Sunday, February 21, 2016

Vyagrapureeswarar Temple, Perumpuliyur, Thanjavur

Vyagrapureeswarar Temple, Perumpuliyur, Thanjavur
Vyagrapureeswarar Temple is a Hindu temple located at Perumpuliyur near Thiruvaiyaru in the Thanjavur district of Tamil NaduIndia.  This Shivastalam is located at a distance of 16 km from Thanjavur. The Vaishnava Divya Desam dedicated to Sundararaja Perumal is located nearby. It is considered to be the 53rd in the series of Tevara Stalams in the Chola kingdom located north of the river Kaveri.

Legends
Sage Vyagrapada (sage with tiger legs) learnt the glory of Lord Nataraja of Chidambaram from his father Mathiyandan.  He worshipped Lord Tirumoola Nathar in Chidambaram.  He climbed the trees with his tiger legs and had eyes in his finger nails to check the purity of the flowers to use them for his Shiva Puja.  He occupies a place in Nataraja shrine on one side.  Sage Patanjali has his place on the other side.  Vyagrapada worshipped Lord in five places, the names ending with the suffix Puliyur.  They are Tirupathiri Puliyur, Perumpattra Puliyur (Chidambaram), Erukatham Puliyur, Omam Puliyur and Perum Puliyur.
Temple Speciality
Lord Shiva is a swayambumurthy. While traditionally the Navagrahas the nine planets are facing different directions in temples, they are facing Sun-Surya in this temple.
The Temple
This temple covers an area of about 1.5 acres and has a three tiered Rajagopuram. Both the main shrine and Ambal shrine are east facing. It is interesting to note that the Navagraha shrine is designed such that 8 of celestial bodies face Surya. Another interesting feature is that the niche usually enshrined with Lingodbhava is enshrined with Ardhanareeswara. There are also shrines to Surya, Ganesha and Skanda.

Inscriptions from the period of Raja Raja Chola are seen in this temple. Sambandar is said to have visited Perumpuliyur after visiting Tiruvaiyaru. 3 worship services are offered each day here.
The sanctum sanctorum is designed with a four step lotus petal peeta.  Saint Arunagiriar had sung the glory of Lord Muruga of this temple in his Thirupugazh hymns.  The place covered with wild bushes was brought to the attention of the world by His Holiness Sundara Swamigal of Madurai.  Lord Arthanareeswarar is near the Lingodhbava shrine.

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 peetham and Nandi mandapa are located facing the sanctum 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, and 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. Dakshinamurthy, Ganesha, Ardha Nareeswarar, Brahma and Durga are found as the Koshta (niche) images. Also, the sub shrine of Chandikeshwarar is located near Durga's image.
Highlights:
·        Sambhandar has revered the temple in his verses in Tevaram.
·        Arunagirinathar has sung the praise of Lord Murugan in this temple.
·        God - Vyagrapureeswarar aka Puliyurnathar
·        Goddess - Soundra Nayaki aka Azhagammai
·        Stala Vruksha (holy tree) - Sarakondrai
·        Teertham (Holy water) - Cauvery
Significance
Vyagrapureeswarar Temple also known as Perumpuliyur is one of the five shrines associated with the Saivite saint Vyagrapada. Hymns have been composed in praise of the temple by Sambandar in the Thevaram.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 10.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m.
Festivals
Maha Shivrathri is very devotionally celebrated in the temple in February-March.
Prayers
Devotees buying new vehicles perform Alankara to Lord with garlands.  It is believed that no accident would occur if they perform this prayer. Devotees offer pujas to Lord and Mother with Vastras and contribute for the renovations of the temple.
Singers
Saint Thirugnana Sambandar had sung the glory of Lord Shiva of the temple in his Thevaram hymns.  This is the 53rd Shiva temple on the northern bank of Cauvery praised in hymns.
Contact
Sri Vyagrapureeswarar Temple,
Perumpuliyur, Thanjavur
Phone: +91- 94434 47826, +91- 94427 29856
Connectivity
It is well connected by road from Tanjore, Tiruvaiyaru and Kumbakonam. Nearest railway Station is located at Thanjavur & Nearest Airport is located at Trichy.

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