Puttu Chokkanathar Temple

Puttu Chokkanathar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located at PuttuThoppu near Arappalayam in Madurai City, in the Madurai District of Tamil Nadu.


Most of Lord Shiva’s Tiruvilayadal (Holy Play) is in Madurai. Lord played his 63rd Tiruvilayadal here in PuttuThoppu. This temple is the venue where Lord Shiva has done one of his Thiruvilaiyadalgals (a way of testing the faith of his devotees by creating trouble and then blessing them after they prove their faith). As per the myth, once, the Pandiya King ordered every household in Madurai to offer one person for putting sand on the banks of the river Vaigai to control flooding.

An old lady who sold puttu (a kind of rice pudding) to make a living had none whom she could send for the flood control work. Lord Shiva, disguised as a youth, approached the old lady with a deal. He will do the work for the lady, and in return, she has to give him Puttu every day, hence the name "Puttukku Mann SumanthaThiruThalam," meaning place (ThiruThalam) where Shiva carried (sumantha) sand (mann) for 'Puttu'.

The agreement is that she need not give him the 'Puttu', which is in good shape, but only the left-overs. The old lady agreed. But Lord Shiva, with his magical powers, made each of the 'Puttu' she cooked as a shapeless, unsellable left-over and ate everything. And worse, he didn't do any work in the river Vaigai either, but he chose to sleep under a tree. The King, who was supervising the work, found the lazy man and beat him in the back with a stick.

As per the myth, everyone, including the king, felt the pain in their back. Then the king came to know that the lazy man was none other than Lord Shiva and apologized. Even now, to mark this event, on September 4 of every year, a function is held in the river bank of Arappalayam, and 'Puttu' is cooked in every household.

The Temple:

The presiding deity is called PuttuChokkanathar. The mother is called Meenakshi. The Lord and Mother are housed in separate shrines. Puttuchokkanathar Temple was perhaps built during the period of Thirumalai Nayak, as the architecture of his palace is similar to the 36-pillared mandapam in PuttuThoppu. SthalaVriksham is Vanni Tree. The river associated with this temple is the Vaigai River.

There are shrines for Vinayaga, BalaMurugan, MeenakshiSundareswarar in marriage posture, Saraswathi, Lakshmi, Sundaranthar, Durga, Veerabhadra, SapthaKanniyars, KalyanaVinayagar, Appar, GnanaSambandar, Sundarar, Manickavasagar, KaliyaNayanar, Ayyappan, KanniMoolaGanapathy, Dhakshinamoorthy, Lord Subramanya with his consorts Valli and Deivanai, Lingodhbava, Chandikeswarar, Irattai Kala Bhairavar, Anjaneya, and Navagrahas in the temple premises.

Festivals :

Avani Pooradam, Puttu Thiruvizha, Monthly Pradoshams, Shivarathri, Tamil New Year, and Pournami are the festivals celebrated here with much fanfare.

My Madurai

Puttu Chokkanathar Temple