Mayiladuthurai (formerly known by its Sanskrit name Mayuram) is a town in Nagapattinam district in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the headquarters of the Mayiladuthurai taluk. The town is located at a distance of 60 km (37 mi) from the district headquarters Nagapattinam and 281 km (175 mi) from the state capital Chennai. Mayiladuthurai is known for the Mayuranathaswami Temple, a prominent Shaivite shrine. Mayiladuthurai was ruled by Medieval Cholas and subsequently ruled by various dynasties including the Vijayanagar Empire, Delhi Sultanate, Thanjavur Nayaks, Thanjavur Marathas and the British Empire. Mayiladuthurai was a part of the erstwhile Tanjore district until India's independence in 1947 and Thanjavur district until 1991 and subsequently a part of the newly formed Nagapattinam district. The town is known for agriculture, metal working and weaving. The region around Mayiladuthurai has considerable mineral deposits. Mayiladuthurai is administered by a municipality established in 1865. As of 2008, the municipality covered an area of 11.27 km2 (4.35 sq mi) and had a population of 85,632. Mayiladuthurai comes under the Mayiladuthurai assembly constituency which elects a member to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly once every five years and it is a part of the Mayiladuthurai constituency which elects its Member of Parliament (MP) once in five years. Roadways are the major mode of transportation to the town and it also has rail connectivity. The nearest seaport, Karaikal port, is located 40 km (25 mi) from Mayiladuthurai, while the nearest airport, Tiruchirappalli International Airport, is located 130 km (81 mi) from the town. Mayiladuthurai is of significant antiquity, its oldest extant temples dating to the time of the Medieval Cholas. The region, however, is known to have been inhabited since the 3rd millennium BC. Sherds of megalithic black and red ware have been found at Akkur, 14 km (8.7 mi) to the east of Mayiladuthurai. In 2006, artifacts with Indus Valley signs dated between 2000 and 1500 BC were found at the nearby village of Sembiyankandiyur. There have been references to Mayiladuthurai in the works of the 7th century Saivite saint Sambandar. The Thanjavur Nayak king Raghunatha Nayak constructed mandapams in Mayiladuthurai. During the 17th and 18th centuries AD, Mayiladuthurai was ruled by the Thanjavur Marathas who invited Brahmins from the Telugu, Kannada and Maratha countries to settle in the region and gave large amounts of land to them. In 1799, Mayiladuthurai, was ceded to the British East India Company, along with the rest of the Thanjavur Maratha kingdom, by the Thanjavur Maratha ruler Serfoji II. Mayiladuthurai prospered under British rule emerging as an important town in Tanjore district. Carnatic musicians Madurai Mani Iyer and Gopalakrishna Bharathi and Samuel Vedanayagam Pillai, who wrote the first Tamil novel Prathapa Mudaliar Charithram were born in Mayiladuthurai while Tamil writer Kalki Krishnamurthy, M.S.Udhaya Moorthy studied at the Municipal High School in Mayiladuthurai. When the Tanjore district was trifurcated in 1991, Mayiladuthurai was transferred to the newly formed Nagapattinam district. According to local folklore, Mayiladuthurai was associated with Hindu holy men called "Sithars". To this day, a neighbourhood of Mayiladuthurai is called Sitharkadu. mayuram The Mayuranathaswami and Dakshinamoorthi temples are built in the Dravidian style of architecture. The Mayuranathaswami Temple was built during the time of the Medieval Cholas and is 719 ft (219 m) long and 520 ft (160 m) wide. The gopuram, the temple gateway tower, at the eastern entrance is 164 ft (50 m) high. Within the Mayuranathaswami temple, there is a carving of a devotee of Shiva trying to cut off his own head as an offering to the God.[90] The oldest inscriptions in the shrine date back to the reign of Kulothunga Chola I (1070–1120 CE). The temple is maintained and administered by the Thiruvaduthurai Adheenam, a South Indian monastic institution. The Dakshinamoorthi shrine houses an idol of the God Dakshinamoorthi mounted on a Nandhi. There is another idol of Nandhi at the bathing ghat on the Cauvery River. The Punukeeswarar Temple at Kornad and Sri Kasi Viswanathaswami Temple are the other important Shiva temples in Mayiladuthurai.[93] Anandathandavapuram Panchavatiswarar Shiva Temple is located 5 km (3.1 mi) from Mayiladuthurai. The other prominent temples in the town are Parimala Rangnathar Vishnu temple of lord Vishnu at Thiruvilandur on the northern banks of the Cauvery and Kolikutti Vanamutti Perumal temple. All the Hindu holy rivers in India are believed to converge in Mayiladuthurai every year on New moon day in the Tamil month of Aippasi (November–December). A bathe at the bathing ghats on the banks of the river Cauvery on this day, according to Hindu belief, relieves a man of all his sins and misdeeds as the waters of the holy Ganges river mix with the Cavery on this day. Other important festivals celebrated at the temple are Navarathri, Adi Pooram, Avani Moolam, Karthigai Deepam and Vaikashi Brahmavotsavam [90] An yearly dance festival called the Mayura Natyanjali is conducted within the precincts of the Mayuranathaswami Temple by the Saptasvarangal Trust during Maha Shivaratri on the pattern of the Chidambaram Natyanjali festival. The town is considered the gateway to the Navagraha temple, the nine temples associated with planetary deities. The Periya Pallivasal mosque and TELC Church are other prominent worship places in the town. Tharangambadi, Pichavaram mangrove forest, Tirumullaivasal, Palaiyar and Karaikkal are the most prominent tourist attractions located around the town.

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