Tirumurugan Poondi

Sri Thirumuruganatharswamy temple

Sri Thirumuruganatharswamy temple is in Tirumurugan Poondi, 4km from Avinashi, on the route to Tiruppur.
Sri  Thirumuruganathar Swamy temple is one of the seven Shivasthalams in the Kongu region.  It's an ancient temple, said to be more than 2,000 years old, though the present structure belongs to the Ninth century CE.  The presiding deity is Sri Thirumuruganather Swamy, an aspect of Shiva.

Just past the entrance is an open courtyard, with a deepasthambam of modest size.  Beyond that is an age-worn mandapam, the pillars of which have been reinstalled.  The first sannidhi is that of Sri Subramanya/Murugan.  Here He is known as Sri Shanmuganathar, with six faces, astride his favorite Mayil (peacock) vehicle, flanked by Valli and Devayanai.

The story goes that after the destruction of soorapadma and his asuric hordes, Sri Subramanya was afflicted with the taint of killing the demons, and was also physically and mentally drained.  He then came here to pray to Lord Shiva.  Sri Murugan bathed in the theerthams here and installed the Lingam.  He was absolved of the taint after worshipping here, it is said.  He also recovered His mental and physical poise.  There are images of two Murugans at the entrance, one showing Him depressed and the other, happy.  Since Shiva was invoked by Sri Murugan here, He came to be known as Sri Thirumuruganathar Swamy (Shiva, the Lord of Muruga).

In the sanctum is Sri Thirumuruganathar Swamy, in the Lingam form.  His divine consort, in a separate shrine, is Sri Muyangu Poonmulai Valliammai, in a standing posture.  After years of neglect the temple is showing signs of recovery.  Since much of the temple has been excavated, the temple proper is at a lower level.  It is now a protected monument.

A Nataraja idol belonging to this temple is now kept in a safe custody in Sri Lingeswarar Swamy temple, in Avinashi.  The idol is brought here for ceremonial occasions.  There are several priceless sculptures here.  One of them narrates the Avinashi episode, in which Sri Sundarar rescued a boy from a crocodile.  Others depict Sri Dundarar and Cheraman, the ruler of ancient Kerala, going together to Kailash, Karaikal Ammayar crawling her way, also to Kailash, besides assorted musicians and dancers.

Sri Madhavineswarar temple

Sri Madhavineswarar temple, adjunct to this temple, is regarded as Kethu kshetram.  There is a sub-shrine for Kethu here.  Poojas are done for those afflicted with the Kethu dosham.  Sage Durvasa is said to have installed the Lingam in Sri Madhavineswarar's shrine.  Sri Mangalambigai is the divine consort.  Sage Markandeya is said to have worshipped here.  Outside, in the open yard, under a tree, is Sri Ganesha, surrounded by various snake deities.

There are plety of inscriptions in Thirumurugan Poondi.  There is reference to Marudhamalai Murugan shrine.  Inscriptions also speak of Sundarar, who was very depressed after he lost the jewels gifted to him by a Chera ruler.  The jewels were reportedly stolen by Shiva in disgiuise.  There is a place in the temple where Shiva returned the jewels to Sundarar.  The Lord, obviously, wanted the saint to realize that there was no need for him to take gifts offered by a ruler, when He was there to fulfil the needs of devotees.

Sri Thirumuruganathar Swamy is now famous for helping people with mental illnesses.  Those afflicted by depression, etc., stay here for 24 or 48 days, bathe in the morning and evenings at the three theerthams (three were originally seven), and worship the presiding deity.  The afflictions are said to disappear totally.

How to get there:  Thirumurugan Poondi is only 4km from Avinashi, en route to Tiruppur, 7 km from here.  Tiruppur is the nearest railway station. 

Quickly Find What You Are Looking For