Arthanareeswarar Photo Gallery
The literal meaning for Artham is Half, Nari means Female and Easwar is Lord Shiva.

For the first time in the whole world, Lord Shiva stands majestically in all His glory and grace, as the half male, half female wonderful form of Arthanaareeeswarar, blessing devotees with this marvellous and wonder filled spectacle. For sceptics who have questioned if God was male or female throughout the ages, this miraculous and spectacular Deity answers them all, proving that god is Male if you want him to be masculine and female for those who believe it to be so. The staunch belief that both Male and Female are equal in this world is explicitly elucidated with the key mantra. It states that there is no Shiva without Shakthi, and vice versa. The Tiruchengode Sanctuary has the honour of expounding this belief and fact to the world.
The constituent idol of Arthanaareeswarar present at this sanctuary, is a self existing one or, “SWAYAMBHOO”, comprising of a white elixir. This elixir is believed to have magical capabilities to cure diseases like white leprosy. Thus, consuming the abishekam water and milk from this deity consistently is believed to have the miraculous power to cure diseases. At present, the Abishekam happens once every day at noon. During Abishekam, the deity is adorned with a sari on the left side and a dhoti on the right side, decorated half in half as both male and female.

The first person to have performed divine service in the sanctuary is said to be Parakesarivarman of the famed Madurai, who was the grandson of Vijayanagara Chozhan and son to Adithyan the 1st.
Holding the Dandaayutham in the right hand, and the left hand belonging to the feminine part of the diety placed on the left hip, the body is found tilting a little to the right, with the Makarakundam close to the masculine ear, and precious pearls on the left ear of the Goddess. Just like a vision created when the Lotus and the Nilorpalam flower bloom together at the same moment, the left side of the deity is shown adorned with the grand shade of a red and green attire falling to the left thigh, and the right side of the deity adorned with a garb made of tiger skin. The poonal thread is seen on the right side of the idol’s chest, and a beautifully decorated golden drape is shown adorned across the idol’s left chest. With the Venkudai ornament on one foot, and a refined anklet on the other, Lord Arthanareeswarar stands tall as a single, Divine Vision, culminating both the male and female forms into one Divine Genesis. Ther is no entrance to this shrine. Instead, a small stone aperture opening is provided to view the deity.

Special poojas and rituals are conducted to worship the deity at Naagasalam, and special sacraments are performed to honour the Lord. Ceremonies like lighting dhoop lamps in front of the deity, offering Sandalwood, Vermillion, Vibhoothi or sacred ash, sacred herbs like villum and Vellaruku, Lotus flowers, hibiscus, Sengaluutheer, Mandharai, Paathiri, Ponnarali, and worshipping the deity by strewing Ponnarali flowers are performed.