Om Nama Shivaya
Tamil Nadu, the land of temples, is home to thousands of Shiva temples. Each and every temple has its own legend and historical significance associated with it. Among them, the 276 Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Temples, where the Devaram Hymns were rendered, are greatly revered. 261 of these temples are located in Tamil Nadu, two in Andhra Pradesh, four in Puducherry, one each in Karnataka and Kerala, four in North India, one in Nepal while two are in Sri Lanka.
Devaram hymns were rendered by three great Saiva Poet-Saints and scholars - Thirugnanasambanthar, Thirunavukkarasar (Appar) and Sundaramurthy Nayanar (Sundarar). These “Devara Moovars” graced these temples with their presence and rendered Pathigams (hymns) praising the lord at these temples. Although the saints belonged to different centuries, it is intriguing to note that some of the temples were visited by all three or by two of these great poets. It is incredible to imagine how they could have travelled to these distant places during that era, considering the difficult travel conditions and lack of lodging facilities. Presumably, their devotion to Lord Shiva enabled them to overcome these hardships and succeed in their goal of attaining salvation.
It is pertinent to mention here that these great Saints were blessed with the vision of Lord Shiva himself, that has been mentioned in their hymns. It is further believed that in some of the Devara Shiva Sthalams, they performed miracles by rendering the Hymns. For example, in a place called Thirumarugal, the power of Thirugnanasambanthar’s hymns brought a man back to life after he was bit by a snake. Similarly, in Avinasi, Sundarar resurrected a boy who had died three years ago after being swallowed by a crocodile.
Enthused by the greatness of these temples, I started visiting these temples and documenting the details and history associated with each temple. Through this website, I have tried to provide accurate information about the Devara Sthalams I have visited so far - the exact location, legend, uniqueness and contact details of temple authorities. I have also provided photographs and the Pathigam (Hymn) rendered by the Saints associated with the particular temple, along with its English transliteration. I hope this website will be useful for devotees and visitors interested in seeking information about these great historical landmarks.
My name is A.V. Muthukumaraswamy Sivam. I belong to a family of priests hailing from the temple town of Vaitheeswaran Koil. I spent nearly four decades in New Delhi for work, in managerial positions at various organizations and industrial conglomerates. After serving as an Associate Vice President (Corporate Affairs) and Director at a huge industrial conglomerate, I retired from work at the end of 2014. I am now settled in Puducherry, where I serve on the board of a software company (Abhayam Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd.) started by my son.
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