Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Pasupateeswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||–|
|Timing:||to & to||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Chakrapalli||District:||Thanjavur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Thanjavur (19 km)||Kumbakonam (27 km)|
|Ariyalur (37 km)||Thiruvarur (60 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
This temple is located near Chakrapalli (about 16km from Thanjavur), in a place that is also called Pasumangai or Kallal Pasupati Koil. This temple is not to be confused with the Alanthuraiyar temple at nearby Pullamangai (also known as Vellal Pasupati Koil), which is more popular amongst tourists and is also a Paadal Petra Sthalam. This temple is situated near the banks of the Kudamurutti river.
When Siva beats His drum (the udukku or damaru, named Dundubhi), beejakshara sound waves (also known as Maaheswara Sutrams) are generated, which grants the blessings of beeja veda shakti. The two sides of the drum are considered to be Pasu and Pati, referring to the jivatma and paramatma respectively. The paramatma redeems the jivatma from their bonds (paasam), which is the pasu-pati-paasam basis of Saiva Siddhantam. This temple is said to be one of the very few sacred paces where pasus (human souls) can worship in order to get to or stay on the path of wisdom, required to reach the divine.
Varahi – one of the Sapta Matrikas – heard Siva’s drum beats here, and so this is a Varahi sthalam. It is also part of a set of 7 temples known as the Chakrapalli Sapta Matrika temples, associated with each of the seven sapta matrikas. These seven temples are also a Sapta Sthanam temple group, which have their annual Sapta Sthanam festival in the Tamil month of Panguni (March-April), which is an interesting festival by itself.
The place derives its name as Pasumangai, after Kamadhenu, the celestial cow, worshipped Siva (pasu = cow in Tamil).
Parvati is said to have worshipped here, having taken the form of a Cakra bird (சக்கரவாக பறவை). Agastyar is also said to have worshipped at this temple. It is said that when two brothers called Nadasanma and Anavidya worshipped at this temple, Amman appeared to them in the form of a young woman (called arivai / அரிவை, referring to a woman aged between 20 and 25 in the early stage of motherhood).
Thought not a Paadal Petra Sthalam, this is one of the 78 maadakoil temples built by Kochchenga Cholan, and was expanded by the medieval Cholas. Thereafter, the temple (and the area) were ravaged by floods, and later by Malik Kafur’s troops. However, not all is lost, and several examples of the fine Chola architecture and iconography continue to remain here – particularly the Uchishta Ganapati and the Jyeshta Devi murtis. In relatively more recent times, the Nayaks have refurbished the temple. There are also some remnants of inscriptions in the temple, dating back to the Chola period. The raja gopuram also has some exceedingly intricate work in plaster, including depictions of the life of sage Markandeyar, the story of Kannappa Nayanar, and Siva depicted with eight arms.