near Thirupugalur, which lies between Nagapatinam, Nannilam and
Kumbakonam, is one of the 108 Vaishnava sthalas (Divya Kshetrams).
The moolavar’s name is Neelamegam and the utsavar is Savuriraja
The idol appears in an unusual posture here in this temple. Instead
of blessing the devotees, he appears to be in a receiving posture,
meaning that he is accepting the sorrows and difficulties of the
The utsavar is known as Savuriraja Perumal as he appears with ‘savuri’
(hair) on his head. There is a story related to the ‘savuri’.
The temple priest presented a garland, as was the practice, that
had adorned the deity, to the Chola king who visited the temple.
But the priest had actually given the garland to a dancer attached
to the temple, who had arrived before the king.
When the king arrived, the priest, who had no garland to give him,
sent for the one he had given to the dancer. The king who received
the garland noticed a strand of hair in the garland and became furious.
To escape from his wrath, the priest told the king that the Lord
had a tuft of hair and that strand of hair was from the tuft. To
save the priest, the Lord too appeared with a black ‘savuri’
in front of the king. From that day on, He has been known as ‘Savuriraja
Apart from this, one can see a scar on the utsavar’s right
brow. The scar is said to be the outcome of Thirukannapurathu Araiyar’s
anguish when the temple walls were demolished by foreigners. In
a fit of sorrow, he threw the plate and it struck the idol on his
brow and fell. This left a scar on the deity, we are told.
As Tirupati is famous for its ‘laddu’ and Srirangam
is famous for ‘payasam’, Thirukannapuram is famous for
‘muniyodharan pongal’. There is a story behind this
too. Collecting the tributes and handing it over to the Chola king
was the job of Muniyodharar. Once, instead of giving the money to
the king, Muniyodharar spent it on some temple work.
This made the king angry and Muniyodharar was imprisoned. His wife
was struck with grief and she approached the Lord and said if her
husband was not get released within five days, she would jump into
the fire and die. The Lord appeared in the king’s dream and
ordered him to release Muniyodharar. The king did so. Later, Muniyodhara,
when his wife served him ‘pongal’, offered it to God
and then ate the delicacy.
The next day, the temple priests were surprised to see pongal rolling
down with ghee on the body of the Lord. When they came to know about
what had happened and why, they praised and thanked the Lord for
his mercy and grace. From that day, it has become a tradition to
offer ‘pongal’ to the lord at midnight in this temple.
There is no ‘Swarga Vasal’ for this temple as they say
that one can reach ‘Vaikunta’ if they just step on this
soil. It is believed that there is a ‘pulling power’
in the sanctum santorum of this temple and even to this day, one
can feel and experience this effect.
The devotees offer savuri to the
lord when their wishes are fulfilled and one who worships Lord Savuriraja
Perumal is granted his/her wishes whether it be a job or promotion
or progress in personal life.
Thaayaar - Kannapuranayagi (Sridevi, Boodevi, Aandaal, Padmini).
Theertham - Nithyapushkarini