Saivite Temples, Uthiramerur Taluk


Vyagrapureeswarar, facing east


Amirthagujambal, facing south

Other Deities

Vigneswara, Muruga with consorts, Bhairava, Veerabadra, Surya, Chandran, Navagraha, Naalvar, Narasimha, Vishnudurgai. Sanctum Niches – Mahaganapathi, Simha Dakshinamurthy, Mahavishnu, Brahma, Durga, Chandikeswara

Thirupulivanam is a large east facing temple with a 3 tiered Rajagopuram at the east facing entrance. A deep temple tank is outside in the front alongside a large Mantapam, said to be the Vasantha Mantapam. A large Nandi is also outside in a small Mantapam facing the Lord inside. An spacious outer Prakaram follows once you enter through the Rajagopuram. The Sanctum Sanctorum is reached passing through six doorways which get narrower and a level higher as you go inside. The Dwarapalakas at the entrance of the Sanctum Sanctorum are very large and majestic. The main deity is thus about 15 feet above ground. Vyagrapureeswarar is a slender, tall Lingam with the pug marks of the Tiger, hair tied on top (Jadamudi) and is said to be a Swayambumoorthy (Self-occurring). The Aavudayar is square in shape on top of a Lotus design. The Inner Prakaram is a raised corridor around the Sanctum Sanctorum which is in a depression. The Dakshinamurthy here at Thirupulivanam is large and is a rare form called Simha Dakshinamurthy holding down a lion under his feet. On his left side are Vyagrapadhar with his consort, Kulothunga with his queen and Surya riding a lion. On his right side are Sage Pathanjali with his consort, 2 Kingiriyars and Chandran riding a Tiger. The Dakshinamurthy here is also considered as Arthanari (embodiment of man & woman) as below his feet are Muyalagan on one side and the lion representing Goddess Kali is on the other side. All the idols around the Sanctum Niches are large and majestic. The large Vinayaka seated on Eka Padha posture (sitting one legged) is truly majestic and is on a beautiful pedestal. A carving of Narasimha is in a pillar behind the Sanctum Sanctorum and also on the Vimaanam. The Sanctum Sanctorum is in the form of a Gajaparstham (reclining elephant). It is said that there are two tunnels running between the temple and Kancheepuram on one side and Uthiramerur on the other side. Twice in a year as the Sun traverses from south to north and north to south (January – February and June-July) the rays fall on the back wall of the deity without casting a shadow. The Amman shrine is separate with a Mantapam in front which has some good carvings of deities in the pillars. In the outer Prakaram is the Samadhi (burial spot) of Vyagrapadha Sidhdhar (not to be confused with Sage Vyagrapadhar) with a Lingam installed on top. The sixteen pillared Mantapam here, denoting the 16 types of wealth, has carvings of Tiger worshipping Lingam, Cow shedding milk on lingam, Kannappa Nayanar, Mahishasuramardhini, Anjaneya, Indra and more. Outside is an old Mantapam called the Indra Mantapam.

Holy Water (Theertham) – Vyagra Theertham

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Vilwam (Aegle marmelos)


There are many stone inscriptions here which mention the Lord of Thirupulivanam as Thirupulivalamudaiya Nayanar, Aaludaiyar Thirupulivalamudaiyar and Pulivalam. According to the inscriptions Rajendra Chola 1, Kulothunga Chola 1, Aparajitha Vikrama Varman, Paranthaga Chola 1, Sambhuvarayars, Kopperunsinga, Jadaavarman Sudarapandiyan, Vijayanagara Kings, Raashtrakooda Kings and many others have contributed to the development and maintenance of Thirupulivanam temple. Thirupulivanam is an Abhimana Sthalam based on its importance for worship. It is also thought that Pulivalam mentioned by Thirunaavukarasar (7th Century CE) in his Thevaram Hymns could be this temple. The temple has been mentioned in the Hymns of Vallalar and Pattinathar.


Sage Vyagrapaadha has worshipped the lord here at Thirupulivanam in the form of a tiger. He got angry one day to see someone else had performed the rituals and in anger tore at the garlands on the Lingam, thus imprinting his pugmarks on the main deity. Realizing the mistake he embraced the Lingam and shed tears. The lord appeared blessing the tiger, thus the place came to be known as Pulivalam.

Parantaka Chola is said to have come here in search of a remedy for his disease, stayed, worshiped the Lord and got cured.

Kulothunga Chola’s chariot got struck here in a place called Aanai Pallam. The Lord appeared in the form of a Tiger and the king launched his arrow hurting its leg – the place is Karuveppampoondi. It ran away and chasing it launched the second arrow which hit its mouth – Pulivoy. The third arrow hit the tiger in its stomach at a place called Puthari (now Puthali). The Lord appeared and the King regretted his mistake.


Thirupulivanam is 5 kilometers north of Uthiramerur in the Magaral, Kancheepuram road.

Stay and Food

None locally. Closest is Uthiramerur.

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