Swarnapureeswarar, Semponnarkoil, Nagapattinam


Basic information about the temple

Moolavar:SwarnapureeswararAmbal / Thayar:Maruvaarkzhali, Sugandhavananayaki, Sugandha Kunthalambigai
Deity:SivaHistorical name:TiruchchemponpaLLi, Lakshmipuri
Vriksham:VaLLi, VilvamTeertham:Surya Teertham, Kaveri
Agamam:

Karana agamam

Age (years):

1000-2000

Timing:7.30 to 12 & 4.30 to 8.30Parikaram:

Temple group:Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)
Sung by:

Sambandar, Appar

Temple set:

Navagraham:

Nakshatram:

City / town:SemponnarkoilDistrict:Nagapattinam
Maps from (click): Current location Mayiladuthurai (15.3 km)Tiruvarur (48.4 km)

Nagapattinam (49.6 km)Kumbakonam (52.2 km)

Location

Sthala puranam and temple information

This temple is closely connected to the story of Daksha’s yagam, which Dakshayani attended alone, and without invitation, much against Lord Siva’s wishes. Due to the insults heaped on Siva, Dakshayani decided to immolate herself, before which She worshipped Lord Siva at this place. Her jumping into the fire greatly angered Siva, and out of His wrath emerged Veerabhadra, who destroyed the yagam and many of its participants including Daksha. This place is regarded as where Veerabhadra took form.

The place gets its name Semponnar Koil (or Sembanar Koil) for two reasons. One, the sanctum is believed to have been made of gold (pon or sempon means gold in Tamil), which also gives the moolavar His name – Swarnapureeswarar. Two, a Chola king built this temple, and another name for the Cholas is Sembian (after Sibi Chakravarti, who they considered as their ancestor). Also, in literature and puranams, this place has had many names, for who has worshipped here, and one of these names is Sembanar Koil (Sembanar or Sembian referring to a person descended from Sibi).

  • Lakshmipuri because Goddess Lakshmi worshipped here to get married to Vishnu
  • Indrapuri because Indra worshipped here and obtained the Vajrayudham, to destroy Vritrasuran
  • Skandapuri because Murugan worshipped here and was able to defeat Tharakasuran.

Brahma, sage Vasishta, sage Agastyar, Kubera and the Ashta Digpalakas worshipped here. Rati is said to have prayed here to have Manmadhan (Kama) restored, after the incident of Kama dahanam at Korukkai.

Before immolating Herself, Dakshayani wanted to return to the Lord but He refused her entry. So Murugan, in the form of Siva, and advised her on various truths to pacify Her (Murugan is also considered an aspect or a representation of Siva, according to the Skanda Puranam). Murugan is depicted here with a rudraksha mala in his hand. In effect, between here and Swamimalai, Murugan has taken the role of guru to both his parents!

This is a maadakoil built by Kochchenga Cholan. According to the temple history, based on the iconography of Jyeshta Devi in the koshtam, this temple was renovated in the time of Aditya Chola I. The moolavar is a Swambhu murti that sparkled like gold (and hence the name Swarnapureeswarar). The Lingam is housed on an avudai shaped like a lotus with two rows of 16 petals each. In the main corridor is a murti of Veerabhadrar along with Daksha. Inscriptions in the temple date to the time of Kulothunga Chola III, Rajadhiraja I, and Serfoji of Tanjore.

Worshipping at this temple is considered beneficial for all types of growth and prosperity. There is also a belief that placing newly-purchased jewelry at the Amman shrine first, will bless devotees with being able to buy more gold in the future (representative of prosperity). As though balancing this out, worshipping here is also known to benefit those who practice yoga. This is also a Navagraha dosham parikara sthalam. Durga at this temple is considered extremely powerful.

Other information for your visit

Contact

Phone: 99437 97974

Gallery

Author: TN Temples Project

A personal project to catalogue information on temples (both mainstream and off-the-beaten-track), so that people can learn about them and visit those temples more regularly.

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