Posts Tagged ‘Navagraha’

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

Lakshmipureeswarar temple is at Thiruninriyur.  Thiruninriyur is about 6.5 Kms from Vaitheeswaran Koil on the way to Mayiladuthurai or Mayavaram. This is a Padal Petra Sthalam.  This is an East facing Mada temple, meaning it is built over a raised platform.  The main deity is Lakshmipureeswarar and his Consort is Ulaganayaki.  The Lingam here is one of the 64 Swayambhu Lingams. Lakshmi and Vishnu have worshipped Lord Shiva here.  Lakshmi was granted the boon of winning Vishnu’s heart, hence the name Lakshmipureeswaraar.  Lord Shiva here is known as Mahalakshmeesar also. There are separate shrines for Vinayakar, Murugan, Mahalakshmi, the Navagrahas, Bhairavar, Chandran and the Shivalingam worshipped by Parasurama.

The Sanskrit name for this place is Varthi Nirvapanapuram, which means Tirininravur in Tamil.  Tiri means wick and ninravur means place where it was put off.  A Chola King used to pass through Thiruninriyur every night after worshiping at Sirkali.  As he was passing through this village, the lamps carried by his entourage used to go off. Intrigued, he wanted to check it out and went to the same place in the morning.  He saw Kamadhenu descending into the forest.   He proceeded to the spot where Kamadhenu had descended. He cleared the bushes with his sword and made his way through the thicket.  While doing so, his sword hit something and he saw blood sprouting from  that particular spot.  He spotted a Shiva Lingam in the undergrowth, from which the blood was oozing.  The hole that the Chola King inadvertently made on top of the Shiva Lingam is still seen.  He built a temple at the same spot which is now Lakshmipureeswarar Temple at Thiruninriyur.

This temple is to be visited for gaining Kubera Sampathu or prosperity. While Kubera is the Lord of Wealth and is responsible for the distribution of the same, Goddess Lakshmi is the creator of wealth.  In other words Kubera is the treasurer while the Goddess is the CFO.  Goddess Lakshmi is one of the most worshipped deities. She is the Goddess of prosperity, wealth, purity, generosity, and the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm.

Lakshmi is usually seen sitting or standing on a lotus in the ocean of milk symbolising purity, peace and prosperity. Her four arms signify Purity, Prosperity, Perfection and Freedom from bondage.  The gold coins flowing out of her hand signifies prosperity. Her right hand is in abhayahastha mudra or hand held in the posture of blessing.

This temple is one amongst the temples dedicated for each of the 27 Nakshatrams or Birth-stars.  This temple is dedicated to Anusham.  People born under this star greatly benefit by worshiping here at least once every year.

This temple has very few visitors and is relatively unknown.  The temple is maintained by the Dharumapuram Adhinam.

Lakshmi Gayatri Mantra

Om Maha Lakshmicha Vidmahe

Vishnu Patnicha Dhimahi

Tanno Lakshmi Prachodayat

Lakshmi Moola Mantra

“Om Shri Maha Lakshmyei Namah”

“Aum Gum Shreem Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha”

“Om Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha”

“Om Shrim Siddayei Namah’

“Om Shreeng “

“Om aing shreeng hreeng kleeng aing kamalvasinayae swaahaa”

Other Temples Nearby

Vaitheeswaran Koil

Thirupungur

Location

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This temple is located at a distance of about 6.5 Kms from Vaitheeswaran Koil, on Vaitheeswaran Koil Mayiladuthurai Road.

Boarding & Lodging:

This is a very small village.  Have your travel base as Vaitheeswaran Koil or Mayiladuthurai.

Temple Timings:

6AM to 12.00 Noon and 4 PM to 8 PM

Temple Contact

SUBRAMANYA GURUKKAL,

TIRUNINRIYUR

MAYILADUTHURAI RMS 609118

Phone: 04364-320520

Thirukollikadu – Pongu Saneeswaran Temple

Posted: February 28, 2010 in Navagraha Temples, Temples around Kumbakonam
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Agneeswarar temple at Thirukkollikadu or Kallikadu is more commonly known as Pongu Saneeswaran Temple.  The Presiding deity of this temple Agneeswarar is also known as Thirukollikadar or Theevanna Nathar.  Thee means fire and vanna means colour in Tamil.  True to the name, the Lingam here is slightly reddish in colour. The Lingam here is one of the 64 Swayambhu (self-manifested) Lingams.  His consort is Mirudupaadanayagi or Menthiruvadiamman or Panjinmelladiaal.  All the names of the Goddess here mean – the one with soft feet. This is a padal petra sthalam and Thirugnana Sambandar has sung in praise of Thirukollikadar.  The sthala vruksham at this temple is Vanni.

Agni was under the grip of ezharai sani when he had lost some of his power due to the following reasons.  Agni had taken part in the yaga conducted by Dakshan (Lord Shiva’s father-in-law), whose primary intention of conducting the yaga was to insult Shiva. Agni had also been afflicted with dosha when the wax palace was burnt with the intent to kill the Pandavas.  Agni prayed to Lord Shiva here to get back his power.  Lord Shiva obliged him here and is hence known as Agnesswarar.

There is a story behind how this temple is so important for Saneeswaran worship.  Saneeswaran is actually a just planet that has effects on the person according to his karmas (deeds). However, people misunderstood and dreaded the very mention of the name.  Ezharai Sani or the seven and a half years period when the planet casts its malefic effect on the native of the horoscope is a dreaded period.  Similarly ashtama Sani is also feared.  Saneeswaran did not like this and he appealed to the Lord that he should not be blamed or held responsible for doing his assigned task.  Lord Shiva was pleased with Saneeswaran and conferred him the title Saneeswaran here.  No other planet has the tag Easwaran attached.    He directed Saneeswaran to stay back at this temple as Pongu Sani and bless the devotees.

After he was relieved of the Sani dosham at Thirunallar, Nalan came here and sought the blessing of the Lord.  He was reunited with his family and got back his royal status after worshipping here. King Harichandra also was a beneficiary of the Divine grace of Pongu Saneeswarar.

Saneeswaran is present here seated on his vehicle – the crow, as anugraha murthy (one showering his blessings) with his lower right hand showing abhaya hastham.  He holds a plough in his upper right hand.   He is holding a flag with crow embossed on it, in his left hand.  Opposite to Pongu Saneeswarar is Bhairavar, who is Saneeswaran’s guru.  There is a shrine for Lakshmi next to Pongu Saneeswarar.  Murugan is present here with his consorts Valli and Deivayanai.  He holds a bow in his hands instead of the Vel (spear).  The Navagrahas are usually seen as Vakramurthys, ie they face different directions. The Navagrahas here are uniquely placed.  They form a shape └┘here.

Worshipping in this temple will improve one’s social status.  The devotees will earn through legal and righteous means and will also regain any property or wealth that was earlier lost due to deceit.

There are inscriptions in this temple which suggest that this ancient temple which was once built out of bricks, got its present granite structure during the medieval period of Chola reign, about 1500 years ago.

Saneeswara Moola Mantra:

Aum pram prim praum sah shanaisharaya namah.

 

Saneeswara Gayathri:

Pangupadhaya vidmahe Surya putraaya dheemahi, thanno Mandha prachodayath

Location:

Click here for Map

This temple is located about 25 kms from Tiruvarur.  On Tiruvarur Thirutharaipoondi road take a right turn at Kachanam.  This temple is about 8 kms from Kachanam.

Boarding & Lodging:

The nearest towns are Tiruvarur and Mannargudi, where there are quite a few options available to suit various budgets.  This is a very small village and no facility is available here.

Nearby Temples:

Thirunellika

Thirukuvalai

Thiruthengoore

Kaichinam

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Agneeswarar Alayam

Thirukollikadu

Thiruthangur Thirunellikaval (P.O) Tiruvarur (Dist) – 610 205

Ph: 04369 237454

“God could not be everywhere and therefore he made Mothers.” — Jewish proverb


Thirukarugavur is on the banks of Vettaru, a tributary of Cauvery.  This is a padal petra sthalam.  Lord Shiva is known as Mullaivananathar and His consort is Garbarakshambigai or Karukathanayaki.  This place was a jasmine forest, jasmine in tamil is mullai and hence the name Mullaivananathar.  The Goddess here protects the foetus during pregnancy and hence the name Garbarakshambigai or Karukathanayaki.  The Goddess not only protects the foetus but also blesses the childless with progeny.  Pregnant women come here to pray to be free from pregnancy related problems and for easy delivery.  The Shiva lingam is a Swayambhu or self manifested lingam.  When you visit the temple make a request to the priest to show the deeparardhanai and you can see the marks of the jasmine creeper on the lingam.  Vinayakar and Nandhi are also Swayambhu in this temple.  Generally the Navagrahas are Vakramurthys or in other words they face different directions.  Here the other eight planets face the Sun.

The story of a childless couple Nithiruvar and Vedhigai is connected with temple here.  The couple was longing for a child and they set out on a pilgrimage seeking divine intervention in having their desire fulfilled.  They visited a lot Shiva temples before finally reaching Thirukarugavur or Mullaivanam as it was known then. Here, Vedhigai realised that she was pregnant.  The couple were overwhelmed with joy and believed that it was due to the blessings of Mullaivananathar.  The couple decided to stay back at this place.  On a particularly hot summer day, Vedhigai was resting when Sage Oorthuvapadhar came to their place.  Vedhigai in her state of exhaustion failed to take notice of the Sage.  The principle of “Athithi Devo Bhava” was practiced to the letter in those days.  The sage was angry with Vedhigai for being inhospitable towards the guest.  In his anger he cursed that her pregnancy would be terminated as that was the reason for her “indifferent behaviour”.   The couple was aghast at the misfortune that had befallen them and prayed to Goddess Parvathi.  The Goddess then blessed them by safeguarding the foetus in a pot for the remainder of the pregnancy period.  At the end of it, She handed over a healthy child to the overjoyed couple.  The tank opposite to the temple is supposed to have been dug by Kamadhenu.  This was to provide milk to the child.  This tank is known as Ksheera Kundam.  Thus the Goddess then came to be known as Garbarakshambiga or Karukathanayaki.  This place came to be known as Thirukarugavur or the place where the foetus is protected.  The local villagers say that there has been no pregnancy related death of the mother or the child from time immemorial. None whatsoever has had a miscarriage or any other pregnancy related problem in this village.

Couples seeking progeny buy the ghee sold in temple and hand it over to the priest.  The priest duly recites the necessary mantras and places the ghee at the feet of the Goddess before returning the same to the couple. The instruction given by the priest is to be followed and the couple should eat a little of this Ghee every night for 48 days.  It is believed that not very long after this 48 day period, the woman conceives.  This is a belief that is backed up by the experience of many.   Similarly, pregnant women are given oil as prasadam which they apply on their abdomen during the pregnancy.  One can see a lot of couples seeking the blessing of the Goddess and an equal number of them on a thanks-giving visit.  Worshipping at this temple also removes marriage obstacles.

Punugu Abhishegam (Ablution) to Mullaivananathar is believed to cure incurable and chronic illness.  Since the Lingam is a SwayamBhu Lingam no other abhishegam is done to the Lingam.

This is one of the five temples which collectively make the Pancha Aranya Sthalams.  Aranya means forest and this is one of the five temples that were found amongst the forest. The other four are Alangudi, Avalivanallur, Haridwaramangalam and Thirukollambudhoor. If one worships at these five temples on the same day, in the above mentioned order, he is absolved of all his sins and there will be no rebirth.  Thirukkarukavur is the first temple to be visited early in the morning, between 5:30 and 6AM.

On the full moon day of the tamil month of Panguni (March-April) moon’s rays falls on the Shiva Lingam.

Garbarakshambigai Mantra

Aum Garbarakshambigaayai cha vidhmahe

Mangala dhevadhaayai cha dheemahee

thanno devi prachodhayaath

Garbarakshambika sloka for Marriage and To beget children

Aum devendhiraani namosthubyam

Dhevendhira piriya baamini

Vivaaha baakyam aarokyam

puthra laabam sadhehime

Padhim dhehi sudham dhehi

Soubaakyam dhehime subhe

Soumaangalyam subam Gnayanam

Dhehime Garbarakshake

Kaathyaayini mahaamaaye

Maha yoginya dhisvari

Nandhagoba seedham dhevam

Padhim Megurudhe Namah

Garbarakshambigai Sloka for Safe Pregnancy and Delivery of baby

Hey sangara Shamarahara PramadhaadhiNaadhari Mannaadha shaamba sasisuda

HarithiriSulin sambo sugaprasava kiruthbavame dhayaalo

HeyMaadhaviVanesa Paalayamaam Namasthe

Blessings of Garbarakshambigai for safe delivery of baby

Hamavath yuthare Paarchve shuradhaa naama yakshini

Dhasyaa Shmarana Maathrena visalyaa Garbinibavedhu

Location

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This temple is about 20 kms from both Kumbakonam and Tanjavur.  This 7 Kms from Papanasam.

Boarding & Lodging:

Excepting for a couple of petty shops that also serve tiffin, there isn’t much you can get.  The nearest towns are Kumbakonam and Tanjavur.

Temples nearby

Papanasam

Vasishteswaraswamy temple in Thenkudi Thittai

ThiruNallur – The lingam that changes colour

Patteswaram

Thiruvalanchuzhi

Temple Address

Arulmigu Mullai Vananathar Thirukkoil Thirukkarugavur (P.O)

Papanasam Taluk.

Thanjavur Dt. 614 302 Tamil Nadu

Phone: 04374 273 423

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

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

Naganathar temple at Keezhaperumpallam which is 8 kms from Thiruvenkadu is the kethu sthalam. Keezhaperumpallam is also known as Vanagari. Here Naganathar is the main deity and His consort is Soundarya Devi. This temple is dedicated to Kethu (South Lunar Node), one of the nine planets or navagraha. Kethu Bhagavan has the head of a snake and the body of an asura. It is rare to see Kethu Bhagavan with his head. Kethu worshiped Shiva here to get rid of his sins. Here he is seen worshiping Naganathar with folded hands.

The devas and the asuras churned the paarkadal (Celestial Ocean) to get the Holy Nectar (Amrutham). Lord Vishnu decided to distribute it only amongst the devas and not asuras as the amrutham would make the asuras stronger and their atrocities will increase. 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. The Sun and the Moon 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. They prayed to Shiva to get rid of their sin and sought to be included as planets. Their wish was granted by Him.

 

However, Rahu and Kethu never forgave the Sun and the Moon. They cause eclipses as an act of revenge. Rahu is further classified as Nitya and Parva Rahu. Nitya Rahu keeps tugging at the Moon causing it to wax and wane, while the Parva Rahu swallows the moon causing the lunar eclipse. Kethu causes the solar eclipse.

Pooja: Picking up bad habits, property disputes and loss of property, humiliation, lack of Progeny, marriage obstacles are all due to Kethu dosham. This is the parihara sthalam to get rid of the Kethu dosham. He is believed to bestow the following on his devotees; good eyesight, gain in property, fame, vehicle, children etc. Devotees worship Kethu Bhagavan with red Lilly flower, by draping him with multi-coloured cloth and offering Kollu (Horsegram).

 

Recite the following mantras after sunset facing North-West direction to be relieved of the malefic effects and benefit from his benevolence.

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

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

Other Kethu Temples:

Seshapureeswarar Temple at Thirupampuram.

Vanchinathaswamy Temple at Srivanchiyam

Sri Kalahasthi in Andhra Pradesh.

Neelakanteswarar Temple at Girugambakkam near Chennai.

Other Temples Nearby:

Thirukadaiyur – 14kms

Thiruvenkadu – 8 kms

Location:

Click here for the Location Map

23 Kms from Sirkali (Off Sirkali- Karaikal Road)

30 kms from Mayavaram

64 kms from Kumbakonam

35 Kms from Karaikal

Boarding & Lodging: This is a very small village.  There are only a couple of shops outside the temple.  Your travel base could be Mayiladuthurai, Thirukadayur or Kumbakonam.

Temple Timings: 5.30am to 12 noon and 4pm to 8pm.

Temple Phone Number: 04364 275 222

Thiruvenkadu – Budhan Temple

Posted: January 23, 2010 in Navagraha Temples, Temples around Kumbakonam
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Thiruvenkadu, one of the navagraha sthalams, is the Budhan sthalam dedicated to Planet Mercury.  Thiruvenkadu’s Sanskrit name is Shwetaranya and both literally mean – sacred white forest. This is also called Adhi Chidambaram and the Chidambara Rahasyam is also here. As seen in Chidambaram, Vishnu is near Nataraja. It is situated 15 kilometers away from Vaitheeswaran Koil, on the Sirkali – Poompuhar road. Here the Lord is Shwetaranyeswarar and His consort is Brahma Vidyambal.  Indran, Airavatam, Budhan, Suryan and Chandran are said to have worshipped Shiva here. Thiruvenkadu is one of the six places considered to be equivalent to Kasi.  The other five are  Rameswaram, Srivanchiyam, Gaya, Thiriveni Sangamam & Thilatharpanapuri

Marutwasura, an asura, was troubling the Rishis and the people of Thiruvenkadu.  The people prayed to Lord Shiva.  Lord Shiva sent Nandi (Bull) – his vahana, to fight the demon. Marutwasura was defeated by Nandi and thrown into the sea. Marutwasura through his penance obtained sula – from Lord Shiva.  The demon then returned with greater intensity to attack the innocent people.  Once again, at the request of the devotees, Shiva sent Nandi.  However, on this occasion, Nandi could not fight the demon as the demon had the Sula of Shiva.  The demon caused wounds on Nandi’s back with the Sula.  The idol of Nandi which bears scars on its body is seen here.

An angry Shiva opened his Third Eye and killed the demon.  The idol of Aghoramurthy, a manifestation of Shiva’s anger, is installed in Thiruvenkadu. Worshiping Aghoramurthy, especially on Sunday nights is considered important and special.

 

There is also another story of Swetaketu associated with Thiruvenkadu.  Swetaketu’s story is similar to that of Markendaiyan.  Swetaketu was destined to die at the end of his eight year but the Lord prevented Yama from taking His devotee’s life.

Lord Shiva is known to have performed his seven forms of dance or Tandavam viz Ananda tandavam, Sandhya tandavam, Samhara tandavam, Tripuranta tandavam, Urdhva tandavam, Bhujanga tandavam and Lalita tandavam here.  The three holy tanks here, known as Agni Theertham, Surya Theertham and Chandra Theertham are believed to have been created out of the three drops which fell from Lord Shiva’s eyes when he was dancing.  Another rare feature is that the deity is present here with five faces viz Easanam, Tatpurusham, Aghoram, Vamadevam and Sadyojatam.  They represent direction and an aspect of Lord Shiva.  Easanam is facing the sky and represents purity, Vamdevam faces north and represents sustenance, Tatpurisha faces east and represents spirituality that has destroyed the ego, Aghoram faces south and represents the destructive and regenerative aspect of Shiva,  Sadyojatam faces west and represents creation.

Shiva Panchanana Stotram

Praleyachala mindu kunda davalam goksheera phena prabham,
Bhasmabhyanga mananga deha dahana jwaala valee lochanam,
Vishnu brahmarul ganarchitha padanjargwedha nadhodhayam,
Vandeham sakalam kalanga rahitham Sthanormukham paschimam. 1

Gouram kumkuma pangilam suthilakam vyapandu ganda sthalam,
Broovikshepa kadaksha veekshshana lasad samsaktha karnodhphalam,
Snighdham bimbaphaladharam prahasitham neelala kalamkrutham,
Vande yajusha veda gosha janakam vakthram harsyotharam. 2

Samvarthagni thadith prathaptha kanaka praspardhi thejo mayam,
Gambeera dhwani sama veda janakam thamradharam sundaram,
Ardhendu dhyuthi phaala pingala jata bhara prabhadhoragam,
Vande sidha surasurendra namitham poorvam mukham soolina. 3

Kalabhra bramaranjana dhyuthi nibham vyavartha pingekshanam,
Karnodhbasitha bhoghi masthaka maniprothphulla damshtrakuram,
Sarpa prothaka pala shukthisaka lavyakeernasachhekaram,
Vande dakshina meswarasya vadanachaadharva vedhodhayam. 4

Vyaktha vyaktha niroopitham cha paramam shad thrimsa thathwadhikam,
Thasmad uthara thatwa maksharamithi dheyyam sada yogibhi,
Omkaaradhi samastha manthra janakam sookshmadhi sookshmam param,
Vande panchamamneeswarasya vadanam Kham vyapi thejo mayam. 5

Yethani pancha vadananbi Maheswarasya,
Ye keerthayanthi purusha sathatham pradoshe,
Gachanthi they Shiva purim ruchirair vimanai,
Kredanthi nandana vane saha loka palai.

There are three sthala vrikshams here – Vilvam, Vadaval and Konrai.  Bhadhra Kali amman has a separate shrine.  There are separate shrines for ashtalakshmi and Navagrahas. Navagrahas are installed in a row. The three holy tanks here, known as Agni Theertham, Surya Theertham and Chandra Theertham are believed to have been created out of the three drops which fell from Lord Shiva’s eyes when he was dancing.

 

Pooja: The native of a horoscope may suffer from lack of progeny, nervous problems and may not do well in academics and other arts, if Budhan is unfavourably placed.  Worshiping Budhan on Wednesdays here will alleviate the problems occurring out of Budhan dosham.  Malefic effect of Budhan can cause problems related to respiration like asthma and bronchitis, speech impediments and nervous disorders. Budhan is considered as the wisest of all the planets.  Budhan is associated with intellect and knowledge; hence those who are not doing well in studies should worship Budhan here. Budhan blesses one with good education, knowledge, eloquence, music, astrology, mathematics, sculpture, medicine, scholarship in languages.  Offer Green cloth & Full Green Moong Daal (pachchai paruppu) to Budhan here.

Recite the following mantras facing North East, which is the direction of Budhan.

Budhan Moola Mantram: Aum bram brim braum sah budhaya namah

Budhan Gayathri: aathreyaya vidhmahe indu putraya dhimahe thanno budha prachodhayath

Other Budhan Temples:

Sundareswarar Temple at Kovur near Chennai

Boarding & Lodging: This is a small village and do not expect anything here excepting a few petty shops.  It will be a good idea to buy prasadam from the temple.  Venn pongal, puliyodharai, chakkarai pongal and curd rice are all available as prasadam.  Travel base can be Vaitheeswaran Koil, Thirukadayur or Mayiladuthurai.

Other Temples Nearby:

Vaitheeswaran Koil

Keezhaperumpallam (Kethu Sthalam)

Thirukadaiyur Abhirami Temple

Location:

View the Location Map

15.5 Kms from Sirkali (Off Sirkali – Poompuhar Road)

14 Kms from Vaitheeswaran Koil

16.6 Kms from Thirukadaiyur

8 kms from Keezhaperumpallam (Kethu sthalam)

28 kms from Mayavaram

Temple Timings: 6 AM to 1.00 PM and 4 PM to 9 PM.

Temple Address:

Arulmighu Swetharanyeswarar Temple

Tiruvenkadu

Tiruvenkadu Post

Sirkazhi Taluk

Nagapattinam District PIN 609114

Temple Phone Number: 04364 256 424

As per Indian Astrology the planetary positions determine a person’s destiny. It is commonly understood that Navagraha means nine planets – Nava meaning nine and graha meaning planet. However, graha in Sanskrit may also mean influence.  Hence, according to some it is not nine planets but nine influences. Whatever is the case, they are the nine biggest influences on the destiny of a person. There are nine temples (one for each Graha) located within a radius of 60 kms of Kumbakonam in TamilNadu.  It is a belief that performing shanthi or parihara puja for the particular Graha(s) and its Lords will yield quick and timely results.

 

These temples are

 

  • Sivasuriyanarayana Temple (Suryan, Sun) at Suryanar Koil near Aduthurai
  • Kailasanathaswamy Temple (Chandran, Moon) at Thingalur near Thiruvaiyaru
  • Vaitheeswaran Temple (Chevvai, Mars) at Vaitheeswaran Koil or Pullirukkuvelur near Sirkali
  • Swetharanyeswarar Temple (Budhan, Mercury) at Thiruvengadu near Poompuhar
  • Abathsahayeswarar Temple (Guru, Jupiter) at Alangudi near Needamangalam
  • Agneeswarar Temple (Shukran, Venus) at Kanjanur near Aduthurai
  • Dharbaranyeswarar Temple (Saneeswaran, Satrun) at Thirunallar, Karaikal
  • Naganathaswamy Temple (Rahu, North Lunar Node) at Thirunageswaram near Kumbakonam
  • NaganatharTemple (Kethu, South Lunar Node) at Keezhaperumpallam near Poompuhar

 

While the first seven planets as in the list above have a day of the week assigned to them, Rahu and Kethu have no special days assigned to them.  Instead, one and a half hours each day of the week is assigned to each of them.  Thus we have one and a half hours of Rahukalam and one and a half hours of Yamagandam, everyday, which are assigned to Rahu & Kethu respectively.

 

I have been visiting these temples regularly over the past few years.  I shall soon be writing about each one of them in subsequent posts.