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

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

Vaiyam Katha Perumal, Tirukudalur, Thanjavur


This Divya Desam located between Kumbakonam and Tiruvaiyaru is known for many interesting stories that serve as its sthala puranam. The temple is virtually the starting point for Vishnu’s Varaha avataram, which ends in Srimushnam. There are also at least 3 stories as to how the place gets is name. But how did Vishnu protect his devotee – king Ambarisha – from the mercurial sage Durvasa, and how does that connect with this temple?… Read More Vaiyam Katha Perumal, Tirukudalur, 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

Maha Ganapathi, Ganapathi Agraharam, Thanjavur


This temple dedicated to Vinayakar is unique in several ways. The sthala puranams here are both very interesting, and connected to the famine in this region that was overcome in one way or another, by worshipping Vinayakar. The temple is also one of the Swamimalai Parivara devata sthalams. But what unique customs are followed by the temple and the village when it comes to Vinayakar worship, for both daily and annual festivals?… Read More Maha Ganapathi, Ganapathi Agraharam, 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

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

Rajagopala Perumal, Nallicheri, Thanjavur


The ruling Nayak king of the time was unable to proceed to Mannargudi for his daily worship of Rajagopalaswami there, due to cyclonic storms. So he spent the night here, and through various voices and signs, was informed that he needed to build a temple for Krishna as Rajagopalar, here. The place gets its name from one of the 64 varieties of trees, plants, herbs, etc, that Shakhambari Devi created for a special visit here. Whose visit was this, and why did it take place?… Read More Rajagopala Perumal, Nallicheri, 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

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

Aadi Vaidyanathar, Veerasingampettai, Thanjavur


This is one of the five temples associated with the Agastyar, which are to be worshipped on a single day, to be cured of all sorts of illnesses. The temple, which is originally from the Pallava period, is most well known locally for the 276 Lingams that were unearthed during the construction of the original temple. The temple’s sthala vriksham is the Vilvam, but what is special about this vilvam tree?… Read More Aadi Vaidyanathar, Veerasingampettai, 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

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

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

Govindaraja Perumal, Veppathur, Thanjavur


Located in the northern part of Veppathur, this temple is today just a gopuram, with the deities being housed in a separate one-room building. The sthala puranam here is connected to two tales from the Ramayanam. But despite its Pallava origins, what makes this nearly 2000-year old (or older) temple fascinating across layers of history and the rule of several dynasties?… Read More Govindaraja Perumal, Veppathur, Thanjavur

Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal, Veppathur, Thanjavur


Considered to be over 2000 years old, this temple is located in the heart of Veppathur – once called Ghatika Sthanam and Chaturvedi Mangalam. The all-wish-fulfilling Perumal is attended to by Anjaneyar depicted as a child. Krishna gave mantropadesam to Agastyar here. But how is this temple connected to the Ramayanam, that too in a rather unusual way?… Read More Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal, Veppathur, Thanjavur

Aatheeswarar, Veppathur, Thanjavur


This roadside shrine today was originally a much larger temple, and is said to be as old as 1000 years or more. Despite its small size, it features Siva in two forms – as a Lingam and as Dakshinamurti. The temple is also a prarthana sthalam for those seeking to have children, and is said to be powerful enough to completely turn around one’s horoscope in this regard, when they participate in a particular festival. What is this? … Read More Aatheeswarar, Veppathur, Thanjavur

Idamkondeeswarar, Kalyanapuram, Thanjavur


Sage Kashyapa wanted to see Siva and Parvati in their wedding attire, and was looking for the ideal place to worship. Guided by a celestial voice, he came here, and after performing penance, he was rewarded with the divine vision of the celestial wedding. This temple is a Vaippu Sthalam that finds mention in one of Appar’s Tevaram pathigams. But why is Siva here regarded as the elder brother of Siva at nearby Tiruvidaimaruthur?… Read More Idamkondeeswarar, Kalyanapuram, 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

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

Kachabeswarar, Eachangudi, Thanjavur


Prior to the churning of the ocean, Siva asked Vishnu to take on the Kurma Avataram. The tortoise is called Kachabam in Sanskrit, which gives Siva His name here. The temple also has a Mahabharatam connection, which is one of four stories of how the place gets is name. But what is the fascinating story of how this temple, as it stands today, came into existence?… Read More Kachabeswarar, Eachangudi, 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

Veerabhadrar, Darasuram, Thanjavur


This temple is presided over by Veerabhadrar, the fierce aspect of Siva, who also destroyed Daksha’s yagam, after Sati immolated herself at the sacrificial fire for her father’s disrespect towards her husband Siva. The temple also has a significant connection to the poet Ottakoothar, the author of Thakkayaga Parani, who was gifted the village of Koothanur (famous for the Saraswati temple there). But how did the Parani work come to be written?… Read More Veerabhadrar, Darasuram, 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

Sundareswarar, Ariyathidal, Thanjavur


Located just south of the Mahamaham tank in Kumbakonam, his temple for Siva and Parvati as Sundareswarar and Meenakshi is believed to have existed for almost 2000 years, but was rebuilt in the early 20th century, after it was found in ruins. The temple is connected to one Sri Ramaswamy of Thepperumanallur (also near Kumbakonam), but is also locally known as the Annadana Sivan temple. What’s the connection?… Read More Sundareswarar, Ariyathidal, Thanjavur

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

Manikundra 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 Manikundra Perumal, Thanjavur, Thanjavur

Narasimhar, 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 Narasimhar, Thanjavur, Thanjavur

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

Oppiliappan, Tirunageswaram, Thanjavur


This Divya Desam and the Vaishnava Navagraham temple for Sani is where Tirumangaiazhvar was able to view Perumal in 5 forms, and so the Lord here is worshipped in each of those forms. The temple’s sthala puranam is the reason for the Tulasi leaves being used as the customary form of offering for Vishnu. It is also generally known that the temple prasadam is prepared without salt, but why is that so? … Read More Oppiliappan, Tirunageswaram, Thanjavur

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

அக்னீஸ்வரர், கஞ்சனூர், தஞ்சாவூர்


கடலைக் கலக்கிய பிறகு, தேவர்கள், விஷ்ணுவின் மோகினியின் சில தந்திரங்களின் உதவியுடன், அமிர்தம் அனைத்தையும் தங்களிடம் வைத்துக் கொண்டனர். கோபமடைந்த அசுரர்கள் தங்கள் ஆசான் சுக்ராச்சாரியாரிடம் முறையிட்டனர், அவர் இப்போது அழியாத தேவர்களை பூலோகத்தில் பிறப்பார்கள் என்று சபித்தார். கவலையுற்ற தேவர்கள் வியாச முனிவரை அணுகி ஆலோசனை கேட்டனர். காவேரி ஆறு வடக்கே பாயும் கஞ்சனூரில் சிவனை வழிபட வேண்டும் என்று முனிவர் பரிந்துரைத்தார், எனவே இது மங்களகரமானதாக கருதப்படுகிறது. தேவர்கள் சிபாரிசு செய்தபடியே செய்தார்கள், சிவன்… Read More அக்னீஸ்வரர், கஞ்சனூர், தஞ்சாவூர்

அசலேஸ்வரர், ஆரூர் அரனேரி திருவாரூர்


மூன்று சிவாலய வளாகங்கள் உள்ளன, ஒவ்வொன்றிலும் இரண்டு தனித்தனி பாடல் பெற்ற ஸ்தலங்கள் உள்ளன – திருப்புகளூர் (அக்னீஸ்வரர் மற்றும் வர்த்தமானேஸ்வரர்), திருமேயச்சூர் (மேகந்தர் மற்றும் சகலாபுவனேஸ்வரர்), மற்றும் திருவாரூர் (தியாகராஜர் மற்றும் அச்சலேசுவரர்). இந்த சன்னதி தியாகராஜர் கோவில் வளாகத்தின் அக்னி மூலை (தென்கிழக்கு) பகுதியில் அமைந்துள்ளது (கிழக்கு வாசலில் இருந்து நுழையும் போது, சன்னதி உடனடியாக இடதுபுறம் உள்ளது). நமிநந்தி அடிகள் சிவபெருமானின் தீவிர பக்தர் மற்றும் 63 நாயன்மார்களில் ஒருவர். அவர் இக்கோயிலுக்குச்… Read More அசலேஸ்வரர், ஆரூர் அரனேரி 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

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

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

சக்தி கிரீஸ்வரர், செங்கனூர், தஞ்சாவூர்


செங்கனூர் என்பது சண்டேச நாயனாரின் அவதார ஸ்தலமாகும், அவர் சண்டிகேஸ்வரராக உயர்ந்தார், அவர் சிவன் கோயில்களின் கர்ப்பக்கிரகத்தின் வடக்குப் பக்கத்தில் எப்போதும் காணப்படுகிறார். சண்டேசர் சிவனின் சொத்துக்களுக்கு பாதுகாவலரும் கூட, அதனால்தான் சண்டேசரின் முன் கைகளைத் துடைப்பது வழிபாட்டு முறை, நாங்கள் பக்தர்களாக இருப்பதைக் குறிக்க, கோயிலில் இருந்து எதையும் எடுத்துச் செல்லவில்லை! அருகிலுள்ள திருவாய்ப்பாடி சண்டேச நாயனாரின் முக்தி ஸ்தலமாகக் கருதப்படுகிறது. தீவிர சிவபக்தரான விசார சர்மா, எச்சா தத்தன் மற்றும் பவித்ரை என்ற பிராமண… Read More சக்தி கிரீஸ்வரர், செங்கனூர், தஞ்சாவூர்

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

Vyaghrapureeswarar, Perumpuliyur, Thanjavur


This Paadal Petra Sthalam near Tiruvaiyaru is considered to be one of the 5 places where Sage Vyaghrapada worshipped Siva. The temple has some unusual depictions and iconography, including Ardhanareeswarar in the rear koshtam of the grabhagriham, and a rather unique Navagraham depiction. But how did the sage Vyaghrapada come to have tiger’s feet? … Read More Vyaghrapureeswarar, Perumpuliyur, Thanjavur

சோமேஸ்வரர், கும்பகோணம், தஞ்சாவூர்


கும்பகோணத்தின் தோற்றம் மற்றும் மகாமகம் திருவிழாவுடன் நேரடியாக தொடர்புடைய 12 கோவில்களில் இதுவும் ஒன்று. அந்த புராணத்தின் படி, பிரம்மா அனைத்து உயிரினங்களின் விதைகளையும், வேதங்கள் மற்றும் புராணங்களையும் சேர்த்து ஒரு பாத்திரத்தில் வைத்திருந்தார். இது அமிர்த கலசம் என்று அழைக்கப்பட்டது. சமஸ்கிருதத்தில் கும்பம் என்றும், தமிழில் குடம் என்றும் அறியப்படுகிறது. இதன் மேல் பூக்கள், வில்வம், மங்கள வஸ்திரம், சந்தனம் மற்றும் புனித நூல் போன்ற பல்வேறு பொருட்களால் அலங்கரிக்கப்பட்டு, ஒரு தேங்காய் வைக்கப்பட்டது. இன்று… Read More சோமேஸ்வரர், கும்பகோணம், தஞ்சாவூர்

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

எழுத்தறி நாதர், இன்னம்பூர், தஞ்சாவூர்


தீவிர சிவபக்தரான சுதாஸ்மன், சோழ மன்னனின் அரசவையில் கணக்காளராக இருந்தார். அவர் ஒரு குறிப்பிட்ட வேலைக்கான கணக்குகளை பராமரித்து வந்தார். பணி மிகவும் கடினமானதாக மாறியது. ஒரு நாள் அரசன் அவனிடம் கணக்குகளை சமர்ப்பிக்கச் சொன்னான், சுதாஸ்மன் அதைத் தாமதப்படுத்த முயன்றான், அதனால் மன்னனுக்கு சரியான தகவலைக் கொடுக்க முடியும். ஆனால் பலமுறை தாமதப்படுத்திய பிறகு, ராஜா கோபமடைந்தார். மறுநாள் கணக்குகள் சமர்ப்பிக்கப்படாவிட்டால், சுதாஸ்மனுக்கு மரண தண்டனை விதிக்கப்படும் என்று அவர் உத்தரவிட்டார். என்ன செய்வதென்று தெரியாமல்… Read More எழுத்தறி நாதர், இன்னம்பூர், தஞ்சாவூர்

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

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

Saranatha Perumal, Tirucherai, Thanjavur


This Divya Desam temple and Vaishnava Navagraha Sthalam (for Sani’s son Mandi) near Kumbakonam, is connected with the Story of how Kumbakonam came into existence. The temple is also known as the pancha sara kshetram, as it covers 5 essences (or Sarams) at one go. The Kaveri river was upset at not being regarded as the holiest of rivers, and so performed penance upon Vishnu, who granted her three wishes. What unique iconographic representation is there at this temple, as a result of this event?… Read More Saranatha Perumal, Tirucherai, Thanjavur

Sivanandeswarar, Tirupandurai, Thanjavur


Many of us are familiar with the story of Swamimalai, where Siva received the meaning of the Pranava mantram from His son Murugan. That story starts with the sthala puranam of this temple. As a child, Murugan imprisoned Brahma for not knowing the meaning of the Pranava mantram. In response to Siva’s questioning, Murugan informed his father that he indeed knew the meaning himself. This pride of Murugan annoyed Siva, and slowly, Murugan lost the ability to speak. But why is Siva also called Thagappan Swami at this temple? … Read More Sivanandeswarar, Tirupandurai, Thanjavur

Siddha Natheswarar, Tirunaraiyur, Thanjavur


The sthala puranam of this temple is about Gorakka Siddhar skin disease – itself the result of a curse – being cured by applying the oil used for the deity’s abhishekam at this temple. The place is also called Narapuram, after Naran who was cursed by Sage Durvasa, came and worshipped here. But why is there a shrine for Lakshmi in this Siva temple, and how is this temple very interestingly connected to the nearby Nachiyar Koil Srinivasa Perumal temple?… Read More Siddha Natheswarar, Tirunaraiyur, Thanjavur

Prananatheswarar, Tirumangalakudi, Thanjavur


An auspicious temple (or “mangala” sthalam) in many aspects, this temple’s puranam is connected to the resurrection of Kulothunga Chola’s minister, after he had been decapitated. A Paadal Petra Sthalam, this temple also has a story of Brahma cursing the Navagrahams for obliging Sage Galva, and how Siva helped the 9 celestial deities. But despite their close involvement in the sthala puranam, why is there no Navagraham shrine at this temple? … Read More Prananatheswarar, Tirumangalakudi, 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

Karkadeswarar, Tirundudevankudi, Thanjavur


At this Paadal Petra Sthalam near Kumbakonam, a gash on the lingam has to do with the legend of a crab stealing one lotus out of 1008 that Indra had collected for worship, every single day! A favoured place of worship for those under the Kataka rasi, this temple located close to Tiruvisanallur (another Paadal Petra Sthalam) which is special for those under the Rishabha rasi. But what is the story behind there being two Ammans at this temple? … Read More Karkadeswarar, Tirundudevankudi, Thanjavur

Kalyana Sundareswarar, Nallur, Thanjavur


One of the 70 maadakoil temples built by Kochchenga Chola, this temple has a Mahabharatam connection, whereby Kunti worshipped here and bathed in the temple tank as it had the power of the seven seas. The Siva Lingam here is believed to change colour five times every day, and even sweats on the day of the Mahamaham festival in nearby Kumbakonam! But what tradition – virtually unique for Siva temples, though the norm at Vishnu temples – is practiced here, and why? … Read More Kalyana Sundareswarar, Nallur, Thanjavur

Pasupateeswarar, Avoor, Thanjavur


This Paadal Petra Sthalam (and also a maadakoil) is connected with Kamadhenu and her daughter Patti (after whom Patteeswaram is named for). The temple is one of the pancha krosham temples associated with Pazhaiyarai, the old Chola capital. The temple also has an important Ramayanam connection. But why is Siva here also known as Kapardeeswarar, and what is unique about Murugan at this temple?… Read More Pasupateeswarar, Avoor, Thanjavur

பசுபதீஸ்வரர், ஆவூர், தஞ்சாவூர்


இக்கோயிலில் ஸ்தல புராணமும் காமதேனுவும் மூலஸ்தானமாக உள்ளது காமதேனு தனது குழந்தைகளான நந்தினி மற்றும் பட்டியுடன் முல்லை வனத்தில் (திருக்கருகாவூரில்) வசித்து வந்தார், மேலும் தன்னுடன் மற்ற பசுக்களையும் மேய்ச்சலுக்கு அழைத்துச் செல்வது வழக்கம். அவள் பூக்களை சேகரித்து சிவபெருமானுக்கு பூஜை செய்வாள். அதேபோல் பட்டீஸ்வரத்திலும் பட்டி செய்தார். அனைத்து மாடுகளும் கூடும் இடம் ஆவூர் (தமிழில் ஆ என்றால் பசு என்று அர்த்தம்), அவை மேய்ச்சலுக்கு சென்ற இடம் கோ-இருந்த-குடி (கோவிந்தகுடி) என்று அழைக்கப்பட்டது. இந்த… Read More பசுபதீஸ்வரர், ஆவூர், தஞ்சாவூர்

Aruna Jadeswarar, Tirupanandal, Thanjavur


Paadal Petra Sthalam near Kumbakonam, this Chola temple is the home of two stories of devotion where Siva Himself is said to have come to the rescue of his devotees. Though a sarpa dosha nivritti sthalam, this is where a female naga worshipped, as opposed to the male nagas at most other such places. But how is the concept of Shodashopacharam (worship with 16 different offerings) connected to this temple?… Read More Aruna Jadeswarar, Tirupanandal, Thanjavur

Pasupatheeswarar, Pandanallur, Thanjavur


Once a forest of kondrai trees (whose flowers are highly suitable for Siva worship), Chola period temple was built before, but significantly renovated, in the time of Raja Raja Chola I. The sthala puranam here is about Parvati’s desire to play and Siva fulfilling that desire by providing Her with four balls, made of the four Vedas! But what came of this, and its implications on various things in the puranams, concluding with Siva’s earthly marriage to Parvati, is the rest of the sthala puranam here. But why is the place called Pandanallur?… Read More Pasupatheeswarar, Pandanallur, Thanjavur

Sivakozhundeeswarar, Tirusakthi Muttram, Thanjavur


This Paadal Petra Sthalam is located very close to Patteeswaram near Kumbakonam, and is where Appar was told by Siva Himself, to go to nearby Nallur to receive deeksha from the Lord. The puranam here is about Parvati standing on one leg and worshipping Siva here, and the Lord arriving in the form of a powerful beam of effulgence. But What is the iconographic significance of the Uchishtha Ganapati shrine outside the main gopuram?… Read More Sivakozhundeeswarar, Tirusakthi Muttram, Thanjavur

Brahma Nandeeswarar, Patteeswaram, Thanjavur


This small, dilapidated temple has recently found prominence amongst followers of Chola history and Chola temples. Mostly made of brick, this temple today is a shadow of what would likely have been an imposing temple in Chola times. Brahma and the naga kannikas are said to have worshipped here. But why is the location of this temple important in Chola history?… Read More Brahma Nandeeswarar, Patteeswaram, Thanjavur

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

Sivagurunathaswami, Sivapuram, Thanjavur


Deepavali is associated with various stories. In the north, it celebrates the return of Rama to Ayodhya, while in the south, it is the overcoming of Narakasura by Krishna. However, there is a third story, which celebrates Deepavali as a day of worship for wealth, and that happens here at Sivapuram near Kumbakonam, where the entire ground is said to be full of Siva Lingams. In addition to the unique icongraphic depictions, the story here is about Kubera being cursed by Nandi for having spoken favourably of his brother Ravana. Kubera’s penitent worship here and the special Kubera puja on Deepavali day what this temple is about.… Read More Sivagurunathaswami, Sivapuram, Thanjavur

சிவகுருநாதசுவாமி, சிவபுரம், தஞ்சாவூர்


விஷ்ணு, வெள்ளைப் பன்றியின் வடிவில் (வராக அவதாரத்தைக் குறிக்கும்) சிவபெருமானை தாமரை மலர்களால் வழிபட்டதாக நம்பப்படுகிறது. கோயில் சுவர்களில் இதை விளக்கும் படங்கள் உள்ளன. இதனை அப்பர் தம் தேவாரம் பதிகத்தில் குறிப்பிடுகிறார். சிவபுரம் என்ற ஊரில் நிலத்தடியில் எண்ணற்ற சிவலிங்கங்கள் இருப்பதாகவும், அதனால்தான் அந்த ஊருக்கு பெயர் வந்ததாகவும் நம்பப்படுகிறது. எனவே, சம்பந்தர் இங்கு தரையில் படாமல், இங்கு அங்கபிரதட்சிணம் செய்து கோயிலைச் சுற்றி வந்தார். பின்னர் ஊருக்கு வெளியே சென்று இக்கோயிலில் தனது பதிகம்… Read More சிவகுருநாதசுவாமி, சிவபுரம், தஞ்சாவூர்

ஆதி கும்பேஸ்வரர், கும்பகோணம், 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 போன்ற பல்வேறு பொருட்களால் அலங்கரித்து, அதன் மேல் தேங்காயை வைத்து புனித நூல் வைக்கப்பட்டது.… Read More ஆதி கும்பேஸ்வரர், கும்பகோணம், தஞ்சாவூர்

Odhanavaneswarar, Tiruchottruthurai, Thanjavur


Located on the banks of the Kudamurutti river, this is one of the 7 temples that form part of the Tiruvaiyaru Sapta Sthanam festival, which is connected to Nandi’s wedding. The puranam of this Paadal Petra Sthalam near Tiruvaiyaru resonates with the saying சோழ வளநாடு சோறுடைத்து (Cholavalanadu Sorudaiththu). But does the word சோறு (soru) here refer to just food and grains, or something much more than that? … Read More Odhanavaneswarar, Tiruchottruthurai, Thanjavur

பிரம்மசிரகண்டீஸ்வரர், கண்டியூர், தஞ்சாவூர்


இது எட்டு அஷ்ட வீரட்ட (அல்லது வீரட்டானம்) ஸ்தலங்களில் ஒன்றாகும், இவை ஒவ்வொன்றிலும் சிவபெருமான் ஒரு தீய வடிவத்தை அழிக்க வீரமான செயல்களைச் செய்தார். சிவபெருமான் பிரம்மாவின் ஐந்தாவது தலையை துண்டித்த இடம் இதுவாகும். இக்கோயிலின் கதை சிவபெருமானின் புராணங்களில் ஒன்றான பிக்ஷடனர் வரை செல்கிறது. ஒரு காலத்தில் சிவபெருமானைப் போலவே பிரம்மாவுக்கும் ஐந்து தலைகள் இருந்தன. ஒருமுறை, பிரம்மா சிவபெருமானைச் சந்திக்க கைலாசத்திற்கு வந்து கொண்டிருந்தார், ஆனால் பார்வதி வருவது தன் கணவன் என்று எண்ணி,… Read More பிரம்மசிரகண்டீஸ்வரர், கண்டியூர், தஞ்சாவூர்

Pushpavaneswarar, Mela Tirupoonthuruthi, Thanjavur


This Paadal Petra Sthalam near Thanjavur is one of the 7 temples forming part of the Tiruvaiyaru Sapta Sthanam, and flowers go from here for the Tiruvaiyaru annual Nandi Kalyanam festival. The temple is said to have been created by Indra, and is also the place where the elderly saint Appar carried the child saint Sambandar on the latter’s palanquin. But despite this, why did Sambandar not enter this temple, but only sing from outside? … Read More Pushpavaneswarar, Mela Tirupoonthuruthi, Thanjavur