Thenupuriswarar Temple




Thenupuriswarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Shiva located in the holy village of Patteeswaram, Tamil Nadu, India. Shiva is worshiped as Thenupuriswarar, and is represented by the lingam. His consort Parvati is depicted as Nyanambikai (Somakamalambigai). The presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the Nayanars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam. The temple is associated with the legend of Sambandar to whose view Nandi moved to have a direct view of the presiding deity. Muthupandal festival celebrated in the temple in associated with the legend.

The temple complex covers around four acres and entered through a seven tiered gopuram, the main gateway. The temple has a number of shrines, with those of Thenupuriswarar, his consort Somakamalambigai and Durga, being the most prominent. All the shrines of the temple are enclosed in large concentric rectangular granite walls.

The temple has six daily rituals at various times from 6:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and four yearly festivals on its calendar. The Brahmotsavam festival is celebrated during the month of the Chittirai (April – May) is the most prominent festival.

The original complex is believed to have been built by Cholas, while the present masonry structure was built during the Nayak during the 16th century. In modern times, the temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
The temple was originally believed to have been built by Cholas Most of the Chola temples built during the period of 866 and 1004 CE is associated with certain military events or political campaign. Govinda Dikshitar, the minister of Raghunatha Nayak took special interest in the temple as he was staying at Pateeswaram. Various bathing ghats and Pushyamandapas were built during his regime in various temples in the region. There are two inscriptios in the temple dating back to the 12th century. The first recorded inscription numbered 21 G of 1908 is from the period of Veeraprathapa Devarayar during 1199 indicating the building of a temple tank, a hall and gifts to the temple. 21 H.08 is made during 1137 during the same regime indicating modifications done to the temple and gifts worth 9.5 velis of land to the temple. There are five inscriptions dating back to 16th century during the Nayak period. One of them indicates the prevalent culture of presenting the goddess with a saree when families in the village arrange a marriage. Another inscription glorifies the temple and equates the holiness of this temple with Vridagiriswarar temple, Thyagarajar temple, Thiruvengadu temple at Thiruvengadu, Thiruchayakadu and Kailasa. There is another inscription near the Balipeeda that indicates about the prevalence of Thirunavukarasara Mutt, Thirugnanasambandar Mutt and Thirumoolathevar Mutt. The temple owns around 41 acres and 61 cents of Nanjai lands and 100 acre and 91 cents of Punjai lands. The temple was originally administered by Kumbakonam Devastana committee till 7th August 1945 when it was shifted to Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department, Government of Tamil Nadu.

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