October 27, 2014

Tiruppoonthuruthi Pushpavaneshwarar Temple

Site Name: Pushpavaneshwarar temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Tiruppoonthuruthi, located near Tiruvaiyaru, near Tanjore city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: One of 274 Paadal Petra Stahlams (the most important temples of Lord Shiva)
Nearest Railway Station: Tanjore
Nearest Airport: Trichy
How to reach: Well connected by road from Tanjore and Tiruvaiyaru; public transport is not dependable
Hotel: No good hotels nearby; better to stay in Tanjore
Restaurants: No good restaurants nearby; it is better to go to Tanjore

Tiruppoonthuruthi is a village near Tanjore town in South India. It is located at a distance of around 3kms from Tirukkandiyur, which in turn is located near Tiruvaiyaru. The village has an important temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is considered as the 11th among the Devara Paadal Petra Sthalams (274 most important temples of Lord Shiva) located in the Chola region south of Cauvery river.

Highlights:
  • Appar has revered the temple in his verses in Devaram.
  • God Pushpavaneshwarar aka Aadipuranar aka Poyyiliar 
  • Goddess - Soundara Nayaki
  • Teerth (Holy water) - Surya Teerth
  • Sthala Vruksha (Holy tree) - Bilva
  • Considered as one of the Devara Paadal Petra Sthalams
  • Considered as the sixth of Sapta Sthana Sthalams

Legend:

As per the legend, the saint Gnana Sambandhar was hesitant to step on the soil (this temple) which was serviced by Appar (Tirunavukkarasar). Lord Shiva asked his mount Nandi to move away a little so that Sambandhar can get darshan of the main deity without entering into the temple. 

Appar carried the palanquin of Gnanasambandhar in this village. Sambandhar did not know about this. The place is called as Sambandhar Medu in this village. 

The math established by Appar is also situated in this village.

Indira got 1000 signs on his body due to curse by the saint Gautama. After worshipping Lord Shiva in many temples, he came to Tiruppoonthuruthi and offered flowers to Lord Shiva. He got rid of his sin and hence the place is called as Tiruppoonthuruthi.

There is another story which claims that Vishnu and Lakshmi worshipped Lord Shiva in this temple.

Another legend states that the place is called as Poonthuruthi as Nandi offered flowers from this site for the wedding of Lord Shiva.

Surya and the saint Kasyapa also worshipped Lord Shiva in this site.

Two Vinjayas got cursed and were born as the eagles. They got rid of their sin in this temple.

Temple Layout:

The east facing temple is adorned with a five tiered Raja Gopuram (tower) and the temple complex occupies an area of about 2.5 acres.

The sanctum sancotrum enshrines a big Shiva Linga idol called as Pushpavaneshwarar. At the entrance, there is an idol of Ganesha. The ardha mandapa and maha mandapa are very long.

The Goddess Soundara Nayaki is found in a separate south facing shrine.

The Nandi idol is found facing towards the main shrine but is moved away from the central location.

The niche images that are found around the sanctum sanctorum are very attractive and unique. The rare idol of Veena Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, unique idol of Rishabhaarudanaar, Shankara Narayanan and Durga are found as the niche idols. Chandikeshwarar shrine is also found in the prakara.

Happy travelling.





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