Posts Tagged ‘Ganesha’

Thiru Adhanur near Kumbakonam is one of the 108 Divya Desams.dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Andalakkun ayyan temple here is one of the Vaishnava navagraha parihara sthalams around Kumbakonam. It is a Guru parihara sthalam. The main deity in this temple is Andalakkumayyan. He is present here facing East in Kidantha Kolam and Bujanga sayanam. He has been worshipped here by Brighu Maharishi, Kamadhenu, thirumangai Azhwar and Agni. His consort here is Ranganayaki Thayar also known as Kamalasini.The utsavar is Ranganathar. Adi pooram, Brahmotsavam in Vaikasi and Pavitrotsavam in Avani are some of the important festivals in this temple.

Andalakkum Ayyan Temple,  Thiru Adhanur

Andalakkum Ayyan Temple, Thiru Adhanur

The devas due to a curse lost all their strength, wealth & power. Soon, Asuras defeated the Devas and took control of the world. Indran then appealed to Brahma and Brahma said that he can regain all that he has lost by churning the celestial ocean to obtain Amrutham or the holy nectar.  Since this was an arduous task and could not be accomplished by the Devas, Vishnu suggested them to take the Asuras into confidence and enlist their participation also in this task.  Asuras agreed to the same on the condition that they would be also be given a portion of the Amrutham.

The Ocean was churned by using Mount Mandara as the pole and Vasuki – the king of serpents – as the rope.  The Devas held the tail end and the Asuras held the other end and started the churning.  However the Mount mandara started to sink and Vishnu in the avatar (incarnation) of Koorma or tortoise balanced the Mount Mandara on his back and prevented it from sinking.  As the Ocean was being churned, Vasuki started spitting deadly poison known as Ala kala Visham.  This poison was so deadly that it could destroy the whole world.  Shiva came to the rescue by consuming the poison.  Paarvati then held His throat and stopped the poison there.  Shiva’s throat became blue due to the poison and since then He has also been known as Neelakantan; Neela, meaning blue and kanta, meaning throat.

These hurdles they were facing, was worrying the Devas. Sage Narada told them that they were facing these obstacles because they had not prayed to Lord Vinayaka before they started the churning.  Lord Vinayaka must always be invoked before starting a new venture.  Hurriedly, the Devas and the Asuras made a small vigraham or idol of Vinayakar using the froth from the ocean.  They prayed to Vinayakar and resumed the churning.  Now they did not face any hurdle. This is the Vinayakar that is installed at Thiruvalanchuzhi.

Dhanvanthari then appeared from the Ocean with the Armrutham. With the help of Vishnu, the Devas consumed the same.  The Asuras were denied their share as they were tricked by Vishnu, who in His avatar as Mohini, undertook the task of distributing the Amrutham amongst the Devas and the Asuras.  Thus Indran got back his power and wealth.

Kamadhenu was one of the several precious treasures that surfaced during the churning of the Celestial Ocean. Kamadhenu is a cow that has powers to fulfill the desires of her owner. Kamadhenu was an ardent devotee of Vishnu and wanted to have darshan of the Lord. After visiting several temples, her wish was finally fulfilled here at Thiru Adhanur. Aa in Tamil means cow and hence the name Adhanur. An idol of Kamadhenu is in the Garbagraham. There are also idols of Brighu maharishi and Agni. Agni, who had tried to help Lord Shiva get rid of his brahmahathi dosham had himself contracted the dosham and did penance here at Thiru Adhanur to get absolved of the brahmahathi dosham. Read my posts on Thirupattur Brahmapureeswarar, Bithchandar Koil and Thirukandiyur to know how Lord Shiva contracted Brahmathi Dosham.

Another version is that Indran was absolved of his sin when Mahalakshmi, who had incarnated as Brighu Maharishi’s daughter married Lord Vishnu and gave darshan to Indran at Thiru Adhanur.

Another interesting story is about Thirumangai Azhwar’s experience at this place. Thiumangai Azhwar had undertaken the task of constructing the wall of the Srirangam temple and was on a trip to mobilize funds. At Thriu Adhanur, he met a person who claimed to be a messenger of the Lord. This stranger had a measuring bowl (marakkal) in his hand. He said that by reciting the name of the Lord and holding the empty measuring bowl he could get whatever he desired. Thirumangai Azhwar requested for payment of the wages for the labourers at Thiru Adhanur. The stranger laid a condition that he would measure sand with the empty measuring bowl and pay as wages. The sand would turn into gold for the sincere workers and for the others it would remain as sand. When the sand was measured and given to the labourers many of them found that it did not turn into gold and remained as sand. Thirumangai Azhwar was intrigued and started going after the stranger who had by now left the place. He soon found this man in the temple and was pleasantly surprised that it was the Lord himself who had come in guise of the stranger. The Lord gave him darshan with the marakkal (measuring bowl) in His right hand and an ezhuthani and olai (pen and palm leaf used as writing pad) in His left hand.

Location:

Click here for the map

Thiru Adhanur is just about a kilometer from another Divya Desam, Thirupullaboothangudi. It is 11 kms from Kumbakonam and 5.5 Kms from Swami Malai. There are buses that ply every half an hour from Swami Malai and Kumbakonam to Thiru Adhanur.

Other Temples nearby:

Thirupullamboothankudi

Swami Malai

Thiruvalanchuzhi

Kapisthalam Gajendra Varadhar Temple

Travel Base:

Kumbakonam

Temple timings: 7.30 AM to 12.30 PM & 5.30 PM to 8.30 PM

Temple Address:

Thiru Adhanur Divya Desam

Via Pullam Boothankudi, Papanasam taluk

612 301

Phone: 0435-2441025

Temple Priest:
Sri. Seshadri Bhattachariar

I visited Bangalore with my family about 3 weeks back and used the opportunity to visit Sri Pancha Lingaeshwara Temple or Naganatheshwara Temple at Begur, which is about 25 Kms from MG Road. This small hamlet is off Bomanahalli on Hosur Road.  This temple is believed to be 1300 years old and has been built by Sri Kulatunga Raja the First of Chola Dynasty, and Sri Rajasimhanandi of Talakad Ganga Dynasty.

Nageshwara Swamy is the Presiding Deity of this temple and His consort is Parvati.  Nageshwara Lingam is the most important and the oldest amongst the five lingams in this temple.  A unique feature of this temple is that there is an idol of Suryan facing the Nageshwara Lingam ie facing west.  There are idols of Vinayakar, Chamundeswari, Kala Bhairavar, Vishnu, Chandran and Kasi Vishwanathar.  There are carvings of Ashta Dhika Palakas.

An interesting fact about this temple is that there are specific spots where the devotees need to stand and pray to derive the maximum benefit.  While praying to Nagalingeshwara or Nageshwara Swamy, stand right below the colourful Yantra painted on the ceiling.  Praying to Nageshwara Swamy is said to relieve mental stress, mental depression, diseases, protection from black magic & enemies.


Choleshwara Lingam is a 4 ft tall Lingam and there is a 2 ft Nandi opposite to this Lingam.  Unmarried girls pray here, standing below the carving of Ashta Palakas and Uma Maheshwari for removal or obstacles in their marriage and for a good matrimonial alliance.

Kali Kamateshwara is about 3 ½ ft tall.  The idol of Kali is behind a small Lingam is about 1 ft tall.  Devotees stand below the lotus carving on the ceiling to pray for Progeny, favourable & early settlement of legal disputes, good health and protection from enemies.

It is noticeable that the Nandhi is not placed directly opposite to this Lingam.  The reason attributed is that it is not auspicious to face the angry form of Shakthi directly.

Nagareshwara Lingam is a huge 5 ft Lingam and is the tallest of the Lingams in this temple.  The nandi is also tall at 4 ft.  Like at Nageshwara Shrine, there is Nandhi opposite to the Lingam and there is an idol of Suryan behind the Nandi facing the Lingam.  The idol of Suryan is again facing west.  Worship benefits at Nagareshwara Swamy’s shrine include; good Business prospects, career advancement, prevention and cure of skin diseases.

Kalinga a serpent God is believed to be residing inside this temple and blessing the devotees.  Saptha rishis and the Ashta Dhika Palakas are supposed to perform poojas here every night.

Karaneshwara Lingam is the last and smallest of the Lingams in this temple at 2 ½ ft.  There is also a small Nandhi in front of this Lingam.  Stand on the right hand side of the shrine as you face the shrine and pray for relief from stomach and intestine related ailments, stand on the left hand side of the Shrine for relief from paralysis, nervous problem and brain disorders; stand right behind the Nandi and pray for relief from hearing and other ear related problems.

There is a separate shrine for Parvati.  The Goddess’s idol is about 5 ft tall.  Praying to the Goddess cures one of blood related diseases including blood cancer, apart from being blessed with peace and happiness.  The Navagrahas are present near the shrine of Parvati.

The Vinayakar at the entrance is indeed very rare.  Two handed Vinayakar is found only in two other places viz Pillayarpatti near Karaikudi and in Afghanistan.  While at Pillayarpatti His trunk is turned to the right and is known as Valampuri, here His trunk is turned to the left and is known as Edampuri.  You can experience a unique vibration if you place your forehead right at the feet of this Vinayakar.

Location:

 

This temple is near Bommanahalli off Hosur Road about 25 Kms away from MG Road.

Click here for the map

Travel Base: Bangalore

 

 

Tirupampuram – Seshapureeswarar Temple

Posted: February 28, 2010 in Navagraha Temples, Temples around Kumbakonam
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Seshapureeswarar Temple Entrance, Thirupampuram

Seshapureeswarar Temple Entrance, Thirupampuram

Tirupampuram is one of the Devara Stalams.  The ancient name for this place is Seshapuri.  Lord Shiva is known as Pambupureeswarar or Seshapureeswarar or Pamburanathar.  It is believed that by visiting Thirupampuram one gets the worship benefits of visiting Thirunageswaram, Keezhaperumpallam and Kalahasthi.  This is a parihara sthalam for Rahu and Kethu.  All naga doshams are alleviated if one worships Lord Shiva here.  Rahu and Kethu are present here as a single physical entity. The consort of Lord Shiva in this east facing temple is Vandaar Poonguzhaliammai.  There are separate shrines for Aaadiseshan, Bhairavar, Bhramma, Malaiyeeswarar, Mahavishnu, Surya, and Saneeswaran.  The Sthala vruksham is Vanni and the theertham is Adishesha theertham.

Thirupampuram Sthala puranam in Tamil

Thirupampuram Sthala puranam in Tamil

The legend goes thus.  Once, Vinayakar was paying his respects to Lord Shiva.  Adhiseshan thought to himself that Vinayakar is paying respect to him also and felt proud about it.  Lord Shiva got angry with Adhiseshan and cursed that all the serpents to lose their power. Ashiseshan begged forgiveness and Lord Shiva directed him to worship Him on Mahashivarathri at Seshapuri.  Adhiseshan, Rahu, Kethu and all serpents worshipped Lord Shiva at Nageswarar temple in the morning, Thirunageswaram in the afternoon, Thirupampuram in the evening and Naganathan at Nagore in the night to be absolved of the effect of the curse and regained their lost power.  Adhiseshan, Rahu and Kethu are believed to follow the same worship method every Mahashivarathri.   There is a belief that following the same routine to worship at these four temples is of special importance.

Seshapureeswarar Temple, Thirupampuram

Malayeeswarar, Seshapureeswarar Temple, Thirupampuram

It is said that since Adhiseshan and the serpents had worshipped at this temple, snakes are present in this temple.  On Sundays, Tuesdays, Fridays the fragrance of Fragrant Screw pine or Jasmine is in the air in this temple and serpents are believed to be present within the temple premises. On 26-5-2002 a snake had shed its skin on the Shiva Lingam here like a garland.  This is still preserved at the temple and can be seen at the Lord’s Sannidhi. Villagers here vouch that there has been no history of anybody being bitten by a snake in the vicinity of this village.

Rahu Moola Mantram: Aum bhram bhrim bhraum sah rahave namah.

Rahu Gayathri: om sookadhanthaya vidmahae ugra roopaya dheemahi tanno raahu: prachodayaath

Kethu Moola Mantram: Aum Hrim Krum Krura Rupine Kethave Aim Suh Svaha

Kethu Gayathri: AUM Chitravarnaya Vidhmahe, Sarparoopaya Dhimahi, Tanno Kethu Prachodayath

Other Rahu Temples:

Naganathar Temple at Thirunageswaram

Vanchinathaswamy temple at Srivanchiyam

Sri Kalahasthi in Andhra Pradesh

Nageswarar at Kunrathur near Chennai

Other Kethu Temples:

Naganathaswamy temple at Keezhperupallam

Vanchinathaswamy temple at Srivanchiyam

Srikalahasthi in Andhra Pradesh

Kukke Subramanya temple, Karnataka

Gerugambakkam near Chennai.

Temple Location:

Click here for the Map

This temple is located about 7 kms from Peralam.  Peralam is on the Mayavaram – Tiruvarur Road.  You can also approach this temple from the Kumbakonam Karaikal Road.  While proceeding from Kumbakonam towards Karaikal about 2 Kms before reaching the Kollumangudi junction there will be a huge sign board of this temple on your right hand side.  Take a right turn there and the temple is about 3 Kms from here.

Nearby Temples:

Thiruveezhimizhalai

Thilatharpanapuri Adhi Vinayakar Temple

Thirumeyachur Lalithambigai Temple

Theruzhundur

Koothanur Saraswathy Temple

Boarding & Lodging:

This is a remote village.  Have your travel base as Kumbakonam.

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Seshapureeswarar Temple,

Thirupampuram,

Suraikayur Post, via Palaiyur,

Kudavasal taluk,

Thiruvarur District – 612203.

Telephone: 0435 – 2469555

Thirupungur is a small village about 2 kms from Vaitheeswaran Koil.  This place was once surrounded by Pungu trees and hence the name Thirupungur.

The Shiva lingam is one of the 64 Swayambhu (Self manifested) lingams and is supposed to have come from an anthill.  The Nandi here is also a Swayambhu. The presiding deity at this temple is Shivalokanathar and His consort is Soundaryanayaki.  Vinayakar is supposed to have dug a tank here for nandanar on Lord Shiva’s orders and is known as Kulam Vettiya Vinayakar. Devotees offering their prayers to Kulam Vettiya Vinayakar have all their wishes fulfilled.

Kulam Vettiya Vinayakar

Kulam Vettiya Vinayakar

Nandanar was a devout Shiva Bhaktha.  He was born into a low caste family and as a result was denied entry into any temples. His ambition was to visit the temple at Chidambaram.  He was working in the fields of a Brahmin Landlord. He would always put off Nandanar’s request to visit Chidambaram. Nandanar used to tell everyone that he will visit “Chidambaram tomorrow” (Thiru Nalai Poven). He was telling this over a period of time to everyone and he came to be known as “Thiru nali Povar”.

Nandanar's Shrine

Nandanar's Shrine

Nandanar

Nandanar

However, one fine day, he told Nandanar that he would be granted the wish if Nandanar were to achieve the impossible task of tilling all the forty acres of the paddy field overnight.  A disappointed Nandanar prayed to Shiva to grant him the wish of visitng Chidambaram.  Lo and Behold!! The next morning, the Landlord and Nandanar were both astonished to see that all the forty acres of the field had been ploughed!!!  The Brahmin immediately realised his folly and prostrated before Nandanar and pleaded forgiveness.  Nandanar set out to Chidambaram and on the way he stopped at Thirupungur to have a darshan of the Lord.  Nandanar was not able to have the darshan as Nandi was blocking his view.  He started singing in praise of Lord Shiva.  Lord Shiva wanted to know who the devotee was.  The dwarapalakas informed Him that it was Nandanar.  Immediately, Lord asked Nandi to move to a side to facilitate Him to have a clear view of Nandanar.  You can see the Nandi at this temple is shifted to a side.  Also the Nandi is not hanging out the tongue as is usually the case.  You can also see the dwarapalaks craning their necks as if to see in the direction of the entrance.

Nandi gritting his teeth in anger

Once, there was debate between Shiva and Parvathi as to who was more charming.  They sought the opinion of Vishnu, who in turn asked Brahma to play the Judge.  Brahma rolled a dharba grass and threw it.  He said that an answer would be available wherever the grass fell.  The grass fell at Thirupungaur and became Pancha Lingam.  When Shiva and Parvathi came here, Shiva looked very handsome to Parvathi and Parvathi looked very beautiful to Shiva.  Their dispute was thus amicably resolved.  It is a belief that marital problems will be solved by worshipping at this temple.  Separated spouses will be reunited after visiting the temple.

Pancha Lingam at Thirupungur

Pancha Lingam at Thirupungur

Brahma Lingam at Thirupungur

Brahma Lingam at Thirupungur

According to archaeological evidence, Rajaraja Cholan had gifted twelve velis (measures) to this temple.  During his reign there was severe drought that resulted in famine and the king prayed to Lord Shiva to bring rain. Lord Shiva came in his dream and asked him to do special poojas for Sivaloganathar. Sundarar was present at the temple when the King came to offer his prayers.  The King requested Sundarar to sing in praise of the Lord and bring rain. Sundarar agreed on the condition that the King would donate twelve velis (measures) of land to the temple. Sundarar sang in praise of the God and there was a heavy downpour threatening to cause heavy damage to the country.  The King requested Sundarar to stop the rain.  Sundarar again laid the same condition.  The king gifted the land and immediately it stopped raining.

Location:

Click here for Map

This place is just 3 kms away from Vaitheeswaran Koil.  There are regular bus services from Mayiladuthurai, Vaitheeswaran Koil etc.

Other temples nearby:

Adhi Vaidhyanatha Swamy Temple

Vaitheeswaran Koil,

Thiruninriyur Lakshmipureeswarar

Boarding & Lodging:

This is a very small village and you can’t expect any facility here.  Vaitheeswaran Koil is the nearest place where you can find good hotels to eat and stay.  If you have to rest a couple of hours before you visit the next temple, there are choultries at Vaitheeswaran Koil that allow you to use their facilities for a nominal payment of Rs 50/- or Rs. 100/-.

Thiruvalanchuzhi is just a kilometer away from Swamimalai. This temple is famous for the Vellai Pillayar.  This Vinayakar is also known as Norai Pillayar as He is made out of froth from the Ocean. The main deitiy here is Sadaimudinathar (or Kabardeeswarar) and his Consort is Periyanayaki. River Cauvery curves gently to the right at this place, hence the name Thiruvalanchuzhi; Thiru means holy or sacred, valam means right and chuzhi means curve.

Sage Dhurvasa is believed to have performed a yagna here which was attended by 22 great sages.  They installed the lingams they were worshipping in this temple.  There are several Shiva lingams associated with the sages in this temple.  In the outer praharam (circumambulatory path) there is a shrine dedicated to Ashtabhuja Mahakali or Kali with eight arms.  Raja Raja Chozhan was a staunch devotee of this Kali and always prayed to Her before setting out on war or when faced with making important decision.

There is a Legend connected with the origin of the Shwetha Vinayakar or Norai Pillayar which goes thus. Sage Dhurvasa honoured Indran by presenting him a special garland which he had obtained from Lakshmi.  Indran, after receiving the garland placed it on the head of Iravatam, his elephant.  Iravatam, threw it on the ground and trampled it.  Sage Dhurvasa was very angry with the brash behaviour of Indran and cursed him.  He cursed Indran that he and his followers would be deprived of all their strength, wealth & power.

Soon, Asuras defeated the Devas and took control of the world. Indran then appealed to Brahma and Brahma said that he can regain all that he has lost by churning the celestial ocean to obtain Amrutham or the holy nectar.  Since this was an arduous task and could not be accomplished by the Devas alone who were weakened by Sage Dhurvasa’s curse, Vishnu suggested them to take the Asuras into confidence and enlist their participation also in this task.  Asuras agreed to the same on the condition that they would be also be given a portion of the Amrutham.

The Ocean was churned by using Mount Mandara as the pole and Vasuki – the king of serpents – as the rope.  The Devas held the tail end and the Asuras held the other end and started the churning.  However the Mount mandara started to sink and Vishnu in the avatar (incarnation) of Koorma or tortoise balanced the Mount Mandara on his back and prevented it from sinking.  As the Ocean was being churned, Vasuki started spitting deadly poison known as Ala kala Visham.  This poison was so deadly that it could destroy the whole world.  Shiva came to the rescue by consuming the poison.  Paarvati then held His throat and stopped the poison there.  Shiva’s throat became blue due to the poison and then on He has also been known as Neelakantan; Neela, meaning blue and kanta, meaning throat.

These hurdles they were facing, was worrying the Devas. Sage Narada told them that they were facing these obstacles because they had not prayed to Lord Vinayaka before they started the churning.  Lord Vinayaka must always be invoked before starting a new venture.  Hurriedly, the Devas and the Asuras made a small vigraham or idol of Vinayakar using the froth from the ocean.  They prayed to Vinayakar and resumed the churning.  Now they did not face any hurdle.

Dhanvanthari then appeared from the Ocean with the Armrutham. With the help of Vishnu, the Devas consumed the same.  The Asuras were denied their share as they were tricked by Vishnu, who in His avatar as Mohini, undertook the task of distributing the Amrutham amongst the Devas and the Asuras.  Thus Indran got back his power and wealth.

Indran then worshipped this idol everyday and started carrying this idol of Vinayakar wherever he went.  Once, when he came to the banks of the Cauvery, he placed this idol on the ground before taking bath.  On his return he could not move the idol from that place.  Indran accepted the “Divine Will” and left the idol at that place, which is the present day Thiruvalanchuzhi.  On a particular day every year, the pooja is believed to be preformed by Indran himself at this Temple.

This temple is noted for its immense size and architectural brilliance.  Interestingly, you find a shabby-looking mandapam that seems to have been hurriedly built.  The story behind this is that a King who once stopped by, ordered the temple priest to perform abhishegam (ablution).  Since this idol is made of froth, no abhishegam is offered.  Decoration is made only to the outer frame which is made of silver and gold.  Pacha karpooram is the only offering made to Him. The priest was in a quandary and prayed to Lord Vinayaka to present a solution.  Just then a voice from the sky rebuked the King and asked if the King wished that He be dissolved in the abhishegam waters.  King pleaded forgiveness.  The Divine voice ordered that the King should build a mandapam before sunset on the same day if he has to be pardoned.  The King did as ordered and was forgiven.  This mandapam is known as “mannippu mandapam”.

Chathurthi is an important day.  No prizes for guessing that Vinayaka chathurthi is the most important festival here.

Thiruvalanchuzhi is one of the Parivara sthalams.

Location:

Click here for Map

This temple is just a kilometre away from Swamimalai.  Thiruvalanchuzhi is about 7 Kms from Kumbakonam.  As you proceed on the Kumbakonam – Tanjavur road, after about 6.5 Kms from Kumbakonam you will find an arch on your right hand side.  You will also see a sign board indicating entrance to Swamimalai.  Take the right turn here, the temple is less than half a kilometer from here.

Other temples nearby:

Swamimalai

Papanasam 108 lingams

Boarding & Lodging:

Kumbakonam is the nearest town at just 7 kms from here.  Accomodation is available in Swamimalai as well.  You have these small eateries as well as couple of hotels at Swamimalai.

Temple Timings: 6 AM to 12 Noon and 4 PM to 8 PM

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Valanchuzhinathar Thirukoil

Thiruvalanchuzhi

Near Swamimalai

Kumbakonam Taluk

Tanjore District

PIN – 612302

Thirukadaiyur is a very famous temple in Nagapattinam district.  The presiding Deity is Amrthakadeswarar His consort is Abhirami.  This temple is associated with the stories of Markandeya and Abhirami Bhattar.

This holy place is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva saved Markendeya from Yama (the God of death).   This is one of the Ashta Veeratta sthalams.  The eight temples are as follows

1. Thirukadaiyur

2. Thirukandiyur

3. Thirukkovilur

4. Thiruvadhigai

5. Thirupparaiyur

6. Thiruvirkudi

7. Vazhuvur

8. Thirukkurakkai

Mrigandu Maharishi, a staunch devotee of Shiva led a simple life of worship and penance. He and his wife Marudhamathi had no children. The couple prayed to Lord Shiva to bless them with a child. Pleased with their prayers Shiva appeared before them and granted them their wish but asked the couple to make a difficult choice. Shiva asked them to choose between a hundred children who would not be virtuous but would live a long life & one son who would be the epitome of virtuousness and have the divine blessing, but would live only till the age of sixteen. The couple chose the latter and thus Markandeya was born to them.

Markandeya was very pleasing in his manners and behaviour, and was liked by one and all.  He was intelligent too. At that young age the boy mastered all the scriptures. His parents were proud of his achievements. However, they suddenly remembered that this boy will live only until the age of sixteen.  This realization worried them. When Markandeya inquired them of the reason, his mother could not hide the truth any longer and informed him of the conditional boon which Shiva had granted. Markandeya was very confident that Shiva would protect him.

He made a Lingam out of the wet sand on the banks of Cauvery and started his penance.  He was determined to continue until Lord Shiva appeared before him granted him the boon of immortality. As Markandeya entered his sixteenth year, Yama came to take back his life.  But Markandeya refused to go along with Yama. Yama threw the noose around Markandeya and since he was hugging the Shivalingam, the noose fell around the Shivalingam also.  An angry Shiva killed Yama.  Markandeya then implored Lord Shiva to bring back Yama to life.  Shiva pleased with Markandeya’s selflessness blessed him to be immortal.

The Shiva Lingam is swayambhu (Self manifested). The mark made by Yama’s noose is seen on this Lingam. Some believe that this Lingam is part of the pot of nectar that came out of the Paarkadal or Celestial Ocean. Devas had not invoked Vinayaka before the churning of the Ocean. An angry Vinayaka wanted to teach them a lesson and stole the pot of nectar from the Devas. Vinayakar is called KallaPillayar here, as he had stolen the pot of Nectar from the Devas.

As death was conquered at this holy temple at Thirukadaiyur, Sasthiabdhipoorthi (Completion of sixty years), Bheemaratha Shanthi (Completion of 70 years) and Sadhabishegam (Completion of 80 years) are celebrated here.

This is the place where Brahma got Gnaanopadesam from Lord Shiva. Shiva had given Brahma few Vilva seeds and told him that wherever the seeds germinate, He (Shiva) would do the Gnanopadesham.  After failing at various places, it was finally at Thirukadaiyur that the seeds germinated.  Hence the place is also known as Vilvaaranyam or Vilva forest.

Abhirami Bhattar was a staunch devotee of the Goddess. Once King Sarboji visited the temple and saw  Abhirami Bhattar who was immersed in his thoughts of Goddess Abhirami. The king inquired with the Bhattar what Thithi it was and Bhattar absent-mindedly replied that it was Pournami or full moon day, while it was actually a New moon day. The furious King ordered Abhirami Bhattar to be burnt to death. When he came back to his senses, a shocked Bhattar pleaded to the Goddess to save him.  Bhattar was made to stand on a wooden platform that was being slowly lowered into the fire below. He started singing a hundred verses in praise of the Goddess. As soon as Abhirami Bhattar recited the 79th verse, the Goddess threw one of her earrings in the sky which shone as bright as the Full Moon on a Full Moon day. Ashamed of himself, the King apologised to Abirami Bhattar. The hundred verses that Abhirami Bhattar sang that night is the famous Abhirami Andhadhi. Andhadhi means that a particular verse starts with the ending of the previous verse. In fact, Abhirami Andhadhi can be said to have no beginning or ending. The first verse starts with “uthikkindra senkathir uchchi thilakam….” and the 100th verse ends with ” …… eppothum uthikindrave”.

The main festival in this temple is the 18 day long Kaalasamhara thiruvizha in the month of Chithirai (April-may) when the entire episode of kalasamharam is enacted.

Please click this link for Mahamrutyunjaya Mantram

Location:

Click here for Map

Thirukkadaiyur is siruated in Nagapattinam district between Mayiladuthurai and Porayar. It is 22 Kms from Mayiladuthurai and 8 Kms from Porayar.  This is well-connected with Kumbakonam and Mayiladuthurai.


Boarding & Lodging:

There are a few options available here for an overnight stay.  Hotel Sadhabishegam is a famous hotel here that offers both boarding & lodging.

Other Temples Nearby:

Thiruvenkadu – Budhan Sthalam

Keezhaperumpallam – Kethu Sthalam

Vaitheeswaran Koil

Sri Lakshmipureeswarar Temple – Thiruninriyur

Ananthamangalam Anjaneyar Temple

Thirukadaiyur Mayanam which is behind this temple and 2 kms from here is the original temple on the sea-shore.  The Brahmapureeswarar temple has an incomplete gopuram.  It is said that this is the original temple at Thirukadaiyur.

Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Kadayur Mayanam

Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Kadayur Mayanam

Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Kadayur Mayanam

Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Kadayur Mayanam

Temple Timings: 6 AM to 1 PM and 4Pm to 9PM

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Amirthakadeswarar Devasthanam

Thirukadaiyur

Phone: 04364-287429

Thirunallar – Saneeswaran Temple

Posted: February 1, 2010 in Navagraha Temples, Temples around Kumbakonam
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Dharbharanyeswaraswamy or Dharbaranyeswarar temple at Thirunallar is dedicated to Saneeswaran or Saturn. Thirunallar in Karaikal, in the Union Territory of Pondichery, is one of the more famous and important navagraha temples. It is at a distance of 6 Kms from Karaikal town. This is one of the parivara sthalams. I shall explain what a parivara sthalam is in my post on Alangudi.

 

Though Saneeswaran here is very famous, the presiding deity is Dharbaranyeswarar. His Consort is Bogamartha Poon Mulayal or Praanaambikai. The lingam here is a self manifested Lingam or Swayambhu. The Sthala vruksham is Dharba or grass. This place was a forest of Dharba.  Dharba is a type of grass and aranyam means forest and hence the name Dharbaranyeswaraswamy or Dharbaranyeswarar for the Lord. Even today you can see the impression of grass on the lingam here. Thirunallar is one of the “Saptha Vidanga Sthalam”. The idols in these temples depict Lord Shiva performing one of His seven dance forms. It is believed that Lord Shiva imparted the knowledge of the Vedas & Shastras to Brahma here.  People pray to Swarna Ganapathy here to overcome financial problems.

Lord Surya was married to Usha or Light. Usha Devi was unable to bear the heat radiated from Surya and left her shadow or Chaya with Suryan while she herself stayed away. Saneeswaran is the son of Chaya Devi and Suryan. The very sigh tof Saneeswaran is dreaded and believed to be destructive. Suryan’s chariot is believed to have been destroyed when Saneeswaran as a baby first opened his eyes and looked at Suryan. Saneeswaran after intense penance on Lord Shiva attained the status of a celestial planet.

It is believed that Saneeswaran became lame when he was kicked by Lord Yama (Sani’s step brother – son of Surya & Usha) in a fit of anger. It is because of this that he is a slow moving planet, taking approximately two and a half years to move from one Zodiac Sign to another. Such a transit known as Sani peyarchi is very important and devotees from all over throng the temple to offer their prayers. Saneeswaran is believed to have a major influence on the course of ones life and also the most feared planet. The unique aspect here is that Saneeswaran is in standing posture with abhayahastha ie hand bestowing blessing.

Everyone experiences sade sati or ezharai sani in their life time. It occurs 2 to 3 three times in a life span as it recurs after approximately 30 years. Even the Lord himself is not exempt from the effect of ezharai sani. Once, Shiva hid himself in a remote cave to meditate and escape the effect of Sani. On his return he was informed by Sani that the Lord had went into hiding in the first place because of the influence of ezharai Sani. An astonished but pleased Shiva, declared to him to be Saneeswaran.  No other planet has the tag eswaran to the name.

There is a saying in Tamil “Saniyaipol Koduppavanum illai, saniyaipol keduppavanum illai” which translates to “There is none like Saneeswaran who can give a good life or ruin a life”. Actually, even at the worst of times Saneeswaran only delays but never denies.  The experience of going through the ezharai sani makes one mentally very strong.   He does not test us more than we can handle.  He affects a person based on his past deeds.  He is supposed to be Just. Interestingly, the two sons of Suryan, judge us and give us the palan or results based on our karma or deeds.  Saneeswaran does this during our lifetime and Yama does that after ones death.

According to a Legend, King Nala had not washed his feet properly while doing puja. Saneeswaran who was waiting for such an opportunity for about 12 years, immediately caught hold of him. This has probably prompted the tradition to wash our feet before entering the house. Getting back to the story of King Nala, under the influence of ezharai sani, he lost his kingdom, separated from his wife and children, had health problems and wandered around like a beggar. As per the advice of Bharadwaja muni he worshipped Dharbaranyeswarar at Thirunallar, after a dip in the holy tank here. It was then he was relieved of the effects of Sani. After this, Shiva asked Saneeswaran to be here and bless all his devotees.

Pooja:

Those visiting Thirunallar should first have an oil bath in the Nala theertham. Some believe that you should leave behind a piece of your cloth near the tank. There are lots of shops around the tank, selling black towels, sachet of gingely oil etc. The tank is usually clean but on occasions you may not want to get into the water. After the bath worship the Vinayakar in the small temple nearby, break a coconut there and then proceed towards the Dharbaranyeswarar temple which is about 5 minutes walk from there.

Devotees offer Blue cloth and light Gingely oil lamp. Special Poojas are performed on Saturdays as Saturday is the day of Saneeswaran.

Recite these mantras facing west to get relief from malefic influence and get His blessings.

Saneeswara Moola Mantra: Aum pram prim praum sah shanaisharaya namah.

Saneeswara Gayathri: Pangupadhaya vidmahe Surya putraaya dheemahi, thanno Mandha prachodayath

Other Saneeswaran Sthalams:

Agastheeswarar Temple at Pozhichalur near Pallavaram.  This place is also known as Vada Thirunallaru

Pongu Saneeswarar at Thirukollikadu near Tiruvarur

Saneeswarar Temple at Kuchanur near Dindigul

Sri Mandeswara Swami Temple at Mandapally, which is 38 kms from Rajamundy

Saneeswaran temple at Shanishingnapur in Ahmednagar District of Maharashtra

Boarding & Lodging: The temple Devasthanam has accommodation facilities.  There are a few choultries in the Sannidhi Street.  A few hotels with air-conditioned rooms are also available starting from Rs.600/- per day.  This is a reasonably big town and hence there are quite a few eateries.  There are a few households in the Sannidhi street that have allocated a portion of their house for use of pilgrims.  If you want to rest for a couple of hours in the afternoons here they would charge a nominal rate of Rs.50/- to Rs. 100/-

Location:

Click here for Map

290 Kms from Chennai

55 Kms from Kumbakonam

34 Kms from Mayavaram

6 Kms from Karaikal Town

23 Kms from Nagapattinam

19 Kms from Nagore

Temples Nearby:

Thirukadaiyur Abhirami temple – 27 kms

Sikkal Murugan temple -31 kms

Thiruvarur – 40kms

Other Attractions Nearby:

Velankanni Shrine is 40 kms from here.  Tharangambadi or Tranquebar, a former Danish colony from 1620-1845, is 18.5 kms from here on Karaikal Thirukadaiyur route. Fort Dansborg, built by the Danes in 1620, now houses a museum to exhibit Danish era there.

Temple Timings: 6 AM and 1 PM and 4 PM to 8 PM. Since Saturdays are the special days for Saneeswaran, the Saneeswaran sannidhi is open even between 1 PM & 4PM.

Temple Address

Sri Darbaranyeswara Swami Devasthanam,

Thirunallar-609607

Temple Phone No: 04368-236530 or 236504

The Sivasuryanarayana temple at Suryanar Koil is one of the Navagraha temples and is dedicated to Suryan.  This temple dedicated to Suryan has shrines for each of the other planets as well.  The legend says that Kalava Munivar had the rare ability to see the future.  One fine day, he realised that he was soon going to be affected by leprosy.  Since the Navagrahas controlled all the aspects of ones life, he prayed to the Navagrahas and sought to be saved from the disease.  Pleased by his devotion, the Navagrahas granted his wish.  On coming to know of this, Brahma was furious because nobody had the right to change the destiny of a person.  He cursed all the nine planets that they will have to undergo what Kalava munivar was destined to, and hence all the nine planets were affected by leprosy.  The Navagrahas apologised and requested to know how they could overcome this curse.  Brahma advised them to go the Thirumangalakudi and worship Prananatheswarar, at Vellerukkakadu, who alone could help them.  After worshiping Prananatheswarar and his consort Mangalambigai, they installed an idol of Vinayakar a little away from there and started their penance.  By God’s grace they attained papa vimochanam (salvation from their sin).

Kalava Munivar, for whom the Navagraha had undergone all the trouble, as a mark of gratitude, raised a temple at the same spot where the Navagrahas had performed their penance.

The presiding deity in this west facing temple is Suryanarayana in a chariot like vimaanam, representing the sun’s chariot.   Sivasuryanaraya is in a standing position with his two consorts, Usha & Prathyusha (Chaya).  There are also shrines dedicated to Kasi Viswanathar, Visalakshi and Guru Bhagavan in the sanctum.  Shrines for the other celestial bodies are located outside of the sanctum.  Vellerukku (Madar Plant) is the sthala vriksham.  Pillayar made out of the Vellerukku is sold in the shops here.  It is a very prized possession and protects from the evil forces.

Thirumangalakudi

Once King Kulothunga’s Minister Alaivanar was building a temple from the tax collected without obtaining the King’s permission. The King had him beheaded when he came to know about this. As his death wish, the minister requested that he be cremated in Thirumangalakudi.  His wife prayed to the Mangalambikai at Thirumangalakudi and brought back her husband to life.  Women pray to the Goddess here for long life and the well being of their spouse.

Method of Worship

Devotees are first required to have the darshan of Prananatheswarar and Mangalambigai at Thirumangalakudi before visiting Suryanar Koil.  This temple is just 1 km from Suryanar Koil, and is situated in the same village.  The method of worship at this temple is very different from other temples.  We should first worship the Kol Vinai theertha vinayakar.  He is called by this name because He helped the navagrahas get rid of their problems.  Thus, Kol Vinai Theertha Vinayakar is a VERY IMPORTANT deity.  We then worship the Nataraja in narthana mandapam.  Then at the main sanctum worship Visalakshmi & Kasi Vishvanthan (this is a small lingam on your left hand side as you approach Suryan’s Shrine) before worshiping Suryan.  After worshiping Suryan, worship Guru Bhagavan who is facing Suryan.  Now, the circumambulation or the pradarshanam procedure is very different from other temples.  We now go in an anticlockwise direction and worship Saneeswaran, Budhan, Angarakan, Chandran, Kethu, Shukran and Rahu before worshiping Chandikeswarar.  Then we proceed in a clockwise direction and return to worship Kol Vinai Theertha Vinayakar.  This may seem very confusing but there are signboards at the temple to guide the devotees.  After this prostrate or do a namaskaram near the dhwajasthambam.  Then it is recommended to do 9 pradarshanams of the outer praharam.   I have made a layout diagram for your reference.

Suryanar Temple Layout

Pooja

A favourably positioned Sun in the horoscope manifests as intelligence, perception, strength of will and character in the inmate. It creates endurance, stamina, vitality, positive spirit, direction, courage, conviction, confidence, leadership, independence and straight- forwardness.

An unfavourably positioned Sun results in lack of intelligence, poor perception, weakness of will and character. Surya’s worship benefits include strength, health, good eyesight, intelligence, relief from skin ailments and long life. Cool water is used for Abhishegam.  Offerings of wheat & archana with red lotus please him. Devotees who are unable to visit any of the other Navagraha temples can perform the necessary parihara poojas to the respective planet at this temple.

On Sundays, attired in clean red clothes, offer lotus flower to the God, facing the east and recite the following mantras

Surya Moola Mantram: Aum hram hrim hraum sah suryaya namah.

Surya Gayathri: om ashwadhwajaaya vidmahae padma hasthaaya dheemahi tanno surya: prachodayaath

Other Sun Temples

Sri Aanandhavalli sametha Sri Agatheeswarar Kovil at Kolapakkam near Chennai.

Gnayuru Gramam 10 Kms from Red Hills near Chennai

Sun Temple – Konark

Suryanarayana Swamy Varu temple at Arasavalli village, 1 km from Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh.

Location

Click here for map

 

 

21 kms from Swamimalai

18 kms from Kumbakonam, on Kumbakonam – Mayavaram route.

3 Kms from Aduthurai which is on Kumbakonam – Mayavaram route

23 Kms from Mayavaram.

Other Temples Nearby

Kanjanur – Sukran Sthalam is just 3 kms from here

Thiruvidaimarudhur

Thirupananthal

Boarding & Lodging

 

 

This is a small village.  There are no hotels here.  You will have to stay at either Kumbakonam or Mayavaram.  Delicious prasadam is available at the temple.

Temple Timings: 6:00 AM to 12:30 PM and 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM

TempleAddress

Arulmigu Siva Suriyaperuman Temple,

Suriyanarkoil,

Thirumangalakudi P.O

Thiruvidaimaruthur T.K.

Thanjavur D.T.

Ph : 0435-2472349

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. (Read the post “Keezhaperumpallam – Kethu 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.

Nandi after worshipping Shiva attained the status as Nandeeswaran here. Vinayakar attained the status of Head of Ganas or Ganapathi.  Indira, the King of Devas was relieved of bad smell emanating from his body by worshiping Goddess Girigujambal with Punugu.

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.

Pooja: Astrologers suggest that doing  Milk abisekam (especially on Sundays) here for Rahu during Rahu kalam (period of 1and 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.

Reciting these mantra helps alleviate the malefic effects.

Rahu Moola Mantram: Aum bhram bhrim bhraum sah rahave namah.

Rahu Gayathri: om sookadhanthaya vidmahae ugra roopaya dheemahi tanno raahu: prachodayaath

Other Rahu Temples:

Seshapureeswarar temple at Thirupamburam

Vanchinathaswamy temple at SriVanchiyam

Sri Kalahasthi in Andhra Pradesh

Nelakanteswarar temple at Gerugambakkam near Chennai

Location:

Click here for Map

Thirunageswaram is on the Kumbakonam – Kollumangudi – Peralam – Karaikal road.  It is at a distance of 7 km from Kumbakonam.

Other Temples Nearby:

Uppiliappan Koil or Oppiliappan Koil – 1 Km

Prathyangara Devi temple – 2 Kms

Nachiyar Koil – 6.5 Kms

Boarding & Lodging:

This is a fairly big place and hence lot of accommodation is available.  There are a few households in the Sannidhi street that have allocated a portion of their house for use of pilgrims.  If you want to rest for a couple of hours in the afternoons here they would charge a nominal rate of Rs.50/- to Rs. 100/-.

At Uppiliappan Koil there are two Brahmin households that serve “aaththu sappadu”.  Their contact details are as follows.

Sri Rama Catering Service:  0435-2463585, 9443092104, 9443679609

Sri Anjaneya Catering Service: 0435-2464029, 9443525235, 9442014787, 9360444788

It would be a good idea to call them up and inform a few hours before you land there, especially if you are a big group.  If you land up there without information they may not be able to entertain you.

Temple Timings 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Rahukala pooja is conducted on all days and the temple is open during Rahukalam on all days.

Temple Address

SRI NAGANATHA SWAMY TEMPLE,

(SRI RAHU STHALAM),

THIRUNAGESWARAM – 612 204,

KUMBAKONAM Taluk THANJAVUR District.

Phone – 0435 2463354

Alangudi – Guru Temple

Posted: January 25, 2010 in Navagraha Temples, Temples around Kumbakonam
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Sri Abathsahayeswarar Temple, the sthalam of Guru Bhagavan is at Alangudi.  The presiding deity here is Abathsahayeswarar and His consort is Elavarkuzhali Ammai or Umayammai.  The Shiva Lingam here is a Swayambhu (self manifested). Dakshinamurthy in the praharam (circumambulatory path) around Shiva’s shrine is worshipped as Guru Bhagavan here.

In all Shiva temples the main deities are Shiva and Parvati. Other deities like Pillayar Murugar, Dakshinamurthy, the Navagrahas, and Chandikeswarar are also present in the praharam (circumabulatory path). As defined in the temple Vaasthu Shastra, the deities are placed in a particular position and facing a particular direction.  There is a group of temples around Kumbakonam whose deities form a big temple. This group of temples is called the Parivara Sthalam.

This big temple would have

I do not know if these temples are to be visited in any particular order.  I hope I will be able to visit these temples in the prescribed order if any, and post the details.

The story of the Devas and Asuras churning the celestial ocean or the parkadal is associated with many temples.  During this churning, Vasuki spat out deadly poison.   Lord Shiva consumed that poison here to save the world. Hence the name Alangudi: Ala meaning poison.  The Lord himself came to be known as Abathsahayeswarar (one who helps in crisis) as he saved the world from impending danger. Lord Ganesha defeated Gajamuhasuran here, to save the Devas from the asura’s atrocities.  Ganesha is worshipped here as “Kalangamal Kaaththa Vinayakar”.  This place is also known as Thirumana Mangalam as Ambal undertook penance to marry Lord Shiva.

Lord Shiva in the guise of a boatman had helped Sundarar to cross the Vettaru which was in spate. It is believed that Sundarar had received his Gnanopadesam from Dakshinamurthy at this temple. Gu in Sanskrit means darkness and ru means the destroyer of that.  Hence Guru means one who destroys darkness or one who enlightens.  Thus Guru is one who leads you from the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge.

Alangudi is the most popular Parihara sthalam for Guru.  The other ones that readily come to mind are Thittai and Padi in Madras. Poolai is the sthala vriksham.

Pooja: Guru is attributed to luck, favor and fortune.  The unfavourable position in the horoscope can cause skin problems, arthritis, heart related problems, worry & uneasiness.  Guru blesses his devotees with progeny, good education, valour, long life and cure from diseases. Devotees light 24 ghee lamps and do pradharshanam (circumambulation) of Shiva’s shrine 24 times.  Offerings of yellow cloth, konda kadalai (chick pea) and vella mullai (a type of Jasmine) are made to Guru here.  The transit of Guru, known as Guru Peyarchi which happens every year, is an important festival in this temple.  Thursdays being the day of Guru is very important.  Fasting or eating only once (oru pozhudhu) on Thursdays is recommended.  Banana and salt is to be avoided on these days.

Recite the following mantra facing North East to get over the malefic effects and benefit from his benevolence.

Guru Moola Mantra: Aum gram grim graum sah gurave namah

Guru Gayathri: Rishabadhwajaya vidhmahe gruni hasthaya dhimahi thanno Guru prachodhayath

Other Guru Parihara Temples:

Thiruvalidhaym or Padi near Chennai

Thenkudi Thittai or Thittai near Tanjore

Murugan Temple at Tiruchendur

Guruvayur Krishna Temple

 

Location:

Click here for the Map

38 Kms from Thiruvarur town

Alangudi is 17.5 kms away from Kumbakonam on Kumbakonam – Needamangalam – Mannargudi road in Tiruvarur district.

Other Temples nearby:

Thirupoovanur (Pushpavanam)

Thiruvenniyur or Koyil venni – the Shivalingam here has marks resembling sugarcane

Kasi Vishvanathar Temple at Needamangalam

Boarding & Lodging: There are quite a few shops here but there is no decent place to stay or eat.  If hungry, prasadam from the temple is the best option.  Stay at one of the nearest towns like Kumbakonam or Thiruvarur.

Temple Timings: 6 AM to 1 PM and 4 PM to 8.30 PM.

TempleAddress

Arulmigu Abathsahayeswarar Temple,

Alangudi – 612801

Valangaiman Taluk

Thiruvarur District

Telephone Number: 04374 – 269407