Thirumakaraleeswarar Temple also called Thirumagaral Temple and Thirumakaral Easwarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva.The presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the Nayanmars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam.
The original complex is believed to have been built by Cholas, while the present masonry structure was built during the Nayak during the 16th century. There are several inscriptions from the period of Kulothunga Chola I , Sundara Pandiyan and Vicayakanta Kopaletevar, indicating generous gifts to the temple. In modern times, the temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the shrines of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams - Shiva Sthalams glorified in the early medieval Tevaram poems by Tamil Saivite Nayanmars Thirugnana Sambanthar.
As the temple is revered in Tevaram, it is classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam, one of the 276 temples that find mention in the Saiva canon. As per Periya Puranam, the hagography depicting the life of the 63 Nayanmars, Sambandar visited the place before moving on Kuranganilmuttam and Kanchipuram
This temple is situated in Magaral, a village in Kanchipuram district, located 12 km from Uthiramerur on the Uthiramerur - Kanchipuram highway. The temple is located on the northern banks of Cheyyar River. The nearest railway station is at Kanchipuram and the nearest airport is Chennai International Airport. The Shiva temple at Magaral is spread over an area of 2 acres . The main rajagopuram is on the east side with seven tiers and pierces the large rectangular granite walls. The temple tank, Indra Theertha, is located inside the main entrance. The temple is built on an elevated platform and there are two corridors inside the temple. At the main entrance, the sculptures of Ganapathy and Muruga can be found on both the sides.
The main shrine accommodates the image of Shiva known as Thirumakaraleeswarar in the form of Lingam, of the size of the tail of an iguana. There is a separate shrine for Balambigai to the right of Thirumakaraleeswarar's sanctum. The first precinct on the four sides of the sanctum is decorated with the images of Nayanmars, Navagrahas, Bhairava, Murugan Sannadhi in the north-west and Durga Sannadhi on the northeast. The vimana of the temple is called Gajabrusta in a model, replicating the hip of an elephant.
As per Hindu legend, Indra, the king of celestial deities, presented his white elephant to Muruga, the son of Shiva, during his marriage at Thiruparakundram. The divine couple travelled on the elephant. When Vishnu wanted to view the couple, they appeared at Thirumagaral. As per another legend, a ruler of the region wanted the fruit from a jackfruit tree in the place wanted it to be offered to Chidambaram Nataraja Temple everyday and subsequently to him. He ordered the local public to carry out the activity everyday. Once it was a turn of a boy in the village to carry the fruit. He felt that the king has made an undue order and wanted it to be eliminated. He burnt the tree thinking that the villagers would be relieved of the duty.
The king enquired the boy, who fearlessly narrated the truth. The king was angry with him and started chasing him to punish. He found a golden iguana cross his way to an anthill. The king dug the anthill only to see blood woozing out. A divine voice told him that it was Shiva who appeared that and the king had to build a temple for his propitiation. Since Shiva appeared as magaral, an iguana, the place came to be known as Magaral and Shiva is called as Magaraleeswarar.