Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Ramanathaswami||Ambal / Thayar:||Sarivar Kuzhali|
|Timing:||8 to 11 & 5 to 7.30||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Tirukannapuram||District:||Nagapattinam|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Tiruvarur (18 km)||Nagapattinam (24 km)|
|Mayiladuthurai (33 km)||Kumbakonam (45 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
In the Ramayanam, Rama was afflicted with brahmahathi dosham, as he had killed Ravana, a brahmin and a staunch Siva devotee. So upon his return, Rama sought to worship Lord Siva at various places, to get rid of the dosham. When he came by this place, he pleased to see a Siva temple, and wanted to worship here. However, Nandi – not knowing who Rama was – stopped him from entering the temple because of his dosham. Immediately, Amman took Nandi aside and explained the situation, and Rama was allowed to worship Siva here. From this story, the moolavar gets the name Ramanatheswarar (and sometimes Ramanandeeswarar). Even today, it is believed that the Sayarakshai puja in the evenings is performed by Rama, and it is regarded as highly auspicious and beneficial for devotee to witness this puja. During the deeparadhanai, one can see an image of a flame (considered to be what Rama worshipped with) on the Lingam.
There was a king near Tirukannapuram (which is also called Rameswaram), who was childless. During one of his hunts, he found four girls – infants – and brought them up as his daughters. When they grew up, they all wanted to marry Lord Siva, and so the king worshipped Siva for this. The Lord granted his wish, and the four – who were forms of Parvati – merged with Siva and are worshipped at four temples nearby as: Vaitha Thirukuzhal Nayaki (Tiruchengattankudi), Karundar Kuzhali Amman (Tirupugalur), Vandar Kuzhali Amman (Tirumarugal) and Sarivar Kuzhali Amman (Tirukannapuram). The four also helped with the safe childbirth of a pregnant woman, and are called Shoolikambal in the respective temples. Because they came back late in the night after attending to the delivery, the main temple was closed, so their shrines are outside the respective temples.
This Chola temple dates back to at least the late 11th century – the time of Kulothunga Chola I, if not earlier. The inscriptions in the temple also refer to Kulothunga Chola I, Kulothunga Chola II, Raja Raja Chola III and the Pandya King Srivallabha, all of whom have given grants to the temple or have renovated / expanded the temple structure.
The Somaskandar murti of this temple – which is housed in the Tirupugalur temple – depicts Parvati holding Nandi in her hand, representative of the sthala puranam where She controlled Nandi to prevent him from obstructing Rama’s entry to the temple. In the prakaram, Agastyar is depicted worshipping Bhairavar, whose image was installed by the sage himself.
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: 94431 13025