Sri Pataleswarar Temple Thirupathiripuliyur

Sri Pataleswarar Temple
Sri Pataleswarar Temple

Sri Pataleswarar Temple is ascribed to Bhagwan Shiva. This temple is situated at Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu.  The puranic names for the Cuddalore town are Thirupathiri Puliyur, Paadali Puthiram, Chadur Vedhi Mangalam, Kanni Vanam, Vada Puliyur, Kadai Gnazhal and Koodalor Pudhu Nagaram. It is in the southside of Tamilnadu.

Sri Pataleswarar Temple is one of the Padal Pettra Sthalam temples. This means that the temple is glorified in Saivism holy literature. This temple is one of the Nava (nine) Puliyur temples. Puliyur temples are those which were worshipped by the Sage Patanjalai and Sage Vyagra Pada (the Sage who had human body and tiger legs).


There are a few legends pertaining to this temple.

Dice game

Once, Bhagwan Shiv and Sri Parvathi Devi were playing a game of dice. Though Sri Parvathi Devi kept winning all the time, Bhagwan Shiv had playfully denied Her victory.

Sri Gowri was annoyed. She told Sri Shiv, “Let me close Your eyes for a while; If I had really lost, let Your closed eyes sparkle.” Saying so, He had closed His eyes for a moment.

Though it was only for a moment, the closure of His eyes caused havoc in the entire universe. It was dark allover. Sri Parvathi had realized Her mistake. She had immediately removed Her hands from His eyes.

Sri Pataleswarar Temple
Goddess Parvathi Devi playfully closing Bhagwan Shiv’s eyes – depiction

She had asked Sri Shiv ways to repent Her deeds. Sri Shiv had asked Her to visit one thousand and eight Shiv Temples on the earth. She was also asked to select a place for Her penance. Sri Shiv told Her that She should select a place where She felt vibration on the left eye and shoulder for doing the penance.

Sri Parvathi Devi had accordingly commenced Her visits to the Shiv temples. When She reached Thirupathiri Puliyur, She had felt some sensation and vibration in Her left eye and shoulder.

Sri Pataleswarar Temple
Sri Parvathi Devi on penance – depiction

She had surmised that the place was suitable for penance. She immediately commenced Her penance on Bhagwan Shiv at that place.

Sri Appar

Sri Appar is one of the four samaya kuravars, the chief propagators of Shiva worship. He was named as Dharmasenar. He and his sister Thilagavathiar were living in this place.

Thilagavathiar was the staunch devotee of Bhagwan Shiv whereas Dharmasena was the followe of some other cult. Though Thilakavathy tried to turn her brother to the worship of bhagwan Shiv, she did not succeed.

One day, Dharmasena was afflicted with severe stomach pain. No amount of medicine could cure him. Thilagavathy asked her brother to worship Bhagwan Shiv to ger rid of the stomach ache. As a last resort, he did worship Bhagwan Shiv. Miraculously, he was cured. From then on, he too became an ardent devotee of Sri Maheshwar.

As believed, the Pallava King Mahendra Varma got bewildered at the change in Dharmasenar. He asked him to revert to the previous cult. Dharmasenar refused. The King had tortured Dharmasenar by tying him to a stone and drowned him in the sea.

With the blessings of Bhagwan Shiva, the stone had become the boat and Dharmasenar had reached the shore safely. Dharmasenar then was known as Sri Appar.

Sri Pataleswarar Temple
Sri Appar on floating stone – depiction

The King was also moved by the steadfastness of Sri Appar in his devotion to Bhagwan Shiv.

The place where Sri Appar reached the shore is known as Karai Era Vitta Kuppam. During Chithirai month, a festival is conducted at the temple in memory of this event.

Sri Appar had composed several hymns on Bhagwan Shiva at this place. This is said to be the only Shiv temple where Sri Appar is in sitting position.


Upamanyu was the son of Sage Vyagra Pada. One day, when He was doing Puja to Bhagwan Shiva had mistakenly hit his feet on Sri Parvathi Devi. Sri Gowri got annoyed and cursed Upamanyu to become a hare.

Upamanyu had wandered hither and thither as a hare and had reached Thirupathiri Puliyur. Once the hare reached the Sthala Vruksha Pathiri tree, the hare had become Upamanyu again. Hence it is believed that the visit to the temple alleviates the sins.

Sri Pataleswarar Temple
Sages worshipping Bhagwan Shiv – depiction

The Poet-Saints Sri Thirunavukkarasar, Sri Thirugnana Sambandar and Sri Arunagirinathar had glorified the Deities of this temple in their hymns.


The temple is constructed following the Dravidian style of architecture.

Sri Pataleswarar Temple
Eshwar Sannidhi Dwajasthambam

The presiding Deity is the Swayambu self-manifested Shiv-Ling known by the name Sri Pataleswarar.

Sri Pataleswarar Temple
Main Sanctum Pillars
Sri Pataleswarar Temple
Beautiful Sculpture

He is also referred as Sri Kanni Vana Nathar, Sri Thondra Thunai Nathar, Sri Kadai Gnazhal Udaya Peruman, Sri Siva Kozhundu Easan, Sri Utharesan, Sri Patala Nathan and Sri Karaiyetrum Piran.

Sri Pataleswarar Temple
Mandapam in praikrama path

His consort Sri Parvathi Devi is known by the name Sri Periya Nayaki Devi, Sri Thogai Ambikai, Sri Arunthava Nayaki and Sri Bruhan Nayaki.

Sri Pataleswarar Temple
Sri Parvathi Devi Sanctum – Dwajasthambam
Sri Pataleswarar Temple
Sri Parvathi Devi Sanctum

Sri Vinayaka has only pathiri flowers in His hands. He is hailed as Sri Kanni Vinayakar. Sri Subramanya in this temple is hailed by Arunagiri Nathar in Thiruppugazh.

Sri Pataleswarar Temple
Devi painting at Sri Periya Nayaki Sanctum
Sri Pataleswarar Temple
Another Devi painting

Another specialty in this temple is that Palliyarai, the sleeping quarters of Bhagwan Shiv is in the sanctum of Sri Shiv only. Sri Parvathi Devi Herself appears here in arupam (formless).

The main sanctum has sculptured stone pillars. In the inner precincts of the main sanctum there are small shrines for various Deities.

Sri Pataleswarar TemplePathiri Tree is the Sthala Vruksham of this temple.

Sri Pataleswarar Temple
Main Sanctum outer precinct


The Theertham pertaining to this temple are Siva Karai, Brahma Theertham, Sivakara Theertham, Paalodai, Kedila river and Then Pennai river.

Sri Pataleswarar Temple
Temple tank


It is believed that worshipping Bhagwan Shiva and Sri Parvathi Devi at this temple is equal to worshipping Bhagwan Viswanath at Kasi for sixteen times, Bhagwan Arunachaleswara in Thiruvannamalai for eight times and Sri Nataraja at Chidambaram for three times.

It is believed that worshipping Bhagwan Shiva and Sri Parvathi at this temple blesses the devotees with peaceful family life.

Sri Pataleswarar Temple
Mandapam near Main Sanctum


It is believed that this temple was built 2000 years ago. The temple is believed to be constructed during medieval Chola and Pallava regimes.


All round the Year, various festivals are held in the temple. The following festivals are prominent.

In Chithirai month (April-May), Vasanthotsavam festival is conducted. This is the ten-day festival commencing on Shukla Paksha Sashti and ending on Chitra Pournami. Appar festival also is observed during this period.

Annual Brahmotsavam festival consisting of procession of Deities twice the day, Thiruvidaichan, Silver Car festival, Rishaba Vahanam Parivettai, Ther festival, Theppam festival etc., spanning thirteen days is observed in Vaikasi month (May-June). The temple car is said to be so broader that it would cover the entire breadth of the street. It is called as Theruvadachan Ther.

During Ani (June-July), Ani Thirumanjanam, the festival of doing Abhisheka Puja to Sri Nataraja Swamy is conducted. In Adi (July-August), Adi Puram, Kuthuvilakku Puja, Sundara Murthy Swamigal Urchavam etc., are held.

Apart from this, Pradosham and other festivals are held in the temple.


The temple is open from 6.00 A.M to 11.00 A.M and from 4.00 P.M to 8.30 P.M.

The temple follows Puja rituals for six times in a day. At 6.00 A.M – Thiruvananthal; At 8.30 A.M – Kalasanthi; At 11.30 A.M – Uchi Kalam; At 5.30 P.M – Sayaratchai; At 7.00 P.M – Irandam Kala Puja; At 8.30 P.M – Artha Jama Puja.

How to reach

The temple is easily reachable by walk from either the bus stand or the railway station in Cuddalore.

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