Mayiladuthurai literally translates as “the peacock town”. Mayiladuthurai is a portmanteau of three words, Mayil meaning peacock, Aadum is to dancing, and Thurai is a place. The name “Mayiladuthurai” stems from a legend that says Parvathi who donned the form of a peahen because of a curse, worshipped Lord Shiva in the town that is Mayiladuthurai today.
The town earlier known by its Sanskrit name, Mayuram, was recently de-Sanskritised and renamed Mayiladuthurai, the Tamil translation of “Peacock town”. Today Mayiladuthurai is a town that is just as modern as the next, what sets Mayiladuthurai apart however, is it’s strong, deep, irrevocable roots in history.
The Mayuranathaswami temple in Mayiladuthurai reinstates the legend. The temple dedicated to Lord Shiva shares its name with the name of the town. The presiding deity is called Mayuranathar, as Parvathi worshipped Shiva in the form of a Mayura (peacock) here. While the legend cannot be proved or disproved, the name has stood the test of time.
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