Posts Tagged ‘parivara sthalam’

Patteeswaram – Durga Temple

Posted: March 14, 2010 in Temples around Kumbakonam
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Patteeswaram, near Kumbakonam is famous for its Durga temple. This temple is fairly big and well-maintained one.  There are five majestic gopurams (towers).  The temple seems to have been built and rebuilt several times with additions made to the original temple at various times.  The evidence of this is in the temple’s architecture which has the styles of the Pallavas, Cholas and the Nayaks. The presiding deity at this temple is Dhenupureeswarar and his consort is Gyanambigai. Patteeswaram is one of the Parivara Sthalam.  Mahalingaswamy at Thiruvidaimarudhur has the Parivara devatas in various temples flung as far away as Sirkali and Thiruvalanchuzhi.  The group of temples that form a large temple with Thiruvidaimarudhur Mahalingaswamy as the main deity is called Parivara Sthalams.

Dhenupureeswarar Temple, Patteeswaram

Dhenupureeswarar Temple, Patteeswaram

Legend has it that Rama had installed a Shivalingam here to get rid of his sin or dosham.  Rama was afflicted by three Doshams or sins for killing Ravana.  He could get rid of these sins by installing a Shivalingam and do penance.  Though, Rama was an incarnation of Vishnu, He had taken the birth as an ordinary human being to show people the way and be a role model.  He was an Avatara Purushan or one who sets an example. He had to undergo all the trials and tribulations that a normal human being undergoes and demonstrate the virtues of righteousness while surmounting the problems.  Like any other mortal, He had to face the consequences of His actions and had to perform the necessary pariharam (remedial poojas) to attain papa vimochanam (absolution of the sin).  The first of his three sins was Brahmahatti dosham, because he had killed Ravana who was a Brahmin.  He was absolved of the sin by installing a Shiva Lingam at Rameswaram.  His second sin was Verrahatti dosham, because Ravana was also a great warrior.  Rama installed another Shiva Lingam at Vedaranyam to be absolved of this sin.  His third sin was Chaya Hatti dosham because Ravana was a great exponent of fine arts and an ardent devotee of Shiva.  He was absolved of this sin when he installed yet another Shiva Lingam at Patteeswaram.  These three Lingams are known as Ramalingam.   Rama created a well here to perform ablutions or abhishegam to the Shiva Lingam that he had installed here.  The well thus created by him is said to have brought the holy waters of Dhanushkodi here. Near this well is a niche of Anjaneyar.

Kamadhenu’s daughter Patti, worshipped Lord Shiva here.  She used to perform abhishegam or ablution to the Shiva Lingam with her milk, hence the name Patteeswaram.

As in Thirupungur, the Nandi has shifted to a side here.  The reason attributed goes thus.  On a hot summer day, Thirugnanasambandar, a child poet, was on his way to Patteeswaram to worship the Lord.  Since Sambandar was a small child and the intense heat could make him weak, Dhenupureeswarar had a canopy of pearls erected along the way to make it cool and comfortable for his young devotee.  Dhenupureeswarar could not wait for Sambandar to come to His Sanctum to see him.  He asked Nandi to move aside so that He could see His devotee as he entered the temple. There is an annual festival in the tamil month of Ani to commemorate this incident.  This special festival is called ‘Muthupandal’.  A palanquin of pearls is lifted in a procession that starts at noon from Sakthimutram and concludes at Patteswaram.

There is a tank in front of the temple.  The Pillayar installed near the tank is known as Agnya Ganapathy.

Though the temple here is a Shiva temple, the temple is known for the Durga here.  Durga is considered to be the combined force of all the Gods to destroy the evil forces. Durga in Sanskrit means a fortified or well protected place. Durga protects the mankind from the evil forces.  She removes the negative thoughts such as selfishness, envy, hatred anger and ego. The shrine for Durga is near the Northern entrance of the temple.  Cholas are believed to have originally installed this deity in their fort.  The idol was removed and installed here at this temple after the fall of the Chola dynasty.  Along with the idol of Durga, the idols of Swarnaganapthy, Shanmuga and Bhairavar were also shifted to this temple from the fort.  These four deities were guarding the four entrances of the fort. The Cholas were ardent devotees of Durga and always worshipped Durga before going to war or when they were faced with making an important decision.

The Durga here is a Shanta Swarupi (calm or peaceful countenance). She is seated on her vehicle Lion and is seen with here foot on Mahishasura.  The Goddess appears in Tribanga (three curved) posture. Durga here is ashtabhuja or with eight hands.  She is seen holding conch, discuss, bow, arrow, sword, shield and a parrot in Her hands.

She has three eyes and jewels adorn her ears.  An unusual aspect of this Durga is that her vehicle – the lion – is seen facing the left side instead of the right side, which is usually the case.  Goddess Durga here is considered to be very divine and powerful who showers Her blessings on Her devotees.  People afflicted with Rahu and Kethu Doshas worship at this temple during Rahu Kalam; for, it is believed that during the Rahu Kalam, Rahu worships the Goddess everyday.  Worshipping Her on Tuesdays, Fridays, Sundays, New Moon days and Full Moon days and Ashtami and Navami (8th and 9th day from the new moon or full moon day) is considered special.  People throng this temple to seek the blessings of Durga in finding suitable match for their daughters.  Locals vouch that the prayers are always answered.

Worship of Durga is considered very important in Kaliyuga.  The worship of Goddess Durga removes the effect of all types of black magic, unfavourable effect of negative planets, Bad luck, health problems, problems due to enemies etc

Offerings of Sarees and garland of lemon are made to the Goddess.  Offering red floral garland alleviates Chevvai Dosham (the adverse effect of Mars).

The Bhairavar here blesses his devotees with protection from enemies, good health, and cure from any venomous bite.  Lord Patteeswarar blesses His devotees with peace of mind and career advancement.

Durga Mantram

Durga Mantram


Click here for map

Patteeswaram is just about 10 Kms from Kumbakonam.  It is at a distance of about 3 Kms from Darasuram off Darasuram Valangiman Road. There are frequent buses plying between Kumbakonam and Patteeswaram. Buses operating on route nos. 8,11,25,35,61,62 and 67 stop at Patteeswaram. A few buses plying between Kumbakonam and Tanjore also go via Patteeswaram.

Other temples nearby:





Airawateswarar temple at Darasuram

Boarding & Lodging:

Kumbakonam and Swamimalai are very close to this place.  A lot of options are available for an overnight stay to suit various budgets.

Temple Timings

Monday-Sunday (Except   Friday): 6 AM to 1 PM, 4PM to 9 PM

Friday: 6 AM to 1 PM, 4AM to 10 AM

Friday (During Aadi Month): 4 AM to 1 PM, 4PM to12 Mid Night

Temple Address

Arulmigu Dhenupureeshwar Thirukkovil,

Sri Durga Sthalam,



Thanjavur Dist

Phone: 0435 2416976

Temple’s Website:

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.


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/-


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,


Temple Phone No: 04368-236530 or 236504

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



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.


Arulmigu Abathsahayeswarar Temple,

Alangudi – 612801

Valangaiman Taluk

Thiruvarur District

Telephone Number: 04374 – 269407