Friday, October 19, 2012

Temples near Thiruvaiyaru - II

When we are on a Pilgrimage, we  bound to notice many things which are unique. It attracts us only when we look keenly for it. Many times we fail to observe as we do not spare the time it deserves. For example, The Subramanya murthi along with His consorts carved in a single stone was noticed only during the recent trip to Sri Panchanatheeswara Temple at Thiruvaiyaru. I wondered how I missed Him during my previous visits to this Temple. It is common that all The three Deities are carved separately and perhaps this is an unique one for me. Of course, it is not accommodated in a separate sannadhi. Yet, it meant a lot for me. Renovation work was in full swing and the consecration is likely to take place in another few months from now. Hence I confined myself with the dharshan of main deities and decided to visit again once the renovation was over.

Among the seven places in and around Thiruvaiyaru(Saptha sthanams), the first part of this writeup had covered two places namely, Kandiyur and Thirupponthuruthi. Thiruppazhanam is harly 3 km from Thiruvaiyaru on the road to Kumbakonam. Sri Abathsahayeswara Temple is close to the main road. Sambandar and Appar have sung Thevaram Hymns on this murthi. Ambal shrine is in the outer prakaram. Swami vimanam, constructed of granite is a delight to  watch. Even the sculptures in this vimanam are made of granite. It is sad that visitors to this Chola Temple are not many.

 When Saint Appar visited Thiruppazhanam, his attention was drawn to a place where devotees were supplied with drinking water. As it was named as "Thirunaavukkarasar Thanneer Pandhal",he wondered who could sponsor in his name as he knew nobody there. He was told that the charity work in Appar's name was done by Appoodhi Adigal, a staunch Shiva bhaktha who held Appar in high esteem after he came to know all that happened in Thiruvadhigai. On hearing more about Appoodhi Adigal, Appar visited his place called Thingalur which is 2 km away from Thiruppazhanam. The story goes that Appar saved Appoodhi Adigal's son from snake bite by invoking the Lord's blessings through his Thevaram Hymns.

The sign board on the main road mentions Thingalur as "Chandiran Koil"(Temple of Moon God) There is no doubt that the place is worshiped by Moon and people visit there to perform "Parihara Pujas" for moon. But the main deity of the Temple is Kailasanatha and therefore it is apt to rename the board as " Kailasanatha Temple , Thingalur, Chanrdran Parihara sthalam. "  The most unfortunate thing is the group of people who come here to perform "Parihara" for Moon during their "Navagraha Tour" seldom visit Thirupazhanam .

Temples at Thiruvedhikudi, Veerasinganpettai and Thiruchotruthurai are in the same area with a distance of say, 2- 4 km from each other. We start from Thiruvedhikudi, dedicated to Sri Mangayarkarasi sametha Sri Vedapureeswara, worshiped by Vedas. Ganapathi at the entrance of the Sanctum is in a unique posture as he He is keenly watching the Mantras pronounced by the Vedas. His head is slightly tilted ,indicating His desire to listen to Vedas. Since Thirugnanasambandar has mentioned about girls getting married with good boys in his Hymn, many people who want their wards to get married visit the Shrine to submit their prayers before the Lord. The Prakaram houses nearly 108 Shivalingas and the Vimanam , built in the same style as seen in Thirupazhanam. The Temple is undergoing renovation at a slow pace.

Another Temple drew our attention at Veerasinganpettai. We stopped for a while when we read on the wall of Sri Vaidyanatha Temple as the one which has 276 Shiva Lingas.                                                                                                                     We decided to break the journey with the thought that such a Temple should not be missed. We thanked Heavens for having seen the writing on the wall while driving through the village. As a rare dharshan, we saw 276 Bana Lingams at a same place in the Prakaram. The Temple is in a good shape and it has not come to limelight  to draw more attention from nearby places like Thanjavur and Thiruvaiyaru. Some volunteers of the village should come forward to tell people about this great Temple.

Sri Annapoorani sametha Sri Odhanavaneswara Temple is also a big one and maintained well. Considering its rich Heritage, it should attract more visitors. Pujas are carried out with lot of involvement without expecting anything in return. The Temple Trustee who lives nearby shows lot of interest in developing the Temple. More persons like him are needed to take care of the rural Temples. This Temple is sung in Thevaram Hymns by all the three Acharyas. Saint Arunagirinathar has sung Thirupugazh in praise of Shanmukha here. During "Sapthasthana festival, Lord Panchanatheeswara visits this place around noon. The devotees who follow the palanquin are fed here.

Palanquins of all the other six places come together during the summer festival and finally arrive at Thillaisthanam , mentioned in Thevaram as Thiruneithanam. Palanquin of Sri Gruthapureeswara (Neiyaadiappar) also joins them and go straight to River Cauvery which flows right opposite to the Temple.

One should not miss visiting Perumpuliyur which is not more than 3 km from Thillaisthanam. The vimanam of Sri Vyagrapureeswara Temple is marvelous and the base is circular. The main deity is sung by Thirugnanasambandar and worshiped by Sage Vyagrapatha. A Vishnu shrine (one among 108 Divya desams) is also there in the village.

All these villages were looked after by sincere devotees for many centuries and Emperors  were there to  generously gift lands for maintaining them. It was only when people started migrating from villages, the Temples suffered a lot in the absence of dedicated souls and sponsors. To make matters worst, the lands given on lease did not realise any return to meet the recurring expenses of the Temple. Hence the situation now demands help from outside to do daily Pujas and pay the salary of the staff as HR&CE dept is still paying only few hundreds as salary with which it is impossible for the archakas to run their families. We continue to appeal to well wishers to think about the plight of these people and extend all possible help at the time of distress. It is,indeed, a service to God Himself.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Temples near Thiruvaiyaru

Music lovers who pay Homage to  Saint Thyagaraja, the Great composer at Thiruvaiyaru on the eve of his Aradhana rarely visit the wonderful Temples of the region. Likewise, the devotees  who assemble here for Saptha sthana festival in summer miss the opportunity of visiting the ancient Temples around Thiruvaiyaru. People who come to see Thingalur on the outskirts of Thiruvaiyaru under "Navagraha Tour" do not take time to visit the Temple at Thirupazhanam although they need to pass through it.

Kandiyur comes under "Saptha sthanams" of Thiruvaiyaru, the other places being Thiruvedhikudi, ThiruChotruthurai, Thiruppazhanam,  Thirupoonthuruthi and Thiruneithaanam. It is about 3 km from Thiruvaiyaru on the road to Thanjavur. Sri Brahma Sira Kandeeswarar Temple of Kandiyur, facing west is considered similar to Kalahasthi as The Lord gave dharshan to a saint who used to visit Sri Kalahasthi regularly on Pradosham days. A beautifully carved Nandhi welcomes the devotees soon after entering the Raja Gopuram. Sambandar and Appar have sung Thevaram Hymns on the main deity. The south facing Goddess is called Mangalambigai. Vilvam is the holy tree of this Temple. While making a round in the prakaram,one can see a big idol of Brahma seated along with Saraswathi.The Palanquin festival of Kandiyur is a famous one and draws huge crowds from nearby villages. As Lord Panchanatheeswara of Thiruvaiyaru along with Dharmasamvardhani decorated in a Palanquin visits the other six places to introduce the newly wedded couple, Nandhikeswara and Suyasambika, the deities of the six places welcome Him amd join Him in the procession and go upto Thiruneithaanam(Thillai sthanam) and return to their respective places on the next day. Kandiyur has also got a Vishnu Temple, sung by Thirumangai Azhwar.

The road that branches towards west at Kandiyur takes us to Thirukkattuppalli and beyond. We come across many Temples which are to be visited atleast once in a lifetime. The first leg on this stretch is Thiruppoonthuruthi where we see a huge Temple sung by Appar . Sri Pushpavaneswara Temple will certainly be admired by lovers of architecture. The sculptures of Nandhi, Ardhanaari, Dhakshinamurthi worth watching several times. Saint Appar had stayed here for a long time and during this period, Sambandar joined him after the successsful tour of Pandya Kingdom where he reestablished Saivism. This Temple which surely deserves to draw many devotees and admirers is left unnoticed!

Another five minutes drive on the same road will lead us to Thiruvalampozhil, where the shrine in located very close to the road. Gnanambika sametha Athmanatheswara (Vatamoolanatha) Temple of this place faces east. The priest comes here from Thiruppoonthuruthi once in a day to do poojas. Appar has sung in praise of the moolavar.He advocates us to meditate by thinking The Lord of this place.
Nadukaveri is the next place where we find two Shiva Temples one on each side of the road. The Temples of Haribrahmeswara and Kalakandeswara are usually kept locked and one must be fortunate to have dharshan only when the priest arrives.By proeeding further on the same road and taking a diversion , we reach Varahur, where there are two well maintained Temples of Kailasanatha and Srinivasa Perumal. Uriyadi festival of this place involves people from many parts of the country.

Sri Sundareswara Temple at Senthalai is the next destination. This rarely visited Temple is quite old and Poojas are carried out only once in a day. The entrance is adorned by a Raja Gopuram in which we find many sculptures made of lime. Saptha mathas are worshipped here on the prakaram who grant wishes of the devotees.

Another diversion from the main road takes us to Ranganathapuram , known for Srinivasa Temple where the Kalinganardhana Krishna's idol is kept. Sri Gajaranyeswara Temple, constructed on an elevated platform is there on the way to the village.

The Temple at Nemam some 3 km from Thirukkattupalli is adjacent to the main road. Sri Alankara Valli sametha Sri Airavadheswara Temple, though small, is a must for devotees. This is considered as a " Vaipu sthalam" as it is mentioned in the Hymns of other place.The  life size murthi of the Goddess is fascinating.

Sri Gnanambika sametha Sri Vijaya Vidangeswara swami Temple at Ilankadu  near Nemam has witnessed renovation and Kumbabishekam recently and the huge vimanam and the well carved Nandhi are real treasures to be watched and cherished. Mullaikaadu, Arkadu,Pazhamaneri,Karuppur,Konerirajapuram and Kanda mangalam are nearby places where Shiva Temples are located. Vishnampettai near Thirukkattuppalli also has a Temple and the one at Thirukkanoor on the banks of the river Kollidam is sung by Sambandar and Appar.

Before winding up the short tour of this region, we visit Sri Agneeswara swami Temple at Thirukkattuppalli. Since People visit here from nearby villages in good numbers, getting  dharshan at  the Temple should not be a problem. Agni worshipped Lord Shiva here and created "Agni Theertham", a Holy Temple Tank. Sambandar and Appar have sung Thevaram Hymns on Sri Agneeswara.The annual festival of the Temple is conducted in liew of "Panguni Uthiram" that falls arround the month of April.

As in the past we appeal to the readers to visit these places and create awareness among well wishers so that the Temples can be maintained in a better manner. Poojas at most of these places , once done for four times in a day have been reduced to only once because of poor patronage. Those who contribute liberally to rich and well known Temples can also have a look at these places and help in such a way that even the one "kala" puja is not stopped at any cost. Of course, this is the least we can do and it is our duty too.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A peep into God's Kingdom

             It may be appropriate to start the pilgrimage in the Central part of Kerala from Kalady,the birth place of Adhi Sankaracharya , the greatest Philosopher saint of India. The birthplace was rediscovered by Sri Sachidhanandha Shivabhimana Narasimha Bharathi, the 33rd Acharya of Sringeri Mutt. He established two Temples on the banks of river Poorna, where Sri Sankara's house stood. The Temples were dedicated to Goddess Saradha and Jagadguru Sri Adhi Sankara. The then King of Travancore, Sri Moolam Thirunaal Maharaja gifted lands to Sringeri Mutt for building the Temples.

            Sringeri Mutt's Temple complex has a Vedha Patasala and the samadhi of Aryamba, mother of Sri Sankara Bhagavath Padha. The shrines of Saradhamba and the Acharya face south. A book stall, an agraharam and a guest house are located just outside the Temple complex. Sankara Jayanthi is being celebrated every year  on the eve of Vaikasha Shukla Panchami, the day on which Sri Sankara was born.

            An old Temple, truly in the traditional style of Kerala is dedicated to Sri Krishna,also called as Kaladiappan is located close to Sankara's Janmaboomi. It is said that this deity was worshipped by Sankara when he was a small boy. Namboodris do pujas here and a grand recitation of Kanakadhara Sthotram (by Adhi Sankara)for ten days is carried out by 32 Namboodris here on the eve of Akshaya Thrithiya day to invoke blessings of Godess Mahalakshmi.

            Kaladi can be reached from Angamali, a small town on Chennai- Allepey rail route.It can also be accessed from Thrisur,Palghat, Cochin and Trivandrum. The international airport at Cochin is only 5 km away from Kaladi. "Keerthi Sthambam" in memory of Adhi Sankara near Kalady bus station is built by Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt . In the pooja section, one can see Padhukas and a gallery of sculptures depicting the Life of Adhi Sankara. Visitors are allowed to go upto the top of the Sthambam to look at them and also enjoy the nature around when peeped through the window.

             Manikka mangalam is on the outskirts of Kaladi where we find a Shiva Temple and a Durga Temple. As any other Temple in Kerala, these shrines are kept extremely neat and the divinity experienced has no match. Nambudris conduct daily Pujas on time strictly as per the tradition. Their sincerity is commendable.

            Thiruvellaman thulli Shiva Temple in Mattoor is a vast and ancient one and the standard of sanctity maintained is too good. This Temple is believed to have been worshipped by Aryamba, mother of Adhi Sankara. The Lord gave dharshan to her as white deer , hence the name "Vella Maan".

            Sankara Narayana Temple at Nayathrudu is also a very big one where the roof above the Sanctum is conical and huge. Wooden carvings around the sanctum delight the visitors. The entire route from Kaladi is a treat to watch and it will not be an exaggeration if we say that the Nature has not spared even an inch unless man becomes a hindrance. Even the houses en route are big and built in the traditional style without forgetting to plant different species all around the houses.

          Thirumoorikulam (referred as Thirumoorikalam by Azhwar) Vishnu Temple is yet another ancient Temple on the way where the deity is called as Lakshmana Perumal. The Lord carries Prayoga Chakra on His right hand.

          Thiruvanjikulam (Sung in Thevaram as Thiruvanjaikalam by Sundara Murthi Nayanar) is located close to Kottapuram, a small town. This is the place where Sundarar met Cheraman Perumal Nayanar and became his close friend. Thiruvanjaikala Mahadeva sent an white elephant to carry Sundarar to Kailash and Cheraman followed him on his horse's back. It happened on an Adi Swathi day and aptly remembered and celebrated even now by several devotees of this place and from outside the state. The Temple presents a very old look. Several small shrines are there on the prakaram. There are shrines for Sundarar and Cheraman and Thevaram Padigams are inscribed near the sannadhi. Thiruvanjikula Mahadeva shrine faces west and fine carvings are seen around the sanctum. Kodungalur Bhagavathi Temple is thronged by visitors and it can be reached easily from Thiruvanjikulam.

          In Perumbavur/Kotaapuram region, a place where three Vishnu Temples are located next to each other is a must for the pilgrims. In the first Temple, Srinivasa Perumal and Kulasekara Azhwar sannadhis are there similar to those seen in Tamilnadu. The second Temple is a small one and the third, dedicated to Madhava Perumal is known for its rich architecture.

            Thiruparayar Rama Temple is around 15 km from Kodungalur and it is known for unique offering of crackers. Many temples in this region follow suit and one can hear the noise of crackers frequently.

           Sri Vadakkunathan Temple at Thrissur is the next destination. It is located at a central place. The place in and around theTemple complex is kept tidy and free from encroachment. Credit should also go to the visitors who cooperate with the administration in maintaining the atmosphere clean and divine. The west facing shrine of Vadakkunatha swami was worshipped by Sivaguru and Aryamba , the parents of Adhi Sankara when they prayed Him to bless a child for them. The Lord indeed blessed the couple with an exceptional child who later established Sanathana dharma on strong footing by upholding the Upanishad tradition and Advaitha Philosophy. There is a separate sannadhi for Adhi Sankara on the prakaram.

           Guruvayur,some 30 km from Thrisur can be reached either by road or train. The Temple of Guruvayurappan  is flooded by devotees from several places. The Temple administration has done its best to facilitate quick dharshan for various sections of people. Kudos to them as all these arrangements are done without compromising the traditional practices.

           The visit to Guruvayur is said to be complete only upon visiting the shrine of Mahadeva at Mammiyur, 3km away. It is an ancient one,although not a big complex. If we go further away, we can reach a place called Punnathurkota which houses 64 elephants (as on date) belonging to Guruvayur Devaswom. The elephant camp is open between 9 A.M and 5 P.M. for the visitors. It is really fantastic to see so many elephants at the same place and that too at a close proximity. Mahouts are there to take care of them and a veterinary doctor is also available to attend the sick animal. It really gives pleasure to wind up the tour at this place as one can carry fond memories of God and His Creation. It is, no doubt, God's own country.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Raa Patteeswaram- Temples near Thiruvarur-IV

 Nandhi, The Sacred Bull is normally seen in front of The Sanctum in all Shiva Temples, facing The Lord. There are places like Thiruppungur and Patteeswaram where the Bull can be seen few feet away from the straight line where it used to be, yet, facing The Shiva Linga Murthi. There are also some places like Thirumullai Voil,near Chennai, Somangalam, near Kunrathur and Thiru Vaigavur near Swamimalai where The Nandhi and The Lord face the same direction.  We come across a rare sight where the Nandhi, seated right in front of the main deity, seen turning His head by 90 degrees and looking at the big and marvellous Dakshinamurthi,nearby.

       Raa Patteswaram is a small village on Kumbakonam- Thiruvarur bus route near Manakkal-Iyyampettai where the Temple is located near the motorway. It is maintained by Nattukkottai Nagarathar Community. The west facing Temple has no Gopuram in the front. The shrine, at a slightly elevated place has Lakshmi and Saraswathi on both sides of the entrance. The only outer Prakaram is full of grass which has to be cut to clear the way for devotees who wish to go round the temple.

 Maha mandapam unusually houses many Murthis who normally occupy the Goshtam/separate shrines in the outer Prakaram. A big idol of Ganapathi , very well carved one is seen here. A beautiful sculpture of Subramanya seated on Peacock is seen with his consorts. The Murthi, carved in a single stone,with six hands should delight the devotees.

 The huge idol of Bhairava is also a must watch. The crisply carved Murthi with jwala kesam,Tamarukam, Pasam,Bhiksha Patram, Kapala mala and Thrisulam is an outstanding one. Ashtami (eighth day ofter Full moon day)puja  is conducted for Bhairava  
     Moola Murthi is called Seshapureeswarar as the figure of a serpant is seen on the bana Linga. Ambikai , facing south is known as Andhapura Nayaki. Childless couples come here and take bath in the Temple Tank and worship the Lord and The Goddess to be blessed. Although a separate "Padhigam" is not available for this place, it has figured in Saint   Appar's Thevaram Hymn, and called as "Vaipu Sthalam"

       The Nandhi in front of Seshapureeswarar is unique as it has turned its head by right angles and  the place where it looks houses a superb Dakshinamurthi. It is also unique that the Murthi,normally found in the Deva Koshta in the south prakaram is seen here in the Maha mandapam. This masterpiece has a smile which is unparallel. His curling locks and the finely carved arnaments, Yagyopaveedham on His chest are simply absorbing. It makes the devotee unmoved for a while. Pujas are conducted once in a day for this rarely visited Temple which is unique in many aspects. We come out of the Temple with Prayers on our lips for the betterment of the shrine.

       It is desirable if people cultivate the habit of visiting such rare temples and render all possible help to preserve the  glory and at the same time extend a helping hand to the priest whose income is negligible. Negligence on the part of people and Goverment can only ruin the priceless structures which have withstood for many centuries because of good patronage. Devotees from nearby towns should make it a point to visit atleast one such temple in a month , the act, no doubt,will add value to their devotion.    

Monday, January 2, 2012

Temples near Thiruvarur - III

Cauvery Delta is not only blessed with vast green fields ,best described as "granery of South", but with numerous Temples on her banks. On the southern bank of Cauvery we have as many as 127 Shiva Temples sung in Thevaram Hymns. This number is based on what is available today. Many Palmleaf manuscripts carrying Hymns on other places might have been lost or destroyed by pests during storage. Hence it is equally important to visit those ancient Temples, for which Thevaram Hymns are not available. While we plan to write more on them in the next post, we continue to write about the shrines close to Thiruvarur as third part in this series.

Gayakarai (now called Gekarai) is about 4 km north of Thiruvarur from where a diversion takes us to a place called Palliyin Mukkoodal, sung by Appar in his Thevaram. Minibuses from Thiruvarur ply upto this place,though not frequently.One can also alight at either Kodikal Palayam or Virkudi railway stations , if the rail route (Mayiladuthurai - Thiruvarur) is preferred ( At present, gauge conversion work is on and it is better to go by road.) Lord Rama is said to have performed rituals for his father ,King dasaratha here as this place and theertham are regarded on par with Gaya. Like in thriveni sangam (at Allahabad),where three rivers meet, "Mukkoodal Theertham" infront of the Temple is considered equally Holy. The east facing Temple , renovated by Naattukkottai nagarathar has just one Prakaram. Nandi, facing the Sanctum has turned its head slightly. The Murthis of Ganapathi, Subramanya and Lakshmi in the Prakara are extraordinarily beautiful. According to Thiruvarur Puranam, a Chola King who never missed a Shiva Dharshan before taking meals, reached late at this place and found that the Temple was closed by that time. His assistant who came in a horse, decorated a bag containing horse- feed as Shiva linga and kept it in front of the King. Thinking that it was a Linga, the King worshipped it and took dinner that night. He came to know the fact on the next day and tried to lift the bag. He could not succeed as the contents of the bag really transformed into a Linga.There goes another story in the Purana that Lord Parvathi appeared as daughter to a Queen called Thapovadhani on a Lotus and The Lord married her later.

The journey covering a distance of 3- 4 Km from Palliyin Mukkodal will lead us to Virkudi. It is one of those eight "Veerattanams" where Shiva is worshipped as "Samhara Murthi". In Virkudi, we find Samhara Murthi Sabhai wherein The Lord holds a "Chakra" in His hand. This place is 2 Km away from Virkudi railway station. One can also alight at Gangalanchery on Sannanallur - Thiruvarur bus route and walk down for 3 Km. The Temple is west facing and Naattukkottai nagarathars of Pallathur have renovated it. There is a 5 tier Gopuram at the entrance and the shrine has two Prakarams. Goddess Parimala Nayaki ( Elavar Kuzhali) sannadhi is close to Veeratteswara Swami sannadhi. This is the place where Shiva killed Jalandhara Asura,the son of Samudra Raja. The Asura married Brinda ,the daughter of Kalanemi and then started terrorising the Devas. He defeated Vishnu and Indra took asylum at Kailash. Finally, Shiva killed the demon with His chakra and the Chakra returned to the Lord after meeting the purpose. Sambandar has sung a Thevaram Padigam praising the deity of this place.

Thirukkondeeswaram and Nannilam are two places sung in Thevaram which can be accessed by road. A ten- minute drive from nannilam will take us to Thirukkondeeswaram, sung by Appar. This place is fondly worshipped by Parvathi who took the form of Cow by pouring milk over the Shiva Linga.The name of the deity is therefore known as Pasupatheeswara. The Goddess is named as Santha Nayaki and this Temple on the southern banks of the river, Mudikondan has a tank called Ksheera Pushkarani and the Holy tree is Vilvam.

The Temple at Nannilam is right on the heart of the town. It is otherwise known as Devaranyam, Sundaravani, Bruhathpuram in Sanskrit. Ko Chnkat Chola has built this "Madakkoil", constructed on a raised platform. Sundara Murthi Swamigal in his Thevaram Hymn has mentioned about this. Defying the Asuras, the Devas took the form of bees and found asylum here. Hence the place, the Moola murthi and the Goddess are called as "Madhuvanam", "Madhuvaneswarar" and "Madhuvana Nayaki" respectively.

Sri Vanchiyam, one of the Mukthi Kshetrams is located about 6 km from Nannilam on Kumbakonam road. A deviation at Achuthamangalam takes us straight to the temple. Vishnu worshipped Shiva here to be beloved with Mahalakshmi. Hence the deity got the name, Vanchinatha. Brahma, Parachara, Athri, Makudavardhana, and Charumathi have also been blesssed by Shiva at this place. A 5-tier Raja gopuram welcomes the visitors at the Eastern entrance. A unique feature at this shrine is the presence of a Sannadhi for Yama. There is an "Yama Vahanam" at this Temple, over which the Utsava idol is seated and decorated during the festival in the Tamil month of "Masi". Since the Lord is said to bless all souls who die here to attain salvation, Yama has no role to punish the sinners.All three Acharyas have sung Thevaram verses in praise of Vanchinatha. Saint Manickavachakar has also referred this place along with the name of the Goddess as "Maruvar Kuzhali" in Thiruvachakam. The second entrance also has a 3- tier Gopuram and Ambal sannadhi can be seen on the right. We enter swami prakaram after crossing the third entrance. This prakaram has sannadhis that belong to ganapathi, Shanmukha, Pancha bootha Lingas, Gaja Lakshmi, Bhairava, Shani, Lingas of Mukthi kshetras etc. An exclusive east facing Durga sannadhi is seen in north Prakara. Shiva is said to have created the Temple Tank, Guptha Gangai with his Trisoolam.. Ganga Devi is said to have washed off the sins she received from devotees at Kashi by bathing at this Holy Tank,which is also known as Punya Theertham, Athri Theertham, Parachara Theertham and Muni Theertham in all the four yugas. Hundreds of people take bath here on Sundays during the Tamil month of "Karthigai". Inscriptions of Chola, Pandya and Naick period are seen here which glorifies this place as " Raja Gambeera Chathurvedhi Mangalam".

Thiruppugalur can be reached from Nannilam/ Sannanallur by road(7 Km) that leads to Karaikal. Since Agni has worshipped Shiva here, the Lord is called Agneeswarar. Banasura, a great Shiva devotee tried to lift this Linga to be taken to his mother's place failed in his attempt. However, the Lord tilted in the same place and got the name, "Kona Piraan". The deity is sung in Thevaram by all the three Acharyas. Saint Appar attained Mukthi on a Chithirai sadhayam day. This event is celebrated every year elaborately during this period. When Sundarar came for dharshan, the Temple was undergoing renovation. He kept few bricks to support his head and started taking rest outside the temple. When he started collecting the cloth spread over the bricks, he found that the bricks were converted as golden blocks by Agneeswara's grace. On seeing the miracle, he sang a "Padhigam" with tears rolling from his eyes. The Temple has a 5 - tier gopuram in the front and a 3-tier gopuram at the second entrance. There is one more shrine close to the shrine whch was served by Muruga Nayanar. It is called Vardhamaneeswaram and Sambandar's Padhigam is there on this deity. Agni Theertham covers the Temple on three sides. Punnagam (Punnai) is the sthala vruksham of the Temple.

Sowrirajaperumal Temple at Thirukkanapuram is hardly 1 km south of Thiruppugalur. Both the tank and the Temple at this place are very big in size.On the eastern side of Thirukkanapuram, a Shiva Temple, sung by Sambandar is located at Ramanadheeswaram. The renovation work which was started many years ago appears to have been almost completed. After defeating Ravana, Rama worshipped Shiva at Rameswaram and Ramanadheeswaram.Hence the tank is also named after Rama as "Rama Theertham". Kulothunga Chola has gifted lands of Sivapathasekaramangalam for the maintenance of this Temple and renovated it. The inscription mentions about a period in which there was no income from the lands of this temple due to severe draught and the Temples at Rararaja Pondy Mangalam, Veera Chola Mandalam Jayamkonda Chola Mandalam and Naduvilnadu were asked to assist Ramanadheeswaram Temple by sending Paddy and Gold.This message should be an eyeopener to all administrators who do nothing when the temples reel under poor income.