The temple is located in Tiruppoovanam, which is on the Rameswaram - Madurai railway line. This is a shrine treated with great reverence and there are several legends associated with Tiruppoovanam. This shrine is regarded as the 11th of the Tevara Stalams in the Pandya region of Tamil Nadu. This temple is well connected by road and train services from Madurai and is situated about 20 Kms to the southeast of Madurai. There is a railway station at Tirupuvanam on the Madurai - Manamadurai section of Southern Railway.Town bus and regular bus services from Madurai are available to go to Thiruppuvanam. The temple is praised in the hymns of Saivite saints Tirugnanasambandar, Tirunavikkarasar and Sundarar.One such song by saint Tirunavukkarasar in the melodious Thandagam metre describes the handsome Lord and his blessing qualities towards His devotees and the beauty of Tirupuvanam surrounded fragrant gardens.This is the 11th temple in the Pandya region praised in the hymns. Lord Shiva graces as a Swaymbumurthy. The 36th chapter in the epic Tiruvilayadal Puranam relates to this temple about the alchemy miracle.
About The Temple
The temple is also called Pushpavanakasi, Pithurmokshapuram, Bhaskarapuram, Lakshmipuram, Brahmmapuram and Rasavadhapuram. Lord Pushpavaneswarar with His consort Soundaryanayaki had played many miracles. As this is a place with fragrant gardens, it is called Poovanam. The place is considered very sacred as this qualifies the three important standards of Murthy, Sthala and Theertha according to our scriptures. There are separated entrances to the Shiva and Ambal shrines in this temple which covers a span of about 3 acres. The Rajagopuram rises to a height of 75 feet. Several of the tanks here are considered to be sacred. Natarajar's tandavam here is Bhrama Tandavam. There are several other noteworthy features and shrines in this temple. The entrance of the temple is with a five tier tower-Gopura.
About The Deity
Lord Shiva graces the devotees who visit the temple with a Rudraksha body. Shivalinga in the temple has a trident symbol. Mother Soundaryanayaki graces from the right of the Lord. There are five theerthas in the temple of which Manikarnikai is distinct from others. Sage Agasthya was able to consume the whole sea water as he consumed Manikarnika theertha first. This the place where king Nala, Brahmma, Vishnu, Sage Gautama, Sun, Sri Mahalakshmi, Sage Agasthya, Goraka Siddha worshipped Lord Shiva, according to scriptures.
Legend and Stories
Legend goes that in Tirupuvanam, a dancer called Ponnaiyal lived. As a staunch devotee, she spent all her earnings from the dancing programmes in feeding Shiva devotees. She had a desire to sculpt Lord Poovananathar in pure gold. To fulfill her desire, Lord came in the guise of a siddha and advised her to melt all the brass, lead and copper articles in the house at night which will turn into gold. The dancer followed the advice of the Siddha and her joy knew no bounds to see adequate gold to make the idol of the Lord. With the gold she got through the alchemy miracle, the dancer made out a beautiful idol of the Lord and in her ecstasy, she embraced the idol and kissed it on the cheek. The nail symbol of Ponnaiyal is visible on the procession deity. During the Puranic Age, one Darma Yagnan was carrying his father’s ashes – asthi to Rameswaram from Kasi-now Varanasi. He stayed in this place for a while for rest. His friend accompanying him opened the pot containing the asthi but was surprised to find flowers in the pot and not asthi. But he did not reveal the truth to his friend. Reaching Rameswaram, while opening the pot, they found only asthi and not the flower. Now, the friend told Darmayagna what he found earlier. They returned back with the pot to Tirupuvanam and found the flower when they opened the pot.
As what was simply asthi-ash in Kasi turned into a flower in Tirupuvanam, the place is considered 16 times holier than Kasi. The proverb here goes “it is a veesam more than Kasi” claiming greater reputation than Kasi. Those unable to go to Kasi to immerse the ashes of the departed ones in River Ganga do it here in Vaigai River and light the Moksha Deepa. When saint Tirugnanasambandar visited this place, he saw Shivalingas in every particle of river sand and could not walk on the banks to reach the other side of the river. He prayed to the Lord singing His praise from where he was. Nandhi, the bull vehicle of Lord Shiva was hiding the Lord from Gnanasambandar. Lord Shiva asked the Nandhi to move by the side to grant His darshan to the saint. We see Nandhi in the temple a little away on the side representing this event.
Vaikasi Visakam in May-June, Aadi Mulaikottu in July-August, Navarathri in September-October, Aipasi Kolattam in October-November, Great Deepa in Karthikai (November-December), Margazhi Arudra Darshan in December-January, Masi Shivrathri in February-March, 10 day Panguni Utsav in March-April are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
Devotees perform abishek to Lord and Mother and offer vastras.
Devotees seek happy results in marriage talks, child boon, good education etc. Lord Pushpavaneswarar blesses his devotees relieving them of all hardships.
The nearest airport is at Madurai. The nearest railway station is at Madurai. Tirupuvanam is 18 km from Madurai on the Rameswaram road where the temple is situated.
Arulmighu Poovananathar Temple,
Tirupuvanam, Tirupuvanam Post,
Sivagangai District PIN – 623611.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Relief from diseases
- Purchase of vehicles
- Gain Knowledge
Kailaasarana Shiva Chandramouli Phaneendra Maathaa Mukutee Zalaalee Kaarunya Sindhu Bhava Dukha Haaree Thujaveena Shambho Maja Kona Taaree
Meaning -Oh Lord Shiva who is seated on Mount Kailash, where the moon decorates his forehead and the king of serpents crown his head, who is merciful and removes delusion, You alone can protect me. I surrender to thee.
Aum Trayambakam Yajaamahey Sugandhim Pusti Vardhanam Urvaarukamiva Bandhanaath Mrutyor Muksheeya Maamritaat
Meaning -We worship the fragrant Lord Shiva, who has 3 eyes and who cultivates all beings. May He free me from death, for immortality, as even a cucumber is separated from its bond with the vine.