Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Patanjaleeswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Kaanaarkuzhali|
|Timing:||6 to 11 & 5 to 7||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Vada Karai)||–|
|City / town:||Kanattampuliyur||District:||Cuddalore|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Mayiladuthurai (19 km)||Kumbakonam (46 km)|
|Tiruvarur (63 km)||Ariyalur (70 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
Given the suffix “puliyur” to the town’s name, there is naturally a temptation to connect this temple with Sage Vyaghrapada, as is the case with the Pranava Vyaghrapureeswarar temple at nearby Omampuliyur. However, this temple is where Patanajali worshipped, and the sthala puranam as well as the etymology of the town’s name are as follows.
The story of Chidambaram is about Adiseshan wanting a darsanam of Siva’s tandavam, after coming to know that Vishnu felt heavy with fulfillment after watching it. So he took the form of sage Patanjali, and along with sage Vyaghrapada, was able to witness Siva’s cosmic dance, the Ananda Tandavam. Later, he wished to witness the spectacle again, and asked Nandi for advice, who suggested that the sage go to this place and worship Siva. Patanjali did so, and the ever-obliging Lord appeared here solely for Patanjali’s sake, and danced the tandavam. This also gives Him the name Patanjaleeswarar.
A group of sages from Dandakaranyam came here to worship Siva, who created several Lingams so that each of them could worship their own Lingam to worship. However, there were so many Lingams, that the sages were afraid to accidentally step on the Lingams and so they worshipped from afar. Nonetheless, they were astounded by the number of Lingams that seemed as numerous as grains of sand, and so they name this place “Adrishta Mruthika Kshetram” (loosely translated as the town of fortuitous or lucky sand, referring to the Lingams). The sand at this temple is considered highly auspicious, and devotees often take back a handful with them, in the belief that it will bring them prosperity.
It is believed that when Sundarar visited here after worshipping at Mannippatikkarai (Iluppaipattu), the ground was full of Lingams – and so Sundarar too worshipped from a distance. Because he was unable to enter the temple, he called the place “Kaal Nattam Ull Oor” (the town where the foot cannot be placed!), which over time got corrupted to Kanattamullur and later Kanttampuliyur (possibly because of the nearby Omampuliyur).
There is an interesting belief about the temple’s bell – it is said that if rung a couple of times, the bell will continue to ring for a much longer period, and when it stops ringing, one can hear “OM” emanating from the bell.
While the temple is dated to the Chola period, there are minimal architectural elements that otherwise define a classic Chola temple. However, there are inscriptions in the temple, which refer to Vikrama Chola as well as Rajendra Chola I and Rajendra Chola III.
That this is a very old temple is evident by the absence of a separate Navagraham shrine, though there are separate shrines for Sani and Suryan – the latter is said to have worshipped here, and is believed to be continuing his worship for three days every year in the Tamil month of Chitirai (April-May). The reason for there being no Navagraham shrine here is because Kol Valakkai Ambigai here is said to have all the planetary deities in her hands!
Amman is also depicted with a Pambadam or Thandatti (a hanging earring, usually worn by elderly women), and is worshipped for timely marriage and safe childbirth.
Naturally, the temple has a shrine for Patanjali. Patanjali is also worshipped to seek relief from Rahu and Ketu doshams. Dakshinamurti is also depicted rather unusually, without the banyan (kallala) tree in the background. The temple has a total of six Teerthams surrounding it, including the Surya Teertham located opposite the main entrance.
Other information for your visit
This is one of the Nava-Puliyur temples worshipped by Patanjali and Vyaghrapada. These are:
- Perumpatrampuliyur (Chidambaram),
- Erukathampuliyur (Rajendrapattinam),
- Kanattampuliyur (Kanattamullur, this temple) and
Shekar gukukal: 9486220284