Naganathar, Pozhakudi, Mayiladuthurai


This beautiful late-Chola period temple with Pandya influence, is marked by the long vavvaal-nethi mandapam that takes up the majority of the structural temple’s area. This is reckoned to have been a much larger temple in its heyday, and is a shadow of its former self today. The temple is also part of the Tirumangalam Sivaratri set of 3 temples. How and why is this spiritually important?… Read More Naganathar, Pozhakudi, Mayiladuthurai

Azhagiyanathar, Sholampettai, Mayiladuthurai


One of seven temples that form part of the Mayiladuthurai Sapta Sthanam festival, this brick temple lies in shambles today. Interestingly, given the presence of two vigrahams of Sambandar, this temple is often regarded as possibly being a Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam. Suryan worshipped Amman here to be rid of his rheumatism. But what is the Mahabharatam connection here, and how is it depicted in sculptures at this temple?… Read More Azhagiyanathar, Sholampettai, 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

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

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

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

Ramaswami, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur


This Nayak period temple was built at the start of the decline of the Vijayanagara dynasty. The irony of this is that worship of Rama gained popularity only during the Vijayanagara dynasty’s rule! The entire temple and its extensive and detailed architecture celebrates only one thing – the Ramayanam. The temple is also one of the five Perumal temples associated with the Mahamaham festival. But what is so interesting and absorbing about the depiction of deities in the garbhagriham?… Read More Ramaswami, Kumbakonam, 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

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

Jambunathar, Nallicheri, Thanjavur


One of the seven Chakrapalli Saptam Sthanam temples, this is where Vaishnavi – the sakti of Vishnu – worshipped Siva’s feet and anklets, before joining Chamundi in battle. The name Nallicheri is said to derive from the place’s earlier name, Nandicheri, and indeed, the place is known as Nandi Mangai, amongst the 7 temples of the Sapta Sthanam. But what did Nandi accomplish here, which he could not do at even as holy a place as Tiruvaiyaru?… Read More Jambunathar, Nallicheri, Thanjavur

Oushadhapureeswarar, Mathur, Thanjavur


This is one of the five temples associated with Agastyar, which are to be worshipped on a single day, to be cured of all sorts of illnesses. This classic Chola temple dates back possibly to the 10th century CE, and is said to have its origins in the holy waters of the River Ganga. But what’s special about some of the parivara devatas of this temple, specifically Bhairavar, Chandikeswarar and Suryan?… Read More Oushadhapureeswarar, Mathur, Thanjavur

Thanjapureeswarar, Thanjavur, Thanjavur


Located in the vicinity of the Thanjai Mamani Koil set of 3 temples, on the outskirts of Thanjavur, this moolavar here is also known as Kubera Pureeswarar, as He aided Kubera in getting back wealth that the latter had lost. The temple is a Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam finding mention in one of Sambandar’s Tirumurai pathigams. But how are the moolavar’s name, and indeed that of the town, connected to the sthala puranam of the temple?… Read More Thanjapureeswarar, Thanjavur, 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

Sandeeswarar, Velangudi, Sivaganga


This Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam is also the smallest of the 9 Nagarathar temples that the region is famous for. The place gets its name from being a forest of Vela trees in ancient times. The story behind the finding of Amman’s murti here is the core sthala puranam of the place. But what are the two other local legends about this temple, that are equally fascinating?… Read More Sandeeswarar, Velangudi, 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

Thanthondreeswarar, Iluppaikudi, Sivaganga


One of the 9 famous Nagarathar temples in the Chettinadu region, this temple’s sthala puranam concerns Kongana Siddhar’s desire to become an alchemist, turning iron into gold, and is also connected with the sthala puranam of the Ainootreeswarar temple at nearby Mathur. The temple is famous for Bhairavar, but what are some of the architectural masterpieces depicted here, that this temple is famous for? … Read More Thanthondreeswarar, Iluppaikudi, 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

Naganathar, Tiruthangur, Sivaganga


This Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam and late-Pandya temple was rebuilt in the last 200 years or so, and completely transformed into a Chettinadu temple with proper Nagarathar style architecture. Tiruthangur – the name of the place – is likely to have come from a sthala puranam involving Lakshmi staying here, but sadly, no records of any puranam are available for this temple.… Read More Naganathar, Tiruthangur, 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

Vriddhapureeswarar, Tirupunavasal, Pudukkottai


One of 14 Paadal Petra Sthalams in the Pandya region, this temple has existed in all four yugams., and worshipping the 14 Lingams here is regarded as equal to having visited all 14 such temples. The multitude of stories about this temple speaks to its age and hoary past, chiefly about Brahma repenting for his lack of knowledge about the Pranava Mantram. But why is Kali here not viewed directly, but only through the reflection in a mirror?… Read More Vriddhapureeswarar, Tirupunavasal, Pudukkottai

Ekambareswarar, Sundara Pandiya Pattinam, Pudukkottai


This very interesting temple on the coastal route from Vedaranyam to Rameswaram, features Siva as Ekambareswarar, who self-emanated as a Lingam under a mango tree, much like He did at Kanchipuram. The temple is connected to the Pandya king Sundara Pandyan and the saint Sambandar. But what makes this temple special are an interesting sculpture on the outer wall, and the separate mandapam to the immediate south of the temple. Why are these special?… Read More Ekambareswarar, Sundara Pandiya Pattinam, Pudukkottai

Ramar Padam, Idayanvayal, Pudukkottai


Located on the coastal path from Vedaranyam to Rameswaram are several sites connected with the Ramayanam. This is one of them, and happens to also be one of only three places in Tamil Nadu where the footprints of Rama are said to exist (the other two being a small shrine between Vedaranyam and Kodiakkarai, and at Rameswaram). Also nearby is a dilapidated temple from what appears to be the Chola period.… Read More Ramar Padam, Idayanvayal, 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

Tirumeninathar, Anandur, Ramanathapuram


This temple for Siva in Anandur – also called Valanai or Valavai – near Tiruvadanai, does not have a sthala puranam that is known, but is referred to in one of Appar’s Tevaram pathigams in passing, making it a Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam. The temple’s renovation began in 2004 and was stalled for over 15 years, before resuming in 2021. But why does the king who built this temple, have a rather unusual set of titles?… Read More Tirumeninathar, Anandur, Ramanathapuram

Tiruvirundeeswarar, Radhanur, Ramanathapuram


An unusual early-Chola temple in the heart of the Pandya country, this temple lies in ruins today. But going by the architecture and detailed inscriptions at this temple, this would have possibly been a large and important temple in its day. Those who are able to support the refurbishment of this dilapidated temple may please reach out in person, to the temple priest.… Read More Tiruvirundeeswarar, Radhanur, Ramanathapuram

Thillaivaneswarar, Radhanur, Ramanathapuram


Despite no known sthala puranam, this beautiful Chola-period temple is said to have been built in honour of Siva as Natarajar at Chidambaram (or Thillai). This temple may be a Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam, but it is not clear as of now, as the place shares its name with another in the Thanjavur district. But what is the unique reason why the locals are happy because of the daily fights that take place at this village?… Read More Thillaivaneswarar, Radhanur, Ramanathapuram

Ekambareswarar, Tiruvegampattu, Ramanathapuram


Also referred to as Dakshina Kanchipuram, this is one of the rare Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam temples in the Chettinadu region. Built in the Pandya period about 800 years ago, this temple features splendid architecture from that period, particularly of karanas (dance poses from the Bharatanatyam) and several bas-relief images of Vinayakar. But what is the Ramayanam connection to this temple, where the moolavar is an aasura-Lingam?… Read More Ekambareswarar, Tiruvegampattu, Ramanathapuram

Meenakshi Sundareswarar, Devakottai, Sivaganga


This temple – built in the last 150 years or so – is a classic representation of Nagarathar architecture. Popular as the Nagara Sivan Koil of Devakottai, the temple presents Sundareswarar and Meenakshi Amman in their wedding posture (kalyana kolam). But the most interesting aspect of the temple, is that it is not Siva who is the utsava murti of this temple. Who is it then, and why?… Read More Meenakshi Sundareswarar, Devakottai, Sivaganga

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

Swarnamurtheeswarar, Kandadevi, Sivaganga


Originally, Siva here was called Siragilinathar. A Pandya king in poor financial state sought to rebuild the temple, and quite literally stumbled at this place. Taking this to be a sign, he dug here to find gold and precious stones, as well as a Lingam which was enshrined by him at the temple built with the new-found wealth, leading to a change in Siva’s name here. But what is the deep Ramayanam connection hat this temple, the place, as well as nearby Iraguseri, share?… Read More Swarnamurtheeswarar, Kandadevi, Sivaganga

Tribhuvana Chakravartheeswarar, Unjanai, Sivaganga


Hidden away near Karaikudi is this beautiful temple for Siva as Tribhuvana Chakravarteeswarar, the ruler of the three worlds. The temple is a refreshing change from the usual Nagarathar temples of the region, and may even be one of the rare Chola temples in what is otherwise Pandya country. The architecture is simple yet mind-blowing, in this little-known Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam! Read more about this temple here.… Read More Tribhuvana Chakravartheeswarar, Unjanai, 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, Kambanur, Sivaganga


This Nagarathar temple near Karaikudi and Pillaiyarpatti celebrates Siva and Parvati as Sundareswarar and Meenakshi, as they are in Madurai. Also for this reason, this temple is a favoured venue for both fixing and conducting marriages. Dated to the 14th century, this temple is best known for Kottai Vinayakar, built by a feudatory of the Pandyas. But why is Vinayakar named so, and how is this relevant to other places in the region? … Read More Sundareswarar, Kambanur, Sivaganga

Tirukandeeswarar, Chokkanathapuram, Sivaganga


It is disappointing to find a temple with great architecture and fantastic names of the deities, but very little information on the temple’s puranam and history. This is one such temple, though we do know that the sthala puranam here is connected with Kamadhenu, and sage Agastyar has worshipped here. Fortunately, this temple has not met the neglect that several others seem to face. But what makes this temple quite interesting is the internal layout and iconography.… Read More Tirukandeeswarar, Chokkanathapuram, Sivaganga

Sundareswarar, Pattamangalam, Sivaganga


Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakamya, Isitva and Vasitva are considered the eight great siddhis. The sthala puranam here is about how the Kruttikas sought to learn these siddhis, were cursed for their lack of focus, and finally redeemed. The temple is one of those referred to in the Tiruvilaiyadal puranam. But what makes the Dakshinamurti so special here, that the temple is known more for Dakshinamurti than Siva as Sundareswarar?… Read More Sundareswarar, Pattamangalam, Sivaganga

Aatkondanathar, Iraniyur, Sivaganga


One of the 9 main Nagarathar temples of the Chettinadu region, this temple’s sthala puranam could perhaps explain the reason for the popularity of Sarabeswarar worship in this region. The temple is popularly referred to as the temple of sculpture (sirpa koil), for obvious reasons as can be seen in the pictures of the temple interiors. But how is this temple, and indeed the name of the place, connected to one of Vishnu’s avatarams? … Read More Aatkondanathar, Iraniyur, Sivaganga

Valarolinathar, Vairavanpatti, Sivaganga


The third largest of the 9 Nagarathar temples, this temple filled with exemplary architecture is perhaps the origin of the primacy of Bhairavar worship in the region. Siva deputed Bhairavar to overcome an asura, after which Bhairavar merged back into Siva as a growing light of knowledge, giving Siva the name Tirumeignana Pureeswarar. But how is this temple connected to ridding Brahma of his ego, as well as the Ramayanam?… Read More Valarolinathar, Vairavanpatti, Sivaganga

Kailasanathar, Ilayathangudi, Sivaganga


The temple is the first of the 9 prominent Nagarathar temples in the region, and the community was gifted the village and the temple by the ruling Pandya king. In addition to being a prarthana sthalam for marriage, this is also famous in the region for celebrating milestone birthdays. But what is the interesting story behind the name of the place, which is also home to a famous branch of the Sankara Matham?… Read More Kailasanathar, Ilayathangudi, 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

Thenatrunathar, Kunnakudi, Sivaganga


Missed by most visitors to the Kunnakudi Murugan temple, is this cave temple for Siva as Thenatrunathar, located on the west of the Kunnakudi hillock. The temple, which is not in active use and is today an ASI maintained site, features three shrines for Siva, in addition to excellent specimens of early Pandya architecture. But what is so special about the dwarapalakas at this temple?… Read More Thenatrunathar, Kunnakudi, 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

Chokkanathar, Muraiyur, Sivaganga


This rare Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam in this part of Tamilakam, ie the Chettinad region, houses one of the 8 Lingams that Nagarajar, the king of serpents, installed and worshipped. The sthala puranam here is about a king who built this temple after he had a dream, and then spent the rest of his life here. But what connects this temple with the Madurai Meenakshi-Sundareswarar temple?… Read More Chokkanathar, Muraiyur, Sivaganga

Kutram Poruthavar, S. Aduthurai, Perambalur


This beautiful temple with its imposing raja gopuram stands out in this otherwise flat land on the banks of the Vellar river. One sthala puranam here is connected to the Daksha Yagam, and how the sapta-rishis got back their status. But the other (and main) sthala puranam of this temple is also the reason for some of the etymology of the name of this place. What is so interesting about this, which has a Ramayanam connection?… Read More Kutram Poruthavar, S. Aduthurai, Perambalur

Kasi Viswanathar, Cholapuram, Thanjavur


Here is yet another temple virtually in ruins, thanks to the lax attitude of authorities who do not permit even willing sponsors to help renovate and rebuild this temple. Their blind eye has resulted in there being virtually nothing other than a Siva Lingam and a few assorted vigrahams. But this temple is really old, as evidenced by the unique depiction of Murugan here. How so, and how is that connected with Airavata, the celestial elephant? … Read More Kasi Viswanathar, Cholapuram, Thanjavur

Vedapureeswarar, Tirukazhithattai, Thanjavur


Said to have been built by Kodumbalur Velir, the army general of Sundara Chola, during the 10th century, this temple has several inscriptions about him, and various other important members of Chola royalty of the time. Suryan worships Siva here with his rays, twice a year, for 10 days at a time. But what is the etymology of the names of Siva and Parvati at this place?… Read More Vedapureeswarar, Tirukazhithattai, Thanjavur

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, Chattiram Karuppur, Thanjavur


Once known as Pathirivanam due to being a forest of pathiri trees, this Chola period temple is one of the Kumbakonam Pancha Krosha Sthalam temples, and is possibly adjunct to the Koranattu Karuppur temple, also for Siva as Sundareswarar. The local belief is that Yama does not bother those those who have seen Sundareswarar here. But why was this small and non-descript temple, and indeed this whole place, important to the celestials? … Read More Sundareswarar, Chattiram Karuppur, Thanjavur

Dharmapureeswarar, Pazhayarai, Thanjavur


Often confused with the Someswarar temple (also located in Pazhaiyarai), this temple is popularly referred to as the Pazhaiyarai Vada Thali, Muzhaiyur temple and Vallalar Koil. Pazhaiyarai was once the centre-point of the Chola empire, and one of its capitals, as also the birthplace of two of the 63 Saiva Nayanmars. One can see several important and exquisite Chola temples in the immediate vicinity. Amman is named for Vimali – one of Kamadhenu’s 4 daughters – who worshipped here. But how did Appar find this temple, and how was it brought out of oblivion? … Read More Dharmapureeswarar, Pazhayarai, Thanjavur

Kailasanathar, Udaiyalur, Thanjavur


Murugan was punished for having intruded on a private conversation between Siva and Parvati, and performed penance here. Later, a king affected by leprosy bathed in the tank created by Murugan, and after it was filled with milk by Kamadhenu, his disease was cured. But the most interesting aspects of this place are almost entirely attributable to Rajaraja Chola, who also built this temple. What are these fascinating aspects, including a heavily disputed theory about the great king’s end?… Read More Kailasanathar, Udaiyalur, 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

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

Sakalabuvaneswarar, Tirumeyachur, Tiruvarur


Even the celestial world is filled with complex stories of intrigue, desire and passions. This temple shares its sthala puranam with that of the Tirumeyachur Meghanathar (Lalithambigai) temple, and is about how all of these led to the birth of Vali and Sugreeva, and Surya then being forgiven by Siva. This Paadal Petra Sthalam was built as a balalayam (Ilankoil in Tamil) and so is older than the Meghanathar temple that it is part of. But why was this temple retained, which is unusual for balalayams? … Read More Sakalabuvaneswarar, Tirumeyachur, Tiruvarur

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

Vaitheeswaran, Chintamani Nallur, Viluppuram


This 900-year-old temple was built by Vikrama Chola, and the presiding deity named Kulothunga Chozheeswaramudaiya Mahadevar, in honour of Vikrama’s father Kulothunga Chola I. Vikrama Chola’s mother’s names are also the basis for the name of this place and the well-known nearby town of Madhurantakam. But what is unusual about the deities in the koshtam, at this temple?… Read More Vaitheeswaran, Chintamani Nallur, Viluppuram

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

Vriddhapureeswarar, Annavasal, Pudukkottai


Originally said to have been built by Siva’s ganas, this Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam finds mention in two pathigams by Appar. When the temple priest’s wedding was cancelled due to a demise in the family, he worshipped here, and the child was miraculously revived. This early Pandya temple features some very interesting architecture. But why are children given up in adoption to Vriddhapureeswarar and Dharmasamvarthini Amman?… Read More Vriddhapureeswarar, Annavasal, Pudukkottai

Sokkanathar, Tiruparankundram, Madurai


Tiruparankundram is famous first and foremost, for one of the 6 Arupadai Veedu temples of Murugan. Lesser known is the fact that that temple is actually a Paadal Petra Sthalam for Siva as Satya Gireeswarar. However, just 100 meters from that temple is another Pandya temple, for Meenakshi Amman and Siva as Sokkanathar, featuring some unique and rare depictions of various deities. But what is the very interesting story of how and why Murugan and His Parents came to this place? … Read More Sokkanathar, Tiruparankundram, Madurai

Tirumarainathar, Tiruvathavur, Madurai


This is where Vishnu worshipped after visiting Madurai for the Meenakshi-Sundareswarar wedding, and Siva explained the meaning of the Vedas to Him. The temple is also connected to another son of the soil, and one of the most influential of the Saivite bhakti saints – Manikkavasagar – who was born here and received Siva’s deeksha as well. This beautiful Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam has stunning Pandya architecture, but how is it connected with a Tamil retelling of the Mahabharatam?… Read More Tirumarainathar, Tiruvathavur, 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

Madanagopala Swami, Madurai, Madurai


At Siva’s coronation as the ruler of Madurai, the celestials in attendance found the heat and effulgence unbearable, and requested Vishnu for help. In turn, Vishnu took the form of the cowherd Gopala, and played the flute, mesmerising everyone present and cooling them down. Periyazhvar and his daughter Andal visited here, on their way from Srivilliputhur to Srirangam, for Andal’s marriage to Ranganathar there. The temple has some very unusual architectural aspects, as far as Perumal temples go. But in what infuriating way is this temple in Madurai connected to the Philadelphia Museum of Art?… Read More Madanagopala Swami, Madurai, Madurai

Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal, Madurai, Madurai


Tucked away in a bylane near the Madurai Meenaksi Amman and Koodal Azhagar temples, is this fascinating temple run by Saurashtrans, dedicated to both Venkatesa Perumal and Navaneeta Krishnan. In addition to beautiful sculptures and architecture, the temple also has shrines for notable saints and others associated with it, as well as artefacts connected with Thyagaraja Swami of the Carnatic music trinity. But what is so unique about the Maatru Tirukkola Sevai that takes place during the temple’s annual festival in the Tamil month of Aadi? … Read More Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal, Madurai, Madurai

Sundara Varadaraja Perumal, Uthiramerur, Kanchipuram


This Pancha Varada Kshetram, which finds mention in the Mahabharatam, is one of the temples the Pandavas visited during their period of exile, and they regained the wisdom they had lost when gambling with the Kauravas. The long list of dynasties who ruled the region, have each left their mark on the temple construction. But what is the connection between this temple and the celestial architect Takshaka, in the depiction of Vishnu on three levels at this temple? … Read More Sundara Varadaraja Perumal, Uthiramerur, Kanchipuram

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

நாகேஸ்வரர், கும்பகோணம், தஞ்சாவூர்


Located in the heart of Kumbakonam, this Paadal Petra Sthalam is referred to as Kudanthai Keezhkottam, with fort-like outer walls. One sthala puranam of this temple is about Adiseshan worshipping at this temple on Maha Sivaratri day. The horse-drawn chariot representation of the Nataraja Mandapam – called the Perabalam – is one of several splendid architectural elements of this temple. But how is this temple connected to the Mahamaham festival that Kumbakonam is famous for, and why is Siva at this temple also called Vilvaranyeswarar? … Read More நாகேஸ்வரர், கும்பகோணம், தஞ்சாவூர்

Nageswarar, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur


Located in the heart of Kumbakonam, this Paadal Petra Sthalam is referred to as Kudanthai Keezhkottam, with fort-like outer walls. One sthala puranam of this temple is about Adiseshan worshipping at this temple on Maha Sivaratri day. The horse-drawn chariot representation of the Nataraja Mandapam – called the Perabalam – is one of several splendid architectural elements of this temple. But how is this temple connected to the Mahamaham festival that Kumbakonam is famous for, and why is Siva at this temple also called Vilvaranyeswarar? … Read More Nageswarar, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur

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

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

Masilamani Easwarar, Tirumullaivoyal, Tiruvallur


Located on the outskirts of Chennai, this beautiful Chola temple with a gaja-prishta vimanam (shaped like the back of an elephant) traces its origin to the war between King Tondaiman (after whom Tondai mandalam is named) and the Kurumbar clan. The Lingam is anointed with sandal paste to cure a wound, which is connected to the sthala puranam here. But why does Nandi face away from the moolavar at this temple?… Read More Masilamani Easwarar, Tirumullaivoyal, Tiruvallur

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

Sivakozhundeeswarar, Teerthanagari, Cuddalore


At this Paadal Petra Sthalam, the sthala puranam is about an couple who would feed at least one devotee every day, feeding an old man millets, and he helping the couple cultivate their land in exchange. The temple also has a Ramayanam connection, associated with Jambavan! Among other interesting stories here is one as to why the Apasmara Purusha is not at Dakshinamurti’s feet. But why is this place called Teerthanagari? … Read More Sivakozhundeeswarar, Teerthanagari, Cuddalore

சிவக்கொழுந்தீஸ்வரர், தீர்த்தநகரி, கடலூர்


பெரியான் என்று அழைக்கப்படும் ஒரு விவசாயி மற்றும் அவரது மனைவி தீவிர சிவபக்தர்களாக இருந்தனர், அவருடைய நடைமுறையில் ஒவ்வொரு நாளும் குறைந்தது ஒரு சிவபக்தருக்கு உணவளிப்பது அடங்கும். ஒருநாள், அப்படிப்பட்ட பக்தர் யாரும் கிடைக்காததால், தம்பதியர் ஒருவரைத் தேடிப் புறப்பட்டனர். கொன்றை மரத்தடியில் ஒரு முதியவரைப் பார்த்து, தாங்கள் தயாரித்த உணவை உண்ணச் சொன்னார்கள். முதியவர் ஒப்புக்கொண்டார், அவர் தம்பதியினருக்கு ஏதாவது வேலைகளைச் செய்தார், எனவே அவர்கள் நிலத்தை உழும்படி சொன்னார்கள், அவர்கள் தினையால் செய்யப்பட்ட உணவைக்… Read More சிவக்கொழுந்தீஸ்வரர், தீர்த்தநகரி, கடலூர்

Vellimalai Nathar, Tiruthengur, Tiruvarur


At this Paadal Petra Sthalam, Sukracharya worshipped to regain the sight he had lost in one eye as a result of the events of Vamana Avataram. The name of the place comes from the story that Lakshmi came here to worship Lord Siva, as this place was dry during the deluge / pralayam. But how are the Navagrahams represented twice at this temple?… Read More Vellimalai Nathar, Tiruthengur, Tiruvarur

மந்திரபுரீஸ்வரர், கோவிலூர், திருவாரூர்


இந்த கோவில் ராமாயணத்துடன் மிகவும் நெருங்கிய தொடர்புடையது. இத்தலத்தின் பண்டைய பெயர் திரு உசாதனம். தமிழில் உசவு அல்லது உசவுத்தல் என்பது எதையாவது விசாரிப்பது அல்லது கேட்பது. ராமர் இக்கோயிலுக்கு வந்து, சிவபெருமானிடம் இலங்கைக்கு பாலம் கட்ட ஆலோசனை கேட்டார், அதனால் அந்த இடத்திற்கு அந்த பெயர் வந்தது. பதிலுக்கு, சிவன் ராமருக்கு மந்திரோபதேசம் கொடுத்தார், அதனால் அவருக்கு மந்திரபுரீஸ்வரர் என்று பெயர் வந்தது. இங்கு ராமாயணத்துடன் வேறு பல தொடர்புகள் உள்ளன. சுந்தரரின் தேவாரம் ராமர்,… Read More மந்திரபுரீஸ்வரர், கோவிலூர், திருவாரூர்

Mandirapureeswarar, Kovilur, Tiruvarur


This Paadal Petra Sthalam temple has several Ramayanam connections, including Rama praying here, asking for guidance on building the bridge to Lanka. This puranam is also the source of the Tamil name of this place – Usathanam. Another sthala puranam here relates to Garuda, and why as a consequence, the Lingam here is said to be white in colour. But what is the very interesting reason for this place being called Kovilur, and even Aadi Chidambaram? … Read More Mandirapureeswarar, Kovilur, Tiruvarur

Paaluganthanathar, Tiruvaaippaadi, Thanjavur


Located close to Senganur (which itself is famous for several religious and spiritual reasons), this Paadal Petra Sthalam’s puranam is virtually a continuation of the one at Senganur. This is also regarded as the mukti sthalam of Chandesa Nayanar. But what are some of the very interesting aspects relating to the Nayanar – both in terms of installation and worship – who is enshrined at this temple as Chandikeswarar, the guardian of Lord Siva’s property? … Read More Paaluganthanathar, Tiruvaaippaadi, 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

Moovar Kovil, Kodumbalur, Tiruchirappalli


In its heyday, today’s non-descript hamlet of Kodumbalur was a city of temples, much like Kanchipuram or Kumbakonam. This ancient temple complex of 3 shrines for Siva is regarded as possibly the earliest surviving example of early medieval Chola temples. The art and architecture here are exemplary, serving as prototypes for several temples. But what is the connection between the builder of this temple and some important characters in Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan? … Read More Moovar Kovil, Kodumbalur, Tiruchirappalli

சற்குணேஸ்வரர், கருவேலி, திருவாரூர்


தாக்ஷாயணி – பார்வதியின் ஒரு வடிவம் – தக்ஷனின் மகளாகப் பிறந்தாள். அவர் நடத்திய ஒரு யாகத்தில், தக்ஷன் சிவனை அவமதித்தார், அதன் விளைவாக தாக்ஷாயணி யாக நெருப்பில் தன்னைத்தானே எரித்துக் கொண்டார். யாகத்தில் இருந்து விலகி இருக்க வேண்டும் என்ற சிவனின் அறிவுரைக்கு செவிசாய்க்காததால், தேவி – இப்போது ஹிமவானின் மகளாக பார்வதியாகப் பிறந்தாள் – யாகத்தில் கலந்து கொண்ட பாவத்தைப் போக்க இங்கு தவம் செய்தாள். இதனால் மகிழ்ந்த சிவன், அவள் மீண்டும் மனித… Read More சற்குணேஸ்வரர், கருவேலி, திருவாரூர்

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

பசுபதீஸ்வரர், திருகொண்டீஸ்வரம், திருவாரூர்


வில்வம் மரங்கள் நிறைந்த காடாக இருந்ததால் இந்த இடம் வில்வாரண்யம் என்று அழைக்கப்பட்டது. வில்வம் சிவனுக்கு மிகவும் பிடித்தமான ஒன்று என்பதால், மனிதர்கள் பயன்பெறும் வகையில் சுயம்பு மூர்த்தியாக இங்கு வந்தார். அதே நேரத்தில், சிவனின் சாபத்தின் விளைவாக, பார்வதி பூமிக்கு வர விதிக்கப்பட்டதால், அவள் காமதேனுவாக உருவெடுத்தாள். அவள் தன் கொம்புகளால் பூமியின் பல்வேறு இடங்களை தோண்டி எடுப்பாள், சிவாவைக் கண்டுபிடிக்கும் அவளது கவலை அவளை ஆக்ரோஷமாகவும் மூர்க்கமாகவும் ஆக்கியது. அவள் இங்கே பூமியைத் தோண்டியபோது,… Read More பசுபதீஸ்வரர், திருகொண்டீஸ்வரம், திருவாரூர்

உமாமகேஸ்வரர், கோனேரிராஜபுரம், மயிலாடுதுறை


புரூரவஸ் மன்னன் தொழுநோயால் அவதிப்பட்டான், அதனால் அவன் ஆட்சி செய்ய தகுதியற்றவன். எந்த மருந்துகளாலும் நிவாரணம் பெற முடியாமல், மன்னன் இறுதி முயற்சியாக சிவபெருமானை வழிபடத் தொடங்கினான். இதன் ஒரு பகுதியாக, அவர் பல்வேறு கோவில்களில் வழிபாடு செய்தார், ஆனால் அவர் இறுதியாக இங்கு வந்தபோது, அவருக்கு உடனடியாக நோய் குணமானது. இந்த முடிவால் மகிழ்ச்சியடைந்து, நன்றி செலுத்தும் விதமாக, அவர் இங்கு கோயில் விமானத்தைக் கட்டி, அதை தங்கத்தால் மூடினார். இந்த புராணம் இருப்பதால், இந்த… Read More உமாமகேஸ்வரர், கோனேரிராஜபுரம், மயிலாடுதுறை

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

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

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

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

Gnanaparameswarar, Tirumeignanam, Thanjavur


Generally, four temples (Kanchipuram, Tirukadaiyur, Sirkazhi and this temple) are regarded as Mayana Koils, referring to cremation grounds where Siva is believed to reside with His ganas. But the spiritual meaning is connected to the burning (ridding oneself) of one’s ego, just as Siva did to Brahma’s fifth head. The four Vedas got their knowledge from Siva here, giving the place its ancient name. But what does this temple have with Sage Apasthamba and how he got that name?… Read More Gnanaparameswarar, Tirumeignanam, Thanjavur

Yoganandheeswarar, Tiruvisanallur, Thanjavur


This Tevaram Paadal Petra Sthalam, associated with Rohini Nakshatram and Rishabha Rasi, is believed to have existed in all four yugams. Devotees are blessed by Bhairavar, with knowledge, prosperity, health and eventual salvation. The sthala puranam of the temple also talks about a sinner who was given salvation by Siva, despite Nandi’s remonstrances! The temple and the village are also connected with the philosopher-saint Sridhara Ayyaval. But why are seven strands of hair said to be visible on the rear of the Siva Lingam of this temple? … Read More Yoganandheeswarar, Tiruvisanallur, Thanjavur

Sundareswarar, Madurai, Madurai


One of the best-known temples of Tamil Nadu, the temple is more famous for Parvati as Meenakshi Amman. This pancha-sabhai temple is connected with one of the earthly weddings of Siva and Parvati, and both the temple and the city feature in Sangam literature…indeed, Madurai is the home of the Sangam era. Associated with several Nayanmars, the temple and city are also home to several of the 64 Tiruvilaiyadals of Lord Siva. But how does this temple sit as a counterpoint to the Natarajar temple at Chidambaram, and what is unique about Lord Siva’s Sandhya tandavam associated with this temple?… Read More Sundareswarar, Madurai, Madurai

Kalyana Pasupateeswarar, Karur, Karur


One of the 7 Paadal Petra Sthalams in Kongu Nadu, this temple today is the result of the influence of several kings, from the early Cholas to the Vijayanagara dynasty. The two Ammans here represent Ichcha Sakti and Kriya Sakti. When Brahma’s ego grew beyond bounds (for having been entrusted with the job of creation), he was de-recognised, and Kamadhenu was handed the responsibility instead. What happened after that, and how is that connected with the puranam of this temple? … Read More Kalyana Pasupateeswarar, Karur, Karur

சங்கரநாராயணர், சங்கரன்கோவில், திருநெல்வேலி


மிகவும் சுவாரஸ்யமான ஸ்தல புராணம் கொண்ட இந்தக் கோயில் சைவ-வைணவ தத்துவங்களின் ஒருமைப்பாட்டின் வெளிப்பாடாகக் கருதப்படுகிறது. சிதம்பரம் மற்றும் காஞ்சிபுரத்தில் சிவன் கோவிலின் உள்ளே திவ்ய தேசம் கோவில்கள் இருக்கும் போது, இங்கு சங்கர நாராயணர் சிவனும் விஷ்ணுவும் ஒன்றாக இணைந்த வடிவமாக இருக்கிறார் – ஒரே சன்னதியில் மட்டுமல்ல, ஒரே. மூர்த்தியிலும். சங்கன் மற்றும் பத்மன் – இருவரும் பாம்புகளின் ராஜாக்கள் – முறையே சிவன் மற்றும் விஷ்ணுவின் தீவிர பக்தர்கள், மேலும் இது அவர்களின்… Read More சங்கரநாராயணர், சங்கரன்கோவில், திருநெல்வேலி

நடராஜர், சிதம்பரம், கடலூர்


சைவத்தில், சிவன் கோயில்களில் முதன்மையானதாகக் கருதப்படும் கோயில், அல்லது “மூலக் கோவில்”, மேலும் மூலவர் தெய்வமான திருமூலநாதர் என்ற பெயரைப் பெறுகிறது. “கோவில்” என்பது பெரும்பாலும் சிதம்பரம் தில்லை நடராஜர் கோவிலை மட்டுமே குறிக்கும், மேலும் பொதுவாக ஸ்ரீரங்கம் வைணவர்களுக்கு இருப்பது போல் சிவபெருமானை வழிபடுவதற்கான முதன்மையான இடமாக கருதப்படுகிறது. சிதம்பரத்தில் உள்ள தில்லை நடராஜர் கோயிலுடன் தொடர்புடைய அழகு, மகத்துவம், வரலாறு, பாரம்பரிய புராணங்கள், கலை, கட்டிடக்கலை, மதம் மற்றும் ஆன்மிகம் ஆகியவற்றுக்கு எந்த ஒரு… Read More நடராஜர், சிதம்பரம், கடலூர்