Sivagurunathaswami, Sivapuram, Thanjavur
Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Sivagurunathaswami||Ambal / Thayar:||Singaravalli, Aaryambal, Periyanayaki|
|Vriksham:||SaNbagam||Teertham:||Chandra Theertham, Surya Theertham|
|Timing:||6 to 11 & 4.30 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Sivapuram||District:||Thanjavur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Kumbakonam (3.6 km)||Mayiladuthurai (35.5 km)|
|Tiruvarur (36.9 km)||Thanjavur (44.2 km)|
Sivapuram is located 6km east of Kumbakonam.
Sthala puranam and temple information
It believed that Lord Vishnu, in the form of a white boar (referencing the Varaha avataram), worshipped Lord Siva with lotus flowers. There are pictures depicting this on the temple walls. Appar mentions this in his Tevaram pathigam.
It is believed that in the town of Sivapuram, there are countless Siva Lingams under the ground, which has given the town its name. Therefore, Sambandar did not step on the ground here, and instead went around the temple doing angapradakshinam here. Then he went outside the town and sang his pathigam on this temple. The place he sang from is called Swamigal Thurai, near the Arasilar river. This has resulted in angapradakshinam being a favoured form of worship among devotees here.
This place was also called Kuberapuri, Swetaranyam and Bhukailsam.
Ravana once went to Kailasam in an impure state. Nandi refused to let him enter. Kubera spoke favourably about Ravana (his brother) to convince Nandi to let Ravana in, but Nandi refused. Nandi also cursed Kubera to be born on earth. As a result, Kubera came to earth (in the form of a king named Dhanapati) and worshipped at this temple, eventually regaining his position amongst the devas. The Lingam he prayed to is the moolavar Sivagurunathar here. A special Kubera puja is conducted on Deepavali day, and worshipping at this temple on that day is considered beneficial to improving financial health.
The Lord here is a Swambhu murti.
Bhairavar is in a separate shrine here. One unique piece of idol sculpture here is that the dog beside Bhairavar has its left ear lifted as though listening to devotees’ prayers, to pass them on to Bhairavar. Another is that under the foot of Dakshinamurti, instead of Muyalagan, it is Rahu who is present – this is an extremely rare depiction.
Devotees undertake fasting on 11 Fridays and perform archana to Goddess Periyanayaki to beget children.
The temple in its current form is from the later Chola period.
This temple was the subject of a massive idol theft in 1953. The story goes that in 1951, a farmer found some idols in his field, which were handed over to the authorities, who commissioned a stapathi to repair the idols and return them to the temple. Later, it was found that the idols in the temple (including a magnificent Natarajar) was fake, the originals being somewhere in the USA. Upon further investigation, it was found that a gang of idol thieves persuaded the stapathi to exchange the original idols for fakes, which were then given back to the temple. In 1987, the ASI finally managed to bring the idols back to India, and these are now housed in the vaults of the Thyagarajar temple at Tiruvarur (some reports say that they are stored at the Kapaleeswarar temple, Chennai).
Other information for your visit
Kumbakonam is a temple town, and there are a number of temples in and around Kumbakonam. Please visit the pages on Kumbakonam, Near: Kumbakonam, and Near 25: Kumbakonam, for more information on these.
Kumbakonam and its outskirts have several accommodation options for all budgets, including some resorts.