Sivalokanathar Temple, Tirupunkur – The Temple
This temple is called Thirupungur because the temple was surrounded by Punga trees and Shivalingam and Nandi surfaced from an anthill (small mud mountain (Putru)). Every day at 8.30 pm, even today, a special pooja is performed by Punugu Chattam to the Lord, worshipped by many. Nandhi is huge and stays a few steps away from its original position to give a good view of the Lord to Nanthanar from outside since he was not allowed inside.
In most of the temples Nandhi will have tongue but in this temple Nandhi does not have a tongue. In all the temples, Dwarapalakas at the entrance will be standing straight, but here Dwarapalakas’ face is slightly tilted and positioned diagonal. This is so because Duwarabalas inform the Lord that “Nanadanar has come to have a darshan and is waiting outside to see you”.
Mahaganpathy is called “Kulam Vettiya Vinayagar” (The God who dug pond), and the pond is believed to have been dug up by Lord Ganesh by using his Gana-boothas overnight for Nanthanar to take bath. There is a sculpture of Nanthanar with a bowl in his hand, near the gate. A Panchamukha lingam, representing Shiva’s appearance before Brhamma, is seen under the Sthalavruksham in the Prakaram.
Sthala Vriksham is Punga tree and Theertham is Rishaba theertham. Presiding Deity is known as Shivaloka Nadhar with Sokka Nayaki Amman and Soundaranayaki.