas. Originally Sri Durga was in some other place unattended. Cholas brought her here and have made a separate shrine for her here. Now Sri Durga temple has gained more importance than the Dhenupureeswarar temple as most of the devotees throng here.
Patteeswaram is located near Pazhaiyaarai where Raja Raja Chola was born and brought up. It is said that the Cholas before taking any decision or before any battle, worshipped Goddess Durga here and proceeded. Lord Rama has worshipped Sri Durga Devi here before moving towards Sri Lanka for his war against Ravana. It is also said that Sage Viswamithra, got enlightened with Gayathri Mantra in this place and was conferred with the title “Brahma Rishi” by Saint Vasishta.
Sri Durga is seen with three eyes, eight hands holding weapons and her legs rested on Demon king Mahishasura. Though the Goddess here is with weapons etc., her face is with full of grace and mercy like a mother blessing children. A wonderful temple in which Goddess grants the wishes of her children.