Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Pushpavaneswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Soundranayaki|
|Timing:||6.30 to 11.30 & 4.30 to 8.30||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Mela Tirupoonthuruthi||District:||Thanjavur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Thanjavur (14 km)||Ariyalur (37 km)|
|Kumbakonam (44 km)||Tiruchirappalli (55 km)|
Tirupoonthuruthi is located 6 km from Tiruvaiyaru and 13km from Thanjavur.
Sthala puranam and temple information
The river Kaveri was born out of the water from Sage Agastyar’s kamandalam. As it flowed eastwards, it covered places like Sendalai, Tiruvalampozhil, Tirupoonthuruthi, Kandiyur, Thillaisthanam, Tiruvaiyarum Tirupazhanam, Tiruchotruthurai, etc, right up to Konerirajapuram. Indra, the Lord of the devas, seeking relief from a curse, prayed to various temples in this list. At Kandiyur, he made the river turn course. This resulted in the place where today’s Tirupoonthuruthi is, to become like a hillock or mound which was fertile due to being surrounded by the river, and flowering tress grew in abundance. Indra worshipped Lord Siva here with flowers, and hence the place is called Pushpavanam, and the Lord here is called Pushpavananathar.
The place between two rivers is referred to as Thuruthi. This place was likely filled with flowering trees, and hence gets the name Poonthuruthi (the ancient name of Kuttalam, located between Kumbakonam and Mayiladuthurai, is Tiru-thuruthi). The place is also referred to as Pushpavanam or Poonthurai.
After Sambandar left Appar at Vedaranyam to go to Madurai, Appar came here and established his own mutt, and was performing his duties of cleaning the temple, here. After Madurai, Sambandar wanted to meet Appar, and came here looking for him. A huge crowd gathered, and unbeknownst to anyone, Appar (who was much advanced in age to the 7-year old Sambandar), merged with the crowd and became one of the bearers of Sambandar’s palanquin. When Sambandar asked the crowd where Appar was, the latter himself responded that he was underneath the palanquin. Sambandar immediately stopped the palanquin, got down, and fell at Appar’s feet, and Appar did the same to Sambandar; such was the mutual bhakti and respect of the two saints.
Since Appar had sanctified this temple through his uzhavar pani (maintenance), Sambandar did not want to defile it, and wished to worship the Lord from outside. It is said in the sthala puranam that Siva asked Nandi to move a little bit so that Sambandar could worship Him without having to come into the temple. The Nandi at this temple is aligned slightly to the line of sight of the moolavar Lingam from the gopuram.
This is a Chola temple, structurally dating back to perhaps the 8th or the 9th century – this is evident from the simple pillars throughout the temple. There have been additions in the later Chola periods as well – the Veenadhara Dakshinamurti and Ardhanareeswarar in the koshtam are indications of later and more refined Chola architecture. There are also clear indications of the Thanjavur Nayaks’ influence on the temple.
Other information for your visit
This is one of the temples forming part of Tiruvaiyaru Sapta Sthanam festival, which celebrates Nandi’s wedding. Read our separate feature on the festival, here. All seven temples are located relatively close by, and except for Tiruvaiyaru (which is a large temple) they could be covered in about 6 hours. Alternatively, an entire day can be spent leisurely visiting all seven temples, including Tiruvaiyaru.
Phone: 97911 38256