20. Sri Sivaloganathar Temple, Tirupunkur, Sirkazhi (Chola Nadu - North of Kaveri):Names of God : Sri Shivaloganathar
Name of Goddess : Sri Chokka Nayagi, Sri Soundara Nayagi
Holy water (Theertham) : Vrushba, Devendra and Nandanar.
Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) : Punga Tree.
Thevaram : Sundarar; Sambandar; Thirunavukarasar
District : Nagapattinam.
Location : Sirkazhi.
Timings : 06:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 04:00 p.m. to 08:30 p.m.
For Complete List of 275 Shiva Temples : Click HereThis is the 20th sthalam on the northern side of river Cauvery. Saints Sambandar, Appar and Sundarar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple. The temple was earlier known as Punkur temple as it was dense with Punga trees. Lord is in the form of an anthill, small in size. Nandhi came a little later. The first Linga and Nandhi alone brought name and fame to the temple. As Lord is in the form of an anthill, the Kuvalai- to cover the anthill Linga- is removed on Mondays at about 8.30 p.m. for offering the punugu paste. Devotees can have the darshan of the Lord only with Kuvalai cover. Once a contest arose between Lord and Mother about their beauty. Lord said that He would drop a Durba grass with three knots and would accept that she was more beautiful at the place where the grass fell. This grass fell as five Lingas-Pancha Lingas. The power of these Lingas are such that they bless the devotees with wedding boon and freedom from curses of past births etc. This is also the temple where Lord directed Nandhi to move a little to grant His darshan to His devotee Nandanar. Nandhi in the temple has no tongue. We see Dwarapalakas in all temples with their heads raised. Here they are polite bowing as if to receive Nandanar the choice devotee of Lord. There is a shrine for Kulam Vettiya Pillayar meaning Lord Vinayaka who dug the tank with the help of Boodhas in a single night to enable Nandanar to have his bath to be blessed with the darshan of Lord.
History / Legend: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).
Removing Naga dosha and poorva janma sins in this temple. Worshiping Shivalokanathaswamy for marriage hurdles, unemployment, poverty, unhappiness. He removes these hurdles and full fills 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 Shivalingam 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, worshiped 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.
Location: Located 3 Kms from another Paadal Petra Sthalam Vaitheeswaran Kovil and 10 Kms from Sirkazhi.
Temple Address & Contact Details:Arulmighu Sivaloganathar Temple
Phone: 94867 17634.