September 22, 2013

Perumpuliyur Vyagrapureeswarar Temple

Site Name: Vyagrapureeswarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Perumpuliyur, adjacent to Tiruvaiyaru, near Tanjore town, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: One of 274 Paadal Petra Sthalams (the most important temples of Lord Shiva)
Nearest Railway Station: Tanjore
Nearest Airport: Trichy
How to reach: Well connected by road from Tanjore, Tiruvaiyaru and Kumbakonam
Hotel: Go to Tanjore or Kumbakonam for good hotels 
Restaurants: Go to Tanjore or Kumbakonam for good restaurants

Perumpuliyur is a small quiet village located at a distance of 3 kms from Tiruvaiyaru near Tanjore town in South India. The village has an important Shiva temple called as Vyagrapureeswarar Temple. It is considered as the 53rd among the Devara Paadal Petra Sthalams (274 most important temples of Lord Shiva) located in Chola region north of Cauvery river. 

  • Sambandhar has revered the temple in his verses in Devaram.
  • Arunagirinathar has sung the praise of Lord Murugan in this temple.
  • The main deity, Shiva Linga is placed on a lotus petal peeth (Kamala peetha).
  • God Vyagrapureeswarar aka Puliyurnathar
  • Goddess Soundra Nayaki aka Azhagammai
  • Sthala Vruksha (holy tree) - Sarakondrai
  • Teerth (Holy water) - Cauvery

As per the legend, it is one of five sites visited by the seer with the tiger's legs called as Vyagrapada. The site is named after him.

Temple Layout:

The temple is simple in design and small. The east facing small tower (Raja gopuram) has three tiers. There is no flag staff; the bali peetha and Nandi mandapa are located facing the sanctumm sanctorum.

Vyagrapureeswarar is in the form of a tall Shiv Linga in the sanctum santorum. He is placed on top of a lotus petal peeth called as Kamala peetham. It can be seen from the back side wall of the sanctum sanctorum.

The Goddess Soundra Nayaki is found in a separate east facing shrine in the prakara.

The entrance of sanctum sanctorum has a Ganesha idol and a sub-shire for Kasi Vishwanatha and Vishalakshi.

The prakara has sub-shrines of Siddhi Vinayaka, Nataraja, Murugan with his two consorts Valli and Devasena, Nalvar and Navagraha in a rare form with all the eight planets facing towards Surya.

The idols of Sapta Matas (some of them are missing nowadays), Bhairava, Surya, Chandra and Uma-Maheshwara (Linga) are also found in the prakara.

The Vimana and the Koshta idols appear to be very ancient. Dakshinamurti, Ganesha, Ardha Nareeswarar, Brahma and Durga are found as the Koshta (niche) images. Also, the sub shrine of Chandikeshwara is located near Durga's image.

Happy travelling.

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