There are three Shiva Temples with Arjuna Tree as a “Sthala-vruksham”. They are
- Srisailam – Mallikarjuna Jyothirlinga Temple, Andhrapradesh
- Thiruvidaimaruthur – Mahalinga Swamy Temple, Tamil nadu
- Thirupudaimaruthur – Putarjuneshwar Temple, Ambasamudhram Taluk, Tirunelveli district, Tamil nadu.
It is called Marudha Maram in Tamil, Arjun in Hindi. In Sanskrit, Arjuna means either bright or white. The flowers of Arjuna tree are white in color
The significance of the Arjuna Tree are mentioned in various Ayurveda texts. Astanga Hridaya of Vagbhata explicitly speaks about the Arjuna tree. The below slokas are in Chapter 15 of Astanga Hridaya and This chapter deals with various herbs which are used in Panchakarma (Ayurveda treatmeents).
न्यग्रोधपिप्पलसदाफलरोध्रयुग्मं जम्बूद्वयार्जुनकपीतनसोमवल्काः प्लाक्षाम्रवञ्जुलप्रियालपलाशनन्दीकोलीकदम्बविरलामधुकं मधूकम्
Nyagrodha, Pippala, Sadaphala, the two Rohra, the two Jambu, Arjuna, Kapitana, Somavalka,
Plaksa, Amra, Vanjula, Piyata, Patasa, Nanon, kon, Kadamba, Virala, Madhuka and Madhuka-
नयग्रोधादिर्गणो व्रण्यः सङ्ग्राही भग्नसाधनः मेदः पित्तास्रतृड्दाहयोनिरोगनिर्बहणः
this nyarodhadi group is good for wounds/ ulcers, cause constipation, unites fractures, cures fat accumulation, bleeding disease, thirst, burning sensation, and diseases of Vagina. 41-42
The flowers, barks, leafs and fruits of Arjuna tree have the capability to cure the heart ailments, even it is being touted as a “Guardian of Heart”. Various Ayurveda texts including Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita speaks about qualities as well as medicinal properties of Arjuna tree.
In this context, this Arjuna tree (Maruda vruksham) is being associated with three shiva temples as mentioned above. Out of this three temples, SriSailam temple in Andhra Pradesh is being the most famous one since it is one among 12 jyothirlinga kshetras and Thiruvidaimaruthur temples is also famous among Aasthikas but not to the extent of Srisailam. However, another Shiva Temple “Thirupudaimaruthur or Putarjuna kshetram in Sanskrit” is not that quite popular.
Thirupudaimaruthur – Kshetra Mahatmyam:
Brahma, Narayana, Mahalakshmi, Saraswati and all devas requested Mahadeva to show them the great place to worship him in Bharatavarsha. Mahadeva asked Brahma to throw his brahma dhanda into Ganga and Asked all devas to follow the Brahma dhanda and where it stops, the respective place would be the one which all devas aspired.
Similarly, the brahma dhanda reached the merging point of “Tamraparni river and Sea” and then it traveled against the flow of Tamraparni river towards western side and stopped at the sangham point of “Tamraparni river with its tributary Kadana river”. In this place, all devas along with Brahma and Narayana established the Shiva linga and worshipped it along with brahma dhanda. The same Brahma dhanda can be even seen now in front of goddess ‘Gomathi ambal” sanctum.
This particular shiva linga later submerged into the sand. After long time, the local pandya king came to the banks of Tamraparni river while chasing a deer. The respective deer went downwards of the “arjuna tree” and While chasing it, the king located the Shiva linga and re-established it with full grandeur in a newly constructed temple. The downside part of arjuna tree where the deer disappeared can be even seen today on the back side of the temple near the shrine of Ganesha.
From Tamraparni Mahatmyam:
Following are excerpts from the Tamraparni Mahatmyam,
When the Sage among Sages Agasthya the one who brought the Tamraparni river along with him during his Dhakshina Bharata yatra, came to this kshetra along with his wife Lopamudra, When he entered this kshetra, he reached the eternal happiness and following are his expression while had a dharshan of this Maha kshetram Thirupudaimaruthur
“Agasthya Maharishi saw the The shiva linga which was there inside “Arjuna tree (Marudha tree)” – The one which possess the Brahmananda, Tapopala (the desired results through penance) of Agasthya, the nectar drop emerged from the ocean”.
Aadhi Manu and Thirupudaimaruthur:
As per the guidance of Agasthya, Aadhi manu the one who is the first “manushya” as per our Puranas intent to worship all the “Swayambu linga ksthetras on earth” and reached Thirupudaimaruthur. While reaching, he had seen that Mahalakshmi, Saraswati and all devas near the Arjuna tree on the banks of Tamraparni river and while he came near, they all had disappeared in the tree and he took his knife and tried to cut the tree. But due to divine intervention, he realised the presence of Mahadeva and built the temple and later the temple built by Manu turned ruins.
Devendra and Brahma hathi dosha”
Another important aspect associated with all these three shiva temples which are associated with “Arjuna tree” is its ability to wash away the “Brahma hathi dosha”.
In Thirupudaimaruthur, Devendra got relieved from Brahma hathi dosha after taking punya Snanam in Tamraparni & Kadana river sagham point and after worshipping “Putarjuneshwar”. Devendra got this Brahma hathi dosha since he killed his guru “Vrudhrasura” who was deva guru for brief period of time and this particular remedy told by Brahspathi to Indra.
Indra came to this Thirupudaimaruthur and took punya Snanam in “Tamil month – Thai & Pusya Nakshatram and Guru horai” and got relieved from his Brahma hathi dosha.
This particular incident is still even today being celebrated as a festivel in “Tamil month – Thai Pusya star day” as a “Tirthavari utsav. In this particular day, Utsav murthy of Putarjuneshwar comes to “Tamraparni river” bank in “Rishibha vahanam” and give dharshan to Indra’
Karuvur Chithar & Thirupudaimaruthur:
An ardent devotee of Shiva – Karuvur Chithar the one who was associated with the greatest king of Bharata varsha from Tamilnadu “Raja Raja Chola” came to the northern bank of Tamraparni river but he was unable to cross the river due to heavy floods. Due to his plead to mahadeva, Putarjuneshwar asked him to cross the river with the focused meditation on him. Similarly, Karuvur chithar crossed the river and had a dharshan of Putarjuneshwar.
Since Putarjuneshwar heard the pleading of Karuvur chithar, the shiva linga bit tilted on its left side and we can have a dharshan with the same tilted posture even today.
Significance of the Temple:
- Here, Tamraparni river flows northern wards “as a Uttara vahini” and turns eastern “as a Poorva vahini” exactly at this place. Whereever, the river flows northwards, the respective places are considered equivalent to Kashi since Ganga turns northwards when it enters the ever holy maha kshetra kashi.
- In Thirupudaimaruthur, another tributary of Tamraparni “Kadana river” merges with Tamraparni along with antarvahini Saraswati”. Due to the sangham of three rivers, “the place located on northern bank of Tamraparni” is being called as “Mukkudal (tamil name for Triveni sangham”
- Thirupudaimaruthur temple is one among the three temples which has “Arjuna tree / Marudha maram in Tamil as a sthala vruksham.
- Thirupudaimaruthur temple and Tamraparni river are one among the most sacred places in Bharatavarsha which have the potential to wash away the most harmful “Brahma hathya dosha”.
- The person who has the mental illness comes to the temple and worshipped for 21 days will get cured.
- According the “Tamraparni Mahatmyam”, there are 11 tirthas situated in Tamraparni river around this Thirupudaimaruthur temple.
- Narayana, Mahalakshmi, Brahma, Saraswati and All devas have worshipped here.
- The greatest sage among all sages “Agasthya” came and worshipped here and had his punya snanam along with his wife Lopamudra
Significance of Various Tirthas of Thirupudaimaruthur:
All this below mentioned tirthas are situated in Tamraparni river only but in various locations in and around Thirupudaimaruthur and they are not separate kunds or wells but all are in Tamraparni river only, All of these tirthas and Significance are mentioned in Tamraparni Mahatmyam
- On the southern side of Putarjuneshwar Temple, there is tirtha called Putarjuesha tirtha or Devendra moksha tirtha which was earlier washed away the sins of Devendra,
- On further south, there is tirtha called “Gowthama Tirtha” and Agasthya rishi did Snanam in this tirtham along with his wife lopamudra and did the Tarpanas to Rishis and devas.
- Bit further south, there is a tirtha called “Paisasamochana tirtha” and who does the Snanam here won’t see the place of yema and they will directly liberate from the birth and death cycle.
- Bit further south, there is tirtha called “Dhanadapavanam” which does wash away all sins i.e mahapapas.
- Further down south, there is Sangham place where Tamaraparni river merges with Kadana river and Antarvahini Saraswati and the one who does the Snanam here will attain all his dharmic desires.
- Bit further south, there is tirtha called “Maandavya tirtha” and the one who does the Snanam here will reach Brahmaloka
- On northern side, there is tirtham called “Vinayaka tirtha” and the one who does the Snanam here will get longevity of life.
- On further north side, there is tirtha called “Karma tirtha” and the one who touches this tirtha will get relieved from all his/her karma cycles.
- There is one more Tirtha called “Rakshashi vimochana tirtha” and the one who just sees this tirtha, will get relived from all sins.
- At Garbhagriha, Putarjuneshwar is there with tilted posture
- Yoga Dakshina moorthy is an another main attraction in this temple.
- Gomathi ambal Garbhagriha is located in the southern side of Putarjuneshwar.
- Apart from this, there are shrines for Subramanya, Nataraja, Sahasra lingam, Bhairav etc.
- At the entrance, there is sculpture of Pandya king who built this amazing temple.
There is annual 10 days festival celebrated in Tamil month “Thai” ( in January / February) and the tenth day usually falls on Pushya nakshatra day. There will be “Tirthavari (the deity will come to Tamraparni river)” on this tenth day. This is the most significant annual festival and it related to temple’s kshetra mahatmiyam. There will be floating festival happening on this tenth day night and it is being called “Tepothsavam” in Tamil.
Apart from this, Maha shivratri, Aarudhra dharshan in December / January month, Poornima day in Krithika month are also being celebrated grandly.
Recently, Tamraparni Pushkaram was celebrated with full grandeur by all aasthikas.
Thirupudaimaruthur is a small village on the banks of Tamraparni river. It is in Ambasamudhram Taluk and Tirunelveli district and fully surrounded by Paddy fields and enriched forever by Tamraparni river.
It is located 28KM from Tirunelveli on western side. There are regular buses from Tirunelveli to Papanasam and the devlotees have to get down at the town called Veeravanallur and there are autos/ taxis available to Thirupudaimaruthur which is around 8KM from Veeravanallur. Devotees can also book private vehicle from Tirunelveli and which is the most convenient way.
Other Places to look around
- This temple is situated along with other “Nava kailsha” temple.
- Hence, when the devotees do the yatra to “Nava kailasha” temples, they can go to Thirupudaimaruthur also.
- Gajendra moksha kshetram is very near to this temple.
- Also, Brahmadesam which has one of the oldest shiva temple and the place where second guru of Kanchi kamakoti peetam got birth is also very near to this temple i.e around 8KM.
Temple is open for dharshan from morning 6:00 AM to 11:00 AM and evening 4:00 AM to 8:00 AM
Source: Tamraparni Mahatmyam Book,