Thiruvilayadal – 64 Sacred sports of Shiva – Part 1


Become Fan of Karka Nirka Blog in Facebook


We have heard about Thiruvilaydal of Shiva. The 64 sacred sports /vilayatu of the Lord. So what are the 64 sports, here is a synopsis of Thiruvilayadarpuram written by Dr. Kamil Zvelebil in his book Lexicon of Tamil Literature.

Brief note on ThiruvilayadarPuranam:

It was written by Poet Paranjothi Munivar in early 1600s.

My note on this Purana:

This Purana is very late but very very successful attempt in bringing in popular indigenous myths and achievements of Tamil Culture under the umbrella of Vedic Hindusism. Whole Purana is fantasy,myth and should not be remotely treated as history. The only reason I am posting this Purana in my blog is it is going to play part in my further posts on Tamil Sangam legends and myths.

Thiruvilayadal Puranam Murals in Meenakshi Amman temples


Synopsis of Thiruvilayadarpuram written by Dr. Kamil Zvelebil in his book Lexicon of Tamil Literature

Akattiyar narrates in Kaci the 64 divine “sports”; they were revealed to him by Murukan who has head them from Siva as narrated to Uma (an important notion in the poem is the belief that Tamil is God; that tamil poets are God’s concern; that Tam. land is God’s favourite country).

Synopisis: The work begins with 14 introduction portions in which Akattiyar narrates the 64 sports of Siva (Puranavaralaru) having heard them from Murukan; the beauties of Pantinatu and maturai are described, as well as Pond of Golden lotus (Po Tamarai -poykai) and the magnificent Lingam (Comacuntarar).Then follow the chapters proper:

1. Messengers of Indra discover the Sivalinga in katampa tree forest near a pond which Indra names Porramarai (Golden lotus): worship of Cuntarar is established.

2. Beacuse of a curse, Indra’s white elephant turns black and savage; worshipping the linga, is cured.

3.Sacred city of Madurai founded by Kulacekaran pandya on command of Siva-Sundara.Is called Maturankar because the god poured over it his divine nectar (maturam).

4 and 5. Kulacekaran’s son Malayattuvacan married to Chola princess Kancanai. Their daughter Tatakai had three breasts, otherwise is very beautiful.As ruling queen,she sets out to conquer the world marches up to Mt. Kailasa, at sight of Siva her third breast diasppears, Siva takes her to maturai,marries her, becomes king of the South named Sundara Mara.

6. To please Patanjali,Siva – Sundara Pandya dances in the Silver Hall.

7.After a big feast, when too much food is left Siva raises fire of hunger in stomach of Kuntotaran who eats “Himalayas of food”.

8.In addition,being terribly thirsty, he drinks all rivers and lakes, Siva makes Ganga descend from his hairas river Vaikai, and the Goblin’s thirst is appeased.

9. Kancanai,mother of tatakai, wants to bathe in sea; Siva makes the seven seas come and unite near madurai to provide her swimming pool.

10.He calls his father in law from indra;s world so that husband and wife can bathe together to Brahminic law.

11.A son, Ukkira, is born to Sundara

12.After marriage of Ukkira and Kantimati, Sundara gives his son three weapons against his mortal enemies: discuss to aim at Indra, Javellin to quell the sea(varuna), club to strike Mount Meru. Sundara and tatakai diasppear in the Temple.

13. varuna the sea jealous of Ukkira’s perfect rule, rises and threatens Madurai. Ukkira hurls his Javelin at the sea which subsides licking his feets.

14. Indra makes clouds rain on the Chola and chera lands,but denies rains to Pandyas.Ukkira captures and imprisons fours great clouds. Indra declares war, but Ukkira smites the god with his discuss and forces him to send the rains.

15. After victorious struggle with Mount Meru, Ukkira crowns his son Vira Pandya.

16. The Meaning of Veda is explained by Siva – Dakshinamurthi.

17. The story of sale of rubies.

18. Varuna again orders ocean to destroy Madurai. Apiketa, the reigning Pandya, begs Cokkalinkar(Siva) for help; four clouds absorb the ocean.

19. The four clouds descend from locks of Shiva change into four canopied halls to protect Madurai from torrential rains;that is why the city is known as Nanmatakkutal(Junction of Four Palatial buildings).

20. Sundara in form of Sidhha roams the city working strange miracles.

21. Stone-elephant is brought to life (1st day of Tai, Jan 13-14),Apiteka’s son Vikkirama becomes king.

22. Destruction of Jainism and Buddhism. Chola king in kanci, a Jaina,orders Jaina preachers to perform black magic sacrifice;as a result, huge elephant turns into Anaimalai (Elephant Hill).

23. Siva becomes old man, then youth , then baby, in order to console the girl Kauri who, although Saivaite, must marry a Vaisnava.

24.Irajacekara, next king, is dissatisfied with Siva’s monotonous dance on the same led in Velliyampalam (Silver hall); Siva dances contrariwise.

25. To save Kullottunka Pandya from infamy of judicial murder, Siva reveals true circumstances of an ancient death.

26. Siva shows path of salvation to wretched brahmin boy guilty of incest with his own mother and of parricide.

27. Siva cuts down limb by limb a young Siddha who made love to the wife of his aged master.

28. Under Ananthakuna Pandya, Jainas send a demon in shape of gigantic snake to destroy Madurai. Killed by the king, it spreads its venom all over the city. Siva cleans madurai with ambrosia.

29. Jainas then force an asura to take on the form of a magic cow which is destroyed by fire of her own passion. Its body is changed into a hill (Pacumalai).Nandin’s amterial body is also changed into a hill (Itapamalai) to commemorate the incident.

30.Siva appears as general at the head of a huge army to save from disgrace a chieftain who has spent on temples and devotees large sum entusted to him by the king.

31.Sundara gives an unfailing purse to king Kulaputana.

32.Siva in guise of bracelet merchant sells bangles to the delight of vanika girls.

Thiruvilyadal in this color featured in the movie Meenakshi Thiruvilayadal (1989) – the movie can be watched below,

Thiruvilayadal 33-64  continued in part 2.



  1. dear vairam

    Comacuntarar…suggest to use straight transliteration for such. i know in the original work, because of the indentation marks this style is followed, but on the net for general reading will be tough.

    14. is our indra haram legend

    24. dissatisfied – i version i thought was he felt sorry for Shiva to be dancing on leg for so long and to rest it, asked him to dance on the other. Maarukaal aattam.


  2. many on this list have no location given. Can I get locations somewhere?

  3. sir,
    thanks for taking lot of pains to summarise all the 64 siva leelas in one place.. i ve been searching for this for my NAVARATHRI GOLU theme(64 thiruvilayadalgal)…… the site was like a jackpot to me…. PAZHAM NAZHUVEE PAALIL VIZUDHATHU…….
    thx a ton …….

  4. we are searching the 64 thiruvilayadal puranam in Tamil version please support.

  5. thank u sir,im actually very interested to know about puranas of hindu culture,i have learnt a lot about lord shiva’s thiruvilayadal i thank u once again

  6. By calling this myth, are you saying that Thiru Maannikkavaasaga Naayanaar, in the state of Nyaanam, the realisation and experience of Truth, relayed fantasy? Are you saying that temple Puraannaas cannot be relied upon? Are you saying that this work, for which there is even archaeological support, is a mere work of fiction?

  7. Kindly help me to send details to my mail id

    related to “Arudhra tharisanam” in Margali month Festivel
    We celebrate the above festivel and we want the Thiruvoodal
    padalgal with vasanam.

    Please help

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.