Posts Tagged ‘pancha aranya sthalam’

Haridwaramangalam is one of the Pancha Aranya Kshethrams and is just about 3 Kms from Avalivanallur, which is also one of the Pancha Aranya kshetrams. Aranyam means forest. The five temples which collectively make the Pancha Aranya Sthalams are

Paathaaleswarar Koil, Haridwaramangalam

Paathaaleswarar Koil, Haridwaramangalam

Paathaaleswarar Koil, Haridwaramangalam

Paathaaleswarar Koil, Haridwaramangalam

Haridwaramangalam was once a dense forest of Vanni trees. Vanni is the sthala vriksham at this temple. The theertham is Brahma theertham. This temple is also one of the Padal petra sthalams. The Shiva Lingam here is a swayambhu.

The worship benefits at this temple include relief from debts. There is no shrine for Durga as Goddess Alankara Valli is also seen as Durga here. She protects Her devotees from all evil. She is facing east which is considered very auspicious and She clears the hurdles in getting married and blesses the childless with progeny.

The name of the diety is Paathaaleswarar (Paathala meaning the netherworld) and Alankara Valli is His consort. There is supposedly a pit in the sanctum sanctorum, now covered with a stone, which is believed to have been made by Vishnu and hence the name – Hari (Vishnu) dwara (pit) mangalam (holy place).

Sthala Vruksham. Paathaaleswarar Koil, Haridwaramangalam

Sthala Vruksham. Paathaaleswarar Koil, Haridwaramangalam

The legend goes thus. Once upon a time Brahma and Vishnu were having an intense fight as to which one of them was superior. Alarmed at this, the other gods pleaded with Lord Shiva to bring peace. Lord Shiva wanted both of them to realise their folly. He assumed the form of a flaming Lingam in between Brahma and Vishnu and challenged both of them to find the beginning or the end of the Lingam.

The Lingam was very huge, so Brahma and Vishnu set out to find one end each. Whoever returned first after reaching the end would be declared superior to the other. Lord Brahma embarked on his swan and set out to find the top of the Lingam while Lord Vishnu assumed the form of Varaha or a boar and started digging into the earth to find the bottom of the Lingam. Both continued their search for a long time but neither could find the end. Vishnu became too tired to continue and decided that it was a futile exercise and returned. He admitted to Lord Shiva that he could not find the end. Brahma meanwhile, came across a Ketaki flower (thazhampu) which was falling down from the top of the Lingam. He enlisted Ketaki’s support as a witness and made the flower lie that Brahma had reached the top of the Lingam. Brahma thus told Vishnu that he was superior to Vishnu. Shiva who was witnessing this became very angry. He cursed Brahma for make a false claim and Ketaki (thazhampu) for the false testimony. He cursed Brahma that there would be no temple for Him. He cursed Ketaki flower (thazhampu) that it would not be henceforth used as an offering during worship or any religious activity. Both realised their folly. Shiva then told them that both Brahma and Vishnu are part of Him.

Lingothbavar. Paathaaleswarar Koil, Haridwaramangalam

Lingothbavar. Paathaaleswarar Koil, Haridwaramangalam

This happened on the 14th day of the waning moon period or Chaturdasi of Krishnapaksham in the tamil month of Panguni or Phalgun month. This day is celebrated as Mahashivaratri.

Temple Location:

Bus services are available from Kumbakonam and Tanjore to Haridwaramangalam.

Temple Timings:
8 am to 12.30 pm and 4 pm to 8 pm

Temple Address
Arulmigu Paathaaleswarar Alayam
Valangiman Taluk
Thanjavur District 612 802

Temple Phone No: + 91-4374-264 586, 91-4374-275 441, 94421 75441.

“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


Click here for Map

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


Vasishteswaraswamy temple in Thenkudi Thittai

ThiruNallur – The lingam that changes colour



Temple Address

Arulmigu Mullai Vananathar Thirukkoil Thirukkarugavur (P.O)

Papanasam Taluk.

Thanjavur Dt. 614 302 Tamil Nadu

Phone: 04374 273 423