Posts Tagged ‘Nandanar temple’

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/-.

Karkadeswarar temple at Thirundudevankudi is a fairly big temple surrounded by a moat.  It is in the midst of paddy fields.  There are only paddy fields as far as you can see.

According to the temple legend, Indran worshipped this Lingam here with 1008 Lotuses everyday.  Varunan was given the task of creating those flowers in the temple moat.  Indran ran short of a flower during pooja one day.  He enquired with Varunan who was very confident that he had created 108 flowers.  When this continued for a few days, Indran himself decided to keep a watch on the flowers. Ultimately, he noticed one of the flowers moving.  The flower moved out of the water and into the garba graham (sanctum sanctorum) through the drain onto the top of the Shivalingam.  On closer scrutiny, he saw that it was a Golden crab that had brought the flower from the waters.  As he was about to hit the crab, it made a hole right on top of the Shivalingam and disappeared into it.  Since then He came to be known as Karkadeswarar (Karkata means Crab).  The image of a golden crab as well as the hole created by it can be seen on the Shivalingam during the ablution rituals (abhishegam).  Thirundudevankudi could well be corruption of Thiru Nandu Devakankudi; Nandu meaning crab.  It is believed that this Crab was a Yaksha who taunted Sage Dhurvasa.  He mimicked the walk of the Sage and said that it was like the crawl of a crab and made fun of him.  The Sage who was well known for his short temper, cursed the Yaksha to turn into a crab.  Quickly realising his folly, the Yaksha apologised to the Sage and sought a remedy.  The Sage advised him to worship Lord Shiva at this temple for absolution of his sin.

 

A niche on the outer wall depicting the history of the temple

A niche on the outer wall depicting the history of the temple

This place was originally an Aushada vanam or forest of medicinal herbs.  During the ancient times this place could have been a Ayurvedic Dispensary.  Lord Shiva here was originally called Aushadeswarar.

Another legend is that of Shiva, in the guise of an old man, having cured a devout King of his painful affliction.  Hence He got the name Arumarundu Devar, the Lord of Medicine and Healing. He then showed him the spot where the Shivalingam is currently located.

There are two shrines to Ambal here, Arumarundu Nayaki and Apoorva Nayaki. The idol of Arumarundu Nayaki was once stolen.  The stolen idol was recovered within a day of installing the replacement idol.  Hence the original idol then came to be known as Apoorva Nayaki. The moat surrounding the temple is the Tirumaruvum Poikai.

 

Sthalapuranam in tamil

Sthalapuranam in tamil

There are temples dedicated to each of the 12 Rasis (Lunar Zodiac Sign) and each of the 27 Nakshatras (Birth Star).  The Karkadeswarar temple is for Kataka or Karkata Rasi and Ahilyam or Ashlesha Nakshatram in particular.  It is believed that people born under this rasi and nakshatram should visit this temple regularly and benefit from His blessings.  People born under Ashlesha Nakshatram and/or Kataka Rasi are advised to light Nallennai vilakku (Sesame or Gingely Oil lamp) and worship Lord Shiva on ashtami (eighth day from New Moon or Full Moon), New Moon days, Tuesdays and Saturdays apart from Ahilya Nakshatram thithis to be blessed with prosperity, good health, peace of mind and overall happiness in life.  People not born under this star or Rasi can also worship on the above mentioned days to be cured of any chronic illness.

Location:

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This temple is about 2 kms from Thiruvisanallur.  From Thiruvidaimarudhur this is at a distance of about 8 kms across the Cauvery.  Thiruvisanallur is on the Suryanar – Thirumangalakudi – Swamimalai Road.

Boarding & Lodging: Nothing is available here.  Thiruvidaimarudhur is the nearest town.  You could stay at Kumbakonam, which is about 10 kms from here.

Other temples nearby:

Mahalingaswamy temple at Thiruvidaimarudhur

Thirumangalakudi & Suryanar Koil – 10 kms from here

Thiruvisanallur just less than 2 kms from here

Sridhar Ayyaval Ashram at Thiruvisanallur.

Thirubhuvanam Sarabeswarar temple

Govindapuram

Temple Timings: 9 AM to 1 PM & 4 PM to & 7 PM.  Please also enquire at Sivayoginathar temple in Thiruvisanallur before going here.   As this is a very desolate place, it is advisable to go to this temple before sunset.  It is for this reason this temple closes early by 7PM.

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Karkadeswarar Temple

Nandaangkoil

Tiruvisanallur Post

Veppattur S.O.

Kumbakonam Taluk

Thanjavur District

PIN 612105

Phone:  0435- 200 0240, 99940 15871