Thirupungur is a beautiful village about 2 kms from Vaitheeswaran Koil and 13 km from Mayiladuthurai.
This place was once surrounded by Punga trees and hence the name Thirupungur.
This is one of the three places where Nandhi Shifted aside to show darshan of Lord to devotees (Thirupanthuruthi – Appar, Patteeswaram – Gnanasampanthar, Thirupungur – Nandhanar).
Nandanar was born in a family who were tanning leather to be used for making drums. He was denied to enter into any temple because of his Profession. His ambition was to visit the temple at Chidambaram. He was also working in the fields of a Landlord, who did not give him permission to visit the temple. However, one day, he told Nandanar that he would be granted the wish if Nandanar would achieve of by plough the forty acres of his paddy field overnight. A disappointed Nandanar prayed the Lord to grant him the wish of visiting Chidambaram. Lord was pleased by his sacred love towards him and showed a miracle of ploughing all the forty acres overnight. The next morning the Landlord and Nandanar astonished to see the miracle. The landlord realised his mistake and pleaded forgiveness. Nandanar set out to Chidambaram, on the way he stopped at Thirupungur to have a darshan of the Lord. He was not able to have the darshan as the Nandi was blocking his view. He started singing in praise of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva wanted to know who the devotee was. The dwarapalakas informed him that it was Nandanar. Immediately, Lord asked Nandi to move aside to facilitate him to show a clear darshan to Nandanar. You can see the Nandi at this temple is shifted to a side. Also the Nandi is not hanging out the tongue as is usually. You can also see the dwarapalaks craning their necks as if to hear the orders of Lord.
The Nandi here is also a Swayambhu.