Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Pasupateeswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Tripurasundari|
|Timing:||6 to 12 & 4 to 9||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Vaippu Sthalam||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Tiruvamur||District:||Cuddalore|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Viluppuram (24 km)||Cuddalore (38 km)|
|Tiruvannamalai (87 km)||Mayiladuthurai (94 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
A cow was grazing in the fields, when it struck a hard surface with its hoof. The cow noticed blood pouring out from the earth, and was terrified. Assuming it had injured something, the cow offered its own milk as a poultice, after which the bleeding stopped. The cow continued to do this every day, which surprised the locals. One day, they inspected the place, and found a Siva Lingam buried there, which was unearthed and installed in the temple. Because it came to their notice due to the cow’s actions, Siva was named Pasupateeswarar here.
Another interpretation of the moolavar’s name here is from the Saiva Siddhantam philosophy of Pasu-Pati-Pasam, which describes humans as pasu, their worldly ties as pasam, and pati being Siva, worshipping whom breaks one’s earthly bonds and helps attain spiritual elevation.
Tiruvamur used to be known as Tiru-Aavur (aa in Tamil referring to a cow), which name was derived from the sthala puranam of this temple.
Tiruvamur is the avatara sthalam (birthplace) of Appar, one of the three most prominent saints in the Tamil Saivite bhakti tradition. It is believed that Appar’s parents Pugazhanar and Mathiniyar, worshipped at this temple prior to Appar’s birth. After their attaining mukti, Appar and his sister Tilakavatiyar carried out various duties for this temple, before Appar (briefly) embraced Jainism, and his sister moved to Tiruvadhigai.
Although this is not a Tevaram Paadal Petra Sthalam, one can find mention of the term Emmaiyalum Pasupatiye (எம்மையாளும் பசுபதியே, the Pasupati who rules over me) in several of Appar’s pathigams. It is also inconceivable that the saint would not have sung about the first Siva temple he would have worshipped at. Therefore, at least some of such references in Appar’s pathigams should be to the moolavar of this temple, and so this temple may be regarded as a Vaippu Sthalam.
Because Appar and his family have worshipped here, the temple certainly existed in the 6th or 7th century in some form. The structural temple is entirely Chola, from the time of Kulothunga Chola III in the late 12th and early 13th century, and is virtually untouched by other rulers who that came thereafter. The temple walls also include several inscriptions from that period.
The main entrance of the temple, including a small gopuram, is to the west. However, the moolavar faces east. A murti of Appar is installed opposite the moolavar, who is a swayambhu murti, and the ardha-mandapam has murtis of Appar’s parents and sister as well. The temple features very beautiful murtis of the various deities enshrined here. The overall architecture of the temple itself is simple, yet very pleasing to the eye.
Other Information for your visit
Very close to this temple is a temple dedicated to Appar, which also serves as the matham that is run in his name. The actual house in which the saint was born is a proper brick construction today, located in the same premises as that temple.