Sri Brahmapurueshwarar Temple Sirkazhi, Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu, India
Sirkazhi is a very old place where the boy Tamil Saint Thirugnanasambandar was born. He revived Shaivism in Tamil Nadu, which was declining due to the patronage of Jainism by the Pallava and Pandya Kings. During his short life span of about 16 years he has visited almost all the Sri Shiva Temples in Tamil Nadu and composed many hymns. He is considered to be an avatar of Lord Sri Subramanya.In this temple, there are 3 levels. On the lower level is Lord Sri Shiva known as Sri Bhrahmapureeswara; he is worshipped in the form of a Linga. On the second level, Periyanayakar and Periyanayaki are worshipped as Sri Uma Maheshwara and on the top level, the god is known as Sri Sattanathar in the form of a Sri Bhairavar. This top level can be approached by climbing stairs; the tower is in the form of a Thoni (boat). There are 23 Thirthams in this temple. Outside the temple, within the compound, there is a shrine for Thirugnanasambandar.
Sirkali Bhramapureeswarar is an ancient temple complex with 3 different Shiva Shrines. The temple is very bi. If one want to see it completely then it would take around 3 hours. The Bhramapureeswarar shrine is housed in the lower level. The second level houses Periyanakar with Periyanayaki on a ‘Thoni’, hence the name Thoniappar. Sattainathar/Vatukanathar is also housed here. From the steps leading to the Toniappar and the Vatukanathar shrine, one can grasp the entire layout of this vast temple and its towers and mandapams. There are 22 Theerthams associated with this shrine. Three different forms of Shiva are worshipped here, the Shivalingam (Bhrammapureeswarar), a colossal image of Uma Maheswarar which is 16 ft tall (Thoniappar and Uma in medidating posture) in the first floor, and Bhairavar (Sattanathar in Nirvana posture) in the second floor.The temple has 3 vast courtyards with high walls of enclosure. There are two sets of 7 tiered gopurams in the outer walls of the enclosure. The original shrine during the period of the Nayanmars included the shrine of Bhrammapureeswarar, on the southern bund of the temple tank; the Toniappar shrine on a mound west of the central shrine, and the Sattanathar shrine in the second floor reached from the southern prakaram of the Toniappar shrine by a flight of steps. The enlargement of the original temple happened during the period of Kulottunga I, Vikrama Chola, Kulottunga II and III (as in Chidambaram – 11th through the 13th centuries). The temple is a holy site for Hinduism and thousands of devotees come to pay homage to the deities.This is the place where Thirugnanasambandar was fed the gnana pal ( holy milk) be mother godess Uma maheswari.