Pallavaneswarar, Poompuhar, Nagapattinam
Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Pallavaneswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Soundaranayaki|
|Vriksham:||Malligai, Punnai||Teertham:||Kaverichandra Teertham|
|Timing:||6.30 to 12 & 4.30 to 7.30||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Vada Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Poompuhar||District:||Nagapattinam|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Mayiladuthurai (28 km)||Nagapattinam (53 km)|
|Thiruvarur (59 km)||Kumbakonam (66 km)|
Poompuhar is located 19 km from Sirkazhi and 23 km from Mayiladuthurai
Sthala puranam and temple information
Sivanesar and Gnanakamalambikai lived in Kaveripoompattinam (Poompuhar), and had a son called Tiruvenkadar, who married Sivakalai. They had no children for many years. Siva Sarma and Suseelai were a poor couple, and Lord Siva took birth as their son, Marudavanar. He also appeared in their dream and asked them to give up Marudavanar for adoption, to Tiruvenkadar and Sivakalai. When he grew up, this child Marudavanar took up the profession of Tiruvenkadar – marine trading. Upon returning from one of his trips, he gave Tiruvenkadar a gift. Expecting money and jewels, Tiruvenkadar opened it, only to find a cowdung cake. Furious, he threw it on the wall, and then read what was written inside in Tamil – that even a broken needle would not accompany one on their last journey. Immediately realizing his folly, Tiruvenkadar gave up all worldly attachments and renounced family life. He then prayed to Lord Siva here at this temple, for salvation, which Siva promised him would come at the appropriate time. This Tiruvenkadar then took up the name Pattinathaar, and traveled to various temples in Tamilakam and finally came to Chennai in his last days, before attaining mukti at Tiruvottriyur.
This temple is locally also called Pattinathaar temple. Pattinathaar – for whom there is a separate shrine at this temple – is regarded as a reincarnation of Kubera, who is considered to have worshipped at this temple. The temple’s brahmotsavam, Adiyar Utsavam, is celebrated not for Lord Siva, but for Pattinathaar (Pattinathaar Tiruvizha).
The historical name of the place is Kaveripoompattinam, which is a corruption from Kaveri-Poohum-Pattinam, or the place where the river Kaveri enters (in this case, this is where the river entered / joined the sea).
This temple’s history connects to Sangam literature as well. There is a separate shrine for Sabhapati Amman, who is believed to have been worshipped by Madhavi (of Silappatikaram fame) and Manimekalai (of the eponymous Sangam epic Manimekalai).
This temple is one of the Pancha Aranya Kshetrams, of which there are multiple groups. Pancha Aranya Kshetrams are essentially nearby temples that were – in the days of yore – located in forests (usually – but not always – denoted by the word “vanam” or “kadu” in the name of the place). Some of the other such temples nearby are at Thalachangadu, Sayavanam, and Tiruvenkadu.
Upon entering the temple, it looks very unassuming with a simple frontage. However, this is one of the old Chola temples, and so there is a lot more behind the façade! There are also some unusual aspects to this temple’s iconography and murtis. The Siva Lingam itself is very large, compared to other temples in the region. The temple has a unique Navagraham arrangement, whereby all of the Navagrahams face west, towards Lord Siva. There are two Durga murtis in the koshtam, but only one of them is seen standing on Mahishasuran. Chandikeswarar is accompanied by Chandikeswari in his separate shrine.
The temple houses an idol of Murugan that is said to have originally at Tiruchendur and stolen by Dutch sailors in 1648, before being recovered from the sea near here. Curiously, Murugan’s vehicle – the peacock – is not there outside this shrine.
Other information for your visit
Phone; 94437 19193