Sri Darbaraneswarar Temple in Tamil Nadu is one of the 9 Navagrahas. The main deities of the shrine are Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Paravathi Devi and Lord Shani Bhagawan. Here Lord Shiva is Darbaraneswara while Goddess Parvathi is popular as Pranamambika or Bogamartha Poon Mulayal (Poonmulalammal).
The other deities of the shrine are Swarna Vinayaka, Lord Subramaneswara Swamy and Thyagarajar. The image of Lord Saneeswara is there in a graceful standing pose in Niche on the left side of the Lord Dharbaranyeswara. Since the principal Deity Lord Dharbaranyeswara and his consort “Bhogamartha poon Mulayal” have the power to offer benediction to the devotees, hundreds of them visit this temple daily. There is also additional attraction in the shape of holy tanks which exists here possess healing powers literally and metaphorically.
What is the history and Legend of Thirunallar?
According to history of Thirunallar temple, the famous King Nala and the queen Damayanthi liked each other and got married. However Devas wanted to marry the queen Damayanthi. So after this marriage, Devas got angry and jealous on Nala. Devas reached out Saneeswaran and asked him to help them out.
But after seeing the couple, he decided to make devas understand the Nala’s true love to the queen. Saneeswaran gave lot of troubles to King Nala and finally the King reached Thirunallaru. The King worshipped the Lord Dharpaneswara at this temple and hence the lord made him free from curses and doshas.
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.
One of wives of Surya deva (Sun God) is Usha. She couldn’t tolerate the heat of the sun, so she converted her shadow as another woman in the name of “Saya Devi” and lived in that name. Saneeswaran was born to Saya Devi and Surya Deva.
Later when Surya Deva came to know this, he got angry with Usha and he didn’t accept Saneeswaran as part of his family. Saneeswaran went to Kasi (Varanasi), worshipped the Lord Viswanathar (Shiva) and become part of one of the Navagrahas.
What is the significance of the Thirunallar Temple?
Here’s the significance of Thirunallar temple:
- Offering prayers at this temple is believed to reduce the ill effects of Shani and increase the positive effects. Also, for over thousand years Hindus have visited this temple and have found their misfortunes and bad luck to decrease as this is the only temple in the world where Lord Shani lost his power to Lord Shiva.
- 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 we will face due to Shani Bhagawan.
- 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.
- The true benefit of offering prayers is to get a positive mental attitude that helps us understand the deeper lessons that Shani Bhagawan wants us to learn. Saturn is popular as the Celestial Taskmaster and the Grand Teacher. During the most difficult times we need to pray to Shani Bhagawan so he can help us learn the lessons he wants to teach.
- Worship will help us learn to benefit even from the biggest misfortunes that befall us. Worship of Lord Shani will help us benefit from great difficulties, challenges and limitations.
What are the timings of Thirunallar Temple?
Here are the timings of Thirunallar Temple:
|Morning Darshan||6:00 AM||12:30 PM|
|Evening Darshan||4:00PM||8:30 PM|
What are the festivals celebrated at the Thirunallar Temple?
Some of the festivals celebrated at Thirunallar Temple are:
- Soora-samharam festival: The popular belief is that Lord Muruga killed Soorapadman with his ‘Vel’ and this divine act is known as Soorasamharam. Then, the next day is Thirukalyanam – the divine marriage of Muruga and Devasena.
- Sanipeyarchi festival: On this day Sri Saneeswara Bhagawan transits from Thulam(Libra) to Vrischika(Scorpio). Also, Puja and rituals take place on the day for Shani Dosha Parihara. The day on which Lord Shani transits is Sanipeyarchi Festival in Thirunallar Temple.
- Thiruvathirai festival: It is considered to worship Lord Shiva ,and the devotees go early morning to temples. Moreover, Unmarried women observe a partial fast on this day to get good husbands and married women take a fast from the preceding day (Makayiram nakshatra) and on the day of Thiruvathira for the well being of their husband and family.
- Adi Pooram festival: Aadi Pooram, also called as ‘Aandal Jayanti’ is a prime festival of Tamilians. This festival is for Goddess Andal, an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. The day begins with the making of huge kolams (Rangoli designs) in front of the home. Dakshinayana Punyakalam, the night of the Devas, begins on the first day of the month Aadi.
What are the Poojas and Rituals of Thirunallar?
Poojas and rituals of Thirunallar are:
The devotees believe that they can get rid of their curses and spells of bad luck if they pray in this temple. hence, Pilgrims take a dip in the Nala Theertha and offer worship at the temple. The worship here also includes lighting holy lamps with til (gingelly) seeds and oil. After prayers, balls of cooked rice are offered to the Crow, the mount of Saniswara.
Apply Gingelly oil on the head before the bath an leave the clothes there. After dressing up, visit the nearby Kali Theertha Vinayakar shrine and offer prayers and break coconuts.
Devotees can also donate for the poojas to the temple. Also, there are two ways to do poojas. One is the devotees themselves should collect all the materials for the pooja and handover to the concerned temple authorities. While, Other is that they can send the money directly to temple authorities
How to reach Thirunallar?
Here’s how to reach Thirunallar:
- Air: The nearest airport is Tiruchirapalli which is 168 Km.
- Road: This temple is 5 KM from the Karaikkal bus stand and 22 KM away from Nagapattinam bus stand.
- Rail: The Nearest station is Karaikkal. The easiest route is from Chennai to Thirunallar is via Tindivanam, Pondicherry, Chidambaram, Tranquebar, Karaikal.
Where to stay at Thirunallar?
Some of the places where one can stay at Thirunallar are:
- Holiday Farms & Resorts Contact: Main Road,Akkaraivattam, Karaikal
- Kumaran Guest House Contact: 160, Thirunallar Road, Karaikal
- Hotel Arya Bavan Contact: Thirunallar Road, Karaikal,Pondicherry
- Government Tourist Home Contact: Near Bus Stand, Koilpathu, Karaikal, Tamil Nadu
- Thirunallar Devasthanam Tourist Home Contact: Thirunallar, Karaikal
- Hotel Nandha Contact: 207, Kamaraj Salai,Karaikal
- Hotel City Plaza Contact: Bharathiar Road,Karaikal
- PWD Guest House Contact: Beach Road, Karaikal
Where to eat at Thirunallar?
Some of the places where one can eat at Thirunallar are:
- The Richmond Contact: 12, Labourdonnais Street ,Pondicherry
- A Sarovar Hotel Contact: 23, Goubert Avenue, Pondicherry
- Subasree cottage Contact: Near Nalathirtham, Thirunallar Rd
- Food Land Contact: 15/3, Market Street, Karaikal-609602
- New Husainiya Restaurant Contact: 65/1,Church Street,Karaikal-609602,
What are some temples near Thirunallar Temple?
Some of the temples near Thirunallar Temple are:
- Kailasanathar Temple: The Kanchi Kailasanathar temple in Kanchipuram is a famous temple of Lord Shiva. Also. the Shiva Lingam in this temple is 10 feet high. Moreover, King Rajasimha, of the Pallava dynasty, built this Shiva temple in the early 8th century. It is an early structural temple and consists of sandstone.
- Bhadrakali Temple: The place was initially Ambara-harattur meaning victory over Ambaran, which subsequently became Ambagarathur. Lord Bhadrakali is also the most efficient Lord in endowing blessings to the followers. It is a religious temple for the Hindus.
- Karaikal Ammaiyar Temple: Karaikal Ammaiyar is a small shrine, which is dedicated to Karaikal Ammaiyar, the only woman out of the sixty three Nayanmars. Furtehr, Malaiperumal Pillai constructed it in 1929. It is also famous for the huge idol of this lady saint. Also popular as Goddess Punithavati, this woman and the episodes of her supernatural powers are famous among natives of the region.