Sivalokanathar Temple, Tirupunkur – Legends
Nanthanar a farm worker belonging to backward community was a staunch Shiva devotee harbouring a desire to worship Shiva in Chidambaram. But his boss denied him leave. He was hoping Naalai Pogalam – let me go tomorrow. That tomorrow came when his boss granted him leave. Nanthanar was passing through this place where he desired to have the darshan of Lord Sivalokanathar but Nandi was in the way.
The Dwarapalakas informed the Lord that Nanthanar was there for his darshan. Lord ordered Nandhi to move a little so that Nanthanar could have a comfortable darshan. This is a temple that honoured a devotee of highest standard of Bhakti. He is the only Dalit saint in the Nayanars. He is generally counted as the eighteenth in the list of 63 Nayanars.
Kulam Vettiya Pillaiyar:
Nanthanar decided to build a pond near the temple for the anointing Lord Shiva by Goddess Parvathi but it was a huge task for him, hence he prayed the Lord to help him. Lord Shiva asked Lord Ganapathi to help him to build a pond and hence Ganapathi called as Kulam Vettiya Vinayagar here. In remembering the event, there is a shrine for Kulam Vettiya Pillayar meaning Lord Vinayaka who dug the tank.
People who worshipped Shiva here:
Indhra, Agasthyar, Bhrama, Surya and Chandra, Patanjali & Vyagrapada, the Sapta Kannikas and the Vanaras who had gone in search of Seetha Devi (in the Ramayanam) are said to have worshipped here.
Sundarar brought rain to this area:
Sundarar is said to have miraculously brought rain to provide much needed relief from a prolonged drought upon request by Kalikkaama Naayanaar of Tirupperumangalakkudi a village nearby. It is believed that Sundarar had to further sing hymns to stop the deluge that threatened the village following his rendition of hymns.
Agasthiyar got darshan of Shiva Marriage here:
It is one of the temples where Agasthiar got the Dharshan of Shiva’s marriage with Parvati.
Tri Purams as Dwarapalakas and Drummer:
It is believed that the two of the three vain asuras of the Tri-Purams after their defeat became Dwarapalakas and the third one became Nataraja’s drummer here. The Nataraja image here is of great beauty and in this shrine is an image of a celestial playing the Panchamukha Vadhyam.
The legend goes that once upon a time, there was an interesting debate between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi as to who looks more charming. Lord took out a Darbhai and made three ‘knots’, throwing down the earth, saying wherever this Darbhai falls, He will make a statement on her beauty. The Darbhai fell on the ground and got converted as ‘Pancha lingams’. These ‘Panchalingams’ are situated in this temple is something special to worship. According to legends, worshipping these Panchalingams removes marriage problems, serpent related sins.