Sivagurunathar temple at Sivapuram is one temple I had been wanting to visit for a long time. Finally, I made my first visit to Sivapuram during my latest trip in February/March 2014. The Lord is a Swayanbhu or self manifested here. The Lord is also known as Sivagurunathaswamy, Sivapureeswarar, Brahmapureeswarar and Sivapuranathar. His consort here is Singaravalli. She is also known as Aryambal or Periyanayaki. Shenbagam is the sthal vruksham and Chandra Pushkarni opposite to the temple is the theertham.
This ancient temple is said to be around 200 years old and was built by the Cholas. The five tiered Gopuram is facing East. As you enter the temple there is a Shrine for Kalabhairavar facing North and to your right. Suryan and Chandran have also worshipped at this temple. One can see the koshta murthys of Narthana Vinayakar, Lingothbhavar, Brahma, Lingothbavar and Durga. The shrine for Goddess Singaravalli is facing south. There are also the idols of the four Saivite saints or Nalvar, signifying that the temple is a Padal Petra Sthalam and that all four of them have sung in praise of the Lord here.
Legend has it that Ravana once went to Kailash and sought Lord Shiva’s audience. He was however stopped by Nandi as Ravana was neither mentally nor physically pure. Kubera who had also come there seeking the Lord’s audience supported Ravana and thus incurred the wrath of Nandi. Nandi cursed Kubera to be born as a greedy King. He was born as King Thanapathy who was extremely greedy for wealth. King Thanapathy who ruled from his capital situated near Sivapuram once came to this village to worship Lord Shiva. He chanced upon a copper plate which stated that by sacrificing a male child without any scar on the body had to be sacrificed on Mahashivaratri which falls on a Pradosham day, one can get a lot of wealth. It also said that the parents of the child should be holding the child at the feet and the head while the body should be cut and abishegam to be performed to the Shivalingam withe the blood.
King Thanapathy was greedy and would do anything to get wealthier. He identified a poor Brahmin couple’s child that matched the requirement. On the Mahashivaratri day falling on Pradosham the child was cut while the helpless parents held on to the feet and head of their child. The child prayed to Goddess Singaravalli, who requested Lord Shiva to stop the macabre act. Lord Shiva then told that this was being done only to absolve Kubera of the curse. The child was Agni Deva and Indra and his wife Indrani were the parents of the child. It is said that blood stain is still present on the Shiva Lingam here. It is said that the child is present as the parrot in the hand of Durga.
Another legend associated with this temples is connected to the Varaha Avataram. Again Nandi was the once who cursed, this time Vishnu was at the receiving end of the curse. Lord Vishnu had once come to the temple here to pray to Lord Shiva. Nandi came in the way and Lord Vishnu asked him to move aside which angered Nandi who cursed Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu took a dip in the Varaha tank (I understand that this is adjacent to the Mahavishnu temple at Malayppanallur which is enroute Kumbakonam) and prayed to Lord Sivagurunathar here to be absolved of the curse. Lord Shiva asked Lord Vishnu to worship Him in a place where the Lord was present along with Rahu and Guru. Accordingly, Lord Vishnu worshipped Lord Dakshinamurthy present in the southern corridor of the temple along with Rahu, and was absolved of the curse. The serpant that is usually seen on Lord’s neck is seen near the feet of Dakshinamurthy. This rare combination of Rahu and Guru is probably unique to this temple.
The Kala Bhairavar here that I mentioned earlier is facing east and His mount, the dog is to His left and seems to be sniffing at the skull in Bhairavar’s left hand. It is believed that all the prayers of the devotees are carried by the dog to Lord Bhairavar. There is no seperate shrine for the Navagrahas and this is an indication of the age of the temple.
It is believed that this village is very holy and there are Shivalingams under the ground here. The Saivite saints of Lore were aware of this and did not place their feet on the ground here, as that would be great disrespect to the Lord. They therefore did angapradakshinam (rolling over) to reach the temple.
The childless are blessed with progeny by doing abishegam to the Goddess and observing fast for eleven consecutive fridays. The other worship benefit includes removal of all doshas including the navagraha doshas and good health of children.
The sun’s rays fall on the Shivalingam on the 3rd, 4th and 5th of the tamil month of Chithirai. On the eighth day of Krishnapaksham homam and special pujas are performed to Kala Bhairavar.
The Bronze Nataraja idol at this temple was stolen in the early 1950s and was restored in 1980s. There are a few other idols which were stolen but unfortunately could not be traced. Here is a nice blog for more details.
Sivapuram is located about 6 kms from Kumbakonam. As you proceed on the Kumbakonam Thirunageswaram road, there is a new road under construction, take a right turn into this road. Just after a small bridge take a left turn that will lead you to Sivapuram.
View Around Kumbakonam in a larger map
Other temples nearby:
Prathyangara Devi temple, Ayyavadi
Amrithakaleswarar Koil , Sakkottai
Karu kakkum Nayaki, Karuvalarcheri
Sargunalingeswarar Temple, Maruthanallur
Arulmigu Singaravalli Sametha Sivagurunathaswamy temple
Sakkottai Post – 612401
6 AM to 11 AM & 4.30 PM to 8.00 PM. However, please do check with the temple priest before going as this temple is not visited by many. If you are planning to do puja or archanai here please carry all puja materials with you.