Three yuga, 13 linga and ten tirtha

24fr_Tiruppunavasa_2483549gA view of the Thiruppunnavasal temple.

Renovation is on at this ancient temple.

Tiruppunavasal, situated near Rameswaram, has been eulogised in the Thevaram verses.

The place, according to legend, was known as Indrapuram during Krita yugam, Brahmapuram in Tretha yugam and Vrithakasi in Dwapara yugam. Its Sanskrit name, Vrithapuri (Pazhampadi in Tamil), refers to its immortal status. Sadanandapuram, Vanamukham, Magizhavanam, Kaivalyapuram, Punnagavanam and Vrithakasi are some of the names by which this kshetram is referred to.

Indran, Brahma, Vaayu, Surya, Airavatham, Agastyar, Mahavishnu and Mahalakshmi, Vinayakar and so on are among the celestial figures said to have worshipped Vrithapuriswarar, deity of Tiruppunavasal. His Consort is Brahannayaki.

The swayambu lingam is said to be the biggest in any Siva temple. And it is said to grow in girth, established by the fact that the nagabharanam needs attachments to stretch the length. Ninraseer Nedumaran (king Sundarapandian) Nayanar, as guided by Tirugnanasambandar, established the linga forms of 13 temples here. Vrithapuri Mahatmiyam lists them as: Sundareswara Lingam (Madurai), Agastiswarar (Kutralam), Sangupuriswarar (Appanur), Patrikeswaralingam (Tiruvedagam), Ramalingam (Rameswaram), Saalivaneswarar (Tirunelveli), Sornakaliswarar (Kalaiyarkovil), Tiruthalinathar (Tirupputhur), Parangiswarar (Tirupparankunram), Umaibagalingam (Piranmalai), Adiratneswarar (Tiruvadanai), Bhoominathar (Tiruchuzhiyal) and Pushpavaneswarar (Tiruppovanam). Many more are buried, it is believed. Since it is older than the Tiruvannamalai, there is no representation of the Lingodbhavar concept. Goddess Durga is in a mood of fury and hence has to be viewed through a mirror.

The temple premises is dotted with ten holy tanks, named after Indra, Ganga, Brahma, Lakshmi, Surya, Chandra, Chakra, Sarpa (Paambaru), Kalyana and Varuna. The sthala vriksham Punnai in Kaliyuga. It was Chaturakkalli in Kritayuga, Kurunda in Tretha yuga and magizham in Dwapara.

Seraman and Sekkizhar have sung the praise of this temple in Periyapuranam. The place the king created and in which he lived continues to be called Sundarapandia Pattinam.

It is believed that only those who have reached the end of their birth cycle will get the opportunity to visit the temple. Kanchi Mahaswami is said to have removed his padukabefore entering the town, thus underlining its importance.

This ancient temple is under renovation and consecration is planned for September 3. All the tanks are being spruced up too. It will be uthamapaksha kumbabishekam with 33 homakundams and 110 Sivacharyas. For details contact 919840053289.

Location: Tiruppunnavasal is close to Tiruchi and closer to Pudukottai and Rameswaram

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