Paampuranathar Temple, Thirupampuram – The Temple
The majestic East facing temple has three storied Raja Gopuram. Presiding Deity is called as Seshapureeswarar / Pambeesar / Pampuranathar / Pambureeswarar / Sarpeswarar / Naganathar. Mother is called as Vandaar Poonkuzhali / Bramarambal / Bramaramigai / Vanduserkuzhali / Maamalayatti. The lingam is a small and beautiful. Aadhi Sesha Theertham is the sacred tank of the temple is found just opposite to the temple tower. Lord Shiva in the temple is a Swayambumurthy.
Planets Rahu and Ketu unlike separately in other temples, they are here in a single body having Lord in their mind. Those who worship Raghu-Kethu, the Lord and the Goddess of this holy place are expiated from their sins. Their wishes are also fulfilled. Raghu and Kethu who are responsible for this greatness have their shrine located in the North-East corner. Thirupampuram has the combined power of the other five holy places namely, Kudanthai, Thirunageswaram, Nagore, Keezha Perum Pallam and Kalahasthi.
This is the place where the Panchalingam represents the five faces of the Lord. Since Rahu and Kethu assumed and lived in a single body and worshiped Lord Shiva, this holy place is known as Raghu-Kethu Sthalam. Vinayaga is seated at the base of the flag staff facing east and blesses all. The Altar and the Nandhi are seen along with the flag staff (the flag staff is ruined). The temple has the regular features - Sanctum, Artha mandapam, Maha Mandapam and Mukha Mandapam. In the Southern courtyard (prakaram) the deity of Thirumalai Easwaran is found.
There’s a Niche temple at the southern side for Lord Siva, the deity is called Thirumalai Eswarar. Dhakshinamoorthy has been consecrated to the south of the Koshtas. Sattainathar has a separate Sannidhi above the Vimana of the Sanctum. He has been portrayed as in Sirkazhi temple. By climbing the steps at Malaiyeesvarrar, one can worship the Sattainathar statue (which is made up of Sudhai) over the Sanctum Santorum. Lord Vinayakar of this sacred place (Thala Vinayagar) named Rajaji Pillaiyar is found in the Western court of the temple. Next to this Lord Muruga manifested himself with Valli and Daivayannai.
The holy tree of this sacred place viz., Vanni Maram (Prosopis Spicegera) is estimated more than 250 years. Nagar statute with five heads was consecrated under the Vanni tree. A statue of Lord Muruga along with his mount peacock can be seen under the Vanni tree. Aadhi Pamburesar graces the devotees seated at the trunk of this holy tree. He is known by his name Vaneeswarar. On the Eastern side Bhairavar, Surya, Vishnu, Brahma, Panchalingams, Adhiseshan, Raghu - Kethu, Saneeswara, Thirugnana Sambandar, Appar, Sundarar and Manickavasagar are found in a separate Hall.
The central shrine of the Lord consists of three parts viz., Mahamandapam, Artha Mandapam and Sanctum Sanctorum (Karuvarai). In the Sanctum Sanctorum the shrine of the Lord Pamburesuvarar manifests himself in the shape of Suyambhu Lingam. The procession idol of Adhishesha manifests himself worshiping the Lord in the Sanctum Sanctorum. The procession idols are kept safely in the Mahamandapam. Lord Somaskandar finds a separate place in the south of the Mahamandapam. The dancing Lord Nataraja is also found in the Mahamandapam. Among the procession idols here, the idol of Lord Muruga is a feast for the eyes. He is adorned with his Vajra and holy Spear while trampling on the peacock with his left foot. At the northern part of the Artha mandapam, an idol of Goddess Durga has been consecrated. There is a moat encompassing the sannidhi with three sides of the moat covered by the mandapam.
The Goddess Vandu Ser Kuzhali (also referred to as Pramarambikai, Mamalaiyatti and Vandar Poonkuzhali) manifests herself facing east at the left side of the Lord in the Northern court. She graces the devotees with her four hands holding the lotus, granting the boon with the second, dispelling the fear with the third and holding the sacred beads of “Urththrakka Malai” (Eloeorpus) in the fourth. The Ambal has the lotus in one palm and the rudraksha garland in the other, with the Varada hasta and Abaya Hastha mudras blessing devotees.
Rahu Kethu Sannidhi:
The ancient scripture states that Rahu and Kethu worshipped the Lord and received his blessings in one body. Hence devotees who worship the Lord Ambal and Rahu – Kethu in this temple are rid of all their sins. The sannidhi for Rahu – Kethu is situated in the north – east corner in a separate sannidhi. It is extremely beneficial to perform archanas and abishekam in the Rahu Kaalam (the Rahu time of the day) as these remove all evils and confer blessings.
The copper idols cast between the 12th century and 19th century at different periods of time is guarded safely in the Thirupampuram Temple. The four armed idol of Vinayagar with its ornamental arch (prabhai) must have been made during the 13th century. This idol is now being worshiped as “Kanni Moolai Ganapathy”. The trunk of the Ganapathy made out of copper is found holding a fruit. The Chandrasekharar idol is one of the oldest idols. It belongs to 13th century.
Pradosha Nayakar idol belongs to the period of Cholas. The God and Goddess manifest themselves on the lotus seat with its leaves. These are considered as the Peria Thevar and Nachiyar Idols. Lord Shiva’s rear hand hold a deer and battle–axe and one of the front hands shows the sign of dispelling fear and assuring protection (Abhayam) and the other hand embraces the Goddess.
Aadalvallan idol has four arms and is found in a dancing pose overlooked by Sivakami and with a big arch behind. The big arch contains 25 flames of fire (blazes). Lord Nataraja is found on a lotus seat with leaves with his plaited locks of hair hanging on either side. Each side contains five plaited locks of hair. In one plaited locks of hair manifests Ganga with her head bent. Lord is wearing Cobra ear rings on his ears and is also found wearing a string of beads around his neck and other ornaments such as bracelets on his hands.
Two sets of idols of Subramanyar along with Valli and Devayani are found in this Temple. There is a bigger idol of Subramaniyar in a standing pose representing the destruction of Asura the Demon. He keeps his left leg pressed on the back of a small pea-cock. The peacock is found holding a snake between its beaks. He is carrying the low arrow in his front hands.
The usual ornaments are decorating his chest. He is dressed up to his waist. The right leg is found with a shoe and is placed on the floor. Valli and Daivayannai are found in their usual shapes. Sivakami appears with a crown on her head, ornaments around her neck one hand imitating as if holding a flower and with another hand resting upon the seat.
The other idols are Palliyarai Chokkar, Chandikeswarar, Gnana Sambandhar, Appar Swamigal, Sundaramoorthy Swamigal, Manickavasagar Swamigal, Yogasakthi Amman, Cholaththevar, Mariamman, Chelliamman, Adipura Amman, Somaskandar, all are kept in the Mahamandapam. Adhiseshan idol is kept in the Pampuranathar Karuvarai (Sanctum Sanctorum).