Thirumoolanathar Temple, Poovalur, Trichy
|Architectural style:||Dravidian architecture|
Legend / Local stories
Resurrection of Manmatha:
This Temple is especially connected with the legend of Manmathan. Shiva had burnt Manmatha to ashes after he tried to divert his attention by aiming arrows of love at him. A grief struck Rathi Devi prays to Shiva to restore her husband back to life. It is here that Rathi Devi got back Manmatha, the God of Love, by praying to Thirumoolanathar. As Manmathan is believed to have sugarcane bow and flower arrow, he is also known as Poovaliyan and this place came to be known as Puvaliur which in due course, became Puvalur or Poovalur.
Place for Salvation:
This is also an ancient temple where Brahma, Indra, Agni and Manmathan attained salvation.
It is also believed that the Saptha Rishis got Knowledge after praying here and hence the Lord is called Gnanapureeswarar.
Equivalent to Gaya:
Another legend relates to the river Phalguni flowing near the temple. A rishi wanted to perform rituals for his ancestors. As there was no river at that time, he thought of performing it at Gaya. Before leaving this place, he prayed to Shiva in this temple and the Lord threw his anklet (Silambu in Tamil) and Ganges started flowing. Hence those who are unable to proceed to Gaya for Sraddha ceremony, perform it here. This legend is similar to the legend in Samavedeeswarar temple in Thirumangalam.
As per the legend, the Devas sought help of Manmatha (Kamadeva) to awaken Shiva, who was in deep meditation. They wanted Shiva to protect them by fighting the Asuras. As they did not have guts to approach the Lord themselves, they persuaded Manmatha to perform this task. Manmatha released flower arrows from his bow aiming at Shiva. The flowers hit Shiva and he turned very furious. He opened his third eye and turned Manmatha into ashes. It is believed that Manmatha released his flower arrows from this village and hence this village is called as Poovalur. The word “Poo” in Tamil language means the flower.
Manmatha’s wife Rathi worshiped Shiva in this village and got him back alive. Hence, this village is also called as Manmathapuram.
People worshipped Lord Shiva here:
It is believed that Brahma, Manmatha, Indra, Chandra and Agni also worshipped Lord Shiva in this temple.
How to Reach:
The Temple is situated the Trichy – Ariyalur Road. The Temple is located just opposite to Poovalur Panguni Paalam Bus Stop, The Temple is located at about 650 meters from Poovalur Bus Stop, 350 meters from Poovalur Bypass Bus Stop, 3 Kms from Lalgudi, 6 Kms from Mandurai, 18 Kms from Srirangam and 25 Kms from Trichy. Nearest Railway Stations are located at Lalgudi (4 Kms), Kattur (4 Kms) and Trichy (29 Kms). Nearest Airport is located at Trichy (30 Kms).