Tiruvirkolam also known as Koovum is an ancient temple on the banks of the Koovam river in Tamil Nadu, India. It is located about 70 km from Chennai. The water, though sparkling clear over here, becomes polluted on the way and reaches the Bay of Bengal. Its said to be above 1500 years old temple .
The Thirupuranthaka Swami temple is located in Perambakkam and is dedicated to Lord Shiva . Once, three demons, Tharaka, Kamalakshan and Vidyunmali armed with the boons from God Brahma, began to torture the Devas. The Devas sought out God Shiva for protection. The God took a bow and began his battle against the demons. According to rules, anyone undertaking a task should first worship God Vinayaka. But God Shiva forgot this in his haste to destroy the demons. The Devas who knew the rule also intentionally failed to worship God Vinayaka as they thought that God Shiva Himself was backing them. An angry Vinayaka broke the axle – pin of the God’s chariot. Knowing that it was the act of Vinayaka, God asked him to set right the axle – pin which his son Vinayaka did. God Shiva rose as a Swayambu from the place where the Kooram (axle) of the chariot stuck. Hence the place was named Kooram which later changed as Coovum says the legend of the temple. Hence this temple has three Ganesha idols one at entrance ,one in kostam and in the Pragharam is named acharutha vinayagar. Achu means axle in Tamil .
The place is also called as Thiruvirkolam. Presiding Deity is called as Tripuranthaka Swami / Thiruvirkolanathar. This Shiva lingam is not touched by human hands, not even by the priests, as it is “Theenda Thirumeni”. The color of Shiva Linga changes on its own as per the seasons. When the country is flourishing its in white colour and during famine or any other mishaps in red colour . Goddess is called as Tripuranthaka Nayagi / Thiripurasundari.
The temple is situated at the origin point of the Coovum river with its sparkling and clear waters. Sambandhar has revered the temple in his verses in Devaram. This is one of the 276 Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams and 14th Shiva Sthalam in Thondai Nadu. There is separate set of Pancha Bootha Sthalams around Chennai and out of that, this is the “Agni” Sthalam.
Once we enter the temple first come the Goddess Thiripurasundari shrine next comes Lord Shiva’s shrine in front of Lord Shiva’s shrine is Lord Natarajar idol and when we enter inside to the right we see Nayanmars nand Urtsavars idols opposite to Lord Shiva is Nandi along with the dwajasthambam.
Lord Bhairavar has a seperate shrine in the Pragharam is without the dog his vahana.
The temple has a huge pond it is said no frog or snakes exists in this pond till date.
Unlike other Lord Shiva temples Goddess Thiripurasundari has a seperate shrine and is situated right side of Lord Shiva so first rituals are done to Goddess then to Lord Shiva meaning while we pray to the Goddess she herself conveys our prayers and offerings to the Lord Shiva . Sri Chakram has been installed before the Goddess idol hence its considered as a Parigara Sthalam people with matrimonial problems .
The kostam consists of Lord Vinayaka, Lord Dakshinamoorthy , lingothbavar here lingothbavar idol is different with swan on top , the vahana of Lord Brahma, center Lord Shiva and beneath is pig faced Varahar an avatar of Lord Vishnu ,then Lord Brahma, Chandikeswarar and Goddess Durga.
The outer pragharam consists of Achuratha Vinayagar , Lord Murugan with valli deivayanai and Lord Balamurugan sannidi and Goddess Meenakshi with Lord Sundareshwarar sannidhi (Sundhareswarar in linga form)
There is a faith those who attend 3 pradosam consequently will be relieved from their nuero diseases, do visit this temple if possible and get the blessings of the lord .