Mahalingeswaraswamy Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva, located in Tiruvidaimaruthur, a village in theSouth Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is significant to the Hindu sect of Saivism as one of the seven major Shiva temples. Shiva is worshiped as Mahalingeswaraswamy, and is represented by the lingam, with his idol referred to as Jothimayalingam. His consort Parvati is depicted as Pirguchuntaragujambigai.
The lingam of the temple is believed to be the focal point for the seven consorts of Shiva. The presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the nayanars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam. The 9th century Saiva saint poet Manikkavasagar has sung praise about the temple in his works.
According to legend, Mahalingaswamy is the centre of all Shiva temples in the region and the Saptha Vigraha moorthis (seven prime consorts in all Siva Temples) are located at seven cardinal points around the temple, located in various parts of the state. The temple is also referred as Pancha Linga stala due to the presence of five lingams, four of which in the cardinal directions and the fifth one at the centre. The temple of Viswanatha lies in the east street, Rishipuriswara in the west, Atmanatha in South street and Chokkanatha in North street.
The name "Kumbakonam", roughly translated in English as the "Jug's Corner", is believed to be an allusion to the mythical pot (kumbha) of the Hindu God Brahma that contained the seed of all living beings on earth. The kumbha is believed to have been displaced by a pralaya (dissolution of the universe) and ultimately came to rest at the spot where the town of Kumbakonam now stands.
There are weekly rituals like somavaram and sukravaram, fortnightly rituals like pradosham and monthly festivals like amavasai (new moon day), kiruthigai, pournami (full moon day) and sathurthi. The most prominent festival of the temple, Thaipoosam, is celebrated for ten days during the Tamil month of Thai. The festival deity of Mahalingeswarar and his consorts circumambulate the temple and the streets in the village in different vehicles. During the Tamil month of Vaikasi, Tirukalyanam (sacred marriage), Ambal Tapasu (penance of Ambal), Ambal Thannai thaane festivals are celebrated.