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Somangalam, a village close to Chennai is the seat of Kamakshi Amman Sametha Somanatheswarar Koil. This temple is one of the nine temples dedicated to navagrahas around Porur. This is a Chandran Sthalam. The village itself gets its name from Chandran or Soman as he prayed to The Lord at this temple to get rid of his sin.

SOMANGALAM, CHANDRAN STHALAM

SOMANGALAM, CHANDRAN STHALAM

King Dakshan gave all his 27 daughters in marriage to Chandran. Those 27 wives of  Chandran are the 27 stars in Tamil Calendar. As Chandran’s favourite was Rohini and he spent most of his time with her, the others complained about this to their father. King Dakshan asked Chandran to treat all of them equally, which Chandran refused.  An angry Dakshan, cursed Chandran that all his beauty and brightness will disappear slowly everyday. A worried Chandran, on the advice of Lord Brahma, then performed penance on Lord ShivaLord Shiva appeared before him and adorned his forehead with the crescent-shaped Chandran. Shiva then came to be known as Chandrasekaran also.  He blessed Chandran to regain his beauty and brightness slowly day by day.  This waxing period of the moon is called Sukla Paksham or Valarpirai.  Chandran gets back all his beauty and attains full brightness on Full moon day or pournami.  From Pournami to the full moon day he again starts loosing his beauty and brightness till the New moon day or Ammavasai.  This waning period of the moon is called Krishna Paksham or Theipirai.

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There is also another interesting story pertaining to the waxing and waning periods of Chandran, which goes thus.  When Lord Vishnu was distributing the Amrutham amongst the devas, at the behest of Sukracharya, 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.  This is one of the temples that Chandran prayed to Lord Siva 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.

Chandran. SOMANGALAM, CHANDRAN STHALAM

Chandran. SOMANGALAM, CHANDRAN STHALAM

Inscriptions in the temple have brought to light the fact that this temple was built by Kulothunga Cholan. There are also details about various repair works and donations made to the temple by various rulers and the affluent from time to time. These include mention of donation of cows for meeting apart of the daily pooja expenses at the temple. This temple has been reconstructed several times over the years. Somaskanthan the local king, was one of those who constructed this temple. The King had channelled all his resources to the temple construction. While in the midst of the temple construction, an enemy King saw the opportunity and mounted an attack. The king was totally taken aback and was absolutely not expecting or prepared for this. He prayed to The Lord here to save him and his kingdom. The Lord immediately obliged by directing His vehicle Nandhi to fight the advancing army of the enemy. Nandhi is supposed to have blown away the enemy with one big snort. Lord Shiva then directed Nandhi to face East permanently and guard the kingdom against future attacks. The Nandhi is seen with his back to Lord Shiva and facing East. This is a rare feature in any Shiva temple.

SOMANGALAM, CHANDRAN STHALAM

The main shrine is a Gajaprushta vimanam, which resembles the back of an elephant in sleeping posture. There is a separate shrine for Kamakshi Amman facing South. Vinayakar, Dakshinamurty, Mahavishnu, brahma, Durga and Sandigeswarar are all present as Koshta murthys like in all Shiva temples. There is a separate shrine for Lord Murugan present with His wives Valli and Deivayanai. There are separate shrines for Bhairavar, Suryan and of course Chandran.

Gajaprushta Vimanam. SOMANGALAM, CHANDRAN STHALAM

Gajaprushta Vimanam. SOMANGALAM, CHANDRAN STHALAM

People pray here for getting rid of marriage obstacles, progeny, mental illness etc. There are two theerthams associated with this temple – Chandra theertham is located a bit away from the temple and Chandeeswara theertham is located adjacent to the temple.

Nagar under the Sthala Vruksham. SOMANGALAM, CHANDRAN STHALAM

Nagar under the Sthala Vruksham. SOMANGALAM, CHANDRAN STHALAM

 

 

Location: There are frequent buses from Kunrathur to Somangalam. The temple is about a kilometre from the Somangalam bus stop.

Bus Routes: 578 A Vadapalani to Sriperumbudur

88M Broadway to Somangalam

M18S Broadway to Somangalam

M88R Broadway to Amarambedu

M89 Porur to Somangalam

Temple Timing: 8 AM to 10 AM & 5 PM to 7 PM

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Kamakshi Amman Sametha Somanatheswarar Temple,

Somangalam

Kancheepuram District

PIN 602 109

 

Thingalur is the sthalam for Chandran.  Thingal in Tamil means Chandran and hence the name Thingalur. The presiding deity is Kailasanathar and his consort is Periyanayakiamman.

When Lord Vishnu was distributing the Amrutham amongst the devas, at the behest of Sukracharya, 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 Siva 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.

There is also another interesting story pertaining to the waxing and waning periods of Chandran, which goes thus.  King Dakshan gave all his 27 daughters in marriage to Chandran. Those 27 wives of  Chandran are the 27 stars in Tamil Calendar. As Chandran’s favourite was Rohini and he spent most of his time with her, the others complained about this to their father. King Dakshan asked Chandran to treat all of them equally, which Chandran refused.  An angry Dakshan, cursed Chandran that all his beauty and brightness will disappear slowly everyday. A worried Chandran, on the advice of Lord Brahma, then performed penance on Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva appeared before him and adorned his forehead with the crescent-shaped Chandran. Shiva then came to be known as Chandrasekaran also.  He blessed Chandran to regain his beauty and brightness slowly day by day.  This waxing period of the moon is called Sukla Paksham or Valarpirai.  Chandran gets back all his beauty and attains full brightness on Full moon day or pournami.  From Pournami to the full moon day he again starts loosing his beauty and brightness till the New moon day or Ammavasai.  This waning period of the moon is called Krishna Paksham or Theipirai.

There is another legend of Apputhi Adigal, an ardent follower of Thirunavukkarasar.  Apputhi Adigal was born in Thingalur. He indulged in lot of charity and social work in his village, all in the name of Thirunavukkarasar, whom he had not even seen. Thirunavukkarasar heard about Apputhi Adigal and visited the village.  Thirunavukkarasar accepted the invitation of Apputhi Adigal to have lunch at his place. Apputhi Adigal’s son died when he had gone to fetch a plantain leaf. Apputhi Adigal, going by the saying “Athithi devo bhava” put his personal sorrow behind and served food to his mentor.  Thirunavukkarasar came to know about the young boy’s death and carried the corpse to Kailasanathar temple in Thingalur.  Here he implored to Lord Shiva and brought him back to life.

 

Thingalur Temple Entrance

Thingalur Temple Entrance

 

Pooja:

Chandra Dosham causes concern in mother’s health, mental imbalance, skin and nervous disorder & jaundice.  Chandran blesses his devotees who pray here with wealth, mother’s well being, wife’s happiness, prosperity, marriage and offspring.  Mondays are special days for Chandran.  Offering of raw rice pudding mixed with jaggery, white flowers (White Arali) and white clothing are made to Chandran here.

Recite the following mantras facing North West

Chandra Moola Mantram: Aum sram srim sraum sah chandraya namah.

Chandra Gayatri: om nisakaraya vidmahae kala nadhaya dheemahi tanno chandra: prachodayaath

Other Chandran Sthalam:

Somanaadheeswarar Koil at Somangalam near Chennai

Mullaivananathar temple at Thirumullaivayil near Chennai

Location:

Click here for Map

Thingalur is off Thiruvaiyaru Kumbakonam road, about 6 kms from Thiruvaiyaru.  Frequent Buses are available from Tanjore, Thiruvaiyaru and Kumbakonam.   It is about 25 Kms from Tanjore.

Other Temples Nearby:

During my last visit, the priest at Vasishteswarar temple in Thenkudi Thittai informed me that Thingalur should be visited immediately after praying at Thenkudi Thittai.  This is supposed to bring Chandra Guru yogam in ones horoscope.  Thittai is at a distance of about 15kms from here.

Thiruvaiyaru

Ganapathy Agraharam having a Vinayakar temple which was installed by Agasthya is about 5kms from here.

Gajendra Varadhar temple at Kapisthalam is also close by.

Temple Timings: 7 AM – 1 PM & 4 PM – 9 PM.

Temple Phone Numbers: 04362-262 499