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.
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
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.