Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Pranava Vyaghrapureeswar||Ambal / Thayar:||Poonkodi Nayaki, Pushpalathambigai|
|Vriksham:||Ilanthai||Teertham:||Kollidam, KoLLi Teertham, Gowri Teertham|
|Timing:||6 to 12 & 4 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Vada Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Omampuliyur||District:||Cuddalore|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Mayiladuthurai (19 km)||Kumbakonam (43 km)|
|Tiruvarur (61 km)||Ariyalur (67 km)|
This ancient temple is situated on the northern bank of the river Kollidam, about 15km east of Gangaikonda Chola Puram.
Sthala puranam and temple information
There are various villages and towns with the word “puliyur” in their names. While this usually suggests a story related to a tiger (puli), many of these are named so because of their association with sage Vyaghrapada (tiger-footed). Pancha Puliyur represents five places where sage Vyaghrapada worshipped Siva – Chidambaram (Perum Patra Puliyur), Perumpuliyur, Omampuliyur, Thiruppathiripuliyur, and Erukkathampuliyur – in order to get darshan of Siva’s cosmic dance at Chidambaram. At these temples, there are beautiful sculptures that depict sage Vyaghrapada worshiping Lord Siva.
There are many legends as to how Omampuliyur got its name. One is the reference to sage Vyaghrapada as above. Sambandar refers to it as OmAmpuliyur (acknowledging the Pranava mantram, OM). Appar refers to it as omampuliyur (or homampuliyur), due to the clouds of smoke that emerged from homams. Uma (Parvati) learnt the meaning of Pranava mantra here, so in the past, this place was called Umapuliyur.
Uma was listening to the Lord teaching her meaning of the Pranava mantram, but was not attentive. Lord Siva punished her to be born on earth. After much penance under the ilanthai tree (also this temple’s sthala vriksham), Lord Siva came here as the Guru (Dakshinamurti) to complete her education. Acknowledging this, a shrine for Guru Dakshinamurti can be found in the moolasthanam between the shrines of Siva and Parvati, which in most temples would be the location of Natarajar. Because of this legend, devotees consider this temple a Guru sthalam, important for children’s education.
There is also a separate Dakshinamurti idol facing south, as well as Natarajar, in the koshtam. It is believed that this is the Natarajar who gave darshan to Sage Vyaghrapada.
Two celestials were cursed by sage Durvasa to be born on earth as a swine and human. They were once chased by tiger, and so ran and reached temple’s Gowri Teertham. A woman was drying her hair after bath in the temple tank, and a few drops of the water from her hair landed on the two being, giving them back their celestial forms.
A king called Sadanandan was a staunch devotee of Lord Siva. He is said to have been cured of his leprosy after taking a bath at the temple’s tank and worshipping the Lord here.
As there are two Dakshinamurtis at this temple, it is considered very auspicious and powerful for education.
A sculpture in the sanctum depicts Lord Vishnu receiving the Sudarshana Chakra from Siva to destroy the demon Jalandharan.
This temple has no dwajasthambam. Also, there is no Navagraham in this temple, suggesting that this is a very old temple.
There are six stone inscriptions in this temple which date back to the periods of Chola King Kulothungan-III and Pallava King Kopperunsinga Devar.
Other information for your visit
Sri Jagadeesa Gurukkal can be contacted at +91-4144–264845 and +91 99426 34949.