Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Ponvaithanaathar||Ambal / Thayar:||Akhilandeswari|
|Timing:||8 to 12 & 5 to 8.30||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Sitthaimur||District:||Nagapattinam|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Thiruvarur (25 km)||Nagapattinam (29 km)|
|Kumbakonam (63 km)||Mayiladuthurai (68 km)|
Sitthaimur is located 12km from Tiruthuraipoondi and 23km from Tiruvarur.
Sthala puranam and temple information
Sankaran Chettiar was a staunch devotee of Lord Siva. Once, Sankaran had to leave town on work, just prior to which his wife Anbirpriyal had conceived but did not know about it. Anbirpriyal used to be engaged in cleaning the temple and preparing garlands for the deities. In Sankaran’s absence, the Lord provided for her with a gold coin every day at nearby Ponnirai (and hence, pon-vaitha-nathar). However, the villagers doubted her chastity, because she had now come close to her due date for delivery, and she had sufficient money with her. Anbirpriyal surrendered to Siva and Parvati, and the Goddess Akhilandeswari helped her with a safe delivery of her child. Upon Sankaran’s return, the villagers informed him of their views, and he challenged his wife, but she swore steadfastly with the Lord as her witness.
To validate if her story and faith were true, Sankaran put down four conditions: the closed doors of the temple would open on their own, ardhajama puja would happen of its own accord, the bali peetam would come after Nandi, and the sthala vriksham growing behind the temple would move to the front of the temple. Anbirpriyal left it to the Lord, who ensured that each of these things happened, removing any trace of doubt in the minds of Sankaran or the villagers.
A Brahmarishi would conduct ardhajama puja (last puja of the day, late in the evening) regularly at this temple. Once, he was delayed, and the temple doors were closed. So the sage took the form of a bee and entered the temple through a hole in the wall, as did other rishis who were with him. There is a beehive inside the garbhagriham even today, which is believed to be these rishis worshipping the Lord.
In keeping with the pregnancy theme of the sthala puranam, this place is a prarthana sthalam for a safe pregnancy.
Other information for your visit
Because of its location, accommodation options nearby are budget and mid-range ones at Mannargudi and Tiruvarur. There is a good (but crowded) place in Tiruthuraipoondi called Iyer Mess, located on Sannathi street, as a nearby food option.
Santosh Gurukkal: 87547 79660