Patteeswaram, near Kumbakonam is famous for its Durga temple. This temple is fairly big and well-maintained one. There are five majestic gopurams (towers). The temple seems to have been built and rebuilt several times with additions made to the original temple at various times. The evidence of this is in the temple’s architecture which has the styles of the Pallavas, Cholas and the Nayaks. The presiding deity at this temple is Dhenupureeswarar and his consort is Gyanambigai. Patteeswaram is one of the Parivara Sthalam. Mahalingaswamy at Thiruvidaimarudhur has the Parivara devatas in various temples flung as far away as Sirkali and Thiruvalanchuzhi. The group of temples that form a large temple with Thiruvidaimarudhur Mahalingaswamy as the main deity is called Parivara Sthalams.
Legend has it that Rama had installed a Shivalingam here to get rid of his sin or dosham. Rama was afflicted by three Doshams or sins for killing Ravana. He could get rid of these sins by installing a Shivalingam and do penance. Though, Rama was an incarnation of Vishnu, He had taken the birth as an ordinary human being to show people the way and be a role model. He was an Avatara Purushan or one who sets an example. He had to undergo all the trials and tribulations that a normal human being undergoes and demonstrate the virtues of righteousness while surmounting the problems. Like any other mortal, He had to face the consequences of His actions and had to perform the necessary pariharam (remedial poojas) to attain papa vimochanam (absolution of the sin). The first of his three sins was Brahmahatti dosham, because he had killed Ravana who was a Brahmin. He was absolved of the sin by installing a Shiva Lingam at Rameswaram. His second sin was Verrahatti dosham, because Ravana was also a great warrior. Rama installed another Shiva Lingam at Vedaranyam to be absolved of this sin. His third sin was Chaya Hatti dosham because Ravana was a great exponent of fine arts and an ardent devotee of Shiva. He was absolved of this sin when he installed yet another Shiva Lingam at Patteeswaram. These three Lingams are known as Ramalingam. Rama created a well here to perform ablutions or abhishegam to the Shiva Lingam that he had installed here. The well thus created by him is said to have brought the holy waters of Dhanushkodi here. Near this well is a niche of Anjaneyar.
Kamadhenu’s daughter Patti, worshipped Lord Shiva here. She used to perform abhishegam or ablution to the Shiva Lingam with her milk, hence the name Patteeswaram.
As in Thirupungur, the Nandi has shifted to a side here. The reason attributed goes thus. On a hot summer day, Thirugnanasambandar, a child poet, was on his way to Patteeswaram to worship the Lord. Since Sambandar was a small child and the intense heat could make him weak, Dhenupureeswarar had a canopy of pearls erected along the way to make it cool and comfortable for his young devotee. Dhenupureeswarar could not wait for Sambandar to come to His Sanctum to see him. He asked Nandi to move aside so that He could see His devotee as he entered the temple. There is an annual festival in the tamil month of Ani to commemorate this incident. This special festival is called ‘Muthupandal’. A palanquin of pearls is lifted in a procession that starts at noon from Sakthimutram and concludes at Patteswaram.
There is a tank in front of the temple. The Pillayar installed near the tank is known as Agnya Ganapathy.
Though the temple here is a Shiva temple, the temple is known for the Durga here. Durga is considered to be the combined force of all the Gods to destroy the evil forces. Durga in Sanskrit means a fortified or well protected place. Durga protects the mankind from the evil forces. She removes the negative thoughts such as selfishness, envy, hatred anger and ego. The shrine for Durga is near the Northern entrance of the temple. Cholas are believed to have originally installed this deity in their fort. The idol was removed and installed here at this temple after the fall of the Chola dynasty. Along with the idol of Durga, the idols of Swarnaganapthy, Shanmuga and Bhairavar were also shifted to this temple from the fort. These four deities were guarding the four entrances of the fort. The Cholas were ardent devotees of Durga and always worshipped Durga before going to war or when they were faced with making an important decision.
The Durga here is a Shanta Swarupi (calm or peaceful countenance). She is seated on her vehicle Lion and is seen with here foot on Mahishasura. The Goddess appears in Tribanga (three curved) posture. Durga here is ashtabhuja or with eight hands. She is seen holding conch, discuss, bow, arrow, sword, shield and a parrot in Her hands.
She has three eyes and jewels adorn her ears. An unusual aspect of this Durga is that her vehicle – the lion – is seen facing the left side instead of the right side, which is usually the case. Goddess Durga here is considered to be very divine and powerful who showers Her blessings on Her devotees. People afflicted with Rahu and Kethu Doshas worship at this temple during Rahu Kalam; for, it is believed that during the Rahu Kalam, Rahu worships the Goddess everyday. Worshipping Her on Tuesdays, Fridays, Sundays, New Moon days and Full Moon days and Ashtami and Navami (8th and 9th day from the new moon or full moon day) is considered special. People throng this temple to seek the blessings of Durga in finding suitable match for their daughters. Locals vouch that the prayers are always answered.
Worship of Durga is considered very important in Kaliyuga. The worship of Goddess Durga removes the effect of all types of black magic, unfavourable effect of negative planets, Bad luck, health problems, problems due to enemies etc
Offerings of Sarees and garland of lemon are made to the Goddess. Offering red floral garland alleviates Chevvai Dosham (the adverse effect of Mars).
The Bhairavar here blesses his devotees with protection from enemies, good health, and cure from any venomous bite. Lord Patteeswarar blesses His devotees with peace of mind and career advancement.
Patteeswaram is just about 10 Kms from Kumbakonam. It is at a distance of about 3 Kms from Darasuram off Darasuram Valangiman Road. There are frequent buses plying between Kumbakonam and Patteeswaram. Buses operating on route nos. 8,11,25,35,61,62 and 67 stop at Patteeswaram. A few buses plying between Kumbakonam and Tanjore also go via Patteeswaram.
Other temples nearby:
Airawateswarar temple at Darasuram
Boarding & Lodging:
Kumbakonam and Swamimalai are very close to this place. A lot of options are available for an overnight stay to suit various budgets.
Monday-Sunday (Except Friday): 6 AM to 1 PM, 4PM to 9 PM
Friday: 6 AM to 1 PM, 4AM to 10 AM
Friday (During Aadi Month): 4 AM to 1 PM, 4PM to12 Mid Night
Arulmigu Dhenupureeshwar Thirukkovil,
Sri Durga Sthalam,
Phone: 0435 2416976
Temple’s Website: http://www.patteeswaramdurga.org
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