Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Vyagrapureeswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Soundara Nayaki|
|Timing:||10 to 12 & 4 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Vada Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Perumpuliyur||District:||Thanjavur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Thanjavur (18 km)||Ariyalur (33 km)|
|Kumbakonam (42 km)||Perambalur (55 km)|
Perumpuliyur is located about 4 km northwest of Tiruvaiyaru, in the middle of lush green farmlands.
Sthala puranam and temple information
Sage Vyaghrapada (literally, tiger-footed) was told about the glory of Siva by his father, Mathiandan. The sage therefore wanted to worship Lord Siva at Chidambaram, with the freshest of flowers that had not even been touched by the bees early in the morning. However, this meant he had to walk on very thorny surfaces, and at that time of the morning, could not see well either due to the limited light. He prayed to Lord Siva and was able to obtain the feet of a tiger, as a result of which he was able to collect flowers early in the morning, without hurting his feet.
The sage worshipped Lord Siva in five key places, all of whose names carry the suffix “puliyur” (puli, in Tamil, means tiger). These are Perumpatrapuliyur (Chidambaram), Tirupathiripuliyur, Erukathampuliyur, Omampuliyur and Perumpuliyur (this temple).
In temple iconography, Vyaghrapada is shown with a human body and a tiger’s feet, and is often shown along with Patanjali (depicted with a human body and a snake’s tail), as the two of them together witnessed Lord Siva’s cosmic dance at Chidambaram.
The temple itself is very simple and elegant, but beautiful. The garbhagriham is itself at a slightly raised level, resting on a padma peetham / adishtanam, as is the avuidai on which the Lingam baanam rests.
In the western koshtam of the garbhagriham, there is a murti of Ardhanareeswarar instead of the usual Lingodhbhavar or Mahavishnu.
Typically, the Navagrahams are arranged such that Suryan faces the east, and none of the other grahams face any other. Here, Suryan is turned west, facing the Lord, and all the other grahams face Suryan.
In addition to this being a Paadal Petra Sthalam, it is also a Tiruppugazh temple – Arunagirinathar sang songs here in praise of Murugan.
While the temple dates back to early Chola times, there were significant improvements made here during the time of Raja Raja Chola I. There are inscriptions in the temple that attest to this.