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Sivalokanathan Temple ( Nandanar Temple ) - Thirupungur

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Sivalokanathan Temple ( Nandanar Temple ) - Thirupungur
Moolavar (Sanctum Sancoturm) : Shivalokanathar
Goddess : Soundaranayaki
Famous for : Stays few steps away from its original position
Nayanmar : Nandanar
Sthalvriksham : Punkam
Speciality : Swayampu Putru
Where it is : Thiruvazhuvur, Nagapattinam District

Nandanar was born in Mela Adhanur village in a low-caste family. He was a great Shiva Bhakta. He was working as a 'Coolie' in the nearby paddy field and devoting most of his time with pure devotion to Lord Shiva. He was keen to worship Lord Shiva at the famous Chidambaram (Nataraja) temple and waiting for right opportunity to go there. However, he did not get permission from the land-owner and kept postponing his holy trip everyday, this earned him the 'nick name' of "Thirunalaikku povar" - meaning "he will go tomorrow".

Unexpectedly, by the Grace of Lord Shiva, he was granted permission one day. He comes to Thirupungur Shiva Sthal enroute to Chidambaram, but was stopped at the entrance to have a darshan of Majestic Shiva inside. This is because he was an 'outcaste'. He decided to worship Lord Shiva from the Dwajasthampam (flagstaff) and tried many times to see the Lord, but could not succeed as Nandi's (Holy Bull's) presence in front of him prevented his vision. Brushing aside the insult, he sang hymns, Prayed Ambika-Naathan, most Benevolent Neelakanta, informing Him of his plight.

The Dwarabhalakas [in between Nandi and Main Deity at the Sanctum Sanctorum] inform Lord Shiva that Nandanar has come to see him and standing outside. Lord Shiva was pleased with the true devotion of His Bhakta, directs Nandi to step aside to allow him to see without hindrance. Nandi moved few steps away. With tears rolling out on his cheeks, Nanadar takes a full darshan of Lord Shiva. This is the specialty of this Holy Place. (even now Nandi is not directly sitting in front of the Lord and Dwarabhalakas' face is tilted as they inform the news to Lord).

Highlights :
Removing Naga dosha and poorva janma sins in this temple. Worshipping Shivalokanathaswamy for marriage hurdles, unemployment, poverty, unhappiness. He removes these hurdles and fulfils the wishes of Aasthikas. The main deity at the Sanctum Sanctorum is anointed with Vibuthi, Lime Juice, tender coconut, milk, Dravya powder abhishekams. Devotees perform special puja by offering Neyvedhyams and distribute to the visitors.


This temple is called Thirupungur because the temple was surrounded by Punga trees and Shivlingam and Nandi surfaced from an anthill (small mud mountain) [Putru]' which added glitter to the already glowing Lord. Everyday at 8.30 pm, even today, a special pooja is performed by dalbing Punugu chattam to the Lord, worshipped by many.


The story goes that once upon a time, there was an interesting debate between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi as to who looks more charming, Lord took out a Darbhai and made three 'knots', throwing down the earth, Swami added wherever this Darbhai falls, I will make a statement on your beauty. The Darbhai fell on the ground and got converted as 'Pancha lingams'. These 'Panchalingams' are situated in this temple is something special to worship. According to legends, worshipping these Panchalingams removes marriage problems, serpent related sins.


Nandanar story is famous in this Shiv sthal. Lord Shiva asked Nandi (holy Bull) to step aside to pave way for Nandanar to see HIM directly (as he was not allowed inside temple due to his caste) In most of the temples, Nandi will have tongue, in this temple Nandi does not have a tongue. In all the temples, Dhwarabalakas at the entrance will be standing straight, but in this holy temple, Dhwarabalakas' face is slightly tilted and positioned diagonal. This is so because Dhwarablakas inform the Lord that "Nanadanar has come to have a darshan and is waiting outside to see YOU" Mahaganapathi is called "Kulam vettiya Vinayagar" (The God who dug pond), and the pond is believed to have been dug up by Lord Ganesh by using his Gana-boothas overnight for Nandanar to take bathe.

It is in Tamil Nadu, Near Mayiladuthurai
Nearest Railway station : Mayiladuthurai
Nearest Airport : Trichy
Location : 14 kms from Mayliduthurai and 60 kms from Nagapattinam.
Where can we stay : We can stay in Mayiladuthurai, various good lodges are available.

Sivalokanathan Temple ( Nandanar Temple ) - Thirupungur

Sivalokanathan Temple ( Nandanar Temple ) - Thirupungur
Sivalokanathan Temple ( Nandanar Temple ) - Thirupungur
Sivalokanathan Temple ( Nandanar Temple ) - Thirupungur
Sivalokanathan Temple ( Nandanar Temple ) - Thirupungur
Sivalokanathan Temple ( Nandanar Temple ) - Thirupungur
Sivalokanathan Temple ( Nandanar Temple ) - Thirupungur


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