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54. Omampuliyur


Location: Omampuliyur (South Arcot) near Chidambaram, Kaattumannaarkudi
(Chola-North of Kaveri)
Shiva: Tuyartheerthanathar, Pranavapureeswarar
Ambal: Poonkodinayaki, Pushpalalitambika
Vriksham: Ilandai
Theertham: Kollidam
Other: One of the 5 Puliyur shrines
Patikam : Sambandar
Travel Base: Chidambaram
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Description: This shrine is located at a distance of 18km from Kutralam on the Mayiladuturai Kumbhakonam railroad, and at a distance of 30 km from Chidambaram. The Dakshinamurthy shrine is of significance here. This shrine is also one of the five Puliyurs associated with Vyagrapadar. It is considered to be the 31st  in the series of the Tevara Stalams located in Chola Nadu north of the river Kaveri.

Legends: Shiva Dakshinamurthy is said to have revealed the Pranva Upadesam to Parvati, and hence the name Pranavavyagrapuram. The name Omaampuliyur is said to have been derived from this legend (Om Aam Puliyur).

A hunter who climbed the vilva tree as he was pursued by a tiger attained salvation here. Vyagrapadar (the saint with tiger's claws and feet) is said to have worshipped here, as in Perumpuliyur, Erukkattampuliyur, Paatirippuliyur and Perumpatrappuliyur (Chidambaram).

The Temple: This temple with a three tiered Rajagopuram faces the east. Images illustrating the stala puraanam of this temple are seen in the front mandapam. One of these depicts Shiva blessing Vishnu with the Chakrayudam while the other depicts five of the Puliyurs.

A stone image of Nataraja is seen on the niche reserved for Dakshinamurthy in the sanctum, while Dakshinamurthy occupies the grand Sabha, usually set for Natarajar.

Shiva here is also known as Pranava Vyagrapureeswarar. Inscriptions in this temple speak of endowments made by Kopperunchingan of the later Pallavas (1257 CE).

Festivals: Four worship services are offered each day, and Thai Poosam, Maasi Magam, Navaratri and Sivaratri are the annual festivals celebrated here.

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