Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Brahmapureeswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||SugandhakunthaLambikai, Poonkuzhalammai|
|Timing:||6 to 11 & 4.30 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Ampal||District:||Tiruvarur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Tiruvarur (21 km)||Mayiladuthurai (26 km)|
|Nagapattinam (31 km)||Kumbakonam (40 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
This temple is also known as Ampal Perunkoil.
The puranam of Brahma and Vishnu searching for the top and bottom of the pillar of fire that Siva emerged as, is well known. Due to Brahma’s false claim of having seen the top of the pillar of fire, Siva cursed him to remain a swan (a form he had taken to look for the top). Brahma regretted his actions, and took a bath in the temple tank and then worshipped Siva here, to regain his original form.
In ancient times, this place was ruled by a king named Nandan. There was a famine in the kingdom, and the righteous king, not knowing what to do, worshipped Vinayakar at this temple for relief. Vinayakar provided a padi (measuring cup) to the king, which would fill itself up each day – enough to feed the people for that day. Vinayakar here is therefore named Padikkasu Vinayakar.
Sage Durvasa sired two sons named Ampara and Aampara, with his servant. The sons were asuras who took pleasure in troubling the sages. At Siva’s request, Parvati deputed Kali, who took the form of a maid and came here. Both asuras desired her and fought amongst themselves over her. In the fight, Aampara (the elder) was killed, and Kali vanquished Ampara at what is known today as Ampakarathur. The names of these brothers give the place its name as Ampal (or Ambar). To be rid of the sin of the killings, Kali worshipped Siva here and received His blessings.
Kama was cursed by the Sage Viswamitra for trying to disturb the latter’s penance. Because of this, his arrows became powerless. He worshipped a this temple to be relieved of his curse. The story of Vimalan who worshipped here instead of going to Kasi, and Siva bringing the Ganga river here, is often attributed to the temple, but actually relates to the Ampal Mahakalanathar temple.
This is one of the maadakoils built by Kochchenga Cholan. In fact, this is the last of the 78 maadakoils built by him. Somasi Mara Nayanar, one of the 63 Saivite Nayanmars, was born in nearby Makalam (an extension of Ampal) and lived here at this temple for much of his life. The structural temple is clearly Chola, regarded as being from the medieval Chola period. There are 3 inscriptions in the temple that refer to Raja Raja Chola and Kulothunga Chola III.
Interestingly, there are two Nandis (one of stone, and another of plaster which is a more recent addition), and these along with the dhwajasthambam are misaligned to the axis of the temple from the entrance to the garbhagriham.
Other information for your visit
This temple is not to be confused with Ampal Mahakalanathar temple (one of the 3 Makalam temples in India) which is located nearby. Also close by is the Sattanathar temple, where Siva appeared as Sattanathar (Bhairavar form) for Indra.
Phone: 04366 238 973