Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Agneeswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Karundarkuzhali|
|Timing:||6 to 12 & 4 to 9||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Tirupugalur||District:||Nagapattinam|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Thiruvarur (19 km)||Nagapattinam (26 km)|
|Mayiladuthurai (31 km)||Kumbakonam (44 km)|
Tirupugalur is located 21km from Tiruvarur on the Sannanallur-Nagore route.
Sthala puranam and temple information
This temple complex houses two deities – effectively two separate temples, each of which is a Paadal Petra Sthalam. The deities are Agneeswarar and Varthamaneswarar.
Agni, the god of fire, had suffered a curse. He prayed to Lord Siva here, and was able to have the vision of the Lord as Chandrasekhara, who is also enshrined with the moolavar deity here. He also received relief from the curse. So Siva here is called Agneeswarar. Agni appears with two heads, seven hands, seven sparks of fire, four horns and three legs. Varthamaneswarar is inside the garbhagriham to the right (only Sambandar has sung on this deity).
Banasura, a demon, once attempted to carry away the Siva Lingam here, for worship by his mother, but he could not remove it. He even dug around it, but could not uproot the Lingam. In this process, the Lingam ended up being slightly tilted, and therefore gets the name Konal Piran (konal = angled in Tamil).
The Nayanmar Appar spent the last few years of his life at this place, and this is his mukti sthalam. He attained liberation on the day of Sadayam nakshatram in the Tamil month of Chitrai (April-May), merging with the Lord immediately after singing what was to be his last pathigam. The Chitrai festival celebrates the life of Appar from the moment he left Jainism to come to the fold of Siva, his many services to temples, and finally his salvation.
This is also the avatara sthalam of Muruga Nayanar, one of the 63 Saiva Nayanmars. In the Periya Puranam, there is a reference to a gathering of Nayanmars Sambandar, Appar, Siruthondar, and Neelanakkar, amongst others, at the matham of Muruga Nayanar here.
Sundarar wanted to build a place for annadanam (food donation) in Tiruvarur, and needed to collect money. He decided to get it from his usual source – the Lord Himself – and so he came to Tirupugalur. At that time, the temple was undergoing renovation, and because it was nighttime, Sundarar used a couple of bricks to rest his head while sleeping. When we awoke, he found that the bricks had turned int gold.
Due to this association, worshipping at this temple is considered auspicious for new construction, and devotees bring six of their bricks here for puja, before commencing construction. After worship, three are left behind while the other three are taken back for construction.
Connected to the puranam of Tiruchengattankudi Uthira Pasupateeswarar temple, Karundar Kuzhali Amman here helped with safe delivery of a local woman, and praying to Her is believed to ensure safe childbirth. As thanksgiving, that family gifted some land to the temple, which continues to be used for medical purposes.
It is believed that prior to his Sani dosham ending at Tirunallar, Nala received Sani‘s benediction here, after he took at bath at this temple’s tank. Sani at this temple is therefore worshipped as an anugraha murti. Nala also has a shrine at this temple.
This is a medieval to later period Chola temple, considered to have been built in the 10th or 11th century CE. There are inscriptions about Uttama Chola, and grants and gifts given by Raja Raja Chola I to the temple. There are also inscriptions about taxes imposed by Rajendra Chola. It is believed that one time during the Chola rule, this temple also served as a hospital / medical facility (also see Karundar Kuzhali Amman story above).
Other information for your visit
The following Paadal Petra Sthalam and Divya Desam temples (including this temple) are located close by and it is efficient to cover them in a single visit.
Tirupugalur: Agneeswarar (and Vartamaneswarar)
Tirukannapuram: Sowriraja Perumal; Ramanathaswami;
Tiruchengattankudi: Uthira Pasupateeswarar;
Marugal: Ratnagireeswarar; and
Phone: 94435 88339