Sivalokanathar, Mangudi, Mayiladuthurai


This Chola period temple is dated as being over 1000 years old, and is located in the village of Mangudi, which itself has some very interesting stories with regard to its etymology. What would have been an imposing temple in the late Chola period is, today, in a pathetic state of repair and structural failing. But what does this temple have to do with the two nearby temples for Siva as Bhulokanathar and Naganathar?… Read More Sivalokanathar, Mangudi, Mayiladuthurai

Tirumoolanathar, Tirumoolasthanam, Cuddalore


The place and the name of the moolavar here get their names from the fact that Tirumoolar – the Saivite saint and composer of the Tirumandiram – stayed here on his way from Chidammbaram to Tiruvidaimaruthur. This ancient temple, which was built in the 10th century – is in poor state, but in active worship, and features some exceptional architecture and sculptures. But why are there 3 representations of Sani at this temple?… Read More Tirumoolanathar, Tirumoolasthanam, Cuddalore

Kailasanathar, Tirumoolasthanam, Cuddalore


This is one of the many temples where sage Agastyar visited and consecrated a Lingam, after being presented with the divine vision of Siva and Parvati’s wedding at Kailasam. This is also where the Goddess trio of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati have worshipped. Despite its heavily dilapidated situation today, the temple offers some insights into temple building styles from before the Chola period. What are some of these indications, and to what time period does this temple belong?… Read More Kailasanathar, Tirumoolasthanam, Cuddalore

Anjaneyar, Namakkal, Namakkal


In the Narasimha Avataram, Vishnu had to leave His abode quickly to reach Prahalada, and so Lakshmi missed seeing His form as Narasimhar. The events after the Ramayanam resulted in Anjaneyar coming here, where he found Lakshmi. Vishnu established Himself as Narasimhar, and to give importance to Anjaneyar, had the latter be present here for ever. But what is the really interesting part of the Anjaneyar vigraham at this temple?… Read More Anjaneyar, Namakkal, Namakkal

Ilamaiyaakinaar, Chidambaram, Cuddalore


Thillai or Chidambaram is most famous for the Natarajar temple, but this temple has an equally old puranam, involving sage Vyaghrapadar – in fact, this is perhaps where the sage got his physical attribute that gives him his name as well. Originally a Chola temple from the 12th century, the temple is now largely in the Nagarathar style. But who are the two 63 Nayanmars and what are their absolutely fascinating stories, which are connected with this temple?… Read More Ilamaiyaakinaar, Chidambaram, Cuddalore

Palvannanathar, Tirukazhipalai, Cuddalore


The white Lingam sculpted by Sage Kapilar was damaged when a king’s horse accidentally tripped on it, but Lord Siva Himself told the sage not to create a new Lingam, as the original one had been sanctified by Kamadhenu. A very interesting aspect of this temple is that this is not the original location of the temple itself – the temple was physically relocated from its original place about 12km away. But what unusual depiction is there in the garbhagriham of this temple?… Read More Palvannanathar, Tirukazhipalai, Cuddalore

Uchinathar, Sivapuri, Cuddalore


This is also one of the places that Siva and Parvati provided sage Agastyar with the divine sight of their wedding in Kailasam. At Sirkazhi, Parvati nursed the infant Sambandar with milk; here, Lord Siva fed the saint, his family and followers, who were on their way to the saint’s wedding. The timing of this incident gives the Lord His name here. But what custom practiced by devotees in modern times, has this sthala puranam led to?… Read More Uchinathar, Sivapuri, Cuddalore

Sivaloka Thyagar, Achalpuram, Nagapattinam


This Paadal Petra Sthalam is of great significance since it is the last temple at which Sambandar sang a Tevaram pathigam. The child saint’s marriage was conducted here, and immediately after that, he, his new bride, their families and all those who attended the wedding, merged into the effulgence that is Siva. But why is no kumkumam prasadam given at this temple – even at the Amman shrine?… Read More Sivaloka Thyagar, Achalpuram, Nagapattinam

Tirumeni Azhagar, Mahendrapalli, Nagapattinam


Indra was cursed to have painful sores all over him, for having lusted after Sage Gautama’s wife Ahalya. He worshipped here, and the place gets its name from him. Several gods and celestials, including Brahma and Surya, have worshipped here, and others have witnessed Siva’s tandavam here. The place also finds mention in the regional retelling of the Mahabharatam. But what is rather unusual about Lord Siva’s name here, and how is that connected to the main reason this temple has become a prarthana sthalam?… Read More Tirumeni Azhagar, Mahendrapalli, Nagapattinam

Aadi Vaidyanathar, Radhanallur, Nagapattinam


Regarded as the foremost of the five temples for Siva as Vaidyanathar – the panacea and the physician to resolve all problems and illnesses – this temple is believed to have been constructed in the time of Rajendra Chola I. The sthala puranam here is from the Mahabharatam, where the the Pandavas worshipped at this temple for cure from some ailments. But what is the specialty of Surya Puja at this temple, for seven days in a year?… Read More Aadi Vaidyanathar, Radhanallur, Nagapattinam

Chakrapani, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur


Vishnu manifests in this temple as the Sudarshana Chakram itself. The main sthala puranam here is about Suryan’s ego and pride being overcome by the effulgence of the Chakram. Built originally by the Cholas and significantly expanded by the Nayaks, this temple is famed for its pillars that overflow with exquisite Nayak craftsmanship. But what are some of the aspects of this temple that are virtually identical to Siva and Siva worship, and how does this connect to the Veeratteswarar temple at Tiruvirkudi?… Read More Chakrapani, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur

Sundararaja Perumal, Sundaraperumal Koil, Thanjavur


The handsome Vishnu – Sundararajar – gives the temple and, in turn the place, their names. This temple is regarded as the Abhimana Perumal for three other temples. The sthala puranam here is about a test of will and penance that Indra, the chief of the devas, had to undergo, and how Vishnu helped him so that Indra could get rid of an illness. But who is the guardian deity of this temple and what is unusual about him?… Read More Sundararaja Perumal, Sundaraperumal Koil, Thanjavur

Dayanidheeswarar, Vadakurangaduthurai, Thanjavur


The history of this Paadal Petra Sthalam is embellished with three different sthala puranams – all equally engaging, and all demonstrating Lord Siva as Daya Nidhi – the font of all grace! This includes a little-known story associated with, but not found in, the Ramayanam. The place gets its name from the fact that Siva was worshipped by a monkey here, just as He was at Then Kurangaduthurai near Kumbakonam. But what are some of the unique iconographical aspects at this temple?… Read More Dayanidheeswarar, Vadakurangaduthurai, Thanjavur

Viswanathar, Devankudi, Thanjavur


This is one of the temples connected to Siva’s walk from Tiruvaiyaru to Swamimalai, which journey He undertook to receive upadesam from His son Murugan, on the meaning of the Pranava Mantram. The temple is also a Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam, having been sung upon by both Appar and Sambandar. This small village temple is also unusual in its arrangement of shrines.… Read More Viswanathar, Devankudi, Thanjavur

Vajrakandeeswarar, Veeramangudi, Thanjavur


The sthala puranam here is about Vijarasura, a demon, who harassed the devas and sages, but eventually sought mercy from Siva, right before he was overcome. Heeding the asura’s request, Siva is present here as Vajrakandeswarar. Worshipping Amman here is said to help the unmarried get married soon. But why is the Navagraham shrine here unique ,and what spiritual story is it connected to?… Read More Vajrakandeeswarar, Veeramangudi, Thanjavur

Keerthivaageeswarar, Soolamangai, Thanjavur


One of the seven Chakrapalli Saptam Sthanam temples, this is where Kaumari – the sakti of Murugan (Kumaran) – worshipped Siva’s trident, the Trisulam, before joining Chamundi in battle. Astra Devar – the celestial deity who is also the devas’ weapons maker – is worshipped here to remove the fear of enemies and to help devotees resolve disputes. But how is this temple connected with Vishnu and also with two other important Siva temples?… Read More Keerthivaageeswarar, Soolamangai, Thanjavur

Hari Mukteeswarar, Ariyamangai, Thanjavur


This Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam is one of the Chakrapalli Sapta Sthanam temples, this one being connected to Maheswari, who worshipped the River Ganga on Siva’s head. The place gets its name from the sthala puranam, in which Lakshmi worshipped Siva here, in order to be with Her husband Vishnu forever. The temple today is a shadow of its former self. But what is very different and unique about some of the other deities in this temple?… Read More Hari Mukteeswarar, Ariyamangai, Thanjavur

Chakravakeeswarar, Chakrapalli, Thanjavur


This Paadal Petra Sthalam is one of the Chakrapalli Sapta Sthanam temples, this one being connected to Brahmi, who worshipped Siva’s third eye. The etymology of the place and the deity are quite interesting, with two different sthala puranams converging to the same conclusion. Being from the early Chola period, this temple does not have the detailed architecture of some of the later ones. But what interesting inscription here brings out the evolved nature of of Chola governance?… Read More Chakravakeeswarar, Chakrapalli, Thanjavur

Alanthurainathar, Tiruppullamangai, Thanjavur


This Paadal Petra Sthalam is one of the Chakrapalli Sapta Sthanam temples, this one being connected to Chamundi, who worshipped the snake around Siva’s neck. The etymology of the place and the deity are quite interesting. This temple is a hidden treasure trove of superlative Chola period architecture, and is therefore often quoted as the high-point of the skill of that period. But what is special about both the Dakshinamurti and the Durga depictions in the koshtam at this temple?… Read More Alanthurainathar, Tiruppullamangai, Thanjavur

Kailasanathar, Thandangorai, Thanjavur


This Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam is mentioned in one of Sundarar’s pathigams, as one of the few places most fit for Siva’s tandavams. This may itself explain the etymology of “Thandangorai”. Once a village full of vedic pundits and learned men, the village also claims its fame as the birthplace and residence of Appadurai Dikshitar, who was also given the name Appayya Dikshitar. But why was he honoured by Maha Periyavaa, and what is this village’s connection with astrology?… Read More Kailasanathar, Thandangorai, Thanjavur

Kailasanathar, Thingalur, Thanjavur


This temple is one of the nine Kumbakonam Navagraham temples, and specifically connected to Chandran (the moon), because he worshipped Siva here. Thingalur – which gets is name from the Tamil word for Chandran – is the birthplace of Appoodhi Adigal, one of the 63 Saiva Nayanmars, and a great devotee of Appar (Tirunavukkarasar). The story of the two Nayanmars’ interaction is fascinating! But how is this temple also connected to Siva’s journey from Tiruvaiyaru to Swamimalai, to receive upadesam from Murugan? … Read More Kailasanathar, Thingalur, Thanjavur

Magizhavaneswarar, Tirukokaranam, Pudukkottai


Located on the fringes of Pudukkottai town, Tirukokaranam is a Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam that finds mention in one of Appar’s pathigams. The temple actually houses two sets of deities, but is most popular by the name Brahadambal koil. The sthala puranam here is connected to that of the nearby Tiruvengaivasal Vyaghrapureeswarar temple, and involves Kamadhenu’s penance on earth. But why is Brahadambal Amman considered a talking goddess?… Read More Magizhavaneswarar, Tirukokaranam, Pudukkottai

Gokarneswarar, Tirukokaranam, Pudukkottai


Located on the fringes of Pudukkottai town, Tirukokaranam is a Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam that finds mention in one of Appar’s pathigams. The temple actually houses two sets of deities, but is most popular by the name Brahadambal koil. The sthala puranam here is connected to that of the nearby Tiruvengaivasal Vyaghrapureeswarar temple, and involves Kamadhenu’s penance on earth. But why is Brahadambal Amman considered a talking goddess?… Read More Gokarneswarar, Tirukokaranam, Pudukkottai

Vijayalaya Chozheeswaram, Narthamalai, Pudukkottai


Possibly a corruption of Nagarathar Malai, Narthamalai is part of a series of hillocks to the north and north-west of Pudukkottai. The temple for Siva as Vijayalaya Chozheeswarar is an architectural masterpiece, and often regarded as the starting point for the now-famed Chola style of architecture, and the place itself is named for the Vijayalaya Chola, who kickstarted the line of imperial Cholas in the mid-9th century. But would it surprise you to know that the origins of this place are not Chola at all? … Read More Vijayalaya Chozheeswaram, Narthamalai, Pudukkottai

Desikanathar, Nagara Surakkudi, Sivaganga


One of the famous 9 Nagarathar temples of the Chettinadu region, this temple is also a Bhairavar sthalam. The sthala puranam here is connected with Daksha’s yagam, and so the name of the place was taken from the fact that Suryan gets first worship at this temple. The temple’s architecture is classic Nagarathar style, but the iconography of deities as well as some worship customs here are quite unique. In what way are these unusual?… Read More Desikanathar, Nagara Surakkudi, Sivaganga

Sundareswarar, Athangudi, Sivaganga


These days, Athangudi is more popular for the Athangudi tiles that several craftsmen in the village are involved in. This Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam for Siva as Sundareswarar has a pathigam by the Nayanmar Appar, referring to it. The architecture would have been Pandya, but the temple today is completely dominated by Nagarathar style architecture. But what is unusual about the temple’s sthala vriksham?… Read More Sundareswarar, Athangudi, Sivaganga

Tiruvengadamudaiyan, Ariyakudi, Sivaganga


Regarded as the southern Tirupati, this is a place where one can fulfil any prarthanas or prayers meant for Srinivasa Perumal at Tirupati. The prarthana sthalam here is about Sevukan Chettiar, a staunch Vishnu devotee despite being born in a Saivite Nagarathar family, who could not undertake his annual pilgrimage to Tirupati in one year. But what is special about the Garuda and the Aadi Swati nakshatram festival at this temple?… Read More Tiruvengadamudaiyan, Ariyakudi, Sivaganga

Atmanathar, Avudaiyar Kovil, Pudukkottai


Said to have been built by Manikkavasagar, this temple is very closely connected to the life of the saint. The sthala puranam here is from the life of the saint, who used the king’s treasury to build this temple instead of buying horses as ordered by the king. This temple shares several commonalities with the Chidambaram Natarajar temple, and is famous for its unique and arresting architecture! But why is there no Lingam or murti of Amman in the temple? … Read More Atmanathar, Avudaiyar Kovil, Pudukkottai

Kailasanathar, Vadakkur, Pudukkottai


Avudaiyar Koil / Tiruperunthurai is associated almost exclusively with the Saivite saint Manikkavasagar. But this temple is said to have been in existence even before the time of Manikkavasagar, and being a Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam, finds mention in one of Appar’s pathigams. Some elements of the original Pandya-period temple remain. But how did Paramaswami, an old man, help the 300 villagers of the time regain their lands from a corrupt minister?… Read More Kailasanathar, Vadakkur, Pudukkottai

Aadi Ratneswarar, Tiruvadanai, Ramanathapuram


Having existed in all four yugams, the temple also has a Mahabharatam connection. The place is today a prarthana sthalam for those seeking relief from the ill effects of their misdeeds committed both knowingly and otherwise. In turn, these are connected to Suryan’s pride and Vaaruni’s playfulness. What are these fascinating stories, which also explain the cover image, about this place with 12 names, and where Siva has 4 names of His own, and is both a Paadal Petra Sthalam and a Tiruppugazh temple?… Read More Aadi Ratneswarar, Tiruvadanai, Ramanathapuram

Vanmeekanathar, Tiruvetriyur, Ramanathapuram


This Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam finds mention in the pathigams of all three Tevaram saints – Appar, Sundarar and Sambandar, and is a sthala puranam for those seeking to get married, and those seeking relief from illnesses – particularly cancer. The latter is because of the sthala puranam here, which starts with a rat at Vedaranyam, connects with the Vamana Avataram, and ends with the river Ganga pacifying the earth Goddess Dharma. But how is Vishnu’s relief from illness connected with this temple?… Read More Vanmeekanathar, Tiruvetriyur, Ramanathapuram

Mummudinathar, Iraguseri, Sivaganga


A rare Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam in the heart of the Chettinadu region is a pleasant find. Iraguseri – the name of the place today – is a modern corruption of Iragu Sari, Iravu Seri or Iravaan Serim – is linked to the Ramayanam, as is the nearby temple at Kandadevi. The original Pandya temple was significantly restored in the early 20th century by the Nagarathar community. But what is the reason for Siva’s name at this temple?… Read More Mummudinathar, Iraguseri, Sivaganga

Kotravaleeswarar, Kovilur, Sivaganga


Said to have been originally constructed nearly 2000 years ago, this temple’s puranam is about a great sword – the Kotraval – of the king, which Siva made disappear, and then tested the king’s commitment to his subjects. This Nagarathar temple is filled with stunning architecture and carvings, all done in granite, making it even more spectacular. But why is the Amman here named Tiru Nellai Amman, and why is She a guardian deity of all women?… Read More Kotravaleeswarar, Kovilur, Sivaganga

Sundareswarar, Karaikudi, Sivaganga


The largest temple in Karaikudi, this Nagara Siva temple (which is how it is popularly known), is steeped in history. While the temple we see today was built in 1872 by the Nagarathar community, who continue to maintain it spotlessly, the original temple dates to as early as the late 13th / early 14th century. This temple is also special for its worship of Sarabeswarar, a mythical form of Siva. But what is quite different about the temple’s annual festival? … Read More Sundareswarar, Karaikudi, Sivaganga

Jayamkonda Chozheeswarar, Nemam, Sivaganga


One of the 9 important Nagarathar temples in the Chettinad region, the sthala puranam here is similar to the one at Korukkai, and involves Siva burning Kama to ashes. This is conjectured to be a Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam which Appar has referred to in one of his pathigams, and today, is replete with spectacular architecture. But despite being located in the Pandya heartland, what are the various indications that this is a Chola temple?… Read More Jayamkonda Chozheeswarar, Nemam, Sivaganga

Shanmuganathar, Kunnakudi, Sivaganga


This early-Pandya temple from around the 8th century is a classic example of a hill temple for Murugan. Stories of the curative power of this temple range from the time of epics, to as recent as the 18th century. Interestingly, the temple has seen contributions from the Cholas as well, despite its location. But what connection does Murugan’s vehicle, the peacock, have with this temple?… Read More Shanmuganathar, Kunnakudi, Sivaganga

Marutheeswarar, Pillaiyarpatti, Sivaganga


One of the 9 Nagarathar temples, the Pillaiyarpatti temple is more famous for the Karpaga Vinayakar rock-cut temple. This temple for Siva is in the same complex, and is perhaps as old as the Vinayakar shrine. The temple – regarded as one of the marudhu sthalams – features brilliant examples of Nagarathar architecture and art. But why is there virtually no sthala puranam to speak of, available about this temple? … Read More Marutheeswarar, Pillaiyarpatti, Sivaganga

Swayam Pratheeswarar, Sivapuripatti, Sivaganga


Filled with over 60 inscriptions spanning more than 7 centuries, this temple lies on what was once the land route connecting the eastern seaport of Thondi with its western counterpart at Muziris. Originally built in the time of Kulothunga Chola I, this temple features a combination of Chola and Pandya architecture, and some unusual aspects of temple building and iconography. But this place is also important in the history of Tamilakam. How so?… Read More Swayam Pratheeswarar, Sivapuripatti, Sivaganga

Maruthanandeeswarar, Pennakonam, Cuddalore


Located south of the Vellar river, this Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam has no known sthala puranam as we know it. The few devotees who worship here, seek knowledge, wealth and relief from illnesses. Sambandar, one of the 63 Saiva Nayanmars, has sung about this temple in another pathigam. But the most interesting aspect of this late Chola temple is the unusual Murugan shrine here. Why is this so different?… Read More Maruthanandeeswarar, Pennakonam, Cuddalore

Saptarisheeswarar, Ammachatram, Thanjavur


Everyone needs sages and priests to conduct weddings, and the gods are no exception to this! This is where the seven sages of yore are said to have met, to plan the wedding of Siva and Parvati on earth! The temple – which is located close to several other temples connected with the Siva-Parvati wedding – is however more famous for the powerful Kala Bhairavar, who is regarded as equivalent to the one at Kasi. But what is the Ramayanam connection of this temple?… Read More Saptarisheeswarar, Ammachatram, Thanjavur

Sundareswarar, Koranattu Karuppur, Thanjavur


This temple for Siva as the handsome Sundareswarar is located very close to Kumbakonam. Several celestials are said to have to worshipped here and received many boons and blessings. This Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam finds mention in one of Sundarar’s pathigams. But why is this place called Koranattu Karuppur, and why is this temple more famous as the Petti Kali Amman temple?… Read More Sundareswarar, Koranattu Karuppur, Thanjavur

Brahma Gnana Pureeswarar, Keezha Korkkai, Thanjavur


The sthala puranam of this temple is about Brahma losing the Vedas to the demons Madhu and Kaitabha, and regaining them with Vishnu’s help, and also regaining his wisdom after worshipping Siva here. This Chola temple from the time of Kulothunga Chola III has some excellent examples of Chola sculptures, including Adhikara Nandi and Siva as Kirata Murti. But how is this temple connected to the annual ritual of Avani Avittam?… Read More Brahma Gnana Pureeswarar, Keezha Korkkai, Thanjavur

Brahmapureeswarar, Pozhakudi, Tiruvarur


This village temple is located very close to the Paadal Petra Sthalam and naga dosham nivritti sthalam at Tirupampuram. Brahma worshipped here, and was relieved of the curse he had suffered for having forgotten his duties of creation. The temple needs more visitors to help it regain its lost prominence, and to support the locals who offer their services to the temple. But why is there a vigraham of a snake next to the Nandi?… Read More Brahmapureeswarar, Pozhakudi, Tiruvarur

Pippilakadeeswarar, Alathur, Nagapattinam


This early 13th century Chola temple from the time of Kulothunga Chola III is a village temple in need of funds for construction of a raja gopuram. After centuries, the last kumbhabhishekam was performed in 2014 at this Vata-Aranya-Kshetram, where celestials worshipped here, to be rid of the curses and harassment of the demons Kara and Dooshana. But why is Siva here called Pippilakadeeswarar? … Read More Pippilakadeeswarar, Alathur, Nagapattinam

Sivalokanathar, Keeranur, Tiruvarur


When the king’s horse trod on an object which started bleeding, the shocked king and his entourage saw a cow come over and pour its milk on the wounded object, which later turned out to be a Siva Lingam. Parvati had Herself come in the form of a cow, and because of her action, She is called Ksheerambigai here. But how is this temple’s other sthala puranam connected to one of ashta Veerattanam temples?… Read More Sivalokanathar, Keeranur, Tiruvarur

Veerabhadrar, Vazhuvur, Nagapattinam


Vazhuvur is regarded as the birthplace of Ayyappan. This village temple for Veerabhadrar – often regarded as an aspect of Siva Himself – is closely connected with the Vazhuvur Veeratteswarar temple located nearby, and also to Ayyappan. The temple stands in ruins, but has two very unusual aspects to it, on the depiction of the presiding deity. What are these?… Read More Veerabhadrar, Vazhuvur, Nagapattinam

Gangadheeswarar, Purasaiwakkam, Chennai


This rare Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam finds mention in one of Sundarar’s pathigams, and has beautiful stucco images of various puranams and also stories from the Tiruvilaiyadal. It is last of the 1008 temples installed by king Bhageeratha, and is one of the five Pancha Bootha Sthalams around Chennai. The forest of palasa trees here at one time, gives the place its present-day name as well! But why is the Ganga river also called the Bhageerathi, and what is its connection with this temple?… Read More Gangadheeswarar, Purasaiwakkam, Chennai

Agasteeswarar, Villivakkam, Chennai


When Agastyar had to come down south to balance the world during the Siva-Parvati wedding, this is where he received a vision of the celestial spectacle, and also overcame the demons Vatapi and Ilvala. This temple has a combination of both Chola and Pallava influences and architecture. The name of the place is also associated with this story. But why is Amman here named Swarnambigai? … Read More Agasteeswarar, Villivakkam, Chennai

Naganathar, Peraiyur, Pudukkottai


With many interesting sthala puranams, this Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam is a prarthana sthalam for relief from naga dosham, for obtaining clarity of thought and purging one’s negative energies. In the Tamil month of Panguni (March-April), at the time of Meena Lagnam, sounds of celestial instruments are believed to emanate from the temple tank, as Siva is said to go down to Nagaloka at that time to perform his dance for a devotee-king. How did this come about?… Read More Naganathar, Peraiyur, Pudukkottai

Vyaghrapureeswarar, Tiruvengaivasal, Pudukkottai


When Kamadhenu was delayed in reaching the celestial court, Indra cursed her to be born on Bhulokam. Once here, she started worshipping Siva by bringing water in her ears. On one occasion, a tiger accosted her but she wanted to finish her worship and begged the tiger for permission. She was allowed, and when she came back to offer herself to the tiger, it turned out to be Siva and Parvati, who were testing her! The temple has several sculptural masterpieces, but what is so unique and fascinating about Dakshinamurti at this temple?… Read More Vyaghrapureeswarar, Tiruvengaivasal, Pudukkottai

Subrahmanyar, Tiruparankundram, Madurai


This rock-cut temple is one of the 6 Arupadai Veedu temples dedicated to Murugan, and is located inside the Satya Gireeswarar temple at Tiruparankundram just outside Madurai. In different epics, the temple has a different story associated with it – either as the site of Murugan’s slaying of Soorapadman, or the venue of Murugan’s wedding to Indra’s daughter Devasena. But what is the story of the nine aides of Murugan, who are also enshrined as deities in this temple? … Read More Subrahmanyar, Tiruparankundram, Madurai

Murugan, Alagar Koil, Madurai


One of the six Arupadai Veedu temples of Murugan (and the second near Madurai, the other being at Tiruparankundram), this temple was constructed in the time of the Madurai Nayaks. The handsome Murugan lords over the hills here, where one can find a Divya Desam temple for Vishnu at the base, and one for Rakkayi Amman further up the hill. The place is associated with the episode involving Avvaiyar – the Tamil poet saint – and Murugan.… Read More Murugan, Alagar Koil, Madurai

Mukteeswarar, Theppakulam, Madurai


This Pancha bootha sthalam in Madurai is associated with the celestial elephant Airavata being relieved of the curse he received from Sage Durvasa. This Nayak period temple features beautiful architecture and iconographic depiction of various deities. But what is the interesting reason that this temple, and the adjacent Theppakulam Mariamman temple, do not have gopurams? … Read More Mukteeswarar, Theppakulam, Madurai

Then Tiruaalavaai Sokkanthar, Madurai, Madurai


This temple finds mention in Paranjothi Munivar’s Tiruvilaiyadal puranam, and is one of the pancha bootha sthalams in Madurai, and also one of the 4 inner garland (ull-avaranam) temples of the famous Meenakshi Amman temple. The child-saint Sambandar is believed to have sung the famous _Mandiramaavadhu Neeru_ (மந்திரமாவது நீறு) pathigam here, which provided relief to the king Koon Pandiyan (who later himself became a Nayanmar). But how did Madurai get the name Aalavaai, and how is that connected to this temple?… Read More Then Tiruaalavaai Sokkanthar, Madurai, Madurai

Aadi Chokkanathar, Simmakkal, Madurai


Regarded as older than the Meenakshi Amman temple, this Kubera-sthalam is said to have been established by Kubera. It is one of the 4 temples making up the Ull-Aavaranam (the inner jewels) to the Meenakshi Amman temple, and also one of the 5 Pancha Bootha Sthalams around Madurai. But how is the story of Kuchela Pandyan and the poet-saint Idaikkar Siddhar, connected to the overnight disappearance of the moolavar of the Meenakshi-Sundareswarar temple? Read here: … Read More Aadi Chokkanathar, Simmakkal, Madurai

Immayilum Nanmai Tharuvar, Madurai, Madurai


As against the norm of sins being pardoned only in subsequent births, this is a place where Siva forgives one’s sins in their current birth itself, and hence the name of the moolavar here. Surprisingly, Chandikeswarar is given equal prominence as Siva, as he is said to recommend devotees’ prayers to the Lord. One of the Pancha Bootha Sthalams in and around Madurai, this temple has a fascinating sthala puranam, which involves Siva worshipping Himself as a Siva Lingam that He installed! How is this possible?… Read More Immayilum Nanmai Tharuvar, Madurai, Madurai

Vaidyanathar, Tirumazhapadi, Ariyalur


At this Paadal Petra Sthalam, Sundaramurti Nayanar didn’t realise there was a temple here, and so he walked past without stopping to worship. At that point, Siva commented that perhaps the Nayanar had forgotten Him! Overcome by the events, Sundarar composed his famous “Ponnar Meniyane” pathigam. Mazhapadi – where four Vedas visited and are depicted in stone – is also the birthplace of Nandi, but did you know that he has a story similar to that of Markandeya’s? … Read More Vaidyanathar, Tirumazhapadi, Ariyalur

Neelamegha Perumal, Thanjavur, Thanjavur


This is the one of a set of 3 temples, which is unique as they are together reckoned as one Divya Desam temple. The sthala puranam is common to all the three, and is connected with the demons Thanjakan, Thandakan and Tharakasuran. The first of these – Thanjakan – is whom Thanjavur is named for (at least that’s one version of the story!). But what is the connection between these temples, Vishnu’s varaha avataram, and the Bhuvaraha Perumal temple at Srimushnam?… Read More Neelamegha Perumal, Thanjavur, Thanjavur

Vilvaranyeswarar, Tirukollampudur, Tiruvarur


The sthala puranam here is about Sambandar, the child saint, who arrived at the riverbank but could not cross it to reach the temple, due to the river being in spate. Finding an empty boat, the saint made it move through the power of his devotion! The nearby Abhimukteeswarar temple at Abivirutheeswaram and the Koneswarar temple at Kudavasal are also associated with the legend of this temple. But why is it recommended to follow a specific order to worship this temple and the other four Pancha-Aranya kshetrams (temples located in forests) in this region? … Read More Vilvaranyeswarar, Tirukollampudur, Tiruvarur

Seshapureeswarar, Tirupampuram, Tiruvarur


This is one of 4 temples where Nagaraja, lord of the Nagas, is said to have worshipped Lord Siva on Mahasivaratri. Being associated with nagas, nobody in this village is recorded to have died of snakebite! Rahu and Ketu are enshrined together, and depicted as worshipping Lord Siva here. But what is the story due to which devotees worship at this temple to recover lost valuables? … Read More Seshapureeswarar, Tirupampuram, Tiruvarur

பிரணவ வியாக்ரபுரீஸ்வர், ஓமாம்புலியூர், கடலூர்


“புலியூர்” என்ற வார்த்தையுடன் பல்வேறு கிராமங்கள் மற்றும் நகரங்கள் உள்ளன. இது பொதுவாக புலி (புலி) தொடர்பான கதையைப் பரிந்துரைக்கும் அதே வேளையில், வியாக்ரபாத முனிவருடன் (புலி-கால்) தொடர்புள்ளதால் இவற்றில் பல பெயரிடப்பட்டுள்ளன. சிதம்பரத்தில் வியாக்ரபாத முனிவர் சிவனை வழிபட்ட ஐந்து தலங்களை பஞ்ச புலியூர் குறிக்கிறது – சிதம்பரம் (பெரும் பற்ற புலியூர்), பெரும்புலியூர், ஓமாம்புலியூர், திருப்பாதிரிப்புலியூர் மற்றும் எருக்கத்தம்புலியூர் – சிதம்பரத்தில் சிவனின் பிரபஞ்ச நடனத்தை தரிசனம் பெறுவதற்காக. இந்தக் கோயில்களில் வியாக்ரபாத முனிவர்… Read More பிரணவ வியாக்ரபுரீஸ்வர், ஓமாம்புலியூர், கடலூர்

Pranava Vyaghrapureeswar, Omampuliyur, Cuddalore


There are 5 places with the suffix “puliyur” where Sage Vyaghrapada was able to witness Siva’s cosmic dance, and this Paadal Petra Sthalam is one of them. The temple is a Guru sthalam, partly the result of Parvati’s inattentiveness, and hence there are 2 Dakshinamurti shrines present here. How did this all come about? … Read More Pranava Vyaghrapureeswar, Omampuliyur, Cuddalore

Kailasanathar, Tirumetrali, Thanjavur


When the Cholas had their capital at Pazhaiyarai near Kumbakonam, there were four main temples in the four cardinal directions. Of these, this temple is the one on the western side, and hence also called Metrali. This Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam’s puranam is about Sabali – one of the daughters of the celestial cow Patti (after whom Patteeswaram is named) – who worshipped here. The temple would have been much larger in the Chola period, but lies uncared for today. … Read More Kailasanathar, Tirumetrali, Thanjavur

Sarngapani, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur


This Divya Desam and Pancha Ranga Kshetram (similar to Koviladi), this is also a Vaishnava Navagraha Sthalam dedicated to Suryan. Lakshmi was born as Sage Brighu’s daughter here, and married Vishnu who came to the venue on a chariot, with his bow called Sarngam. The temple itself is shaped like a chariot, and boasts of some very intricate and magnificent architecture. But why is the vigraham of Lakshmi as Komalavalli Thayar, never taken out of the temple in procession?… Read More Sarngapani, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur

ஆரண்யேஸ்வரர், கீழ திருக்காட்டுப்பள்ளி, நாகப்பட்டினம்


காவேரி ஆற்றங்கரையில் திருக்காட்டுப்பள்ளி என்று இரண்டு இடங்கள் உள்ளன. ஒன்று அக்னீஸ்வரர் கோயிலின் இருப்பிடமான திருச்சிக்கும் தஞ்சாவூருக்கும் இடையில் அமைந்துள்ள மேல திருக்காட்டுப்பள்ளி. மற்றொன்று, திருவெண்காடு ஸ்வேதாரண்யேஸ்வரர் கோவிலுக்கு மிக அருகில் அமைந்துள்ள கீழ் திருக்காட்டுப்பள்ளி. தேவர்களை பயமுறுத்தியதற்காக விஸ்வரூபன் என்ற அரக்கன் இந்திரனால் கொல்லப்பட்டான். எனவே அவனது தந்தை ஒரு யாகம் செய்து விஸ்வரூபனின் மரணத்திற்கு பழிவாங்க மற்றொரு அரக்கன் விருத்திராசுரனை உருவாக்கினார். இந்திரன் தாதீசி முனிவரின் முதுகுத்தண்டில் இருந்து வஜ்ராயுதத்தைப் பெற்று விருத்திராசுரனை அழித்தார்.… Read More ஆரண்யேஸ்வரர், கீழ திருக்காட்டுப்பள்ளி, நாகப்பட்டினம்

Agasteeswarar, Vidangalur, Nagapattinam


This small temple in a nondescript village is actually a Vaippu Sthalam that features in the Tevaram, mentioned by the Saivite saint Sundarar in one of his pathigams. Sages Agastyar and Vitangar worshipped here. But despite the fine examples of Chola architecture, the temple lies uncared for, except by the residents of the village. This is one of several such temples that needs our collective support.… Read More Agasteeswarar, Vidangalur, Nagapattinam

நவநீதேஸ்வரர், சிக்கல், நாகப்பட்டினம்


காமதேனு, வசிஷ்ட முனிவர் மற்றும் பலர் சிவனை வழிபடுகின்றனர் ஒருமுறை, காமதேனு – விண்ணுலகப் பசு – தவறுதலாக இறைச்சியை உட்கொண்டது. அதன் பலனாக அவள் பூமியில் புலியாகப் பிறக்கும்படி சபிக்கப்பட்டாள். தன் தவறை உணர்ந்து, சிவபெருமானை வழிபட்டாள், அவர் அவளை மன்னித்து, மல்லிகாரண்யத்தில் (மல்லிகை காடு) வழிபடும்படி கூறினார். காமதேனுவும் அவ்வாறே செய்து, ஒரு கோவில் குளத்தைத் தோண்டினாள், அதில் அவள் மடியிலிருந்து பாலை நிரப்பினாள். காலப்போக்கில், பால் வெண்ணெயாக மாறியது. வசிஷ்ட முனிவர் காமதேனுவைத்… Read More நவநீதேஸ்வரர், சிக்கல், நாகப்பட்டினம்

நடுதறிஅப்பர், கோயில் கன்றாப்பூர், திருவாரூர்


கைலாசத்தில் வித்யாதரப் பெண்ணான சுதவல்லி சிவனையும் பார்வதியையும் நடனமாடி மகிழ்வித்துக் கொண்டிருந்தாள். இதன் ஒரு பகுதியாக, அவள் பார்வதியைப் போல நடந்து கொண்டாள், இது பிந்தையவர் கோபமடைந்தது, மேலும் சுதவல்லியை பூமியில் பிறக்கும்படி சபித்தார். கெஞ்சியதும், சுதவல்லி சிவனிடம் தொடர்ந்து பக்தி செலுத்தும் வகையில் சாபம் மாற்றப்பட்டது. இதன் விளைவாக, சுதவல்லி ஒரு சைவ வேளாளர் குடும்பத்தில் பிறந்தார், ஆனால் பின்னர், ஒரு வைணவ குடும்பத்தில் திருமணம் செய்து கொண்டார். இருந்தும் அவள் சிவ வழிபாட்டைத் தொடர்ந்தாள்.… Read More நடுதறிஅப்பர், கோயில் கன்றாப்பூர், திருவாரூர்

Parthasarathy Perumal, Tirunangur (Parthanpalli), Nagapattinam


Parthanpalli is one of the 11 in the list of Nangur Divya Desam temples. Vishnu here is said to have come from Kurukshetra, and the temple has some really unusual idols – 4-armed Vishnu as Parthasarathy, with a dagger; Dasaratha witnessing Vishnu come out of the sacrificial fire, and even Kolavilli Ramar in the sanctum. But Partha means Arjuna. So what does this place have to do with him? … Read More Parthasarathy Perumal, Tirunangur (Parthanpalli), Nagapattinam

Varadaraja Perumal, Tirunangur, Nagapattinam


One of the 11 Nangur Ekadasa Divya Desam temples, Vishnu at this temple is said to have come here from Kanchipuram, and hence shares the same name as Perumal there. The temple’s sthala puranam is connected to the nearby Tirutetriambalam temple, and the churning of the ocean by the devas and asuras. But what does that have to do with the occurrence of eclipses?… Read More Varadaraja Perumal, Tirunangur, Nagapattinam

Vedarajan, Tirunagari, Nagapattinam


This is one of two temples that are reckoned as one Divya Desam together, and is associated with Uparicharavasu, who took births in each of the yugams to finally arrive here as Neelan (later, Tirumangaiazhvar) in Kali Yugam. But what is the beautiful story of Lakshmi leaving Vishnu, and He locating her at this temple, due to which this place is a prarthana sthalam for those seeking to get married?… Read More Vedarajan, Tirunagari, Nagapattinam

Gopalakrishnan, Tirunangur, Nagapattinam


Often referred to by its ancient name of Tirukavalmpadi, this is one of the Divya Desams located in Tirunangur, near Mayiladuthurai. Vishnu here is considered the equivalent of the Krishna at Dwarka, and is said to have come from there. The temple’s puranam is connected to an ungrateful Indra refusing the Parijatham flower to Satyabhama, despite Krishna vanquishing Narakasuran and bringing back the things he stole from Devalokam. How did this come about? … Read More Gopalakrishnan, Tirunangur, Nagapattinam

Vaikuntanathar, Tirunangur, Nagapattinam


This Divya Desam temple is one of 11 such temples in Nangur near Mayiladuthurai. The story here is of Swetaketu’s ascension to what he thought was Vaikuntam, but then had to come back to this place for a particular reason. This is one of only six places that has the appellation “Vinnagaram”, referring to Vishnu’s eternal abode. But why is this place called Vaikunta Vinnagaram, and Perumal named Vaikuntanathar?… Read More Vaikuntanathar, Tirunangur, Nagapattinam

Perarulalan, Tirunangur, Nagapattinam


This Divya Desam is also one of the 11 temples in Tirunagur, regarded as the Nangur Ekadasa Divya Desam, all of which are connected with the 11 Rudra Peethams representing the fierce aspect of Lord Siva. The sthala puranam here is connected with the Ramayanam, and the ritual purification of Rama from the sin of having killed Ravana, a brahmin. This also gives the place its name. But how is this temple very closely connected with the Azhagiya Manavalar Divya Desam temple at Uraiyur in Trichy? … Read More Perarulalan, Tirunangur, Nagapattinam

Pallikonda Ranganathar, Tirunangur, Nagapattinam


This Divya Desam temple’s sthala puranam is connected with the story of the churning of the ocean, and as a result, the cause of eclipses in mythology! In the Varaha avataram, Sridevi and Bhudevi were worried about being separate from the Lord, and so He came here to be with them while His avataram went to vanquish Hiranyaksha. But what distinction among the 11 Nangur Divya Desam temples, does this temple claim?… Read More Pallikonda Ranganathar, Tirunangur, Nagapattinam

Kudamadu Koothan, Tirunangur, Nagapattinam


Also called Arimeya Vinnagaram, this Divya Desam is also one of the 11 Nangur Ekadasa Divya Desam temples, all of which are connected with the 11 Rudra Peethams representing the fierce aspect of Lord Siva. Vishnu here is said to have come from Dwaraka, to quell Rudra’s anger. But what favouritism did Sage Uthangar accuse Krishna of in the Mahabharatam war?… Read More Kudamadu Koothan, Tirunangur, Nagapattinam

Purushottama Perumal, Tirunangur, Nagapattinam


This Divya Desam is one of the 11 temples in Nangur near Mayiladuthurai – commonly referred to as the Nangur Ekadasa Divya Desam – which are connected with the quelling of Rudra’s anger by Vishnu. The sthala puranam here is connected with Vyaghrapada, the tiger-footed sage, who along with his son, worshipped Vishnu here. The hungry son was fed directly by Lakshmi Herself, reminiscent of the story of Sambandar, the Saivite saint, being fed by Parvati. But what is the connection this temple has with Ayodhya, which also reflects in the name of Vishnu at this temple?… Read More Purushottama Perumal, Tirunangur, Nagapattinam

Marundeeswarar, Tiruvanmiyur, Chennai


This is one of 3 Paadal Petra Sthalams on the coastal side of Chennai, one of whose sthala puranams give the nearby locality of Valmiki Nagar, its name. This is where Siva is said to have imparted the science of herbal medicine to Sage Agastyar, and the five Teerthams of the temple are believed to have descended from Siva’s matted locks. The many Lingams in the temple each have their own sthala puranam. The moolavar at this temple used to face east, but why did He turn west (and remain so)? … Read More Marundeeswarar, Tiruvanmiyur, Chennai

ஸ்வர்ண காளீஸ்வரர், காளையார் கோவில், சிவகங்கை


சத்ய யுகம், த்ரேதா யுகம், துவாபர யுகம், கலியுகம் என பல காலங்களிலும் இருந்த இத்தலம் தட்சிண காளிபுரம், ஜோதிவனம், மந்தார வனம், தேவதாருவணம், பூலோக கைலாசம், மகாலாபுரம், கானப்பேரியில் எனப் பல பெயர்களில் அழைக்கப்படுகிறது. சங்க இலக்கியங்களில் புறநானூறு இத்தலத்தை திருக்காணப்பர் என்று குறிப்பிடுகிறது. அதன் தற்போதைய பெயரின் சொற்பிறப்பியல் மிகவும் சுவாரஸ்யமானது. சுந்தரர் திருச்சுழியில் இருந்தபோது, காளையார் கோவிலுக்கும் செல்ல விரும்பினார். ஆனால் அவர் இங்கு வந்தபோது, பூமிக்கு அடியில் பல லிங்கங்கள் இருப்பதைப்… Read More ஸ்வர்ண காளீஸ்வரர், காளையார் கோவில், சிவகங்கை

Sowriraja Perumal, Tirukannapuram, Nagapattinam


Considered the Eastern residence of Vishnu, this Divya Desam temple’s puranam is about how the presiding grew hair on His head to uphold a devotee’s word, that the hair on the garland given to the king actually belonged to the Lord! Interestingly, every amavasya day, the deity is taken outside to meet His devotee Vibheeshana. How did this come to be?… Read More Sowriraja Perumal, Tirukannapuram, Nagapattinam

சாயவனேஸ்வரர், சாயாவனம், நாகப்பட்டினம்


திருவையாறு, மயிலாடுதுறை, சாயவனம், திருவிடைமருதூர், திருவெண்காடு, ஸ்ரீவாஞ்சியம் ஆகிய ஆறு சிவாலயங்கள் காவிரி ஆற்றங்கரையில் காசிக்குச் சமமாகக் கருதப்படுகின்றன. அதில் இதுவும் ஒன்று. இந்த இடம் தமிழில் கோரை (கோரை) என்று அழைக்கப்படும் சாயா புல் காடாக இருந்தது, மேலும் தெய்வத்தின் இடமும் பெயரும் இதிலிருந்து பெறப்பட்டது. இங்குள்ள சிவலிங்கம் சுயம்பு மூர்த்தியாகும். இந்திரனின் தாய் அதிதி சாயா வனேஸ்வரரை வழிபட விரும்பி, அதற்காகவே பூலோகம் வந்தாள். தேவலோகத்தில் அவள் காணாமல் போனதைக் கண்டு, இந்திரன் அவளைத்… Read More சாயவனேஸ்வரர், சாயாவனம், நாகப்பட்டினம்

Kolavilli Ramar, Tiruvelliyangudi, Thanjavur


Located near Kumbakonam, this Divya Desam is believed to have existed in all 4 yugams, and is said to have been built by Mayan, the architect of the asuras. We may remember the story from Vamana Avataram, of Sukracharya entering Mahabali’s kamandalam as an insect to block the flow of water, and how Vamana blinded him. What happened to Sukracharya after that? And why does Garuda hold Vishnu’s conch and discus?… Read More Kolavilli Ramar, Tiruvelliyangudi, Thanjavur

Parimala Ranganathar, Tiru Indalur, Mayiladuthurai


One of the 5 Pancha Ranga Kshetrams on the banks of the Kaveri river, this is where Chandran worshipped Vishnu to be somewhat rid of the curse of losing his lustre. Perumal’s name here references the fragrance that Vishnu imparted to the Vedas, after retrieving them from the demons Madhu and Kaitabha during the Matysa Avataram. The temple’s sthala puranam is also connected to the origin of Ekadasi Vratam. But how did Vishnu get Tirumangaiazhvar to sing a pasuram at this temple?… Read More Parimala Ranganathar, Tiru Indalur, Mayiladuthurai

Kaliyuga Varadaraja Perumal, Kallankurichi, Ariyalur


The pillar is one of the oldest forms of worship, and at this Perumal temple on the outskirts of Ariyalur, it is a 12-foot tall wooden pillar that is the main deity, which is said to have miraculous powers, is regarded and worshipped as Vishnu. As if to compensate for lack of detail in the garbhagriham, the temple’s mandapam pillars display some fabulous architecture! How did this temple come to be? … Read More Kaliyuga Varadaraja Perumal, Kallankurichi, Ariyalur

Sundararaja Perumal, Anbil, Tiruchirappalli


Brahma’s ego about his powers of creation resulted in his being born on earth, and he prayed here to be relieved of this curse. Siva, as Bhikshatanar, is believed to have worshipped at this temple, on the way from Uttamar Koil to Kandiyur. The temple also has a Mahabharatam connection, and the Pandavas are said to have worshipped at this place. But what unique iconographic representation in the sanctum leads to this being a prarthana sthalam for women seeking to get married? … Read More Sundararaja Perumal, Anbil, Tiruchirappalli

Purushottama Perumal, Uttamar Koil, Tiruchirappalli


In addition to being a Divya Desam – commonly referred to as Uttamar Koil – this temple is also a “Mummurti Kshetram”, having shrines for Vishnu, Siva and Brahma as well as their consorts. Vishnu, wanting to test Brahma, hid inside a Kadamba tree, and revealed Himself only after a worried Brahma searched everywhere and then surrendered to the Lord! This Chola temple is also a Guru kshetram, as all 7 Gurus are enshrined here. Who are these seven, what are the Ramayanam connections here, the link to Bhikshatanar, and who is an Uttamar? … Read More Purushottama Perumal, Uttamar Koil, Tiruchirappalli

Maatruraivaradeeswarar, Tiruvasi, Tiruchirappalli


One of the two puranams for Siva’s name here, is about Sundarar who asked Siva for gold in order to feed the local poor. Suspecting the purity of some gold he found, he had it inspected by two goldsmiths who happened to come that way…who, after certifying that the gold was high quality, revealed themselves to be Siva and Vishnu! But what is special about the iconography of Natarajar here, who is also called Sarpa Natarajar?… Read More Maatruraivaradeeswarar, Tiruvasi, Tiruchirappalli

அக்னிபுரீஸ்வரர், வன்னியூர் , திருவாரூர்


தாக்ஷாயணி தக்ஷனின் யாகத்தில் கலந்து கொண்டார், மேலும் சிவன் மீது அவளது தந்தை மற்றும் யாகத்தில் கலந்து கொண்டவர்கள் செய்த அவமதிப்பு காரணமாக, யாகத்தில் தன்னைத்தானே எரித்துக் கொண்டார். இந்த காரணத்திற்காக, சிவன் யாகத்தில் கலந்து கொண்டதற்காக அக்னியை தண்டித்தார், மேலும் இந்த சாபத்தால் அக்னி எந்த சடங்குகளிலும் பங்கேற்க முடியாது. இயற்கையாகவே, அக்னி இல்லாமல் எந்த யாகமும் செய்ய முடியாது என்பதால், இது பல சிக்கல்களை உருவாக்கியது. இதனால் மழை பொய்த்து, பரவலாக வறட்சி மற்றும்… Read More அக்னிபுரீஸ்வரர், வன்னியூர் , திருவாரூர்

Valvil Raman, Tiruppulaboothangudi, Thanjavur


Referred to in the Brahmanda puranam and Padma puranam, this Divya Desam is connected with the Ramayanam. Thayar arose from the temple tank to be beside Rama, who performed the last rites for Jatayu, who breathed his last at the nearby town of Thyagasamudram. Tirumangai Azhvar realised he was in the presence of a very unique representation of Vishnu, which is how the moolavar here is depicted even today. What is so unique about this? … Read More Valvil Raman, Tiruppulaboothangudi, Thanjavur

கோடீஸ்வரர், கொட்டையூர், தஞ்சாவூர்


கும்பகோணத்தின் தோற்றம் மற்றும் மகாமகம் திருவிழாவுடன் நேரடியாக தொடர்புடைய 12 கோவில்களில் இதுவும் ஒன்று. அந்த புராணத்தின் படி, பிரம்மா அனைத்து உயிரினங்களின் விதைகளையும், வேதங்கள் மற்றும் புராணங்களையும் சேர்த்து, ஒரு தொட்டியில் அமிர்த கலசம் என்று அழைக்கப்பட்டார். கும்பம் என்பது சமஸ்கிருதம் மற்றும் குடம் என்பது தமிழ், இந்த வகை பானைக்கு. இதனை மலர்கள், வில்வம், மங்கள வஸ்திரம், சந்தனம் மற்றும் புனித நூல் போன்ற பல்வேறு பொருட்களால் அலங்கரிக்கப்பட்டு, அதன் மேல் தேங்காய் வைக்கப்பட்டது.… Read More கோடீஸ்வரர், கொட்டையூர், தஞ்சாவூர்

வெண்ணி கரும்பேஸ்வரர், கோயில் வெண்ணி, திருவாரூர்


நான்கு யுகங்களில் இருந்த பாடல் பெற்ற ஸ்தலம், கரும்புத் தண்டுகளை ஒன்றாகக் கட்டியபடி சிவன் காட்சியளிக்கிறார். இந்த கோவில் நான்கு யுகங்களிலும் இருந்ததாக நம்பப்படுகிறது. இக்கோயிலில் உள்ள லிங்கம் கரும்புத் தண்டுகள் ஒன்றாகக் கட்டப்பட்டிருப்பது போல் காட்சியளிக்கிறது, அதற்கான காரணத்தை ஸ்தல புராணம் விளக்குகிறது. கரும்பும் நந்தியாவர்த்தமும் (பண்டைய தமிழில் வெண்ணி) செடிகள் நிறைந்த இந்த இடத்திற்கு ஒருமுறை சிவபக்தர்களான இரு முனிவர்கள் வருகை தந்தனர். இங்கு சிவன் இருப்பதை உணர்ந்த முனிவர்கள் சுற்றிப் பார்த்தபோது ஒரு… Read More வெண்ணி கரும்பேஸ்வரர், கோயில் வெண்ணி, திருவாரூர்

சாட்சிநாதர், அவளிவநல்லூர் , திருவாரூர்


அவளிவநல்லூர் கும்பகோணத்திற்கு தெற்கிலும், ஆலங்குடியிலிருந்து கிழக்கே 12கிமீ தொலைவிலும் அமைந்துள்ளது. கும்பகோணத்திற்கு அருகிலுள்ள பஞ்ச ஆரண்ய க்ஷேத்திரங்களில் இதுவும் ஒன்றாகும், மேலும் ஸ்தல புராணத்தின் படி, காலையில் ஒரு யாத்திரையைத் தொடங்கி, அதே நாளில் 5 கோயில்களுக்கு பின்வரும் வரிசையில் செல்ல பரிந்துரைக்கப்படுகிறது. பூஜைகளுக்கு): திருக்கருகாவூர் (ஷட்கால பூஜை, அதிகாலை), அவளிவநல்லூர் (காலசந்தி பூஜை, காலை), ஹரித்வாரமங்கலம் (உச்சிகால பூஜை, மதியம்), ஆலங்குடி (சாயரட்சை, மாலை) மற்றும் திருக்கொள்ளம்புதூர் (அர்த்தஜாமம், இரவு). இருப்பினும், இன்றைய நிலையில், இந்த… Read More சாட்சிநாதர், அவளிவநல்லூர் , திருவாரூர்

Satchinathar, Avalivanallur, Tiruvarur


Being One of the 5 Pancha-Aranya kshetrams (temples located in forests) in this region, there is a specific order to worship these temples; this temple should ideally be visited in the mid-morning. The sthala puranam here is about a temple priest who could not recognise his wife after her illness when he was at Kasi, and so refused to accept her as his wife, and how Siva stood as witness (hence the Lord’s name here) to the wife’s testimony. But how is this temple connected to Vishnu and the nearby Haridwaramangalam temple? … Read More Satchinathar, Avalivanallur, Tiruvarur

Pathaaleeswarar, Haridwaramangalam, Tiruvarur


This Paadal Petra Sthalam and Pancha Aranya Kshetram (a set of five temples located in what used to be forests) is located near Kumbakonam, and has two very interesting sthala puranams connected with it. One is about Siva emerging as a pillar of fire, with Vishnu and Brahma taking the form of a boar and a swan, to find the ends of the pillar. The other has to do with Siva’s marriage to Parvati, but it wasn’t so simple! What was this all about?… Read More Pathaaleeswarar, Haridwaramangalam, Tiruvarur

Swarnapureeswarar, Andankoil, Tiruvarur


Kandadeva – a minister of Muchukunda Chakravarti – was such a staunch devotee of Siva that he would not eat before performing Siva Puja. This practice of his led to him building this temple without the king’s knowledge, after the Lord appeared in his dream. But how he built the temple, and what was the king’s response, is what the puranam of this temple is all about. But why is Siva here called Swarnapureeswarar? … Read More Swarnapureeswarar, Andankoil, Tiruvarur

ஸ்வர்ணபுரீஸ்வரர், ஆண்டன்கோயில், திருவாரூர்


முச்சுகுந்த சக்கரவர்த்தி திருவாரூரில் தியாகராஜர் கோவிலை கட்டிக் கொண்டிருந்தார், அதற்காக கற்கள் மற்றும் சுண்ணாம்புகளை ஏற்பாடு செய்யும்படி தனது அமைச்சரை நியமித்தார். கந்ததேவர் தீவிர பக்தர், சிவபூஜை செய்யாமல் சாப்பிடமாட்டார். ஒரு நாள் இருட்டாகிவிட்டது, பூஜைக்கு லிங்கம் கிடைக்கவில்லை. சாப்பிடாமல் சாலையோரத்தில் தூங்கினார். பின்னர் அவரது கனவில் சிவபெருமான் தோன்றி, கந்ததேவர் தங்கியிருக்கும் வன்னி மரத்தின் அருகே லிங்கம் ஒன்றைத் தேடி, பூஜை செய்யும்படி கூறினார். கந்ததேவர் லிங்கத்தைப் பார்த்து மகிழ்ந்து கோயில் கட்டத் தொடங்கினார். திருவாரூர்… Read More ஸ்வர்ணபுரீஸ்வரர், ஆண்டன்கோயில், திருவாரூர்

ஸ்வர்ணபுரீஸ்வரர், செம்பொன்னார்கோயில், நாகப்பட்டினம்


சிவபெருமானின் விருப்பத்திற்கு மாறாக, அழைப்பின்றி தாக்ஷாயணி தனியாக கலந்து கொண்ட தக்ஷனின் யாகத்தின் கதையுடன் இந்த கோவில் நெருக்கமாக இணைக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. சிவன் மீது சுமத்தப்பட்ட அவமானங்களால், தாக்ஷாயணி தன்னைத்தானே தீக்குளித்துக்கொள்ள முடிவு செய்தார், அதற்கு முன் இந்த இடத்தில் சிவபெருமானை வணங்கினாள். அவள் நெருப்பில் குதித்தது சிவபெருமானைக் கோபப்படுத்தியது, மேலும் இறைவனின் கோபத்திலிருந்து வீரபத்ரர் வெளிப்பட்டார், அவர் யாகத்தையும் தக்ஷா உட்பட பல பங்கேற்பாளர்களையும் அழித்தார். இந்த இடம் வீரபத்திரன் உருவெடுத்த இடமாக கருதப்படுகிறது. இரண்டு காரணங்களுக்காக… Read More ஸ்வர்ணபுரீஸ்வரர், செம்பொன்னார்கோயில், நாகப்பட்டினம்

Kadaimudi Nathar, Keelayur, Nagapattinam


Brahma appears to be the most penitent character in Hindu mythology, and this is yet another place he worshipped Siva…this time, to guard the world till its end – this gives the moolavar His name at this temple. This Paadal Petra Sthalam is a rather simple temple built in the time of Parantaka Chola, but features some very unique iconography and architecture. Read about those in detail, here.… Read More Kadaimudi Nathar, Keelayur, Nagapattinam

கடைமுடி நாதர், கீழையூர், நாகப்பட்டினம்


பிரம்மா தனது பெருமை மற்றும் அகங்காரத்திற்காக சிவபெருமானால் சபிக்கப்பட்டார். அதனால் சாப விமோசனம் பெற பல்வேறு கோவில்களில் இறைவனை வழிபட்டார். அவர் இத்தலத்திற்கு வந்தபோது, ஒரு கிலுவை மரத்தடியில் சுயம்பு மூர்த்தி லிங்கம் இருப்பதைக் கண்டு, வணங்கத் தொடங்கினார். இங்கு குளம் ஒன்றை உருவாக்கி, லிங்கத்திற்கு தினமும் அபிஷேகம் செய்து வந்தார். பிரம்மா தனது குறைகளை வென்றுவிட்டதால் மகிழ்ந்த சிவபெருமான் அவருக்கு தரிசனம் அளித்தார். பிரம்மா சிவனிடம், கிலுவாய் மரத்தடியில் நிரந்தரமாக தங்கி, உலக முடிவு வரை… Read More கடைமுடி நாதர், கீழையூர், நாகப்பட்டினம்

Udhvaganathar, Tirumanancheri, Nagapattinam


Of the many temples in the region, this is regarded as the place where Siva and Parvati were married, on earth. As a nitya kalyana kshetram, Tirukalyanam is performed every day here, and there are so many interesting aspects to the murtis of Siva and Parvati. There are also other stories connected to Kama dahanam, and how a boy born with the head of a tortoise got married after worshipping at this temple. But why is there no Navagraham shrine at this temple?… Read More Udhvaganathar, Tirumanancheri, Nagapattinam

Uktavedeeswarar, Kuttalam, Nagapattinam


This Paadal Petra Sthalam is one of the many Chola period temples near Kumbakonam, connected with the celestial wedding of Siva and Parvati. It is also a pancha-krosha sthalam, and is the centre point of the temples belonging to this group. The sthala puranam here is about a devotee who wanted to visit Kasi, but Lord Siva showed him that this place was equal to Kasi in every way. But why is the sthala vriksham (sacred tree) of this temple so important in Saiva lore? … Read More Uktavedeeswarar, Kuttalam, Nagapattinam

உக்தவேதீஸ்வரர், குத்தாலம், நாகப்பட்டினம்


உத்திரசன்மன் காசிக்குச் சென்று சிவனை வழிபட விரும்பினான். ஆனால் இந்த இடம் காசிக்குச் சமமானது என்பதை சிவபெருமான் அறிய விரும்பினார். பாம்பின் வடிவம் எடுத்து பக்தரை பயமுறுத்துவதற்காக அவர் தனது கணங்களில் ஒன்றை நியமித்தார். ஆனால் உத்ரசன்மன் கருட மந்திரத்தை உச்சரித்து பாம்பை மயக்கமடையச் செய்தார். அப்போது சிவனே பாம்பாட்டி வடிவில் இறங்கி பாம்புக்கு நிவாரணம் வழங்கினார். கருட மந்திரத்தின் மந்திரத்தை சிவனால் மட்டுமே உடைக்க முடியும் என்பதை உணர்ந்த உத்ரசன்மன், காசியில் வணங்குவது போல் இங்கும்… Read More உக்தவேதீஸ்வரர், குத்தாலம், நாகப்பட்டினம்

Brahmapureeswarar, Karaveeram, Tiruvarur


When celestial women prayed to Parvati that they get married soon, She looked at Siva, who told them to come to this place on earth and worship him. The Lingam they were to worship was guarded by Sage Gautama, who sought to remain here after his mortal life, and so he merged into the sthala vriksham of this temple. But why is a donkey the reason for there being no tall structure between this temple and the sea at Nagore, 30km away?… Read More Brahmapureeswarar, Karaveeram, Tiruvarur

பிரம்மபுரீஸ்வரர், கரவீரம், திருவாரூர்


திருமணமாகாத தேவலோகப் பெண்கள் ஒருமுறை கைலாசத்தில் சிவனையும் பார்வதியையும் வணங்கி, விரைவில் திருமணம் செய்து கொள்ள வரம் தேடினார்கள். பார்வதி பதில் சொல்லாமல், இறைவனைப் பார்த்தார். காவேரி நதிக்கரையில் (இந்தக் கிளை இப்போது வெட்டாறு) லிங்கத்தை நிறுவி, பெண்களை அங்கே வழிபடும்படி அறிவுறுத்தினார். எனவே, இக்கோயில் பெண் குழந்தைகளுக்கு திருமணம் செய்து வைக்கும் பிரார்த்தனை ஸ்தலமாகும். அந்த பக்தர்கள் அமாவாசை நாளில் இங்கு வழிபட்டு ஸ்தல விருட்சத்திற்கு நீராடினர். கௌதம முனிவர் சிவபெருமான் கௌதம முனிவரை தான்… Read More பிரம்மபுரீஸ்வரர், கரவீரம், திருவாரூர்

Koneswarar, Kudavasal, Tiruvarur


This Paadal Petra Sthalam is one of the 12 temples that are connected to the origins of Kumbakonam, where the mouth of the celestial pot fell, when broken open by Siva’s arrow. This is one of the 70 maadakoil temples built by Kochchenga Chola, but because the entrance to the upper level is on the southern side, one has to perform an entire pradakshinam (circumambulation) of the temple, before worshipping the deities. But why is this place also called Garudadri and Vanmeekachalam?… Read More Koneswarar, Kudavasal, Tiruvarur

கோணேஸ்வரர், குடவாசல், திருவாரூர்


கும்பகோணத்தின் தோற்றம் மற்றும் மகாமகம் திருவிழாவுடன் நேரடியாக தொடர்புடைய 12 கோவில்களில் இதுவும் ஒன்று. அந்த புராணத்தின் படி, பிரம்மா அனைத்து உயிரினங்களின் விதைகளையும், வேதங்கள் மற்றும் புராணங்களையும் சேர்த்து, ஒரு தொட்டியில் அமிர்த கலசம் என்று அழைக்கப்பட்டார். கும்பம் என்பது சமஸ்கிருதம் மற்றும் குடம் என்பது தமிழ், இந்த வகை பானைக்கு. இதனை மலர்கள், வில்வம், மங்கள வஸ்திரம், சந்தனம், மற்றும் புனித நூல் போன்ற பல்வேறு பொருட்களால் அலங்கரிக்கப்பட்டு, அதன் மேல் தேங்காய் வைக்கப்பட்டது.… Read More கோணேஸ்வரர், குடவாசல், திருவாரூர்

அமிர்தகடேஸ்வரர், சாக்கோட்டை, தஞ்சாவூர்


கும்பகோணத்தின் தோற்றம் மற்றும் மகாமகம் திருவிழாவுடன் நேரடியாக தொடர்புடைய 12 கோவில்களில் இதுவும் ஒன்று. அந்த புராணத்தின் படி, பிரம்மா அனைத்து உயிரினங்களின் விதைகளையும், வேதங்கள் மற்றும் புராணங்களையும் சேர்த்து, ஒரு தொட்டியில் அமிர்த கலசம் என்று அழைக்கப்பட்டார். கும்பம் என்பது சமஸ்கிருதம் மற்றும் குடம் என்பது தமிழ், இந்த வகை பானைக்கு. இதனை மலர்கள், வில்வம், மங்கள வஸ்திரம், சந்தனம், மற்றும் புனித நூல் போன்ற பல்வேறு பொருட்களால் அலங்கரிக்கப்பட்டு, அதன் மேல் தேங்காய் வைக்கப்பட்டது.… Read More அமிர்தகடேஸ்வரர், சாக்கோட்டை, தஞ்சாவூர்

Chaturanga Vallabha Nathar, Poovanur, Tiruvarur


The childless King Vasudevan was worshipping at Tirunelveli, when Siva took pity on him and asked Parvati to be born as his daughter, promising to reunite with Her in due course. Over time, the girl became very talented in the game of chess, and insisted on marrying only the person who could defeat Her at the game. The rest of the sthala puranam is about how Siva defeated her at the sport, which also earns Him His name here! … Read More Chaturanga Vallabha Nathar, Poovanur, Tiruvarur

ஆபத்சஹாயேஸ்வரர், ஆலங்குடி, தஞ்சாவூர்


கும்பகோணத்திலிருந்து தெற்கே சில கிமீ தொலைவில் நிடாமங்கலம் மற்றும் மன்னார்குடி செல்லும் வழியில் ஆலங்குடி அமைந்துள்ளது. பாற்கடல் கலக்கப்பட்டபோது சிவபெருமான் ஹாலஹா விஷத்தை உட்கொண்ட இடம் ஆலங்குடி என்று கூறப்படுகிறது. எனவே அவர் ஆபத்சஹாயேஸ்வரர் என்று அழைக்கப்படுகிறார், மேலும் இந்த தலத்தின் பெயரும் இந்த புராணத்திலிருந்து பெறப்பட்டது. திருக்கோலம்புத்தூரில் உள்ள கதையைப் போலவே, சுந்தரர் இறைவனை வேண்டி வந்தபோது, வெள்ளப்பெருக்கு காரணமாக வெட்டாறு ஆற்றைக் கடக்க முடியவில்லை. சுந்தரர் ஆற்றைக் கடக்க உதவுவதற்காக சிவபெருமான் படகோட்டியாக உருவெடுத்து,… Read More ஆபத்சஹாயேஸ்வரர், ஆலங்குடி, தஞ்சாவூர்

Brihan Madhavan, Kodaganallur, Tirunelveli


This Perumal temple on the banks of the Tambraparani is likely from the early Pandya period, though the inscriptions here are from the later Pandyas in the 12th and 13th century CE. The temple is most famous for the special pujas conducted for Garuda, who is depicted carrying the pot of nectar (amrtam) here. But what is the reason for the name of the place, and also why the temple is a sarpa dosha nivritti sthalam?… Read More Brihan Madhavan, Kodaganallur, Tirunelveli

Vijayasanar, Natham, Thoothukudi


Also known as Varagunamangai (after Varagunamavalli Thayar here), this Nava Tirupati Divya Desam temple located near Tirunelveli is dedicated to Chandran. The temple is devoid of a Navagraham shrine since Vishnu here represents all the planets. But what lesson did sage Romaharshana give his disciple, after seeing a locally despised fisherman die and his soul ascend to heaven? … Read More Vijayasanar, Natham, Thoothukudi

Kaisinivendhan Perumal, Tirupuliangudi, Tirunelveli


This Nava Tirupati temple is associated with Budhan, is where Indra was relieved of a curse, and Vishnu gave appeared to Varuna and Yama. Vishnu Himself represents the Navagraham here, and so there is no separate Navagraham shrine. This is where Sage Vasishta’s curse on Yagnasarma was relieved. But what is different about devotees having Lord Vishnu’s pada darsanam at this temple? … Read More Kaisinivendhan Perumal, Tirupuliangudi, Tirunelveli

Srinivasa Perumal, Tholaivillimangalam, Thoothukudi


Eighth in the series of Nava Tirupati temples between Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi, this is one of two twin-temples – called the Irattai Tirupati – in the village of Tholaivillimangalam, near Tirunelveli. This is a Rahu sthalam, associated with Nammazhvar, and part of the annual Garuda Sevai utsavam that covers all the Nava Tirupati temples. But what makes this temple inseparable from the other Vishnu temple for Perumal as Aravindalochanar, located just a few meters away? … Read More Srinivasa Perumal, Tholaivillimangalam, Thoothukudi

Makara Netunkuzhai Kaadar, Thenthirupperai, Thoothukudi


At this Nava Tirupati temple in the Tirunelveli region, Perumal is adorned with earrings shaped like fish, which were given to Him by Bhudevi, and this explains His name at this place. This Navagraham temple is a Sukra sthalam, associated with Nammazhvar, and part of the annual Garuda Sevai utsavam that covers all the Nava Tirupati temples. But why is this place called Tiru-Perai? … Read More Makara Netunkuzhai Kaadar, Thenthirupperai, Thoothukudi

Vaithamanidhi Perumal, Tirukolur, Thoothukudi


This Divya Desam temple in the Thoothukudi district is one of the Nava Tirupati temples of Vishnu that are associated with the Navagraham; this temple is associated with Sevvaai (Mars). Since Vishnu Himself depicts the planetary deities, this temple (as with the other Nava Tirupati temples) does not have a separate Navagraham shrine. The temple’s sthala puranam is about Kubera losing his wealth after being cursed by Parvati, and worshipping Vishnu to retrieve it, which also gives the Lord His name at this temple. … Read More Vaithamanidhi Perumal, Tirukolur, Thoothukudi

Vaikuntanatha Perumal, Srivaikundam, Tirunelveli


Considered as the first in the series of the Nava Tirupati temples near Tirunelveli, this temple is dedicated to Suryan. The sthala puranam here is of Perumal who took the form of a thief to protect another thief (who shared his takings with the Lord, due to his devotion!). To protect the thief, Vishnu took the form of a thief Himself (giving Him the name Kallapiran), and reasoned with the king as to why there was social inequity! This temple is also connected with Vishnu retrieving the Vedas stolen from Brahma. But why is the name Paal-Pandi commonly given to men in this region? … Read More Vaikuntanatha Perumal, Srivaikundam, Tirunelveli

Tiru Vazh Marban, Tirupatisaram, Kanyakumari


Vishnu appeared here at the request of the sages who were staying and meditating at Suchindram. The pleasant countenance of Vishnu who appeared then, is perhaps linked to Prahlada’s request to see the Lord in a pleasing form, as a change from the ferocity displayed during the Narasimhavataram. This Divya Desam is also the birthplace of Nammazhvar. But how is this temple connected to both the Ramayanam and Mahabharatam? … Read More Tiru Vazh Marban, Tirupatisaram, Kanyakumari

Thothadri Nathan, Nanguneri, Tirunelveli


Bhoomadevi lost her purity after Madhu and Kaitabha’s slaying by Vishnu caused a world-pervading odour. She worshipped Vishnu here, who blessed her to be cleaned of the impurities. This is a swayam-vyakta kshetram, and eleven of the murtis here are considered to be swayambhu murtis. But how is this temple unique, as regards the Vaishnavite philosophy of Saranagati? … Read More Thothadri Nathan, Nanguneri, Tirunelveli