Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Kailasanathar||Ambal / Thayar:||Sivakami Amman|
|Timing:||6 to 12 & 4 to 9||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Vaippu sthalam||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Vadakkur||District:||Pudukkottai|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Karaikudi (37 km)||Pudukkottai (52 km)|
|Thanjavur (97 km)||Ramanathapuram (104 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
Our visit to this temple was quite by accident. We had reached Avudaiyar Kovil quite early, and were waiting for the temple to open. We realised there as a temple nearby and decided to visit it. As it turned out, that was this temple, with its own fascinating sthala puranam!
In ancient times, this place was called Vadakkur (vadakku referring to the north) and Tiruperunthurai was called Therkkur (therku = south). Even today, it is called Vada Nagar.
Tiruperunthurai or Avudaiyar Kovil is associated with the Saivite bhakti saint Manikkavasagar, and is said to have been built by him when he was a minister of a Pandya king. It is important to note that this temple for Siva as Kailasanathar is said to have been in existence even in the time of Manikkavasagar. Because of this, Siva here is also called Adi Kailasanathar, referring to The Primordial One, and the place is often referred to locally as Then Kailasam (south Kailasam).
There is a view that this was where Manikkavasagar was first given upadesam / preaching by Siva directly.
Well before the time of Manikkavasagar, this place – then called Sivapuram – was ruled by a Pandya king, who had a greedy minister named Thundakan. The minister wanted to usurp as much land as possible, including this village which was then occupied by 300 brahmins. To this end, he alleged that the brahmins had duped him of this land, and sought to recover it using his authority. The despondent brahmins knew only to worship Siva in times of sorrow, and did so. Shortly thereafter, an elderly man came to the village, introduced himself as Paramaswami, and promised to restore the land to the villagers, on the condition that he was given 1/300 of the land. The villagers agreed, and so Paramaswami went to the capital Madurai, and announced that he had documents to support his claim over the land. This was disputed by the minister, who showed his own documents. To settle the matter, the king asked both parties to identify one defining feature of the land. The minister, knowing the arid area the land was in, confidently said that the land bore no water underground. The old man contested this, and said that water was plentifully available, particularly in the north-eastern part of the village. They all went to the village, and when the mound on the north-eastern part was dug, water immediately sprung forth! Realising the minister’s treachery, the king dispossessed him of his title and banished him from the kingdom. Realising that Paramaswami was none other than Siva, the brahmin villagers gladly let him stay in his 1/300 share of the land, and built this temple for the Lord. The water that sprung forth remains to this day as the temple’s tank.
Perhaps because of this sthala puranam, the place was also called Keezh Neer Katti, in ancient times.
Today, this is a favoured place to perform special worship for one’s nakshatram birthday, weddings and wedding anniversaries, 60th and 80th birthdays. It is also a prarthana sthalam to get married, those wishing to have children, and those seeking to eliminate negatives in their horoscopes – a reflection of the changes in fortune, as happened with the brahmin villagers in the days of yore.
While the original temple is undated, it is said to have gone through several a major around the 14th century, during the Pandya rule, and several renovations thereafter. The Pandya influence on architecture is very evident. Several aspects of the temple today – including the raja gopuram, and shrines of Murugan, Chandikeswarar, Bhairavar, Suryan and Chandran – were fully rebuilt a the time of kumbhabhishekam in 1990. At the time of our visit in December 2021, was being prepared for another kumbhabhishekam in 2022.
The small but beautiful maha mandapam first has the dhwajasthambam, bali peetham and a Nandi, and also has a number of pillars with intricate bas relief carvings. Straight ahead is the garbhagriham while the south-facing Amman shrine is to the right. In the koshtam is only a shrine for Dakshinamurti; none of the other usual koshtam deities are present – this suggests that the Dakshinamurti shrine was perhaps a later addition. In the prakaram are shrines for Vinayakar, Vishnu with Sridevi and Bhudevi, Murugan with his consorts Valli and Deivanai, Chandikeswarar, Bhairavar, Kali, Suryan and Chandran. There is no separate Navagraham shrine here.
There are also several inscriptions in the temple, especially on the pillars in the garbhagriham. The architecture in the various parts of the temple is also extremely eye-catching!
Other information for your visit
Manikka Gurukkal: 94439 51773