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Thingaloor

Thingaloor

Kailasanathar Temple is considered as one of the Navagraha temples dedicated to Moon God. Kailasanathar Temple is located at Thingaloor, Thanjavur district of Tamilnadu. It represents the Navagraha Chandra (Moon),and hence known as ‘Thingaloor Chandran Stala.’. The presiding deity is Soma (moon). However, the main idol in the temple is that of “Kailasanathar” or Shiva. Thingal means moon. Monday is special day for worship. The main deities here are Kailasanathar (Lord Shiva) and Periyanayagi (Goddess Parvati). It is here that Chandran prayed to Lord Siva and got his blessings. Chandran is the Lord of Kadaga Rasi and he faces the South-East direction.The Thingaloor Temple is built in the Dravidian architectural style, with a five tiered gopuram over the shrine which is adorned with carvings. The sanctum enshrines main deity, the glorious Lingam of Kailasanathan.

There is an open courtyard and the pond Chandra theertham near the eastern side of the temple. The shrine of Moon or Chandra, one of the Navagrahas has the deity of the Lord. It is usually covered in white. As most of the other Navagraha Temples of Tamilnadu, Kailasanathar Temple is also a Shiva Stalam and the main deities worshipped here are Kailasanathar and Goddess Periyanakiamman. A huge Nandi is seen in the front which is facing the temple. The 16-sided Shiva lingam at the main shrine is made out of black granite.  A unique feature of Thingaloor Temple is that during the months of Puratasi (September – October) and Panguni (March – April), the rays of the moon fall on the Shiva Lingam. The architectural style and the decorations carved on this temple are added features.

Thingaloor

History and Legend of Thingaloor

  • This temple is constructed by Rajasimma Pallavan around 7th century. This is built similar to the Dravidian architecture. “Appothiyadigal” one of the Nayanmar out of 63 Nayanmars is from this town Thingalur. Due to the affection towards the Lord Shiva he kept his sons name as “Mootha Thirunavukarasu” and Ilaya Thirunavukarasu.”
  • He was doing lot of charity work for Shiva devotees in the name of Thirunavukarasu. One day by hearing that Thirunavukarasar has arrived to Thingalur, Appothiyadigal went to meet him. Latest he has asked to Thirunavukarasar to visit his home and have food. Appothiyadigal send his son to cut and bring banana leaves to serve the food for Thirunavukarasar.
  • There was a snake in the backyard of his home and that bite his son. If he tells that his son is dead, Thirunavukarasar won’t eat the food at his home so he wanted to hide that sad news. When Thirunavukarasar came to know the news he carried the body of Appothiyadigal’s son and worshipped to the god. The son also came back alive is the story of this temple.
  • According to another legend the Devas and asuras were churning the Paarkadal using Mandhira Malai and the snake Vasuki. The asuras held the head portion of the snake and the Devas, the tail portion. When Lord Vishnu was distributing the Amrutham amongst the Devas, at the behest of Shukracharya, one of the asuras in the guise of a deva consumed the nectar.
  • Suryan and Chandran noticed this and complained to Lord Vishnu.  An angry Vishnu used his chakrayudham (discus) to cut the Asura into two and threw them away. The head joined with a snake’s body to become Rahu Bhagavan. The body portion kept growing because the Asura had consumed Amrutham.  This later joined with the head of a snake and became Kethu Bhagavan.
  • Now, Rahu and Kethu did not forgive Suryan and Chandran.  Rahu went after Chandran and started consuming him.  It is here that Chandran prayed to Lord Shiva and got his blessings.
  • Shiva blessed Chandran with the power to grow back to full size in 15 days after being consumed by Rahu.  That is why we have the waxing and waning moon.  Shiva also blessed Chandran by adorning Chandran on his forehead so that anyone who prays Shiva will have to pray Chandran.

Significance of the Thingaloor Temple

  • Thingalur Kailasanathar temple is noted for the importance of first rice feeding of the infant child known as Anna Prasanam. Kailasanathar Temple is considered as one of the Navagraha temples dedicated to Moon god.
  • Before feeding the child with rice (Annaprasana) the child is shown the moon and a cow, thus bringing the blessings of Jaladevadha (water God) and Oushadhi Devadha (God of medicines).  It is believed that Jaladevadha would protect the child from cold, fever etc. and even if it so happens it would be cured by the Oushadhi Devatha.
  • Mental retardation, skin and nerve problems, jaundice, and fluid accumulation are the diseases caused because of Chandra dosham. By praying to Lord Chandran, the above afflictions can be overcome. Wealth, mother’s/wife’s happiness, Govt’s help, ownership of vehicle, marriage, offspring’s, prosperity, and foreign travel will be bestowed on his devotees.
  • The special offerings offered to moon god are Oleander flowers, cloths of white color, and raw rice mixed with jiggery and paddy.

Thingaloor Temple Timings

The temple is opened from 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM in the morning and 4:00PM to 8:00 PM in the evening.

Festivals celebrated at the Thingaloor

  • Pournami Festival: A full moon in the Tamil month of Chitra (month of April and May), and an exalted Sun in the sign Aries mark the day of Chitra Poornima. This auspicious day is also dedicated to Lord Indra, the God of Devas. Chithra pournami is famous for Meenakshi amman and Kallazhagar also.  It is mentioned in our religious books that those who observe fast on this day would be relieved of death fear. Special puja is arranged in temples on this day. The essence of worship on this day is the sincere effort to liberate yourself from the clutches of negative energies. Chitragupta was born to Parvathi Devi through painting(Chithira Puthiran)  and later he entered into Gomatha Kamadenu and born on Chitra Pournami and got the name Chitragupta.
  • Mahashivarathri Festival: The festival is celebrated on the new moon day in the month of Maagha according to the Hindu calendar. The day is celebrated to venerate Lord Shiva, an important deity in Hindu culture.  It says that a devotee who performs sincere worship of Lord Shiva on the auspicious day of Shivratri is absolved of sins and attains moksha. The fourteenth day of every lunar month or the day before the new moon is known as Shivratri. Among all the twelve Shivratris that occur in a calendar year, the one that occurs in February-March is of the most spiritual significance. Shivratri is considered especially auspicious for women. Married women pray for the well being of their husbands and sons, while unmarried women pray for an ideal husband like Shiva, who is the spouse of Kali, Parvati and Durga.
  • Margazhi Tiruvadhirai Festival: Tiruvathirai, or Thiruvathirai festival, in Tamil culture is observed on the day when Lord Shiva performed the Tandava. The festival is also a commemoration of Shiva’s Nakshatra (Birthday Star) Ardra. Thus the festival is popularly known as Ardra Darshan or Arudhara Darshanam. This month is dedicated to worship of deities. It starts on December 17 and end on January 13. Our one earth year is considered as one day for Devas. So for the Deva loka this month is considered as morning time and Brahma mugurtha for Devas.
  • Panguni Uthiram Festival: Panguni Uthiram is a day of importance to Hindus especially those who belong to Tamil nadu. It falls on the day the moon transits in the asterism of Uttara-phalguni or Uthiram in the twelfth month of the Tamil solar calendar i.e. Panguni (March-April). It is also the full moon of the month of Panguni and is special because the Uthiram nakshatram coincides with the full moon. Panguni Uthiram is the day that teaches us the significance of relationships in our lives. Without relationships our society would cease to have stable family life which is the breeding ground for our children and our next generation. Devotees of Lord Muruga pierce their bodies with needles and spikes as a sign of their devotion to the Lord. Some of the devotees carry bamboo pole called kavadi, they carry pots of holy water, or milk, even flowers with kavadis as a ritual of praying to God and sending a strong message to Lord Muruga for their prayer to be answered.

Poojas and Rituals at Thingaloor

Puja at this temple is recommended for those in whose horoscope the position of Moon is weak. Chandra graha is known to control the five senses of human life. Moon is the ruler of the mind and all the senses that it controls. Oblations to the Moon God at this temple helps keep all these factors on a balanced note.

How to Reach at Thingaloor

By Air: The nearest domestic airport is Tiruchirapalli Airport or Trichy Airport, 90 km east of Kumbakonam. The nearest international airport is Chennai International Airport which is 315 km from Kumbakonam.

By Train: The nearest railway station to Thingalur Kailasanathar Temple is Ariyalur railway station which is 29 Km from the temple.  Frequent buses are also available. Sethu Express (Rameswaram to Tambaram) and Tirupati Express (Tiruchirapalli – Tirupati) passes through Kumbakonam Railway Station.

By Road: Thingaloor Temple is about 36 km from Kumbakonam, on the way to Tiruvaiyaru. It is about 1 km from Thirupayhanam which is on the Kumbakonam – Thiruvayyaru Road.Thingalur is well connected with road and plenty of buses are available to reach the temple. Thingalur is around 18 km from Kumbakonam of Thiruvayaru, Kumbakonam road.

Where to stay in Thingaloor

Some of the hotels near the temple are

  • Sri Hari Residency Contact: 99, West Raja Street, Near Sri Kumara Kottam Temple, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu
  • M.M.Hotels Contact: No. 65/65, Nellukara Street, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu 631502
  • Hotel Ramco Residency Contact: SH58, Ennaikaran, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu 631501
  • Sree Sakthi Residency Contact: 71, Nellukara St, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu 631502

Where to eat at Thingaloor

Tamilian’s staple diet is steamed rice and most of their food consists of grains, lentils and vegetables. ‘Sadhams’ (rice dishes) with different flavours are their specialty. Spices are added for most dishes to give a distinctive taste. Tamil Nadu Food is very different from the food of other regions like Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. There are many restaurants near the temple that offers delicious food.

  • Cascade Restaurant Salem Contact: Junction Main Road 5/315 Devi Chit Funds Complex
  • Tandooriwala Salem Contact: Junction Main Road
  • Sri Saravana Bhavan Contact: Omalur Main Road State Bank Colony
  • Selvi Mess Contact: Arthanari Nagar Opp New Bus Stand

Nearby Temples

Brihadeeswarar Temple: Thanjavur Brihadeeswara temple is one of the most ancient temple, situated in the city of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, India. Thanjavur named after the legendary asura “Tanjan”, is one of the ancient temples in India. In ancient days, Thanjavur known as “The rice bowl of Tamil Nadu,” was an important city to the ancient Cholas. It was remade by the Cholas from a collection of villages into a major temple center 1000 years ago, with the construction of the Brihadisvara Temple in the center of the city. The long prakaram surrounds the great temple (500 feet/250 feet), and the walls surrounding the prakaram again go back to Raja Raja Cholan’s period. The walls house long pillared corridors, which abound in murals, Shiva Lingams and Nandis.

Naganathaswamy Temple: Thirunageshwaram Sri Naganathaswamy Temple is situated 6 kms away from Kumbakonam on the southern banks of Cauvery in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. The presiding Deity is Giri Gujambika Sametha Naganathaswamy. The Raaghu Sannathi (Nagaraja Shrine) is on the South-West direction of the second prakara.The main presiding deity of Thirunageswaram Rahu Temple is Lord Naganathaswamy (Lord Shiva) and his consort Giri Gujambika (Goddess Parvathi) who is enshrined with Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswati by her side. Rahu Bhagavan is seen with his two consorts Nagavalli and Nagakanni. Sri Naganathaswamy Temple is one where Lord Shiva was worshipped by Rahu (Raghu) and got relieved of a curse.

Apatsahayesvarar Temple: Apatsahayesvarar Temple, Alangudi is one of the Navagraha (nine planets) temples dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the village of Alangudi in the Valangaiman taluka of Tiruvarur district.. Also it is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, where Campantar, one of the four most revered Nayanars (Saivite Saints) have sung the glories of this temple. Guru (Jupiter) is a symbol of knowledge. It is also known as Brihaspati, Devguru, Devpriya, Lokguru, etc. One of the most historical temples of Guru is situated in Alankudi near Kumbkonam in Tamil Nadu. The uniqueness of this place is that it has Dakshinabhimukh Avatsak of Lord Shiva. This temple of Guru is believed to have been built in the Pallava era, however, evidences show that it has actually undergone development in the Chola era. The idol of Guru in the Alankudi temple is that of a sage having four hands out of which three of them hold a dand (staff), a kamandal (water pot) and a japmala (rosary) respectively. And the fourth one is in a blessing position.

Vaitheeswaran Kovil

Vaitheeswaran Kovil

Vaitheeswaran Kovil

Vaitheeswaran Kovil is the holy places near Mayiladuthurai in Nagapattinam District. Vaitheeswaran Kovil is located 24 km from Chidambaram. Vaitheeswaran Kovil is famous for the Siva temple dedicated to Vaidyanatheeswarar, the healer of all diseases and his consort Thaiyalnayaki. Among the Navagrahas, Angaraha is worshipped here with great reverence. Hence this shrine is also known as Angaraha Kshetra. Jatayu, Rig Veda, Muruga and Surya worshipped the Lord here. This temple consist of several Mandapam and Gopuram and also navagraha(all nine planets) installed in single line which is no where in India.

Here Ambhal(Goddess) is called Balambiga alice Thaiyalnayagi. Vaitheeswaran Koil temple is also known as “Pullirukkuvelur”, Pul-Irukku – Vel-Ur, the words in Tamil meaning Bird (Jatayu).Sri Angaaragan’s  paadham (foot mark) is found in the temple just outside the shrine under themPalm tree sculpted in stone. There are 3 Chakras installed by Sri Aadhi Shankara in the prakaaram called Sri Chakram, Subramanya Chakram and Shanmuga Chakram. On the northern prakaaram there is a Baana Linga installed facing the entrance. While there is an entrance at the eastern side, the temple has its main entrance and Rajagopuram( king tower) facing north. There are beautiful carvings on either side of the entrance. Lord Shiva appeared as Vaidyanathar one who cures, the divine doctor at this shrine. Even today the shrine is popular for curing various diseases and devotees throng here on ‘Kiruthigai’ (Karthigai, the third star of the 27) . The deity Selva Muthukumaraswamy (Lord Murugan) is well-known.

Vaitheeswaran Koil

History and Legend of Vaitheeswaran Kovil

  • Chevvai is son of lord shiva. Once lord Shiva was in deep meditation perspiration from his third eye fell on earth. From that sweat a child was born and later on known asangaragan (chevvai). Chevvai Bhagavan is worshipped in the town of Vaitheeswarankoil which is also called Pullirukkuvelur. Rig vedam (Irukku), Jatayu (Pull), Sambadi, the Surya (Vel) are said to have worshiped Shiva here.
  • Angarakan (Mars) was one of the Navagraha in 9 planets. One day, he suffered a lot from Skin diseases (Leprosy). He prayed Lord Vaidyanatha Swamy in Vaitheeswaran Koil. Lord Shiva blessed him and cured his diseases. So he stayed in this temple and caleed as “Vaitheewaran” and cure all the diseases by whom praying him.
  • Thirunavukkarasar was suffering from severe stomach pain. At time, his sister told him to pray Lord Vaidyanatha Swamy. He prayed and got cured by Lord Shiva. From that day, he became the great devotee of Lord Shiva and sung many songs for Lord Shiva.
  • Lord Shiva is a swayambumurthi in the temple. The five towers – Gopurams of the temple are on a straight line. The Maragatha Linga (Emerald Linga) is very famous. There are two flag posts-Kodimaram before the presiding deity made of silver and gold. Navagrahas the nine planets are generally in the front side of the sanctum facing different directions in Shiva temples.

Significance of the Vaitheeswaran Kovil

  • There is a widespread believe that when one visits here, it would remove obstacles of the delayed marriage(Chevvai dosham). In chevvai temple the Prasadam (Food) offered by the name of tiruchendur urundai and it is considered to be a panacea capable of many elements it is made of ashes taken out from the homa kundam in front of Subramaniya strain.
  • The Lord Vaidyanatha and Thaiyal Nayagi are the family God (Kula Dheivam) for Kshatriya Community (Vanniyakula Kshatriyas) of South India. This temple is Navagraha Sthalas of Lord Angarakan. This temple is famous tourist spot in Nagapattinam District.
  • The temple is protected by Lord Bhairava in the east, by Lord Veerabadra in the west, Lord Vinayaka in the south and Mother Kali in the north. The temple with its five tier Rajagopuram is facing west. The temple belongs to Darumapuram Aadheenam of Tiru Kayilaya Parambara – descendants of Kailash dynasty.

Vaitheeswaran Kovil Temple Timings

Vaitheeswaran Kovil temple is open from 6.00 AM to 11.00 AM in the morning and from 4.00 PM to 8.30 PM in the evening.

Festivals celebrated at the Vaitheeswaran Kovil

  • Skanda shashti: Skanda Sashti festival is dedicated to Hindu God Muruga (Karikeya or Subrahmanya). Kanda Sashti is observed in the Tamil Month Aippasi. Skanda Shasti celebrates the victory of Lord Skanda over demon Surapadma.In many places the festival commences six days before the Sashti day and concludes on the day of the Sashti. During these days, devotees recite inspiring hymns, read stories of Subramanya, and enact the exploits of the Lord on stage. Thousands of people gather for feasts, and massive amounts of camphor are burnt.Devotees keep fast during Shukla Paksha Sashti day. For Skanda Sashti Vratam the day when Sashti Tithi is combined with Panchami Tithi is preferred. Hence Skanda Sashti Vratam might be observed on Panchami Tithi.
  • Aadipooram: Aadi Pooram, also called as ‘Aandal Jayanti’ is a prime festival of Tamilians. This festival is dedicated to Goddess Andal, an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. Aadi Pooram is celebrated during the month of ‘Aadi’ in Tamil calendar that corresponds to the months of July-August in the English calendar. The day also holds immense significance in Goddess Shakti temples scattered all over the country. In the Saiva temples, the day of Aadi Pooram is observed as the festival of ‘Valaikappu’. In the event, glass bangles are offered to Goddess Andal and then distributed among all devotees.Pooram or Puram is one among the 27 Nakshatras in Hindu Astrology.
  • Karthigai: Karthigai Deepam is a festival of lights, celebrated in the Tamil month of Karthigai. It is celebrated on the full moon day of the Karthigai month which coincides with Krithikai star. It is also considered as the extension of the Deepavali festival. The month of Karthigai is of special importance as it is believed that Lord Muruga, the divine light of Lord Shiva, took his form during this month. Lord Muruga took the form of six babies in a lake called “Saravana Poigai”. On this day, all his six forms were united by Parvathi(his mother) and this way, he had six faces. Special poojas are performed to Lord Muruga.The ideology of the festival is that “the sisters pray for their brothers’ well being and the brothers in turn, promise to safeguard the sisters in times of trouble.
  • Panguni Uthiram: The Panguni Uthiram festival falls in the month ‘Panguni’ (March-April). This month is special because of the star ‘Uthiram’ and ‘Pournami’ occurring together. The Gods and Goddesses such as Parvati and Shiva, Devasena and Murugan, Andal and Ranganath and Sita and Rama are said to celebrate this day as their wedding day.Devotees of Lord Muruga pierce their bodies with needles and spikes as a sign of their devotion to the Lord. Some of the devotees carry bamboo pole called kavadi, they carry pots of holy water, or milk, even flowers with kavadis as a ritual of praying to God. And sending a strong message to Lord Muruga for their prayer to be answered.Panguni Uthiram is considered as one of the most important vrat/fast for Lord Muruga. Vrat starts once we take bath in the morning of this auspicious day.

Poojas and Rituals at Vaitheeswaran Kovil

  • At the midnight Pooja Lord Selva Muthukumaraswamy is worshipped with special prayers. This is known as ‘Punugu Kappu Dharshan’
  • Chevvai related dosha are rectified by performing pariharam(remedies) poojas to this deity. It is traditional to perform navagraha pooja to get rid of financial crisis, property dealing, productivity of agriculture and milk. If there is any problem between brothers and sisters that also will be solved. Chevvai also heels cut wounds. So devotees performing pooja to chevvai are benefited to victory.
  • Rituals are performed were in mixer of earth and ashes from the homa kundam. They are shaped into the pills, the same is distributed as a Prasadam to the person(medicine).
  • The devotees as soon as entering the temple, they first go to Sithamirtha tank (Sithamirtha tank consist of 18 wells) filled with holy water and mix with medicines in form of leaves. The water is said to have curative properties for various skin elements.
  • The person’s diseases even that could not get cured by mani, mandra, aushatha, after coming to this temple they got cured at this place. That’s why here Shiva is called as a Vaithiyanathan (doctor). There is also a shrine dedicated to Dhanvanthri here. Dhanvanthri is also a medicine god. Even doctors do their operation after they pray to Dhanvanthri for success and devotees also those who are suffering illness it can be cured after pray to Dhanvanthri.
  • Devotees also undertake tonsuring.  Ear boring ceremony is celebrated in the temple.  They also light Maa Vilakku made of rice flour and ghee, offer mangal sutras and god symbols as a prayer commitment.  They place salt, pepper and mustard and eye symbols made of silver in the Ambica shrine. Some devotees arrange Annadhanam-feeding.  Distribute the nivedhanas to visiting devotees with usual abisheks etc.  Some contribute for the renovation of the temple.

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air

By Air: No direct connectivity to flight between Nagapattinam and Chennai is available. Best to take State transport bus from Nagapattinam to Tiruchirappalli then take Air India Express from Tiruchirappalli to Chennai.

By Road: This temple is located in between Sirkazhi and Mayiladurai in the route of Chidambaram-Mayiladuthurai. This temple is 15 KM from Mayiladurai or 24 KM from Chidambaram or 5 KM from Sirkazhi.

By Rail: The Nearest station is Mayiladuthurai. Direct train between Nagapattinam and Chennai is available. Best to take Chennai Exp from Nagapattinam to Chennai

Where to stay in Vaitheeswaran Kovil

  • Hotek Sadhabishegam Contact: Vaitheeswarankovil,Tamil Nadu 609117.
  • Hotel Sri Akshardham Contact: SH 64,Vaitheeswarankovil, Tamil Nadu 609117
  • Chola Inn Contact: 105, Pidari South Street,Thenpathi,Sirkazhi,Tamil Nadu 609111
  • Ayarpadi Hotel Contact: Old NH,Thenpathi,Sirkazhi,Tamil Nadu 609110
  • Hotel Aryabhavan Contact: Old NH,Thiruvalluvar Nagar,Thenpathi,Sirkazhi,Tamil Nadu 609111

Where to eat in Vaitheeswaran Kovil

  • Samboorna Restaurtant Contact: Old NH,Thenpathi,Sirkazhi, Tamil Nadu 609110
  • Garden Restaurant Contact: Thenpathi,Sirkazhi, Tamil Nadu 609110

 Nearby Temples in Vaitheeswaran Kovil

  • Nellukadai Mariamman Koil: Nellukadai Mariamman Temple has located at Nagapattinam.According to legend, Mariamman appeared in the dream of a rice trader and asked him to build a shrine for him. He constructed a beautiful temple in Nagapattinam and started offering prayers. On the month of Chithirai, (April to May) sedil festival has celebrated in this temple every year. Many devotees participate in this Sedil festival. Sedil means a wooden pole with a diameter of 12 inches, 30 feet height, mounted on a two feet diameter and 10feet tall pedestal. The devotees have been push by workers on one end.
  • Sri Mullaivananathar temple: The fame of this temple rests largely upon the Goddess Shri Garbharakshambika (an avatar of Goddess Parvati) who offers protection to, the human embryo. And it is no wonder that this temple draws worshippers from all sects.Lord Shiva in this Sthalam is called as Mullaivananathar and the Ambika is called Karparakshambigai.The other presiding deity is Lord Mullaivana Nathar. Worshiping this God will cure all kinds of skin diseases. People who are afflicted with incurable diseases come to this temple.The Shri Garbharakshambika Sameta Shri Mullaivana Nathar temple is spread over a wide expanse with huge towering Gopurams and a beautiful water tank in front of it. The temple is surrounded by tall coconut  palms, the whole atmosphere is very calming and serene and lends the place sanctity.
  • Sikkal Singaravelan Temple: Sikkal Singara Velan Temple is one of the most popular Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Muruga and a contender for the unofficial seventh Padaiveedu of Muruga, along with the popular Arupadaiveedu (six abodes of Lord Muruga). It is also said that Lord Murugan had got his Vel (weapon) from his divine mother at Sikkal, to kill the asura. This imposing temple is adorned with sculptures and exquisite imagery and carvings that adorn the temple. This temple was built by the King Veerapandian and as such is one of the most awe inspiring places with an ambience that is conducive for prayer. Pure devotion flows in this place of worship and as such is also revered by adorers. Countless scores of devotees and pilgrims from all over come to this temple every year.

Sooriyanar Kovil

Sooriyanar Kovil

Sooriyanar Kovil is the first of the 9 Navagraha Temples in Tamil Nadu, located about 1 km from Tirumangalakkudi. It lies between Kumbakonam and Mayavaram, near Thanjavur, in Tamilnadu. The presiding deity is Suriyanar, the Sun and his consorts Usha Devi and Pradyusha Devi. Sooriyanar Kovil Temple also has separate shrines for the other eight planetary deities. Sooriyanar Kovil is one of the few historic temples dedicated to Sun god and is also the only temple in Tamil Nadu which has shrines for all the planetary deities. Sooriyanar Kovil Temple tower has 15.5 meter in height and 3 tiers, 5 domes at the peak. Temple tank lies at the north of rajagopuram. It is to note that one should take sacred bath in the temple tank or just to sprinkle water on head before worshipping the GOD. There are 12+ theerthams in the temple.

Sooriyanar Kovil and Thirumanagalakudi are closely related. Navanayakars did their meditation and offered worship to pranavaradeshvarar and Mangalanayaki. People who offer worship at Sooriyanar temple have to go to Thirumangaladudi to offer worship there. In early days both places were same and it was called ‘Argavamam’ before dividing. Both the temples have Erukan plant as ‘Thalavirukcha.’  Though there are shrines for Lord Surya in many temples this is the only temple dedicated exclusively to the Lord. In the sanctum, Brihaspati(Guru) is depicted as performing puja to Lord Suryanarayana. Surya is the Lord of Simma Rasi and occupies the central place amongst the navagrahas. The adi devatha is Agni, prathyutha Devatha – Rudran. His color is red and his vahana is a chariot drawn by seven horses.

Sooriyanar Kovil

History and Legend of Sooriyanar Kovil

  • Sooriyanar Kovil Temple was built by Chola King, Kulothunga Chola I in the year 1100 AD, the temple features a huge tower with three tiers and five domes at the top. The sanctum and the ardhamandapam are built of stone. This is the only Navagraha temple where all the nine grahas (nine planets) can be found in separate sannadhis (Sanctums).
  • There is a tank called Surya Pushkarni, which lies to the north of the Rajagopuram. This is considered as a sacred bathing ghat. There are around 15 theerthams in the Suryanar Temple. The one which is located inside the temple is called as Jnana Koopam. The inscriptions from the period of Krishna Deva Raya speak about the endowments made to this temple.
  • Once upon a time a great sage called Kaalava rishi was living in Himalayas region. He realized he will get a deadly disease of leprosy in the future and he was worried. His fellow sages advised him to worship all the navagrahas (nine gods for each planet).
  • Kaalava rishi also did a very dedicated penance towards the navagrahas and they appeared as he wished. He told his concerns about leprosy and he prayed that the navagrahas should help him to get out of the deadly disease. The navagrahas granted the boon the rishi won’t get the disease and vanished.
  • Later the God of creator, Brahma came to know this and called upon all the nine devas (navagrahas). He told them, the human beings have to face all the happy and sad incidents in their life and that can’t be changed. As navagrahas awarded the kaalava rishi navagrahas will get the disease on behalf of him and they should do a twelve weeks penance at south part of India.
  • Based on this curse all the navagrahas arrived to south India and did a penance to get rid of Brahma’s curse. As god of Sun (Sooriyan) was heading this penance he was at the center in this temple and the other eight planet gods were surrounded by him at this temple.

Significance of the Sooriyanar Kovil

  • Those who suffer the ill effects of Kalathara Dosham, Vivaha Paribandha Dosham, Puthra Dosham, Puthra Paribandha Dosham, Vidhya Paribandha Dosham, Udyoga Padhibandha Dosham, Surya dasai, Surya bukthi would benefit from worshipping at this temple. Father, Athma, physical strength, right eye, governmental largesse are the beneficial aspects of this planet.
  • If one bathes in the nine ghats in this place continuously for 12 Sundays, they will be saved from sufferings and blessed with a happy and peaceful life.
  • There are shrines to Kasi Vishwanath, Visalakshi and Brihaspati(Guru) within the sanctum while shrines for the other celestial bodies are located outside.The Kol Theertha Vinayakar shrine is considered very important. Malefic effects due to Dasa bukthi and gochara will be nullified by worshipping here.
  • The peculiarity of this temple is that the eight other planets here, faces towards the Surya god. The Vahanam (vehicle) of Lord Suryanar is horse, which is called by the name “Saptha”, which refers to number “seven” in Sanskrit. The chariot of Lord Suryanar is drawn by seven horses.
  • Sree Surya Puranam is the first Puranam when the world came into existence, the first sound that reverberated was ‘Ohm’. Surya was born from this ‘Omkhara naadham’. Sree Markandeya Puranam has explained this factor. Suryan was the son of Sage Kashyapa and was the grandson of Sage Maarisi. Surya married Soorvarsala, the daughter of Vishwakarma. Vaivasvatha Manu and Yamadharmaraja were his sons and Yamuna, his daughter.

Sooriyanar Kovil Temple Timings

Suryanar Temple is opened from 6:00 AM to 12:30 PM in the morning and 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM in the evening.

Festivals celebrated at the Sooriyanar Kovil

The annual Ratha Saptami festival (Rathasapthami) during the Tamil month of Thai (January – February) is one of the main festival celebrated here. The first Sundays in the months of Aavani (Leo) and Kartikai (Scorpio) is also considered very auspicious.

  • Ratha Saptami: Ratha Saptami is dedicated to Lord Surya, the Hindu Sun God. As per the tradition in Hinduism, Lord Surya is believed to ride a chariot driven by seven horses – this form is worshipped during Rathasaptami puja and festival. Ratha Saptami has astrological significance. It is believed that during this auspicious day, sun travel from the zodiac sign Simha Rasi into Makara Rasi. The festival indicates the beginning of summer, and also indicates the rise in atmospheric temperature. Ratha Saptmi celebrated just before the festival of Ugadi.
  • Vijaya Dashami: Vijaya Dashami also known as Dasara, Navaratri, Durgotdsav is one of the very important and fascinating festivals of India. It is celebrated in the lunar month of Ashwin (usually in September or October) from the Shukla Paksha Pratipada (the next of the New moon day of Bhadrapada) to the Dashami or the tenth day of Ashwin. Vijayadashami is celebrated as victory of Lord Rama over Demon Ravana and also triumph of Goddess Durga over the buffalo Demon Mahishasura. In the southern part of India Vijaya Dashami is celebrated with the worship of Chamundeshwari or Durga. Colourful toys of gods and goddesses are built and exhibited to mark the celebration which is known as “Golu” in Tamil Nadu.
  • Brahmotsavam festival: According to the Varaha Puranam, the Brahmothsavam is performed in the month of Asweeja (according to the Salivahana calendar) when the Sun is in the Kanya Rashi. The commencement of the utsavam or festival is marked by a ceremony called the Dhwajarohanam or the hoisting of the flag. In the center of the outer court of the temple stands a huge stone-pillar called the flag-stand (Dhwajasthamba). And on this occasion a long strip of new cloth is wound round the pillar with solemn ceremony.

Poojas and Rituals at Sooriyanar Kovil

  • There is a marked difference of worshipping in this temple from other temples, one has to follow the custom of worshipping. To offer worship at Sooriyanar Temple, one has to reach the Rajagopuram (Main Entrance) and more towards North where Pushkarani of temple is located.
  • One can take bath in the tank or sprinkle holy water in the head as purification. Next after the bath one has to offer prayers at the RajaGopuram before entering the temple. After entering the temple, one has to turn towards Southeren side where Koltheertha Vinayagar is placed.
  • One has to do the Sankalpam and Archana as Hindus find Vinayagar as turnover of all obstacles. After worshipping Vinayagar, one has to climb steps to reach ‘Narthana Mandapam’ at Northern Side. And then more towards ‘Sabanayakar Mandapam’ where one can offer prayers to ‘Urchava Moorthi’.
  • After Sabanayakar Mandapam one can reach ‘Main Mandapam’ and offer prayers to SriKasivisvanathar and Smt. Visalakshi. Next to Main Mandapam, there is Maha Mandapam where Sannathi to Sun-God, there is Guru Bhavan(lord Jupitee) stands there.
  • People do the Archana for Guru and offer prayers to lord Sun. One has to move South wards to come out of Sanctum to reach the lord Saturn (Sani). Lord Kuja, lord Mars are placed separately then more northwards to offer prayers to lord Moon and Kethu.
  • Next movement would be towards west where lord Sukra and Raghu are placed. Finally one has to offer prayers to Sandikeswarar. After finishing prayers at Sandikeswarar, one has to come clockwise to reach the vinayakar to give final prayers.

How to Reach Sooriyanar Kovil

By Air: The nearest airport is the Trichy airport which is situated at 58 kilometers from Thanjavur. Tiruchirappalli is connected to Chennai through regular flights. The other airports situated nearby are the Bangalore airport and the Chennai airports which are again connected to all the major cities in India as well as several cities in abroad.

By Rail: The nearest railway station to Suriyanar koil is the Aduthurai Railway Station. The other cities that are close to the Aduthurai railway station are Mayiladuthurai and Kumbakonam.

By Road: Suryanar Koil is about 21 km from Swamimalai and 15 km from Kumbakonam. It is about 20 km from Mayiladuthurai on the Kumbakonam – Aduthurai – Mayiladuthurai Road.

Where to stay

There are many hotels and guest houses that are located near the temple. Approximately at a distance of 2 Kms one will find good place to stay that provides with all the necessary services.

  • Sivamurugan Hotels Contact: 60 Feet Main Road | Near New Bus Stand,, Kumbakonam 612001
  • Mantra Veppathur Resort Contact: 536/537A,No.1, Bagavathapuram Main Road Extension, | Srii Sailapathipuram Village, Veppathur,, Kumbakonam 612103
  • Hotel Le Garden Contact: Thiruvidaimaruthur Road, Kumbakonam 612001
  • DSR Madhanam Inn Contact: 75/3 Asoor By Pass Nh 45c | near Karuppur By Pass,Kumbakonam 612002
  • Hotel Riverside Resort & Spa Contact: 32 College Road, Kumbakonam 612001
  • Quality Inn VIHA Contact: #2, New Railway Road | Kumbakonam, Tanjore Dist,Kumbakonam 612001

Where to eat

Some of the restaurants near the temple that offers delicious food are

  • Thanmayi Restaurant Contact: New Railway Road, Kumbakonam, India
  • Raya’s Restaurant Contact: 18,19 Head Post Office Rd, Kumbakonam 612001
  • Habibi RestaurantContact: 29/921 Sarangapani East Street, Kumbakonam
  • Dosa Plaza Kumbakonam Contact: 332 Nageshwaran North Street Kurinchi Metro Bazzar

Nearby Temples

Brihadeeswara Temple: The Brihadeeswara Temple or the Peruvudaiyar Kovil is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. This temple is one of the most beautiful architectural sites in India. Raja Raja Chola I had this temple constructed in 1010 AD. The Brihadeeswara Temple was built for royal ceremonies and to display the emperor’s power and vision. The Cholas had a splendid eye for art and architecture, which shows in their temples, which have been constructed in a Dravadian style. The Brihadeeshwara temple has over a 29 sq.m base. It has a soaring vimana (Srivimana) and a relatively shortgopuram. The inner sanctum and the gopuram were constructed over a period of 12 years from a single piece of granite weighing around 80 tonnes. The presiding deity is Shiva in the form of a Lingam called Peruvudaiya, Rasjarajeshwaramudvya.

Neelamega Perumal Temple: Thiru Thanjaimaamani temple or Sri Neelamega Perumal Temple is situated in Vennathankarai village of Thanjavur district in Tamil Nadu,dedicated to Lord Vishnu and also one of the 108 Divya Desam Temples. The Lord of the temple is  praised by Saints Boothazhwar and Tirumangai Azhwar in their Mangalasasanam hymns.  The Lord in this temple appears in sitting  posture as Veera SingaPerumal and Narashimar.  Sri Yoga Narasimha is in the front Mandap.  Also Sri Lakshmi Narasimha is in the  prakara of Neelmega Perumal temple. According to history the temple is thought to have been constructed by the rulers of the Pallava Dynasty. Later it was renovated by the rulers of Chola Dynasty and Pandya Dynasty.

Sarangapani Temple: This is  an important divya desam of Vishnu and is also known as Tiru Kudanthai. This is one of the  Pancha Ranga Khestras. Sarangapani temple is the biggest Vishnu temple in Kumbakonam and  it belongs to 13th century. The Moolavar is Sarangan ,and the thayar is Ranganayaki. The temple sanctum is designed like a chariot with wheels and is drawn by horses and elephants.The  main temple has a beautiful mandapam in front of the temple. The sanctum has  two entrances. One is known as the Uttarayana dwara and other one the Dakshinayana dwara as is in Tiruvellarai.

Thiruvenkadu

Thiruvenkadu

Thiruvenkadu is situated in the Nagapattinam district. The place is about ten kms away from the southeast of Sirkali, Poompuhar road. It is said that this name has been derived from the white elephant (Airawat) of Lord Indra who meditated at this place. It is one of the nine Navagraha temples in South India. The presiding deity here is Lord Shiva and is known as Venkaatunadar and Sri Swetaranyeswarar. His consort(Ambal) is called Bhrama Vidya Nayaki.This place is also called Adhi Chidambaram. Nataraja’s dance here is known as Hasti Natanam.The temple is quite large and all four important Saivite saints have sung in praise of this lord.This temple is especially known for its unique incarnate of Lord Shiva called “Agora Murthi”.

Thiruvengadu village is also famous for its unique structure of pools in temples. This temple has 3 pools, 3 Gods. It is a belief that who takes bath in all these pools, the one will be free from their problems like diseases, delay in marriage, etc.This Shiva temple is one of the 6 most sacred places on the banks of river manikanigai and Cauvery which is considered as equivalent to the temple at Varanasi. The other 5 shivasthalams are Thiruvaiyaru, Chaayaavanam, Mayiladuturai, Tiruvidaimarudur and Tiruvanchiyam. There is a separate space for Lord Shiva as Agoramurthy(with a beast head and bird’s body) also called as veerabhadrar. The idol is a good 6 ft tall and is under a vanni maram(vanni tree).Legend goes that a demon named Maruthuvan recklessly tortured saints and devas after receiving a boon from Brahma. The Devas went to Shiva for helping them out. Lord Shiva took the form of Agoramurthy and destroyed the evil demon.

Thiruvenkadu

History and Legend of Thiruvenkadu

  • The demon Maruthuvan, received boons from Brahma and then tortured devas. The Devas went to Shiva for freedom from the demon. The Lord advised the Devas to go to Thiruvengadu and live there in disguise. Shiva sent his vehicle Nandhi and defeated the demon. The demon injured Nandhi with his trident.
  • Lord Shiva converted his anger into the Agoramurthy form. On seeing the Lord, the demon surrendered at his feet and begged his pardon. He also prayed that those worshiping Agoramurthy would not have enemies at all.
  • Achuthagapanar bathed in the three tanks, worshiped Thiruvengadar and he was blessed with a child. This child came to be known as Meikandar and became the chief of Santhana Kuravars.
  • Vedarasi, a brahmin had placed his bundle of food in the hollow of a tree. A snake residing in the hollow spewed poison on the food.
  • Unaware of this, Vedarasi gave this food to a vedic priest, who died of the poison. This brahmin was absolved of his Brahmahathi Dhosham by worshipping Lord Siva of Thiruvengadu.
  • When Thirugnanasambandar reached the borders of Thiruvengadu, the whole place looked like Sivaloka and the sands Sivalingas.He hesitated to place his legs on this holy land and cried Oh! Mother. On hearing his voice, Goddess Periyanayaki appeared there and took the child on her laps. The idol of Periyanayaki with Thirugnanasambandar is majestically installed in the temple.
  • Thiruvengadar, the son of Sivanesan and Gnanambigai, with the blessings of a Siva Muni received Siva Ditchai and a Siva Linga and came to be called Pattinathu Adigal.Indra having killed Virudhasuran, worshiped Lord Thiruvengadar and was absolved of his sins.
  • Sage Durvasar gifted a mala to Indra. Indra in his vanity threw it on his white elephant Iravadam which stamped the mala under its feet. Durvasar cursed Indra. Indra realizing his folly formed a tank -Thadagam in Thiruvengadu and worshipped a Siva Linga. He was blessed by Lord Siva and absolved of his sins and reached Indraloka again.
  • Suwedakedu on realizing that he was destined to die in his eighth year reached Thiruvengadu and performed Siva pooja. As soon as he saw Yama, he held on to the Siva Linga tightly. Yama on seeing Thiruvengadar, ran away in fear.

Significance of the Thiruvenkadu Temple

  • Lord Shiva is believed to possess three eyes – Chandra, Surya and Agni. Since the tanks are blessed by them the Theertham(tanks) are called Soma Theertham ,Surya Theertham and Agni Theeertham. Bathing in these tanks and worshipping the Lord here for one “mandalam” (45 days) is believed to relieve couples from problems related to childbirth.
  • One of the three deities is Aghoramurthy or Aghora Veerabhadramurthy the most fierce among the five representations of Lord Shiva.This form of Shiva is worshipped with special pujas on Sunday nights.There are several shrines of significance including those to Durga and Kali.The saints Appar,Sundarar,Sambandhar and Manikavasagar have sung in praise of this temple.
  • Those who visit Thiruvengadu will find relief from puthira dosham, poor studies, mental instability, nervous disorders. Knowledge, music, astrology, maths, sculpting, medicine, language skills are the beneficial aspects of Budan.

Thiruvenkadu Temple Temple Timings

The temple is open from 6 AM to 12 PM in the morning and  from 5.30 PM to 9.30 PM in the evening.

Festivals celebrated at the Thiruvenkadu Temple

  • Indira Festival: The Indra Jatra festival honours the recently deceased and pays homage to Indra and Dagini for the coming harvests. The Indra Jatra festival celebrates the remarkable achievement. In return for the release of Dagini, she promised to spread dew over the crops for the coming months and to take back with her to heaven all those who had died in the past year.
  • Gokulashtami: Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm in India in the month of July or August. According to the Hindu calendar this religious festival is celebrated on the Ashtami or Krishna Paksh or the 8th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Bhadon.The actual celebration of Janmashtami takes place during the midnight as Sri Krishna is believed to be borned on a dark.  All over India this day is celebrated with devotional songs and dances, pujas, arti, blowing of the Conch and rocking the cradle of baby Sri Krishna.
  • Ganesh Chaturthi: Ganesh Chaturthi also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi is one of the important Hindu festivals celebrated throughout India with a great devotion. This day is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesh, the elephant-headed son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Lord Ganesh is the symbol of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.The festival falls on the Hindu month of Bhaadrapada (mid August- mid September). The festival lasts for ten days and ends on the fourteenth day of the waxing moon period.
  • Purattasi Viratham: Purattasi is an important Tamil month like Aadi, while Aadi month is for Amman Puratasi is for Perumal. According to Legend Lord Venkateswara appeared on earth in Purattasi Masam and also there is a myth that Lord Sani losses his power in this month. Purattasi masam is the masam in which full moon normally occurs either on Poorattadhi/ Uttirattadhi stars. Puratasi Masam is of great importance to Tamilians as it is believed that Lord Venkateswara appeared on the earth in this month. Lord Vishnu devotees consider Purattasi as the ideal month for thanking Lord Vishnu for preserving the Universe at the end of Kali Yuga. Devotees gather in large number at Lord Vishnu temples and special prayers are offered and flags with Garuda emblem are hoisted.
  • Skanda Shashti: Skanda Sashti is a six-day South Indian festival to Skanda, the Lord of Religious Striving, also known as Murugan or Karttikeya. It begins on the day after the new moon in the month of Karttika (October/November) with chariot processions and pujas invoking his protection and grace. The festival honors Skanda’s receiving his lance, or vel, of spiritual illumination, and culminates in a victory celebration of spiritual light over darkness on the final day. The fasting of Skanda Shasti begins on the Pradma Thithi after Deepavali in Tamil Nadu. The first day after the Amavasi that follows Deepavali. During the fasting period, devotees confine to a single meal. Some people only fast on the Soorasamharam day.
  • Pongal: Pongal is a harvest festival, celebrated by the people belonging to Hindu faith. On this occasion, people thank the Sun God for abundant agricultural crops. The festival is most popular in the state of Tamil Nadu. Pongal is celebrated from January 13 to 16 every year. The festival marks a period of plenty, peace and happiness. While each of its days has a special religious significance, most urban people celebrate second day as the main festival. Pongal is the only festival of Hindu that follows a solar calendar. The Pongal festival also includes exchanging gifts, dancing, and buffalo-taming contests.

Poojas and Rituals at Thiruvenkadu

Budha (mercury) presides over ‘Budh-war’ or Wednesday or Budhan. He is also the god of merchandise and protector of merchants. Budha is considered a benefic, unless he is joined with another malefic planet, in which case he becomes malefic also.

Mercury rules over Mithuna (Gemini) and Kanya (Virgo), is exalted in Kanya and in his fall in Meena (Pisces). Budha is friendly with the Sun and Venus, hostile to the Moon and neutral towards the other planets. Budha represents intelligence, intellect, communication, analysis, the senses (especially the skin), science, mathematics, business, education and research.

Performing parihara pooja to this God Budan can rectify this dhoshams. Offering prayer to this God Budan benefits Artists, Musicians and people in the field of fine arts.

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air

By Air: Thiruvenkadu is located in Nagapattinam district which lies to the south of the district of Thanjavur. Thus, Thiruvenkadu is located nearby Tanjavur. The Trichy International airport is the nearest airport which is situated 58 km away from the place Tanjavur. Trichy is linked to Chennai by regular flights. Bangalore and Chennai airports are also located nearby. All of these airports are linked to the majority of towns of India and also other cities overseas.

By Road: Buses are available from Sirkali and Mayiladuthurai. Travel duration from Chennai to Thiruvenkadu is around 4.4 hours if your travel speed is 50 KM per Hour.

By Rail:  Trichy Junction is located nearby Thanjavur which is at 58 km from Thanjavur. Regular trains are also available from Trichy to Chennai and Madurai.

Where to stay

Nagapattinam is 320 Kms from the State Capital Chennai and 145 Kms from Trichirapalli. It is the District Head Quarters of Nagapattinam District. There are many hotels near the temple that offers accommodation to the devotees.

  • Hotel PAMS Contact: 30/B Town Extension Road, Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu 609001
  • Hotel Sadhabishegam Contact: 6/18A, Sannathi Street, Thirukadaiyur, Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu 609311
  • Hotel Seahorse Contact:  Opp Police Reserved Camp, Public Office Rd, Kadambadi, Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu 611001
  • Hotel VPN Residency Contact: Main Road, Maha Kulam Stop, Velankanni, Tamil Nadu 611111
  • Hotel Grand Neyatt Contact: Manara North Street, Nagore, Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu 611002
  • Nagore Residency Contact: Kalmatu St, Nagore, Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu 611002

Where to eat

There are some restaurants near the temple that offers delicious south indian cuisine.

  • Murga Restaurant Contact: Nagapattinam District, Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu
  • Thiru Valluar Restaurant Contact: Nagapattinam District, Velankanni, Tamil Nadu
  • Alfa Restaurant Contact: Nagapattinam District, Velankanni, Tamil Nadu
  • Hotel Seagate Family Restaurant Contact: Nagapattinam District, Velankanni, Tamil Nadu

Nearby Temples

Sri Suvedharanyeswarar Swami Temple: Swetharanyeswarar Temple is a Hindu temple located in the town of Thiruvengadu near Sirkazhi. The main deity is Shiva – Swetharanyeswarar (lord of white forest) and the goddess is Brahma Vidya ambal. There is a separate Sannidhi for Bhudhan (mercury). The temple is quite large and all four important Saivite saints have sung in praise of this lord. The engravings on the walls of this temple represent historical info on Chola dynasty and other emperors of Vijayanagar.Thiruvengadu village are famous for pools in temple. This temple has 3 pools Surya theertham, Agni theertham and Chandra theertham. It is believed that these are the 3 drops that dropped from the eyes of God Shiva during his dance act.

Sri Mullaivananathar temple: This is an ancient Siva temple about 20 kms East of Thanjavur dedicated to Sri Mullaivananathar and Sri Karparakshambigai. It is a huge temple spread over a wide expanse with imposing Gopurams and a tank in front of it. It is believed that childless people who worship here with devotion and faith are blessed with pregnancy and pregnant women with safe deliveries. Unmarried women also pray here for their marriages. The Linga here is self-manifested and made of ant-hill mud.Therefore there is no water abhisekam worship is only offered with “Punuhu”. This Punuhu Chattam is offered by devotees who want to be cured from diseases.

Alangudi

Alangudi

The presiding deity of the temple is Sri Aabathsagayeswara or Aranyeswara. It is a Swayambu Lingam, and the Goddess is Umai Ammai. The temple is in the heart of the place Alangudi. The main tower (Rajagopuram) is of five tiers constructed very aesthetically. Lord Dakshinamurthy has a significant importance in the temple. There is a separate sanctum for the special deity Sri Dakshinamurthi. Being a Guru Kshetra, Thursdays attract a large number of pilgrims and special pujas are performed. There are about 15 Theerthas (water bodies) in the temple. Guru, the preceptor of the devas is held in high esteem in the temple. The temple is called Alangudi, and is located near Needamangalam, in Tamil Nadu.

Lord Guru or Lord Dakshinamurthy is one of the “Navagrahas” and is referred to the planet Jupiter. The ancient temple of Dakshinamurthy temple is nestled in a tiny village of Alangudi in Thiruvarur district of Tamil Nadu. It is also known as the Arulmigu Abathsagayeswarar temple. Here Lord Shiva is the main deity. The Balipeeta for Nandi is covered by copper plates. The period of this temple could not be decided accurately since the Lord of this temple is Swayumbhu. It is believed that this temple was constructed by ‘Amudogar’, devotee of Lord Shiva. He was the minister of the King Masukuntha Chakravarti.In the inner corridor of the temple the shrines of Lord Ganesh, Murugan, Lakshmi, Sapthalingas, Kasi Viswanathar, Visalakshi and Sage Agasthya can be seen.

Alangudi

History and Legend of Alangudi

  • As per Hindu mythology, once upon a time Devas and Asuras tried to churn the Cosmic Ocean in order to obtain Amrita. It was the nectar of immortal life. By the suggestion of Vishnu, the gods (devas) and demons (Asuras) churn the primeval ocean in order to obtain Amrita which will guarantee them immortality.
  • To churn the ocean they used the Serpent King, Vasuki, for their churning-string. For a churning pole they use Mount Mandara placed on the back of a Great Tortoise. It was the Kurma Avatar of Vishnu. As the gods and demons churned the sea, a terrible poison issued out of the sea which enveloped the universe.
  • The devas and asuras approach Shiva who took the poison into his throat and swallowed it. As Lord Shiva saved the world from the poison the Lord here is called as ‘Abath Sagayeswarar’. This place also called as Alangudi ( poison means Alam in tamil).
  • Alangudi is the place where Lord Shiva consumed the deadly poison as emitted during the churning of the ‘paarkadal’ (Sea of milk). Hence the place is known as Alangudi, which literally mean ‘the place where Lord Shiva consumed the deadly poison’.
  • The Devas, when churning the paarkadal for nectar, were hindered by the poisonous fumes from the snake Vasuki and prayed to Lord Siva for deliverance. Lord Siva consumed the deadly poison (Ala Visham), thus giving rise to the name Alangudi
  • Devotees visit here to worship the planet Guru (Jupiter). Every year during the planet Jupiter’s movement from one house to another house is considered to be very auspicious and lakhs of devotees arrive to worship the Guru Bhagavan.
  • As per another mythological story, a Shiva devotee named ‘Amudogar’ who worked as a minister in Thiruvarur kingdom constructed this temple. The King asked the minister to donate half of his good earned by him. As the minister refused to do so, the King ordered to kill the minister.
  • Once the head of the minister was removed, there was a loud unmanned voice heard as “Amudogar” in the temple location. King realized it was the voice of the God himself and it was his mistake to kill the minister. He worshipped in this temple later and God rid of the sin of killing a Shiva devotee.

Significance of the Alangudi Temple

  • It is believed that worshipping Lord Jupiter in this sacred temple will cure the Guru dosha. All the skin diseases will get cured after taking a bath in the holy tank of this temple. Here, Lord Ganesha removes the devotee’s mental worries.
  • Guru is assigned to give luck,richness,health in one’s life. If it is transmitted to wrong position means they will get heart problems,education problems etc.To overcome these problems devotees going to Alangudi and do things to satisfy Lord Guru.

Alangudi Temple Temple Timings

  • The temple remains open from 6:00 AM to 1:00 PM in the morning and 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM in the evening.
  • Kaala Santhi Pooja is performed at 08.00 AM to 08.30 AM in the morning.
  • It is followed by Uchikala Pooja which is performed at 12.30 PM to 01.00 PM.
  • In the evening the Saayaratchi Pooja is conducted at 05.00 PM to 06.00 PM.
  • The last pooja ie. Arthajama Pooja is performed 08.30 PM to 09.00 PM at night.

Festivals celebrated at the Alangudi Temple

  • Skanda Sashti: Skanda Sashti festival is dedicated to Hindu God Muruga (Karikeya or Subrahmanya). Kanda Sashti is observed in the Tamil Month Aippasi. Son of Lord Shiva and Parvati, the divine incarnation of Skanda was to primarily annihilate the demons that had created anarchy on earth and restore Dharma. He was the commander of the army of the Devas.The fasting of Skanda Shasti begins on the Pradma Thithi after Deepavali in Tamil Nadu. The first day after the Amavasi that follows Deepavali. During the fasting period, devotees confine to a single meal.
  • Aadi Puram: The Aadi festival, which falls in the month of July, is the beginning of the numerous festivals that are to follow suite.The word Aadi is derived from the Sanskrit word aash-adi. The months for the Indian Calendar are named after the 27 stars in the Zodiac system. In each month there are two or three stars. The story of Goddess Andal is famous throughout Tamil Nadu and She is renowned for her steadfast devotion for Sri Ranganatha (Lord Vishnu).There is a popular belief that Goddess Andal is an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. Aadi Puram is of great significance in Lord Vishnu Temples in Tamil Nadu. Equally important is the day in Shakti Temples.
  • Arudra Darisanam: Arudra Darshan is a Tamil festival and this day is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Arudra Nakshatram, which is also known as Thiruvaathirai Nakshatram, during Maargazhi Masam is considered highly auspicious. On this day Arudra Nakshatra also coincides with Pournami. Most of the temples around the world with Lord Nataraja and Shiva as deity perform the Arudhra Darshan. On this day Nataraj form of Lord Shiva is worshipped during Arunodaya along with holy chanting from Vedas. Being dedicated to Nataraja form of Lord Shiva this day is also considered as the birthday of Lord Shiva.
  • Kartikai Deepam: Karthigai Deepam comes on the tamil month Karthigai on Pournami day(Full moon day). Throughout the month lamps are lit in the front of the house in the evening. Kaarthigai Deepam brings to mind the legend of Lord Muruga who took the form of six babies in a lake called “Saravana Poigai”. He was formed from the eyes of Lord Shiva as six flames. These six flames turned into six babies which were united by Goddess Parvati (his mother) on this day. Special rituals are performed to Lord Muruga on this day.
  • Thai Poosam: Thaipusam is an important festival dedicated to Lord Muruga or Kartikeya. It is observed in the Tamil month of Tai or Thai (Januray – February). Thaipusam is celebrated to commemorate this victory of good over evil. Many devotees bear milk, water, fruits and floral tributes on pails hung from a yoke and carry them on their shoulders to various Murugan temples, far and near. This wooden or bamboo structure called ‘Kavadi’ is covered with cloth and decorated with feathers of peacock – the vehicle of Lord Murugan.
  • Pankuni Uththiram: Panguni Uthiram is a day of importance to Hindus especially those who belong to Tamil nadu. It falls on the day the moon transits in the asterism of Uttara-phalguni or Uthiram in the twelfth month of the Tamil solar calendar i.e. Panguni (March-April). It is also the full moon of the month of Panguni and is special because the Uthiram nakshatram coincides with the full moon. On Panguni Uthiram, in all places where Lord Subramanya has a temple, his devotees carry in a Kavadi the requisites of puja for him. Such vow fulfilment by devotees carrying Kavadis is a special feature of Subrahmanya temples wherever they happen to be.

Poojas and Rituals at Alangudi

  • The worshipper is instructed to light 24 lamps with ghee and circumambulate the Guru Bhagavan temple 24 times.
  • Kaala santhi should be conducted within 240 minutes or 4 hours of sunrise.
  • Saayaratchai pooja should  start  3/3-4 Nazhigai  90 minutes before sunset and end at sunset time of that day.
  • Arththa Yaama pooja is performed after the Irandaam kaala pooja but 3/3-4 90 minutes before the closing of the temple. This pooja will come to an end with the closure of the temple for that day.

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air

By Air: The nearest airport to the Temple is Thanjavur airport, which is 28 Km from the temple.

By Train: Needamangalam Railway Station, on the Thanjavur – Thiruvarur rail route, is the nearest railhead  It is 7 km from Alangudi. Other than that Kumbakonam is another major railway station. One has to however reach Alangudi by road from either Needamangalam or Kumbakonam.

By Bus: Alangudi is well connected with road networks. Alangudi is 40 km from Tiruvarur on the Mannarkudi route and it can be reached from Kumbakonam. There are many buses plying from Kumbakonam to Mannargudi which stops at Alangudi. There are also plenty of taxi’s available from Kumbakonam which can be hired for half a day.

Where to stay in Alangudi

There are many cheap budget hotels near the temple that offers some good facilities.

  • Sivamurugan Hotels Contact: 60 Feet Main Road, | Near New Bus Stand, Kumbakonam 612 001, India
  • Sara Regency  Contact: 45/1 Chennai Road, Kumbakonam 612002, India
  • Quality Inn VIHA  Contact: New Railway Road, Kumbakonam, Tanjore, Tamil Nadu 612001
  • Hotel Green Park Contact: No. 10, Lakshmi Vilas Street, Kumbakonam, South India – 612001
  • Hotel Vinayaga  Contact: 132C, Kamaraj Road, Kumbakonam- 612 001, Tamilnadu, India

Where to eat

There are a number of food joints and coffee shops to indulge your taste buds near the temple. There is also a free midday meals for 100 devotee on a specific day known as Annadhana Kattalai

  • Venkatramanaa Hotel Contact: No 40, TSR Big Street, Kumbakonam HO, Kumbakonam – 612001, Near Gandhi Park
  • Sri Balaji Bhavan Contact: Sasthra College Road, Kumbakonam HO, Kumbakonam – 612001
  • Hotel Shanmuga Bhavan Contact: 16, Kumbeswarar South Street, Kumbakonam HO, Kumbakonam – 612001
  • Gowri Shankar Hotel Contact: No 47, John Selvaraj Nagar, Kumbakonam HO, Kumbakonam – 612001
  • Rayas Garden Restaurant Contact: No 18 Rayas Hotel, Head Post Office Road, Kumbakonam HO, Kumbakonam – 612001

Nearby Temples at Alangudi

Sri Perungaraiyadi Meenda Ayyanar: Sri Perungaraiyadi Meenda Ayyanar Temple is one of the famous temples in Pudukkottai District, Tamil Nadu. It is located at Kulamangalam in Alangudi Taluk. The temple’s history is dated back to 18th century. The temple is in the bank of Villuni River. As per the researchers, there used to be a big Elephant idol facing opposite to the Horse idol in this Temple. This was considered one of the significance of this Temple, since it is very rare practice to construct an Elephant idol in an Ayyanar (The Horse) Temple that too facing opposite of the Horse idol. Like in many Ayyanar temples, this temple also located in the border of the village as a means of securing and assuring wealth and health for all.

Vasisteshwaran Temple: The temple dates from the 12th century AD and was built by the Cholas. Maharshi Vasishta worshipped Jupiter as Raja Guru in this temple; hence the place has Guru importance. Guru transition day is devotionally celebrated here.The Goddess here is also known as Sugantha Kunthalambigai as a girl by name Sugantha Kunthala got her deceased husband back to life after worshipping Ulaganayaki. Hence, Goddess is worshipped here for not just protecting but also for the long life of one’s husband.Guru Bhagavan has a separate Shrine between Moolavar and Ambal Shrine. This is the only place where you can see Guru Bhagavan as a Raja Guru, in standing posture with four hands holding weapons and a book.

Kanjanur

Kanjanur

Agneeswarar Temple at Kanjanur is one of the nine Navagraha Temples in Tamil Nadu. It is associated with Lord Sukran (Planet Venus), the sixth of Navagraha planets. Also known as Sukran Navagraha Sthalam. Lord Agneeswarar in this temple is found in the form of a Lingam, an infinite nature of Lord Shiva, which depicts Shukra. And the Thayaar of Agneeswarar Temple is Goddess Karpagambigai (Goddess Parvati).The other deities of the temple are Lord Karpaga Vinayagar, Lord Dhakshinamoorthy, Lord Natarajar, and Pullunda Nandhi. The special feature of this temple is that the sage Parasara Muni was believed to be blessed by Lord Shiva with His divine cosmic dance. According to the belief of Saivite, followers of Lord Shiva, Shukra is found within the stomach of Lord Shiva.

Kanjanoor is considered to be 36th in the series of the “Thevara Sthalams” located in Chola Nadu north of the river Kaveri. And is also one of the nine Navagraha sthalas i.e. temples linked to the 9 planets  in the Thanjavur area located in the Kaveri Delta region dedicated to planet Venus, called Sukra. Unlike other Navagraha temples, the main deity, “Agnishwarar” in the form of lingam (cylindrical column) depicts Lord Sukra (venus).The temple has a 5-tier Rajagopuram surrounded by two prakarams (closed precincts of a temple). The temple is revered by the verses of Appar, one of 4 most prominent of the 63 Nayanmars  and hence referred as “Paadal Petra Sthalam”, marked by Lord Shiva.

Kanjanur

History and Legend of Kanjanur

  • Sukracharya was the son of Brigu Maharishi.  Once during a war between the devas and asuras, Brigu Maharishi’s wife, was accidentally beheaded by Vishnu’s chakram (discus).  An angry Sukracharya cursed Vishnu.  As a result of the curse, He was born as Sudarsanar to Vasudeva, a Vaishnava Brahmin.  
  • Sudarsanar was a staunch Shiva devotee and was popularly known as Haradatta Shivacharyar.  There are stories of the ordeals undergone by Haradatta to prove his devotion for Shiva. Images pertaining to these are seen in this temple and also in the Vishnu temple in the village. Haradatta used to spend much of his time meditating before the Dakshinamurthy.
  • The presiding deity Agneeswarar is the embodiment of Sukran. Sukran was the Guru of asuras. He had got the blessings from Lord Siva after severe penances. In the Vamana Avataram of Lord Vishnu, Vamana sought three footsteps of land from Mahabali, an asura king.
  • Realising Vamana to be no mere mortal, Sukrachariyar assumed the form of a bee and tried to block the flow of water from the kamandalam. Vamana picking up a pavithram blinds Sukracharya in one eye while trying to unclog the hole in the kamandalam.
  • Sukracharyar has the prowess to bring the dead to living by virtue of his knowledge of Amirtha Sanjeevini Mantra. Using this mantra, in the asura war against the devas, he revived the slain asuras. This helped the asura army swell.
  • The devas prayed to Lord Siva for help, who swallowed up Sukracharya in a fit of rage. After residing in Lord Siva’s stomach in a siddha state, he emerged from Lord Siva’s stomach.
  • Another historical incident making this Shivasthalam so rare and unearthly is that Lord Shiva himself blessed Paraasara Muni. He was a great sage who is the author of Vishnu Purana, with a vision of his cosmic dance Mukti Tandavam (dance of liberation) here. Paraasara Muni is also father of Srila Sri Veda Vyasa, who ascribed the great Indian epic Mahabharata and Srimad Bhagavatam.
  • Stone images of Natarajar (dancing Lord Shiva) and Sivakami are seen in this temple in the Nataraja Sabha referred to as the Mukti Mandapam. The Shiva Tandavam here is referred to as Mukti Tandavam.
  • It is said that Lord Brahma was blessed with a vision of Shiva’s marriage with Parvati here. The Brahma Linga enshrined in the Agneeshwarar Temple is said to have been worshiped by Lord Brahma.

Significance of the Kanjanur Temple

Sukra endows those who pray to him will be blessed with wealth, pleasure, wife, prosperity, vehicles. He is the next most beneficial planet after Guru. If in a person’s horoscope, Sukra is well placed, then the person will enjoy pleasure, beautiful wife, wealth, house, vehicle, good food, fame, love, affection, marriage, siblings, governmental help, chance to govern the country/state and hold influential status.

Lord Dakshinamurthy (Guru) is always seen with a demon being crushed under his feet. The demon signifies ignorance. It means that Dakshinamurthy leads us from ignorance to the knowledge of self. Instead of this standard practice, you can find the image of Haradatta worshipping Dakshinamurthy, which is a unique feature of this temple.

Kanjanur Temple Temple Timings

Temple is opened from 6 AM to 12.00 PM in the morning and 4 PM to 9 PM in the evening.

Festivals celebrated at the Kanjanur Temple

Mahasivaratri: Mahashivratri is celebrated in honour of Lord Shiva or Shankara. There are many mythological stories associated with the celebration of Mahashivratri in India. Devotees visit Lord Shiva’s temple and observe fast on the day of Mahashivratri.The people perform Pooja or worship of Lord Shiva on this day. Many people observe fast during day while many fast throughout day and night.The Shivalinga is washed every three hours that day with cow’s milk, curd ,honey , cow ghee ,water and adorned with the holy Bilva leaves and  Vibhuthi. Married women pray for the well being of their husbands and children, unmarried girls keep fast so that they get good and understanding husband.It is celebrated to make people aware of the universe and their inner selves. It drives out ignorance and radiates the light of knowledge.

Aadi Pooram: Aadi Pooram, also called as ‘Aandal Jayanti’ is a prime festival of Tamilians. This festival is dedicated to Goddess Andal, an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. Aadi Pooram is celebrated during the month of ‘Aadi’ in Tamil calendar that corresponds to the months of July-August in the English calendar. Aadi Pooram is a 10-day festival observed with great pomp and show in all Lord Vishnu temples in the state of Tamil Nadu. Of these, the last day (10th day) is observed as ‘Aadi Pooram’ and a grand marriage ceremony of Goddess Andal and Sri Ranganathaswamy is conducted. This event is also known as ‘Thirukalyanam’.Several Tamil Hindu rituals and festivals are held in the month of Aadi and therefore it is also auspicious to some people.

Arudara Darshan: Arudara Darshan is observed in the Tamil month of Margazhi (December – January). It is essentially a Shaivite festival and celebrates the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva, which is represented by the Nataraja form. Arudhra signifies the golden red flame and Shiva performs the dance in the form this red-flamed light. It takes place on the full moon night in the month of Margazhi and this is also the longest night in a year. Arudra Darshan celebrates this ecstatic dance of Lord Shiva.The married women keep fast for husband’s well being and unmarried for a good marriage. Ardra darshan is in early morning and temples are decorated with flowers and diyas.

Navaratri: Navratri is one of the most celebrated of all Hindu festivals. “Nav” means nine and “ratri” means night, thus Navratri festival means a festival spread over nine nights.The exact dates of the festival are fixed by the movement of the moon according to the Hindu lunar calendar but approximately it takes place around September or October. The festival of Navratri is marked by the celebrations of nine days. On each day one of the nine incarnations of the Goddess Shakti is worshipped. Chaitra Navratri is celebrated after Holi and during Chaitra Shukla Paksha. This starts from the first day and ends on the ninth day which is also celebrated as Ram Navmi. The worship of Goddess on the eighth day is very important and auspicious and is significant in both Navratri festivals.

Poojas and Rituals of Kanjanur

  • There are six worships that are offered to the Lord in Kanjanur. Lord Sukra is generally worshipped with white lotus, white cloth, diamond, ‘mochai’ powder and athi to ward off evil effects owing to the malefic planetary effects.
  • By praying to Lord Sukra these problems could be mitigated. Arts, sculpture, love, vehicles are the beneficial aspects of Sukra.
  • Six worship services are offered daily. Fridays are considered auspicious to pray Lord Sukra. Sukran, the next most beneficial planet after Guru (Brihaspati), bestows his devotees with wealth and prosperity. If in a person’s horoscope, Sukra is well placed, then the person enjoys better life and wealth.
  • Kanjanur is the temple for performing “Kalathira Dosha Pariharam” for Lord Sukiran. Lord Shiva named as Agneeswarar is the presiding deity and his consort is Goddess Karpagambal. Lord Agni one of the “AshtadhikBalakars” is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva here and hence the name Agneeswarar

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air

By Air: The nearest airport to Agneeswarar Temple in Thanjavur airport, which is 46 Km away from the temple.

By Rail: The nearest railway station to Agneeswarar Temple is Mayiladuthurai railway station which is 18 Km away from the temple.

By Road: There are direct local bus services to Agneeswarar Temple from Mayavaram, Aduthurai, Thiruvidaimarudhur and Kumbakonam.

Where to stay in Kanjanur

There are many resorts and hotels that are available near the temple that offers good accommodation to the devotees.

  • Mantra Veppathur Resort Contact: 536/537A,No.1, Bagavathapuram Main Road Extension, | Srii Sailapathipuram Village, Veppathur,, Kumbakonam 612103, India
  • Sivamurugan Hotels Contact: 60 Feet Main Road | Near New Bus Stand, Kumbakonam 612001, India
  • Sara Regency Contact: 45/1 Chennai Road, Kumbakonam 612002, India
  • Quality Inn VIHA Contact: #2, New Railway Road | Kumbakonam, Tanjore Dist, Kumbakonam 612001, India
  • Hotel Metro Contact: 19/11 Sarangapani Sannithi Street, Kumbakonam 612001, India

Where to eat

  • Dosa Plaza Kumbakonam Contact: 332 Nageshwaran North Street | Kurinchi Metro Bazz
  • Habibi Restaurant Contact: 29/921 Sarangapani East Street, Kumbakonam
  • Raya’s Restaurant Contact: 18,19 Head Post Office Rd, Kumbakonam 612001
  • Venkataramana Contact: near Municipal office, Kumbakonam, India
  • Sri Mangalambiga Vilas Contact: Adi Kumbeswarar Temple Complex, Kumbakonam

Nearby Temples

Suryanar Koil: Suryanar Temple is considered as one of the Navagraha temples, which houses the Sun God (Surya god). To offer worship at Sooriyanar Temple, one has to reach the Rajagopuram (Main Entrance) and more towards North where Pushkarani of temple is located. One can take bath in the tank or sprinkle holy water in the head as purification.  Lord Surya Bhagawan is known as the giver of health, success and prosperity.The name of the small town is itself Suriyanar koil. A three tiered tower is at the west of the temple.The sacred tank is to the left of the temple front position.The shrine Suriyan is in the center of the temple. Suriyan alone has a temple built all for himself.

Sri Sarabeswarar Temple: Sri Kambaheswarar Temple (or) Sarabeswarar Temple has located at Thirubuvanam village of Kumbakonam taluk, Thanjavur district. The main God of this temple is Lord Shiva has known as Kambaheswarar and Goddess Parvathi. The Chola King Kulothunga Chola had built this temple for his victory of North Indian battle. The shrine has sculptures of Sridevi and Bhudevi, the consorts of Vishnu. As per Hindu legend, Shiva is believed to have relieved Kampa (quaking) of a king haunted by evil spirits on account of the king killing a Brahmin by mistake. This led to the name of Kampahisvara.

Sri Mahalinga Swami Temple: Mahalinga swamy temple has located at Thiruvidaimaruthur, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur district.The holy tree Marutham had found in this region like forest. Therefore, this place has known as Maruthur. This Temple located at the middle of the Maruthur so it was known as Thiruvidaimaruthur. Appar, Sundarar and Thirugnana Sambandhar visited this temple. They sang many songs about Mahalinga Swamy.

Kalyanasundara Swamy Temple: It is believed that unmarried boy or girl will enter into wedlock if they propitiate the presiding deity Kalyanasundarar and his divine consort- Kokilambal.Parvathi Devi performed Tapas in this sthalam to marry Shiva Perumaan and finally got married in this sthalam. And because of this the sthalam is called as “Thiru Mananchery”. Another speciality of this temple is by offering the milk payasam towards mangala Raghu on every no moon day (amavasai) will gives the puthra baghyam.

Thirunageswaram

Thirunageswaram Temple

Sri Naganathaswamy Temple or Rahu Sthalam is one of the 9 Navagraha Temples around Kumbakonam and is dedicated to Rahu. The Presiding Deity is Lord Naganathaswamy. There are two Shrines for the Goddess. Piraiyanivanudalumai’s Shrine is adjacent to Naganathaswamy’s shrine and GiriGujambika with Lakshmi and Saraswathy by her side has a separate temple. Rahu Bhagavan is seen with his two consorts Nagavalli and Nagakanni. Sri Naganathaswamy Temple is one where Lord Shiva was worshipped by Rahu and got relieved of a curse. Rahu is a shadowy planet and do not have any special day dedicated to him. He is depicted in art as a dragon with no body riding on a chariot drawn by eight black horses. When Rahu is affected one faces several miseries and obstacles in the way of success. Thirunageswaram is one of the 274 paadal petra sthalams of lord Shiva. It is one of the Panchakrosa Sthalams also. Thirugnana Sambandar, Thirunavukarasar, Sundramurthy Nayanar, and Arunagirinathar have praised the glory of the Lord.

Lord shrine of Lord Ganesha was believed to be installed by Sadasiva Brahmendra. He was a saint, a composer of Carnatic music and an Advaita philosopher. The presiding deity Naganathar Swamy of this temple is admired in Tevaram, the 7th century Tamil Saiva canon. The Dwarapalakas (door keepers) of Naganathar Swamy Temple are made out of Chunam clay (lime plaster). Rahu Bhagwan is said to be the cause for one’s good position, status, business, faithfulness, winning over opposition, to travel overseas, and for mantra power. It is believed that by doing Milk abhishekam here for Rahu during Rahu kalam. The wonderful halls of Naganathar Swamy temple are built by Govinda Dikshitar, the minister of three successive Nayaks of Thanjavur.The milk while being over poured over the idol, turns blue even today and it is really to be seen, to be believed . People from far and near throng here for performing milk Abhishekam and the number is ever increasing.

Raaghu Bagavan tempel, Thirunageswaram

Raaghu Bagavan tempel, Thirunageswaram

History and Legend of Thirunageswaram

  • Legend has it that the mythological serpents Aadi Seshan, Dakshan and Kaarkotakan worshipped Shiva here. Legend also has it that Nala worshipped Shiva here as in Gowtama muni, Paraasarar and Bhageerata are also associated with legends related to this temple.The king of the nagas, Rahu prayed to Lord Siva and hence this place got the name Thirunageswaram. Here Rahu Bhagavan has manifested with both his consorts.
  • King Sambumali who had incurred the wrath of sage Kaalangiri, attained moksha after bathing in the temple tank and praying to the Lord and Ambal of this temple.The devas and asuras churned the Paarkadal to obtain amirtham that would free them from death, keeping them alive for ever.
  • When the amirtham emerged, Lord Vishnu in the guise of Mohini was distributing the amirtham only to the devas. He was worried that the evil deeds of the asuras will increase multifold if they consumed amirtham. Realising this, one of the asuras with the help of the asura guru Sukrachariyar, took the form of a deva and consumed the nectar. Suryan and Chandran who noticed this, complained to Lord Narayana.
  • In anger, Lord Narayana hit the asura on the head with the spoon in his hand. The head was cut off and fell on the ground. But because the asura had consumed amirtham, his head and body continued to live. The body of a snake got attached to the head to become Rahu Bhagavan. Rahu prayed to Lord Vishnu (Narayana) and got the position of a Sayagraham. Rahu takes his revenge on Suryan and Chandran, whenever he gets a chance by devouring them. This is commonly called as eclipse.
  • The Chola King Kandaraathithya (950AD-957AD) changed the inner sanctum into a granite edifice. The inner Mantapa was built by Seikkizhar, as it was a favourite place to him. Govinda Dikshitar (17th century A.D.) a minister to Acchuthappa nayak, constructed the outer mantapa. Sambumali, a King built the beautiful Surya Puskarani beautifully. The roof and other renovation work were done by Arimalazham Annamalai Chettiar.

Significance of Thirunageswaram Temple

  • A unique feature of Naganatha Swamy temple is that Rahu Bhagavan is seen with human face. Usually in other places, Rahu Bhagavan is seen with a serpent face. Here Rahu Bhagavan is present with his two consorts Nagavalli and Nagakanni. This was originally a forest of Senbaka trees. A Shivalingam was found under one of these trees here and hence He came to be known as Shenbagarane Eswara.
  • On entering the Eastern gate way, one can find the Vinayaga temple, Balipeedam, Nandeeswarar Mandapam and Dhwaja Sthambam (Flag post). On the southern side there is the temple tank. On entering the main gopuram, the Deity of Rahu Bhagavan is in the south West corner of the praharam
  • Rahu is the source of plenty. Kalathra dosham, puthira dosham, communicable diseases, mental disorders, leprosy, fall in grace are caused by Rahu dosham. Praying to Rahu at this sthala helps to rid a person from these factors and also saves the person from all poisonous life forms. Trips to holy places, Gnanamarkam are his beneficial aspects.
  • Lord Pambureswarar in the lingam form blesses in the sanctum sanctorum. The ‘utsavar’ form of Adhisesha is in the worshipping posture in the sanctum sanctorum. There is a most encompassing the sannadhi, with three sides of the moat covered by the mandapam

Thirunageswaram Temple Temple Timings

Thirunageswaram Raghu Temple opens daily from 6 AM to 9 AM in the morning and 1 PM to 5 PM, and 7 PM to 9 PM. The temple conducts six pujas daily Ushakkala Pooja (6 AM), Kalasandhi Pooja (9 AM), Uchikkala Pooja (1 PM), Sayaratchai Pooja (5 PM), Irandam Kala Pooja (7 PM) and Arthajama Pooja (9 PM).

Festivals celebrated at the Thirunageswaram Temple

Chithirai Brahmmotsavam: Brahmotsavam is the time when all the Gods and Goddesses literally come down and make their presence felt on the planet Earth in order to celebrate and commemorate a Deity. Chithirai Brahmotsavam is the celestial celebration of Devi Meenakshi’s divine marriage with Lord Sundareshwara.Therottam or Car Festival is celebrated on the 11th day of the festival. This Brahmotsavam is named after the Tamil month Chithirai (April-May) during which the celebration happens. Kumkumarchana is the offering of personalized puja in your name in which different names of Devi Meenakshi will be chanted along with the offering of Kumkum – vermillion. Kumkumarchana is offered by women for receiving special blessings for their wishes to get fulfilled.

Thai Poosa star float festival: Float festival is conducted on the Full Moon Day of the Tamil month of Thai (come in between mid Jan- mid Feb) every year. On the festive night, images of goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswara decorated with ornaments are taken out in a colourful procession to the huge Mariamman Teppakulam. The unique character of the Thai Pusam is the astonishing parade of people bearing kavadis. The kavadi which is associated with Idumban, vassal of Muruga, originated in Palani.There are several kinds of kavadis, the milk and rosewater kavadis being the principal ones. The central shaft of the semicircular wooden structure is placed on the shoulders and the pilgrims dressed in yellow costume and decorated with garlands, undergoing many privations to fulfill vows, dance. The divine songs are rendered in charming music by a trained singer and repeated by others in chorus and the emotion-choked dancer goes into raptures hearing them. Sometimes they react by shifting the kavadi over their shoulder, head, nose, etc.

Adipooram: The Tamil month Aadi is the fourth month of the Tamil Calendar. Aadi is a month of fervour and observances in Goddess related to Water-forces and Natural forces where prayers and pujas are offered to propitiate the powerful goddesses. And seek their protection from the inauspicious aspects that are often associated with the month. The month of Aadi is considered very auspicious to connect oneself to this Divine power.  No weddings or other similar functions are celebrated during Aadi as is considered inauspicious. The day of Aadi Pooram is also observed as the day of Goddess Shakti as it is believed that the Goddess herself comes to Earth in this auspicious day, to bless her devotees. The devotees therefore worship their deity with full dedication to lead a happy and prosperous life. In the temples, Goddess Andal is adorned with silk saree, glittering jewelleries and garlands. An elaborate feast is offered to the Goddess that is contributed by every household in the community. As the festival of Aadi Pooram celebrated the marriage of God and Goddess, thousands of devotees visit the temples to witness this ceremony.

Masi Magam: Masi Makam or Masi Magam is an important festival in the Tamil speaking world. The festival falls in the Tamil Month of Masi (February – March). In this festival various traditional customs are observed like deities from the neighboring temples are brought around Karaikal and many devotees come to take holy dip in the sea to cleanse all the sins. The most significant deity is Sowriraja Perumal of Thirukannapuram. The mythological tale is that Sowriraja Perumal was married to a woman of fisherman community and that made him to enter the fisherman village. The festival is observed on that occasion as the deity enters human society and people offers a hearty welcome to him.

Poojas and Rituals at Thirunageswaram 

Sundays are very auspicious and devotees perform milk abhishekam to Rahu, who is enshrined with His consorts. A noteworthy feature is that the milk turns blue. A dip in Soola Theertha is said to cure one of diseases and give prosperity.

Five kala poojas are being done everyday. Special Abhisekas are performed between 4.30 to 6 PM (Raaghu Kala) in all Sundays.

Astrologers suggest that doing Milk abhishekam (especially on Sundays) here for Rahu during Rahu kalam (period of 1 and 1/2 hours occurring every day ) the malefic effects of Rahu like marriage obstacles, lack of progeny, troubled marital life, Kalasarpa Dhosham, Kalasthra Dhosha , Sarpa Dhosha are all neutralized. During this milk abhishegam, the milk turns blue. Offering of blue cloth and ulutham paruppu (urad dal) is made here. Mantharai flower is considered special to him.

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air

By Air: The nearest airport to Naganathaswamy Temple is Tiruchirapalli International Airport.

By Train: Thanjavur railway junction has three rail heads leading to Tiruchirapalli, Kumbakonam and Thiruvarur. Thanjavur is connected by rail with most important cities and towns in India.

By Road: Buses Available from Kumbakonam (8kms), 10mins of travel form Kumbakonam, buses also available from Tanjore and major towns such as Trichy, Madurai.The Kumbakonam town is connected with Chennai, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Ernakulam, Nagercoil, Tirupathi, Ooty and other major cities through regular bus services.

Where to stay in Thirunageswaram

There are many hotels near the temple and some of them are:

  • Hotel Kanakabhishegam Contact: No. 6, Sannathi Street, Thirukkadaiyur, Tamil Nadu 609311
  • Mookambigai Residency Hotel Contact: Thirukadaiyur Main Road, Thirukadaiyur, Tamil Nadu 609311
  • Hotel Chella Residency Contact: Thirukadaiyur, Tamil Nadu 609311

Where to eat in Thirunageswaram

The restaurants near the temple that offers some mouth watering and delicious food.

  • Krishna Bhavan Veg Hotel Contact: Thirukadaiyur, Tamil Nadu 609311
  • Majnu Restaurant Contact: Thirunagari – Mangaimadam Rd, Mangaimadam, Tamil Nadu 609106
  • Annapoorani Contact: Tiruvengadu – Poompuhar Rd, Manigramam, Tamil Nadu 609107

Nearby Temples in Thirunageswaram

Brihadeeswarar Temple: Thanjavur Peruvudaiyar Kovil also known as Brihadeeswara Temple and Raja Rajeswara Temple which was achieved by Rajaraja Chola I (985 -1012 AD) in Tamil architecture. This big Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Siva.Tanjore temple architecture is one of India’s most prized architectural. The main deity of Brihadeeswara Temple is lord Shiva (Lord Brihadeeswara), with three eyes. However one eye is closed. Only priests are allowed to enter this inner most chamber. The entire surroundings of Brihadeeswara Temple contains of 250 lingams as a representation of Lord Shiva.

Thirunallar Temple: Sri Darbaraneswarar Temple is the abode of Lord Shani(Lord Saturn). The Temple is most famous to Lord Shaneeswarar (Saneeswaran in Tamil), one of the 9 Navagrahas(Nine Planets). Various poojas are offered to Lord Saneeswara(Shani) Bhagawan every day. The other deities of the shrine are Swarna Vinayaka, Lord Subramaneswara Swamy and Thyagarajar.

Keezhperumpallam

Keezhperumpallam Temple

Kethu temple is the Navagraha Sthalam located at Keezhperumpallam in Thanjavur district. The temple is dedicated to Lord Kethu. The main Idol of this temple is Lord Shiva as “Naganathaswamy” and Goddess Parvathi as “Soundaranayagi” in this temple. The temple is situated in Small village and located on the Cauvery river which near to Poompuhar. Keezhaperumpallam is also known as Vanagari. Here Naganathar is the main deity and his consort is Soundarya Devi. This temple is dedicated to Kethu (South Lunar Node), one of the nine planets or navagraha. Kethu Bhagavan has the head of a snake and the body of an asura. It is rare to see Kethu Bhagavan with his head. Kethu worshiped Shiva here to get rid of his sins. Here he is seen worshiping Naganathar with folded hands.

Keezhperumpallam

Ketu is generally referred to as a “shadow” planet. He is considered as Tail of the Demon Snake. It is believed to have a tremendous impact on human lives and also the whole creation. Astronomically, Ketu and Rahu denote the points of intersection of the paths of the Sun and the Moon as they move on the celestial sphere. Therefore, Rahu and Ketu are respectively called the north and the south lunar nodes. The fact that eclipses occur when Sun and Moon are at one of these points gives rise to the story of the swallowing of the Sun and the Moon. Ketu Bhagavan do not have any physical or celestial bodies like the other planets. The corresponding South point which is exactly 180 degrees away from the former is called Ketu Bagawan. Kethu Bhagavan is adorned in multicolor and it is believed that offering pooja to the Lord Kethu at Keezhperumpallam with red Lilly, kollu (horse gram), and cloth will get relieved from illness, poverty and other doshams.

History and Legend of Keezhperumpallam

  • Keezhperumpallam is also called Vanagiri. The planets Kethu and Rahu, known as ‘Chaaya Grahangal’, are associated with the legend of the churning of the milky ocean. When the Devas and Asuras churned the ocean of milk with the Manthira Mountain as the churning stick and snake Vasuki as the rope, the amirtham emerged.
  • This was consumed by an asura, who disguised himself as a Deva. Knowing this, Lord Narayana hit the asura on the head with the spoon in his hand. The head was cut off and fell on the ground. As the asura had consumed amirtham, his head and body continued to live.
  • The head portion of the asura attached itself to a snake body and became Rahu Bhagavan. The body portion that was thrown away fell in Pothigai mountain region which was found and preserved by a Brahmin. The head of a snake got attached to the asura body to become Kethu.

Significance of Keezhperumpallam Temple

  • The center icon of the temple Kethu is considered to be a shadow planet. And number 7 is considered to be the number denoting Ketu God. Ketu God is found here with a divine posture headed with five-headed serpent and with folded hands worshiping Lord Shiva (Lord Naganatha swamy).
  • It was believed that the devotees will get rid of from Naga dhosham, Kethu dhosham, and form marriage related issues by worshiping this temple. According to astrology, Ketu’s effects are that of similar to Mars but this is only one way of describing the malefic effect and power of Ketu.
  • Ketu can be more destructive if it is inauspiciously positioned in the horoscope. Ketu destroys the potency of the planet with which it is conjunct, making the planet behave in an uncontrollable manner. All days are special in the Ketu temple at Keezhaperumpallam.
  • Rahu and Ketu were the twins and universe planets than other planets. Lord Ketu is red in colour and decorated with red lilly flower and red dresses. The effect of Ketu will create hindrance in one’s effort, poverty, enemy, ill health, devil spirits, loss of property, loss of face etc.

Keezhaperumpallam Temple Temple Timings

This temple will remain open from 6.00AM to 12.00PM and 3.30PM to 8.30PM and also be kept opened during Raaghu kalam and Emakandam.

Festivals celebrated at the KeezhperumpallamTemple

Mahashivarathri: The day before the Amavasya (new moon) of each lunar month is called Shivarathri. Among all the Shivarathris of the year, the one that falls in the lunar month of Magha in February-March each year is considered to be most auspicious, and is celebrated as Mahashivratri.The observance of the Vratha is believed to secure for the devotee immunity from the eftects of sin committed either wittingly or unwittingly. The night is divided into four quarters, each quarter going by the name of a Jama called also Yama. And pious people keep awake during every one of it , worshipping Iswara. It says that a devotee who performs sincere worship of Lord Shiva on the auspicious day of Shivratri is absolved of sins and attains moksha.

Panguni Vasuki Utsav: Panguni Uthiram is an important and an auspicious day for the Tamil Hindus. It is observed in the month of Panguni (also known as Phalguni) when Nakshatram (Star) Uthiram or Uttara Phalguni prevails.  Panguni is the twelfth and last month in the Tamil Calendar and is also known as Meena month in other solar calendars.It is believed that Goddess Parvati in the form of Gowri married Lord Shiva in Kanchipuram and because of this belief this day is also celebrated as Gowri Kalyanam day.

Karthigai Festival: Kaarthigai Deepam is a festival of lights, celebrated in the Tamil month of Kaarthigai. It is celebrated on the full moon day of the Kaarthigai month which coincides with Krithikai star. It is also considered as the extension of the Deepavali festival. In some houses, they double the number of lamps every day from the day of Deepavali and this way, they end up with a number of lamps on the day of Kaarthigai Deepam. The temple is revered by the Tevaram hymns of 7th century Saiva nayanars – Tamil saint poets and is also classified as a Paadal Petra Sthalam.

Navaratri Festival: Navratri, literally interpreted as ‘nine nights’ is the most celebrated Hindu festival devoted to Goddess Durga symbolizing purity and power or ‘shakti’. Navratri festival combines ritualistic puja and fasting and is accompanied by resplendent celebrations for nine consecutive days and nights. Navratri in India follows the lunar calendar and is celebrated in March/April as Chaitra Navratri and in September/October as Sharad Navratri. Goddess Durga is worshipped for the first three days of Navratri followed by Goddess Laxmi for the next three days.

Aippasi Abhishekam: The full moon day in the Tamil month Aippasi / Kartik Pournami is an auspicious day to perform Annabhishekam to Lord Shiva. In most of the Shiva temples Mahakala Puja, Abhishekam, and Maha Mangala Harathi are performed to Lord.

Poojas and Rituals at Keezhperumpallam Temple

Ketu is specially offered with offerings like Lilly flowers, horse gram (Kollu), and multi colored cloths. Abhishekam to Lord Ketu is performed daily by 8.30am. Prodhoshams are very special occasions. Six worship services are offered at the Ketu temple. One can worship Matsyavathara Purusha to appease Ketu graha. Feeding the fish is also recommended.

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air to Keezhperumpallam

By Air: The nearest airport to Nagannathaswamy Temple is Thanjavur airport, which is 23 Km away from the temple.

By Train: The nearest railway station to Nagannathaswamy Temple is Ariyalur railway station which is 32 Km away from the temple and Mayiladudhrai station is also the nearest railway station to the temple. Shiyali Railway Station, Thanjavur is about 15 km from the temple.

By Road: The temple is well connected by road networks. There are regular bus services plying to Chennai, Coimbatore, Tiruchirapalli, Karaikal, Pudukkottai, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Kumbakonam, Pattukkottai, Bangalore, Ernakulam, Ooty and Mysore.

Where to stay in Keezhperumpallam

There are many hotels that offer to provide the right  ambiance for a relaxing stay for the discerning traveller.

  • Hotel Gnanam Contact: Anna Salai Market Road, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613001
  • Lakshmi Hotel Contact: 44P, 45P VOC Nagar, Marys Corner, Trichy Main Road, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613007
  • Tanjore Hi Hotel Contact: 464, East Main Street, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613001
  • Sangam Hotel Contact: Trichy Road, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613007
  • Hotel Star Residency Contact: 20/1 A, SM Road, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613007
  • Hotel Parisutham Contact: 55, G.A.Canal Road, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613001

Where to eat in Keezhperumpallam

  • Vasantha Bhavan Contact:  S Rampart Rd, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613001
  • Sathars Restaurant Contact: No. 167, Gandhiji Road, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613001
  • Chennai Dharbar Restaurant Contact:  H.I.G – 15, Kurinji Street,, New Bus Stand, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613005
  • Sangam Hotel Contact: State Highway 99A, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613007
  • Thillana Contact: Sangam Hotel, SH 99A, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613007

Nearby Temples in Keezhperumpallam

Brihadishwara Temple: The Brihadishwara Temple, also known as Rajarajeswaram built by the Chola Kings a thousand years ago, is one of the oldest and greatest Shiva Temple of all times. The temple is the standing example for the power and glory of its builder, Rajaraja Chola, an erstwhile King.  The temple tower of 216 feet is the tallest of its kind in the world. Also the main tower was constructed in such a way that its shadow will never fall on the ground. The temple is 1000 years old. A massive linga on the central pedestal is enshrined within the sanctuary. A stone altar carved with a lotus on the top has the Navagrahas carved on to the sides. Another small structure in the south-west corner of the enclosure houses a Ganesha image. A large Nandi sculpture constructed of blocks is constructed in the front(east) of the principal temple. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is a 16 storey temple with a 66 m high monumental tower or vimana over the inner sanctum which can be visible for miles around.

Thirunallar Temple: Sri Darbaraneswarar Temple is the abode of Lord Shani(Lord Saturn). The Temple is most famous to Lord Shaneeswarar(Saneeswaran in Tamil). It is one of the 9 Navagrahas(Nine Planets). The main deities of the shrine are Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Paravathi Devi and Lord Shani Bhagawan. As per the history of the temple, the great King Nala of Puranic fame was relieved of the affliction of Lord Saturn or Lord Saneeswaran after worshipping the Lord consecrated in this temple.Whoever visits this temple and prays before Lord Saneeswaran is believed to have been relieved of all the curses and sufferings and get the blessings of Lord for a happy and prosperous life.

Naganathaswamy Temple: Sri Naganathaswamy Temple or Rahu Sthalam is one of the 9 Navagraha Temples in Tamil Nadu and is associated to Lord Rahu (Raaghu Bhagvan).Sri Naganathaswamy Temple is one where Lord Shiva was worshipped by Rahu (Raghu) and got relieved of a curse. A unique feature of Naganatha Swamy temple is that Lord Rahu is seen with human face. While in other places, Lord Raaghu is worshipped with a serpent face. Naganathaswamy is generally visited by people with Rahu dosha. Moreover, locals of the region claim that during ‘milk abhishekam’, the color of the milk turns from white to blue. The temple holds a big space and features four entry towers with fort like walls. The southern side of the temple has four Mandapas which are adorned with artistic pillars.

Apatsahayesvarar Temple: Alangudi (Guru stalam) has been located at a distance of 17.5 km from Kumbakonam,Thanjavur. Ala means poision. So the Lord Shiva known as Abathsahayeswarar which means one who help at critical situations. Presiding deity Aabathsahayeswarar is a Swayambulinga Murthy in the temple. Lord Dakshinamurthy adored as Guru Baghwan (teacher of Dharma and Yoga sastras) has special importance in the temple and therefore, the place is regarded as Dakshinamurthy Sthala.Guru is assigned to give luck,richness,health in ones life.If he transmitted to wrong position means they will get skin diseases,heart problems,not good in education.To overcome these problems devotees going to Alangudi and do things to satisfy Lord Guru.

Thirunallar Saneeswaran Temple

Thirunallar Saneeswaran Temple

Thirunallar is a small village situated in the town of Karailkal in Pondicherry. Thirunallar Saneeswaran Temple is most famous to Lord Shaneeswarar which is one of the 9 Navagrahas(Nine Planets). The main deities of the shrine are Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvathi Devi and Lord Shani Bhagawan. Here Lord Shiva is called as Darbaraneswar and Goddess Parvati is known as Pranamambika or Bogamartha Poon Mulayal . The other deities of the shrine are Swarna Vinayaka, Lord Subramaneswara Swamy and Thyagarajar. Devotees facing evil effects of Saturn must stay for one day and night in the temple vicinity. Saneeswaran temple is under the Sri Darbanayeswarar temple and thousands of pilgrims visit this temple. This is considered as one of the most powerful temples in the entire southern India. There is a belief among the locals that one who visits the place never have their desires remain unfulfilled.

Thirunallar Saneeswaran Temple

History and Legend of Thirunallar Saneeswaran Temple

  • The great King Nala of Puranic fame was relieved of the affliction of Lord Saturn or Lord Saneeswaran. He offered daily Pooja to Lord Shiva and lived happily. Sani Bagavan always try to catch him. He was never caught  because of blessings of Lord Shiva. One day, while doing his pooja, he didn’t stand perfectly.
  • Sani Bagavan noticed it and got a chance to caught him after 12 years. King Nalan was caught by Sani. So the king lost all his kingdom and suffered a lot. King Nala unable to rule and he left his land to his wife Damayanthi.
  • After loosing everything he worked as a  cookman in the palace of Ayodhya. Sani Bagavan lost all his power to Lord Dharbaranyeswarar as Lord Shiva was very angry due to this. The Sage Naradhar noticed him and said the game of Sani Bagavan. Nalan understood the play of Sani. So he decided to go holy pilgrimage place.
  • Nalan went to Dharbaranyeswarar temple in Thirunallar and prayed Sani Bhagawan. Sani Bagavan blessed him and got his power back. Nalan stayed in temple sometime and built the temple. After Nalan got back his kingdom. The world Thirunallar derived in two words “Nala” means King Nalan and “Aru” means “to heel”, it means Nala’s place.
  • The Theertham of this temple is called as “Nala Theertham” .There is another story for this temple. Kalinga Raja was the king ruled. One day, Bhargava Munivar visited his kingdom, at that time the Kalinga Raja didn’t mind the Munivar properly.
  • So he cursed Kalinga to became an elephant. The Sage Naradhar felt sad that good king became an elephant. Naradha advised king to went to Thirunallar and got back from his curse.

Significance of the Thirunallar Saneeswaran Temple

  • Thirunallar Saneeswaran Temple is unique of its kind and is the only temple dedicated to Lord Saturn. Whoever visits this temple and prays before Lord Saneeswaran is believed to have been relieved of all the curses and sufferings and get the blessings of Lord for a happy and prosperous life.
  • The place was originally a forest of Dharba grass and it is stated that the Lingam even now has impressions left by the Dharba weeds within which it was situated.
  • By bathing here, it is believed that one washes off all kinds of misfortune, afflictions and to escape from the woes of sani. Saniswara or Saturn is generally known to affect one adversely on occasions when he occupies certain positions in one’s horoscope. A prayer to him, especially on Saturdays is said to mitigate the hardships.
  • Worshipping of Lord Shani helps people to develop a positive mindset even during the harshest of Shani periods. While it is true that offering worship here decreases the difficult effects and increases the positive effects of Saturn. It does not completely eliminate the hardships that one faces due to Shani Bhagawan.

Thirunallar Saneeswaran Temple Timings

Thirunallar Saneeswaran Temple remains open from 6:00 AM to 12:30 PM in the morning and 4:00PM to 8:30 PM in the evening.

During Saturdays as large number of devotees visit the temple so the morning time remains the same. But during the evening the temple remains open from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

Rules to follow at Thirunallar Saneeswaran Temple

Before entering the Thirunallar Saneeswaran Temple one needs to deposit the electronic gadgets safely at the counter and photography is not allowed inside the temple premises. There is also the checking that is done while entering the temple.

Festivals celebrated at Thirunallar Saneeswaran Temple

  • Adi Pooram festival: This festival is dedicated to Goddess Andal, an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. Aadi Pooram is celebrated during the month of ‘Aadi’ in Tamil calendar that corresponds to the months of July-August in the English calendar. The festival is observed to propitiate the goddess Shakti Devi who is said to have come into this world on this occasion. People therefore worship her in order to secure happiness not only for themselves but also for their loved ones.
  • Vinayaga Chathurthi festival – This festival is celebrated during August- September. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha. The festival is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi and Ganesh Utsav. According to Hindu calendar it is celebrated on the fourth day of the bright half of Bhadrapad.
  • Navaratri  Kolu, Ambu festival – Navratri is a time when many homes in the southern states of India participate in creating the durbar or assembly of Goddess Durga, which contains a multitude of idols of gods, goddesses, men, animals, and businessmen. This is presented in every house in the form of Golu. It is a festive occasion where everyone has a role to play, from the young children to the grandparents. Bommai (Doll) Golu is the artistic display of dolls on numbered tiers or steps, usually made of wood. The nine steps represent the nine days of Navaratri.
  • Soora-samharam festival – The popular belief is that Lord Muruga killed Soorapadman with his ‘Vel’ and this divine act is known as Soorasamharam. On the day, devotees celebrate this victory of good over evil and restoration of Dharma. The next day is observed as Thirukalyanam which is the divine marriage of Muruga and Devasena.
  • Thiruvathirai festival – The festival is connected with Lord Shiva. The Ardradarshan celebrated in Tamilnadu and a few parts of karnataka corresponds to Thiruvathira of Kerala.It is considered to worship Lord Shiva and the devotees go early morning to temples. The popular conception of this festival is that it is the commemoration of the death of Kamadevan. Women observe fast on Thiruvathira. Instead of a rice meal they take preparations of chama (Panicum miliaceum) or wheat besides fruits.
  • Sanipeyarchi festival – The uniqueness of the Thirunallar Shani temple is that it is the only temple in which Shani is in blessing posture.  At this time Shani will leave Tula Rashi (Libra Zodiac) and enter Vrischika Rashi (Scorpio Zodiac). This transit is observed as Sani Peyarchi Festival at Thirunallar Shani Temple. Shani Bhagavan will give darshan to devotees on the day on his Golden crow Vahana.

Poojas and Rituals at Thirunallar Saneeswaran Temple

  • Those visit the temple should take a holy bath in the Holy water tank called Shani Theertham in the morning. Gingelly oil is to be applied on the head before the bath and clothes are to be left there. After getting dressed visit the nearby Kali Theertha Vinayakar shrine and offer prayers and break coconuts. It should be broke  after surrounding it over the heads three times.
  • One should  light lamps with gingelly oil with a bunch of black Til. Then perform Archanas to Lord Shiva, Ambal and other Gods finally in the shrine of Sri Saneeswaran Bhagavan. Chant few mantras and slokas of Lord Shani before his Shrine and sit peacefully for some time .
  • They should offer Ellu Sadam or Rice mixed with sesame seeds (til rice) as nivedhana and distribute to devotees and poor peoples.  Pilgrims can further perform Navagraha Shanti Homas which is a pooja to satisfy and calm down the anger of the planets. Devotees can offer money in the hundi in the temple and donate cows to the temple. They can even offer their hair
  • Devotees can offer abhishek  to Lord Dharbaranyeswara with milk, rosewater, tender coconuts, curd, Dil oil, sandal paste, sacred ashes (Vibhuti) and new clothes. Devotees can offer Sari to the Goddess Sagamartha Poonmulayal, light lamps in her shrine. On the festival day, Thiruppavai and Thiruvembavai are chanted at 5.00 AM.

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air

By Air: The nearest airport is Tiruchirapalli which is 168 Kms and the Chennai Airport 296 Kms away from the temple.

By Rail: The nearest Railway Station is Nagore which is 10 Kms. Mayiladurai is also well connected to the other parts which is about 32 Km away.

By Road: Karaikal is connected directly from Chidambaram, Mayiladurai, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur, Thiruchirappalli, Thiruvarur, Velankanni, Nagappattinam. Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation, Pondicherry Tourism & Transport Development Corporation and other private buses are available.

Where to stay

Accommodation facilities are available in the temple Devasthanam. There are VIP Suite with A/c, without A/c and Cottages; Dormitory is also available with locker facilities. One can also stay at private lodges in Karaikal.

  • Government Tourist Home Contact: Near Bus Stand, Koilpathu, Karaikal, Tamil Nadu
  • Hotel Thirunallar Contact: No.11, Sannathi Street,Thirunallar, Karaikal, Pondicherry
  • Hotel Arya Bavan Contact: Thirunallar Road, Karaikal,Pondicherry
  • Golden Lodge Contact: Thirunallar Road, Karaikal,Pondicherry
  • Thirunallar Devasthanam Tourist Home Contact: Thirunallar,Karaikal,Pondicherry
  • Holiday Farms & Resorts Contact: Main Road,Akkaraivattam, Karaikal
  • Kumaran Guest House Contact: 160, Thirunallar Road, Karaikal
  • Hotel Nandha Contact: 207, Kamaraj Salai,Karaikal
  • PWD Guest House Contact: Beach Road, Karaikal
  • Thirunallar Devasthanam Tourist Home Contact: Thirunallar, Karaikal
  • Hotel City Plaza Contact: Bharathiar Road,Karaikal

Where to eat

There are restaurants around the temple serving south indian food. There are restaurants around the temple serving good food.

  • Subasree cottage Contact: Near Nalathirtham, Thirunallar Rd
  • The Promenade – A Sarovar Hotel Contact: 23, Goubert Avenue, Pondicherry
  • Hotel Durai Contact: S.S Subbarayan Building,17 Imperial Road, ECR Road
  • The Richmond Contact: 12, Labourdonnais Street ,Pondicherry

Nearby Temples

Karaikal Ammaiyar Temple: Karaikal Ammaiyar is a small shrine, which is dedicated to Karaikal Ammaiyar. Tourists and pilgrims frequently throng this temple during the annual celebration of Mangani festival that is celebrated during the month of June and July. Special poojas and ceremonies are conducted on the day of full moon. It was constructed by Malai Perumal Pillai in 1929. This temple is known for the huge idol of this lady saint. Popularly known as Goddess Punithavathi, this woman and the episodes of her supernatural powers are renowned among natives of the region.

Sri Dharbaranyeswara Swamy Temple: Sri Dharbaranyeswara Temple is one of the most famous Lord Shani Temples. The Saturn shrine is in the north side of east Gopura side. Dharbaranyeswarar is the main deity of the temple and Lord Saturn, Sri Pranambigai, Sri Thiyagarajar and Sri Vinayagar are the other deities. This temple is unique in its kind and is the only temple dedicated to Lord Sani Bhagavan where he is a blessing God having “Abhayahastham”.

Kailasanathar Temple: The Kanchi Kailasanathar temple located in Kanchipuram is a famous temple of Lord Shiva. The Shiva Lingam in this temple is 10 feet high. During the Maha Shivaratri, there are thousands of people and worshippers who flock to this temple in the evening to offer their prayers on this auspicious occasion. The cells on the periphery are small while on the inner wall they are big with big wonderful images. It is learnt the Shiva Lingam has flat stripes inside the temple which is a specialty of this Lingam.

BhadraKali Temple: The Bhadrakali Temple is the ancient temple is dedicated to Goddess Parasakthi, who killed a demon named Ambaran. The temple houses an image of the north facing Goddess with 4 arms. The goddess is known to possess enormous powers and ladies normally offer that is in fulfillment of  their vows.The temple assumes the name of Goddess Parasakthi who is believed to have killed a Rakshasha by name Ambaran who was killing people. Tourists and pilgrims throng this temple especially during the 12 day annual festival that is organised during the months of May and June.