Posts Tagged ‘special temple’

Veezhinatheswarar temple at Thiruveezhimizhalai in Tiruvarur district of Tamilnadu is close to Tiruvarur, Mayavaram and Kumbakonam. The Presiding Deity is Kalyanasundareswarar and His consort is Sundarakushanmbigai. She is also known as Kathyayani. The sthala vruksham is Veezhi maram and the theertham is Vishnu Theertham. The Shivalingam here is a Swayambhu (self-manifisted). This is a Mada Kovil (built a few feet above ground level). There is a Paathala nandhi under the steps leading to the main sannadhi.

Padhala Nandi

Padhala Nandi

Temple Tank, THIRUVEEZHINATHAR KOVIL, THIRUVEEZHIMIZHALAI

Temple Tank, THIRUVEEZHINATHAR KOVIL, THIRUVEEZHIMIZHALAI

This is a huge temple and the surrounding walls are really massive; about thirty to thirty five feet high. There is also a huge temple tank right in front of the temple. This East facing temple is one of the 275 Padal petra sthalams of Lord Shiva. This temple is owned and maintained by Thiruvavaduthurai Adheenam.

THIRUVEEZHINATHAR KOVIL, THIRUVEEZHIMIZHALAI

THIRUVEEZHINATHAR KOVIL, THIRUVEEZHIMIZHALAI

THIRUVEEZHINATHAR KOVIL, THIRUVEEZHIMIZHALAI

In the Southern side of the outer praharam a shrine for Padikkasu Vinayakar is present. Somaskandar, Murugan, Mahalakshmi are present in the Western side. Adhi Dakshinamurthy is present in the Northern side of the praharam. The vimanam of the main shrine was supposed to have been brought from heaven by Vishnu, and is hence known as Vinnizhi Vimanam.

THIRUVEEZHINATHAR KOVIL, THIRUVEEZHIMIZHALAI

THIRUVEEZHINATHAR KOVIL, THIRUVEEZHIMIZHALAI

THIRUVEEZHINATHAR KOVIL, THIRUVEEZHIMIZHALAI

There is also a separate shrine where Shiva is present in his human form with his Consort. He appears in kalyana kolam. The legend has it that Sage Kathyayana did not have children and wanted one. He and his wife Sumangalai prayed to Goddess Parvathi. When the Goddess appeared, the Sage asked for a boon that the Goddess herself be born as his daughter. Parvathi was pleased with his devotion and granted the boon. Accordingly She was born to the couple and grew up in the hermitage as Kathyayani. When Kathyayani attained marriageable age, the Sage requested Lord Shiva to marry her. The Lord consented and married her here. Sage Kathyayana aslo requested the Lord to be present here permanently and make this His abode. He also wanted The Divine Couple to appear in Kalyana Kolam at this place. People facing hurdles in getting married pray to the Lord here for early marriage. There is a mandapam facing the Sannadhi. This mandapam which is called Vavval Nethi mandapam has no supporting pillar in the centre. There is a pandalkal in the north east corner of the mandapam. Devotees pray to Mappillaiswamy and then circumambulate the pandalkal in the faith that the marriage will happen soon.

Mappilaiswamy at THIRUVEEZHINATHAR KOVIL, THIRUVEEZHIMIZHALAI

Mappilaiswamy at THIRUVEEZHINATHAR KOVIL, THIRUVEEZHIMIZHALAI

To commemorate this Divine marriage, Kalyana Utsavam is conducted every year at this temple on Maham star day in the tamil month of Chithirai. It is said that Lord Shiva borrowed money to meet His marriage expenses and then again immediately after marriage to meet further expenses related to marriage. He is known as Manakkadan Petra Shivan. During the annual festival He is taken out in procession as Bitchandavar a day before the Kalyana Utsavam and four days after the Kalyana Utsavam.

THIRUVEEZHINATHAR KOVIL, THIRUVEEZHIMIZHALAI

Lord Vishnu did penance on Lord Shiva here to get his chakrayudham. He had lost the same in his fight with Jalandhara. Vishnu, during his daily prayers offered a thousand and eight lotuses to Lord Shiva everyday. Lord Shiva one day wanted to test Lord Vishnu. He hid one of those flowers. At the end of the pooja, when Lord Vishnu noticed that He was short by one flower, He just plcuked out His left eye and placed it in front of Lord Shiva. Shiva was overwhelmed and presented Him with the Sudarshana Chakram. There is no Navagraha Sannadhi in this temple. This is an indication that this temple is very old.

Thirugnanasambandar and Sundarar visited this temple and stayed at this village for sometime. They were taken aback by the poverty and decided to do their bit for the local people. They prayed to God and God obliged. Everyday they would find a Gold coin in the temple and sold it off. They used the money generated to feed all the people of the village. Devotees pray to God by keeping a coin at the Padikkasu peedam and take it back home and keep them in their pooja. It is with utmost faith that people do this and pray for prosperity.

Place where Thirugnanasambandar got the Padikkasu, THIRUVEEZHINATHAR KOVIL, THIRUVEEZHIMIZHALAI

Place where Thirugnanasambandar got the Padikkasu, THIRUVEEZHINATHAR KOVIL, THIRUVEEZHIMIZHALAI

 

Peedam where Thirunavukkarasu nayanmar got his Padikkasu. THIRUVEEZHINATHAR KOVIL, THIRUVEEZHIMIZHALAI

Peedam where Thirunavukkarasu nayanmar got his Padikkasu. THIRUVEEZHINATHAR KOVIL, THIRUVEEZHIMIZHALAI

 

Peedam where Sundaramurthy Swamy got his Padikkasu. THIRUVEEZHINATHAR KOVIL, THIRUVEEZHIMIZHALAI

Peedam where Sundaramurthy Swamy got his Padikkasu. THIRUVEEZHINATHAR KOVIL, THIRUVEEZHIMIZHALAI

 

Location:

Temple Timings: 6 AM to 12 Noon & 4 PM to 9 PM

Other Temples Nearby:

Mangaleswarar Temple, Sirukudi

Tirupampuram – Seshapureeswarar Temple

Saraswathy Temple at Koothanur

Thilatharpanapuri or Adhi Vinayakar Temple

Sri Sarguneswaraswamy temple, Karuveli

Uma Maheshwarar Temple, Konerirajapuram

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Temple Address:

Sri Veezhinatheswarar temple,

Thiruveezhimizhalai,

Tiruvarur Dist.

Tamilnadu

Phone no. 04366-273050 Mobile: +91-94439-24825

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.

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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

Sri Agastheeswarar Temple at Kolapakkam, near Porur, is one of the Navagraha temples around Chennai, expecially Porur. This temple is Surya Parihara Sthalam. There is a seperate shrine for Suryan facing West. Suryan is accorded prime importance in this temple. The Lord here got the name Agastheeswarar because Agasthyar the Great Sage is believed to have worshipped Lord Shiva here. His consort is Anandavalli. The Lord here was also worshiped by another Sage called Vakeesa and hence He is also known as Vakeeswarar.

Suryan Sthalam, Kolapakkam

Suryan Sthalam, Kolapakkam

The Sthala Vriksham is Arasa Maram or Peepal tree. The holy theertham is Amritha Pushkarni.

Kala Bhairavar is another very powerful Deity in this temple. Special puja is performed every Sunday to Kala Bhairavar during Rahu Kalam. Devotees believe that their wishes are fulfilled by worshiping Kala Bhairavar here for six consecutive Sundays. Offerings of red cloth, red flowers and wheat are made by the devotees to Suryan.

 Suryan Sthalam, Kolapakkam

There are seperate shrines for Pillayar – known as Raja Ganapathy at this temple, Kasi Vishwanathar and Visalakshi, Kala Bhairavar, Lord Muruga with his wives Valli and Deivayani. The peacock which is the vahana or vehicle of Lord Muruga is made out of green coloured granite and is known as Maragadha Mayil. There is also the Rinavimochana Lingeshwarar who is supposed to free His devotees of all debts. According to scriptures, every human being is born with three types of debts. They are Deva rina (debt to God), Rishi rina (debt to Sages or Rishis) and Pitru rina (debt to ones ancestors). There are also well-defined means of repaying these debts. If a man does not repay these debts in his lifetime he will have another birth to repay. There is no escape from repaying these debts. Read more about how to rid of these debts in my post on Kadan Nivartheeswarar Temple at Thirucherai.

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Suryan Sthalam, Kolapakkam

Suryan Sthalam, Kolapakkam

Suryan Sthalam, Kolapakkam

Suryan Sthalam, Kolapakkam

According to inscriptions, this temple has been built and rebuilt several times at various times by many Kings of various Dynasties. Some of them are Raja Raja Chola I, Raja Raja Chola II, Aditya Chola, Rajendra Chola and Sundara Pandyan. Vijakanda Gopala a Telugu Chola King and Vijaya Maharaja of Sumatra have also patronised and contributed to the temple at various times. The area surrounding temple also seems to have been the seat of Budhdhist activity in this region. Archeological evidence pointing to this has been unearthed by the ASI.

Here is a report in The Hindu on these findings by the ASI.

The temple was almost in ruins in 1998 before it was rebuilt. I have posted some snaps of how the temple looked prior to 1998.

 Suryan Sthalam, Kolapakkam

Suryan Sthalam, Kolapakkam

Suryan Sthalam, Kolapakkam

Suryan Sthalam, Kolapakkam

Suryan Sthalam, Kolapakkam

Suryan Sthalam, KolapakkamThis is one of the Navagraha temples around Chennai. The list is as follows

  1. Suryan Sthalam – Gnayiru Gramam, Surya Sthalam & Agastheeswarar Kovil, Kolapakkam

  2. Chandran Sthalam – Somanatheswarar Temple, Somangalam

  3. Chevvai Sthalam or Angakaran Sthalam – Vaitheeswaran Kovil, Poonamalee

  4. Budhan Sthalam – Sundareswarar Kovil, Kovur & Karaneeswarar Koil, Saidapet

  5. Guru Sthalam – Ramanatheeswarar Koil, Porur & Thiruvaleeswarar Koil, Padi

  6. Sukran Sthalam – Valleeswarar Kovil, Mylapore, Valleeswarar Kovil, Mangadu

  7. Saneeswaran Sthalam – Agastheeswarar Kovil, Pozhichalur

  8. Rahu Sthalam –  Nageswarar Temple, Kunrathur

  9. Kethu Sthalam – Neelakanteswarar Kovil, Gerugambakkam

Location: Kolapakkam is on the outskirts of Chennai. It can be reached from Mount Poonamalee road. At the Ramavaram signal you can take a left turn into Manapakkam and this road will lead to Kolapakkam which is about 3 Kms from there. This can also be approached from Porur – Kunrathur Road through Gerugambakkam which is the neighbouring village and site of one of the other eight Navagraha temples around Porur. This can also be reached from Pozhichalur neighbouring Pammal and Pallavaram which is where the Saneeswaran temple is located. One has to cross a small causeway over Adyar river, so this route may not be very ideal during the rainy season. Moreover, these internal roads are not very well maintained.

Temple Timings: 7 AM to 11 AM & 4 PM to 8 PM (Timings subject to change on special days and important festival days)

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Anandavalli Sametha Agastheeswarar Koil

Kolapakkam

Chennai 602 122

Financial abundance is of great importance to every human being. Good Health & Happiness (peace of mind) are the other two of the three foremost things that man prays to his Creator to bestow him with. Padikkasunathar temple at Alagaputhur near Kumbakonam is one such temple where the presiding deity blesses His devotees with financial prosperity. The main deity here is also known as Swarnapureeswarar. His consort at this temple is Alagammai or Azhagammai. The deity taken out in processions (Utsavar) during festivals is Somaskandar. The sthala vruksham is vilva. The Shiva Linga is a swayam bhu or self manifested. Alagaputhur is on the banks of the river Arasalar. The old name for this place is Arisilkaraipudur. This three tiered temple is believed to be about 2000 years old.

Padikkasunathar Kovil, Alagaputhur

Padikkasunathar Kovil, Alagaputhur

The priest at this temple was a staunch Shiva devotee who performed the daily pooja with great devotion along with all the customary offerings. Famine and poverty struck the whole region that was once prosperous. In spite of his poverty and the difficulty he had in making the ends meet, he never shirked from his “responsibility” of performing the daily poojas to the Lord. Please with his devotion, one night the Lord appeared in his dreams and granted a boon.  The priest wished that the village must become prosperous once again and that he himself should have enough to continue performing the daily poojas without any hurdle. As per his wish Lord Shiva left him one gold coin at the steps of the temple everyday. The priest used this to take care of the villagers and also to perform the daily pooja. Soon the famine was gone and the village became prosperous once again.

The descendents of that noble priest are still the priests at this temple.  The priest performed the padikasu pooja for us. We handed to him an even number of ten rupee notes for the pooja. After performing the pooja the priest gave us back half of them (that is the reason for taking even number of currency notes). The money retained by the priest is utilized for temple maintenance etc. The priest asked us to preserve the currency notes he gave us and also issued detailed instructions on performing poojas at home using these. Devotees believe that performing this ritual will bring prosperity.

Lord Muruga here is very unique. He is seen with the Conch and Discus that one normally associates with Mahavishnu. The story goes that it is the Conch and Discus given by Lord Vishnu to Muruga when He set out to wage a war on the demons. He is seen sitting on a peacock with His consorts Valli and Deivayanai. Since Muruga appears with both His consorts He is known as Kalyanasundara Shanmuga Subramanyar. The decoration in the background is in the form of Om.

Talking of Om, there is a story linking this temple to the Swaminatha Swamy temple at Swamimalai. Once Lord Brahma, the Creator was asked how he created life in the Universe. Lord Brahma replied that he used the Pranava Mantra. When Lord Muruga further asked Lord Brahma the meaning of the Pranava Mantra, Lord Brahma was stumped for an answer. An angry Muruga imprisoned Him and stripped Him of the responsibility of creation. He took upon the responsibility Himself. Lord Shiva approached Muruga and requested Him to free Brahma and reinstate Him as the creator. He also wanted to know the meaning of the Pranava Mantra. Lord Muruga taught Lord Shiva the meaning of this mantra at Swami Malai. Later, when Lord Shiva appealed to Lord Muruga again, He relented. He was also remorseful for having punished and insulted an elder for his ignorance. Lord Muruga performed penance on Lord Shiva at this temple and sought forgiveness. Lord Shiva pardoned Him and said that while pointing out of mistakes committed by the elders can be accepted, you should take sufficient care to ensure that it does not offend the elders.

This is one of the 275 Padal Petra Sthalams and all the four Great Saints have sung hymns in praise of the Lord at this temple.

Location:

Click here for the Map

This village is just about 2.5 Kames from Nachiyar Kovil on the Kumbakonam-Nachiyar Kovil-Tiruvarur route. It is about 7 Kms from Kumbakonam. This temple is almost on the State Highway. It is just a two-minute walk from the highway. The bus services are frequent and is well connected with the important places around here.

Other Nearby Temples

Nachiyar Kovil

Karuvalarkum Nayaki Temple, Karuvalarcheri

Uppiliappan Kovil

Thirunageswaram

Saranatha Perumal Kovil, Thirucherai

Kadan Nivartheeswarar Kovil, Thirucherai

Amirthakaleswarar Temple, Sakkottai

Siddhanathar Temple, Tirunaaraiyur

Ramanatha swamy Temple, Thirunaraiyur (This temple houses Saneeswaran, who is present with His wives and sons)

Travel Base: Kumbakonam

Temple Timings:

7 AM to 12 Noon & 4 PM to 8 PM

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Padikkasunathar Kovil

Alagaputhur – 612 401

Thanjavur District

Phone: +91-435-2466939  Mobile: +91-99431-78294

Mangalambigai Sametha Mangalyeswarar Koil at Edaiyathumangalam is the temple that people born under Uthiram star have to visit regularly.  This is the third temple that I am writing about in this series of “Birth Star Temples or Nakshathiram Temples”.  This temple is special to me as my forefathers hail from this village – my native place.  Unfortunately, during my last visit in January, my camera malfunctioned and I am unable to post photographs of this temple.  I shall post a couple of snaps after my next visit to this temple.

This place is called Edaiyathumangalam as it was once situated between two rivers; Aaru means, river and Edai means, in between. Mangalyeswarar (as Lord Shiva is known at this temple) is present with His Consort Mangalambigai.  Mangalyeswarar is facing East while Mangalambigai is facing South.  This is quite a small temple and has shrines for Vinayakar, Mangalya Maharishi, Dakshinamurthy, Bitchandar, Ardhanareeswarar, Chandikeswarar, Durgai, Nandi and Navagrahas.  Lord Muruga is also present with His Consorts, Valli and Deivayanai.

The Legend here is connected with Mangalya Maharishi who was born under Uthiram Nakshathiram.  Marriages of Agasthiyar, Vashishtar and Bhairava Maharishis were conducted under his aegis.  He is supposed to have all the powers of his penance in his palms.  He is the Guru of the Angels that bless the marriages.  At the auspicious time that is suitable for marriage, these Angels are believed to be visiting this temple to pray to Mangalyeswarar and re-energise their power to bless married women with a long & happy marital life.  Their blessings are always at the peak during Uthira nakshathiram.  It is because of this reason that the Kalyana Utsavam or the Celestial Wedding of the God and Goddess are held during Uthiram nakshathiram day in the Tamil month of Panguni.  Panguni Uthiram is an important part of the calendar in most temples.

Young unmarried women – especially those born under Uthiram – pray at this temple seeking Lord’s blessing for early marriage, removal of hurdles causing delay in marriage, long & happy marital life.  Mangalya Maharishi is the First invitee when the marriage alliance is finalised.  Devotees place the First Invitation of the marriage at the feet of Mangalya Maharishi and invite him to grace the marriage and bless the young couple.  Mangalya Maharishi is believed to attend the marriage and bless the newly weds.  After the marriage the newly weds visit this temple for thanks-giving.  Married women pray for longevity of their Husband’s life.  Elderly and destitute who have been deserted by their children are reunited with their family after worship here. People suffering from chronic pain in their feet are relived of their ailment after prayers to Mangalyeswarar.

Click here to listen to the temple priest’s narration about this temple in Tamil.

Location:

Edayathumangalam is at a distance of about 18 Kms from Trichy.  There are a couple of buses viz Route nos 75 & 75 A from Trichy Chathiram Bus Stand to Lalgudi that pass through Edaiyathumangalam. Edaiyathumangalam is at a distance of about 5 Kms from Lalgudi.  Autos charge about Rs.70/- for a one way trip from Lalgudi.

Those going by their own mode of transport need not go up to Lalgudi.  You will find an arch on the right hand side just after Valadi, take a right turn there and this road will lead you to Edaiyathumangalam.

Click here for the map

Other Temples Nearby:

Samayapuram Mariamman Temple

Srirangam Temple

Jambukeswarar Koil at Thiruvanaikaval

Bitchandar Koil

Tirupattur Brahmapureeswarar Koil

Vadivazhagiya Nambi Perumal Temple at Anbil

Temple Timings: 7 AM to 12 Noon and 4 PM to 8 PM (Check before you go there.  It is likely that the temple priest may decide to close early or open late due to some reason as there are not many pilgrims visiting this temple.

Temple Address:

Sri Mangalyeswarar Koil

Edaiyathumangalam Post

Via Valadi

Lalgudi Taluk

Trichy District

Pin 621218

Phone: 91-431-2544070,

Sri Srinivasa Gurukkal – 91-98439-51363

 

 

Gnanavalli sametha Sara Parameswarar koil at Thirucherai is known as the temple for debt relief. Lord Shiva here is known by different names like Udayar, Senneriyappar and Sara Parameswarar.

Gnanambigai Amman

 

Saraparameswarar

Markandeya installed a Lingam here and worshipped the same.  Lord Shiva fulfilled his prayer for prosperity of the people of this region.  The Rinavimochaneswarar Lingam is in the outer praharam (Circumambulatory path).  The general belief is that worshipping Lord Shiva here helps improve the financial status and be debt-free.  It is just the superficial meaning. However there is a deeper meaning to this. Debt includes financial debts and not limited to it.

Most of us are not aware of the other debts.  According to scriptures, every human being is born with three types of debts. They are Deva rina (debt to God), Rishi rina (debt to Sages or Rishis) and Pitru rina (debt to ones ancestors). There are also well-defined means of repaying these debts. If a man does not repay these debts in his lifetime he will have another birth to repay. There is no escape from repaying these debts.

A man clears off his debt to God by performing poojas, visiting temples and most important of all – being good to fellow human beings & other living things and respect to nature. Any act of service goes to repay the debt to God.

The ancient Rishis or sages had framed a set of rules or Code of Conduct which are to be followed by all human beings. The second set of debts i.e. debt to Rishis can be repaid by following and adhering to the Code of Conduct laid down by the Rishis. A man can repay his debt to the Rishis.

Pitru Rina is repaid by performing Shrardham to ones ancestors and performing ones duty to his/her parents.

There also a set of rules called nithya karmas (daily duties) which are to be adhered to.  According to the scriptures, every Grihastha or family man has to perform these six duties as follows:

  1. Should wake up in the Brahma Muhurtham (one and a half hours before sunrise) – According to the scriptures, sleeping during the Brahma Muhurtham destroys all virtues and is a sin. At this time the environment is calm and without any disturbances. According to Ayurveda life-force is at its peak during this time when the atmosphere is ozone rich. The pale blue light that appears in the horizon during the mornings is full of energy. It is very good for both the mind and the body.
  2. Immediately on waking up, look at your palms because Lakshmi, Saraswathi and Brahma reside in our palms.  This is an auspicious beginning to the day and is supposed to bring good fortune.
  3. Pay your respect to Mother Earth.  Mother Earth bears the burden of all the living things in this world.  A biological mother takes care of us until we are grown up, but Mother Earth showers her care and love on us from our birth right through our lifetime until our death.  She provides us food, clothing and shelter.
  4. After this, having a glimpse of a mirror, gold, diamond, sandal, conch or mridangam (a South Indian percussion instrument) is considered auspicious.
  5. One must prostrate to father, mother & Guru Every day.
  6. Then purify your mind. Ensure that you only think good thoughts. Sprinkle water on your head after chanting the following slokam.

OM APAVITHRAH PAVITHRO VA SARVAAVASTHAAM GATOPIVA,
YA SMARET PUNDAREEKA AKSHAM SA VAAHYA BHYANTARAH SHUCHIH

ATINEEL GHANSHYAMAM NALINAYAT LOCHANAM
SMARAMI PUNDAREEKAKSHAM TEN SNATO BHAVAMYAHAM

We should also take bath in the evening and worship.  We commit a lot of sins inadvertently during the day. We unknowingly kill a lot of small organisms while we walk, cook etc. In our evening prayer, we seek apology for such unintentional sins.

Mondays are very special for Lord Shiva.  Worship Kadan Nivartheeswarar, as Rinavimochanar is also known, for eleven consecutive Mondays here.  This would not be practical for most of us. However, when you visit the temple you can register your name (mention your birth star, gothram, names of your other family members and their birth star) for the archana (roughly translated as series of mantras or slokas chanted in praise of God) that will be performed on eleven Mondays.  The cost for this is Rs.165/-.  The prasadam is sent every week and will reach you every Wednesday/Thursday for eleven consecutive weeks.  At the end of the eleventh week, or at any later date, you may visit the temple and take part in an abhishegam (ablution) that is done every Monday. The timings of the abhishegam (ablution) are 6 AM, 11 AM and 6 PM. You can choose the time according to your convenience. The whole ritual takes about two to three hours. The cost of taking part in this abhishegam (ablution) is Rs.250/-.  Before this abhishegam (ablution), flower is distributed to the devotees and then taken back during the abhishegam (ablution).  This signifies that you have paid back your debts. Eleven is a special number for Shiva as there are eleven forms of Rudra Shiva.  Abhishegam (ablution) to Shiva is done with eleven materials as prescribed in the Shiva Agamas (Shiva worship rules).  The abhishegam (ablution) materials are

  • Gingely oil
  • Pancha kavyam (mixture of five ingredients i.e. milk, curd, ghee and cow’s urine)
  • Panchamrutham (mixture of five ingredients i.e. fruits, jaggery, ghee, honey and sugar)
  • Ghee
  • Milk
  • Curd
  • Honey
  • Cane juice
  • Lime juice
  • Tender coconut water
  • Sandal paste

There are a fairly large number of people that join in this worship ceremony. During this ritual, a priest recites the Dharidriya Dhahana Shiva Stotram over a public address system and the devotees are encouraged to repeat after him.  Thus worshiping at this temple absolves us of the three debts viz Deva Rina, Rishi Rina and Pitru Rina, apart from being blessed with prosperity.  Reciting the Dharidriya Dhahana Shiva Stotram thrice a day also is said to yield the same benefits. I have appended the same for ready reference.

 



Dharidhraya Dhahana Mantram

Dharidhraya Dhahana Mantram

 

Dharidhraya Dhahana Sthothram

Dharidhraya Dhahana Sthothram

On the 13th, 14th and 15th of the Tamil month Masi, the Sun’s rays fall directly on the Shiva Lingam.  It is a belief that Surya Bhagavan comes down here to worship the Lord on these days.  In the inner praharam, there are Sannidhis (sanctum sanctorum) for Amrithakadeswarar and Abhirami worshipped by Markandeyar.  There are also three niches of Durga viz. Shiva Durga, Vishnu Durga and Vaishnava Durga.

After worshipping Rinavimochanar, pray to Mahalakshmi and Jyeshtadevi.  This ensures that you stay debt-free for the rest of your life.

Perform Archana to Bhairavar on eight consecutive ashtami (eighth day from New moon or full moon) and Abhishegam (ablution) on the ninth ashtami. The belief is that, if you follow this procedure, success in your endeavours and victory in any litigation, will be yours.  Bhairavar also removes the navagraha dosham (malefic effect caused by a planet which is in an unfavourable position in ones horoscope).

Location:

Click here for Map

Thirucherai is located about 15 Kms from Kumbakonam on the Kumbakonam Tiruvarur Road.

 

Other temples nearby:

Saranatha Prumal temple at Thirucherai, where there are 5 forms of Lakshmi, Mahalakshmi, Sridevi, Bhoodevi, Neeladevi and Saranayaki.

Nachiyar Koil

Kudavasal

Oppiliyappan Koil

Thirunageswaram

Boarding & Lodging

Have your travel base at Kumbakonam, which is very close to this place.

Temple address:

Arulmigu Sara Parameswarar Thirukkovil

Thirucherai – 612605

Kumbakonam Taluk.

Phone: 0435-2468001

S. Sundaramurthy Gurukkal

Temple Priest

2/45-B, South Street,

Thirucherai – 612605

Kumbakonam Taluk.

Mobile: 91-9442637759, 91-9443737759

“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

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

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

 

Thingalur is the sthalam for Chandran.  Thingal in Tamil means Chandran and hence the name Thingalur. The presiding deity is Kailasanathar and his consort is Periyanayakiamman.

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.  It is here 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.

There is also another interesting story pertaining to the waxing and waning periods of Chandran, which goes thus.  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 Shiva. Lord 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.

There is another legend of Apputhi Adigal, an ardent follower of Thirunavukkarasar.  Apputhi Adigal was born in Thingalur. He indulged in lot of charity and social work in his village, all in the name of Thirunavukkarasar, whom he had not even seen. Thirunavukkarasar heard about Apputhi Adigal and visited the village.  Thirunavukkarasar accepted the invitation of Apputhi Adigal to have lunch at his place. Apputhi Adigal’s son died when he had gone to fetch a plantain leaf. Apputhi Adigal, going by the saying “Athithi devo bhava” put his personal sorrow behind and served food to his mentor.  Thirunavukkarasar came to know about the young boy’s death and carried the corpse to Kailasanathar temple in Thingalur.  Here he implored to Lord Shiva and brought him back to life.

 

Thingalur Temple Entrance

Thingalur Temple Entrance

 

Pooja:

Chandra Dosham causes concern in mother’s health, mental imbalance, skin and nervous disorder & jaundice.  Chandran blesses his devotees who pray here with wealth, mother’s well being, wife’s happiness, prosperity, marriage and offspring.  Mondays are special days for Chandran.  Offering of raw rice pudding mixed with jaggery, white flowers (White Arali) and white clothing are made to Chandran here.

Recite the following mantras facing North West

Chandra Moola Mantram: Aum sram srim sraum sah chandraya namah.

Chandra Gayatri: om nisakaraya vidmahae kala nadhaya dheemahi tanno chandra: prachodayaath

Other Chandran Sthalam:

Somanaadheeswarar Koil at Somangalam near Chennai

Mullaivananathar temple at Thirumullaivayil near Chennai

Location:

Click here for Map

Thingalur is off Thiruvaiyaru Kumbakonam road, about 6 kms from Thiruvaiyaru.  Frequent Buses are available from Tanjore, Thiruvaiyaru and Kumbakonam.   It is about 25 Kms from Tanjore.

Other Temples Nearby:

During my last visit, the priest at Vasishteswarar temple in Thenkudi Thittai informed me that Thingalur should be visited immediately after praying at Thenkudi Thittai.  This is supposed to bring Chandra Guru yogam in ones horoscope.  Thittai is at a distance of about 15kms from here.

Thiruvaiyaru

Ganapathy Agraharam having a Vinayakar temple which was installed by Agasthya is about 5kms from here.

Gajendra Varadhar temple at Kapisthalam is also close by.

Temple Timings: 7 AM – 1 PM & 4 PM – 9 PM.

Temple Phone Numbers: 04362-262 499

 

 

 

Vanchinathaswamy Temple, SriVanchiyam

Vanchinathaswamy Temple, SriVanchiyam

Srivanchiyam is the last temple we visited on 1st January 2010.  Srivanchiyam, is a small Village in Tiruvarur district of Tamil Nadu, between Mudikondan and Puttar rivers.  The presiding deity here is Vanchinathan and His consort is Mangalambika. The Shivalingam is a Swayambhu (self manifested) and faces both West and East; hence puja is performed here in both the directions. There are two Nandhis in this temple, one on the East and one on the West. This lingam is supposed to have existed even before the pralaya (the Great Deluge) and was facing west when Suryan worshiped him. The Shivalingam here is considered to be the oldest among the 64 swayambhu lingams in the world.  Sandalwood is the sthala vriksham here and sandal leaves are used to perform the puja to the Lord. Usually vilva leaves are used in puja for Shiva.  Brahmandam, Skandam, Samboban and Agneya Puranas talk about this sacred place.

 

Nandi facing East in the Outermost Praharam behind Vanchinathaswamy's Shrine.

There is a separate shrine here for Yama Dharmaraja. He is given preference in daily worship. Legend has it that, Yama Dharmaraja was very worried and felt overwhelmed with all the sins accumulated in the course of performing his duty. He wanted a solution for this.  As per the advice of Brahma, Yama went to a place by the banks of the Cauvery, where he could find Gandharanyam (Sandal Forest), and propiate to Lord Shiva.  Lord Shiva was pleased with his devotion and instucted Yama to have a temple built Him at here.  He also wanted Yam to be His vehicle. Accordingly, Yama stayed at this temple which he built at SriVanchiyam. The Lord also granted Yama’s wish for a shrine for himself at SriVanchiyam. Usually, Vinayakar is the first deity to be worshiped in all Shiva temples, but here at Srivanchiyam, Yama is worshiped even before prayers are offered to Vinayakar.  The Sannidhi to Lord Yama is in the first Praharam (circumambulatory path). On entering the temple, the temple tank called the Gupta Ganga Temple Tank is situated on the right hand side. Yama’s Shrine can be found on your left hand side. This small shrine faces south.  Kubera can be seen standing next to Yama at this shrine.  Those who pray here are considered to be free from the sufferings preceding their death.

This is a Mukthikshetram (where you attain salvation). The holy tank (theertham) here is Gupta Ganga. Ganges was once very worried that people were taking bath in the Ganges to get rid of their sins and she was accumulating all their sins. She is supposed to have taken bath here at the Gupta Ganga as advised by Shiva to purify herself. A dip in the tank supposedly absolves you of all the sins and there is no rebirth.

 

Gupta Gangai, SriVanchiyam

Gupta Gangai, Sacred water that is holier than The Ganges

Tharpanam on the banks of Gupta Gangai

This photo is a late addition to the post. My friend Bharath performing tharpanam at Gupta Gangai.

 

Niches for Vinayaka and Bala Murugan can be found at the entrance to the inner praharam (circumambulatory path). In the inner praharam is the shrine for Goddess Sughandha Kundalaambigai. There is Vennai Pillayar in a pillar in the first praharam (circumambulatory path). People smear butter on His stomach to get cured of their stomach ailments.

Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu are believed to have prayed the Lord here to get united. Bhairavar is in a separate shrine in the inner praharam (circumambulatory path). He is in Yoga posture without his vahanam (Vehicle) – the dog. Pujas are performed to the Yoga Bhairavar using Vanni leaves.  Consumption of the powder made from the vanni leaves used in the puja is believed to cure all nervous ailments. One can to get rid of all evils directed towards them if they perform puja to Yoga Bhairavar.  The prayers of the childless are answered after they perform puja for 6 consecutive Krishnapaksha ashtami days (eighth day of the waning Moon).  One can succeed in all his endeavours and business if he makes an offering of Curd Rice, Coconut rice and Honey on Amavasya days (New Moon days). This is also parihara sthalam (place for remedial worship) for the malefic effects of Rahu & Kethu. Rahu and Ketu appear in the same niche here. This is next to Yoga Bhairavar.  Rahu Kala Puja on Sundays with offerings of vada made of lentils and ghee is believed to remove the obstacles in getting married. Like in Thirunageswaram, milk turns blue in colour during the rahukala abhishegam (ablution during rahukalam).

Opposite Yoga Bhairavar is the shrine for Mahishasuramardhini. Mahishasuramardhini here gets rid of all evil. Since this is a very ancient temple and has been in existence before the advent of Navagraha worship, there is no shrine for the Navagrahas here. However, Saneeswarar has a separate niche. Goddess Mahalakshmi has a separate shrine and her elephant has four tusks. I wonder if this was an ancient cousin of the present day elephant.

In almost all temples, if there is an unfortunate event like a death, the pujas are not conducted.  At SriVanchiyam it has no bearing on the conduct of daily pujas and rituals, they continue.

Shashtiabthipurthi & Sadhabhishekam can be celebrated either at Srivanchiyam where the temple is specifically meant for the safety of soul or at Thirukadaiyur where the temple is specially built for the safety of body.

Performing tharpanam (ritual to pay tribute to ones ancestors) on Amavasya (New Moon day) here is considered very special. Srivanchiyam is one of the 7 pithru kadan nivarthi (absolution of ancestral debts) sthalams.  The other six are Kasi, Rameswaram, Thiruvenkadu, Gaya, Thiriveni Sangamam & Thilatharpanapuri. Some consider Srivanchiyam to be holier than even Kasi.

Location:

Click here for the Map

Srivanchiyam is 25 kms from Kumbakonam and one km from Achuthamangalam on the Kumbakonam Nagapattinam route. It is 16kms from Tiruvarur on Tiruvarur Nannilam route.

Other Temples Nearby:

Thiruveezhimizhalai

Thirupampuram

Thilatharpanapuri

Koothanur

Tiruvarur

Boarding & Lodging:

There is a Brahmin household in the Sannidhi Street that runs a mess.  There is also a kalyana mandapam where you can stay.  If you prefer a more comfortable accommodation, Tiruvarur is the nearest town.

The temple timings are 6.00 Am to 12.00 Noon & 4.00 PM to 8.00 PM

Temple Address

Arulmigu Sri Vanchinathaswamy Kovil
Sri Vanchiyam 610110
Nannilam Taluk
Tiruvarur District

Temple Phone number is 04366-228305

Sri Raja Raja Gurukal’s phone numbers: 91-94424-03926, 91-9788-75933, 04366-354108

Vegetarian Mess

Sri Mangalambiga Vilas

No, 2 -17 Sannadhi Street

Sri Vanchiyam

+91-9894726839

04366-229675

 

On 1st of January 2010, Balu & I started our tour of the temples from Madras.  We visited Lalithambigai temple at Thirumeyachur in the afternoon.  This place is about 20 kms from Mayavaram near Peralam on the Mayavaram Thiruvarur Road.  The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Meghanatha.  The consort of Lord Meghanatha is Goddess Lalithambigai.

 

Lalithambigai Temple Thirumeyachur

Temple Gopuram, Thirumeychur

 

As per legend, Arunan the charioteer of Surya Bhagavan wanted to go to Kailasam to worship Lord Shiva.  Surya Bhagavan did not allow him to go.  Hence Arunan took the form of a girl and was on his way to Kailasam.  On the way Surya saw this girl and outraged her modesty.  Lord Shiva was very angry with Surya Bhagavan for such misbehaviour and cursed him to get darkened.  The whole world plunged into darkness.  A repentant Surya Bhagavan pleaded for mercy and as per His advice came to Thirumeiyachur and worshiped the Lord here. Surayan is believed to have worshiped Lord Shiva seated on an Elephant.  To signify this you can see a Vimana (gajaprishta vimanam) in the temple resembling the back of an elephant.  Even after severe penance, the Lord did not show mercy and Surya Bhagavan shouted in anguish.  The Goddess was angered by this and almost cursed Surya Bhagavan, before being pacified by Lord Shiva.  He said that the World was already plunged in darkness because Surya was dark and that he was only looking for relief.  By His grace Surya Bhagavan attained papa vimochanam (absolution of sin).

He blessed her to be Shanta nayagi. In the outer praharam (circumambulatory path) of Shiva’s shrine there is a sculpture of kshetrapuraneswarar depicting this.  Lord Shiva is seen holding the cheeks of his consort and pacifying her.  As you face this beautiful sculpture, and if you observe closely, you can see that from your left hand side there will be a smile on Her face and if you see from your right hand side you can see anger in Her face.

This sculpture may also signify that in a marital relationship, when the wife loses her temper the husband should stay calm and alert or vice versa.  In a Hindu marriage, the mantra “Samaya Varte Savadhan“, is repeated by the groom after the priest.  The meaning of this mantra is – Be cautious and act as per the situation.  Only the groom is asked to chant this mantra because women, by nature, are generally calm and are expected to be so.  Husband and wife should be the calming influence on each other for enjoying a harmonious marital life.

 

The angels called vasini emerged from Lalithambigai’s mouth and  sung the Lalitha Sahasranamam (1000 names) in praise of the Goddess. This stotra is found in the Brahmanda puranam.  Hayagriva taught Agastya – his disciple – this stotra. Agastya then came here and sang the popular sloka Maatha jaya Om Lalithambigaye.

 

On the northern side of the praharam, you have the shrine of Sakala Bhuvaneswarar and His consort is  Minnumegalaial.  This is supposed to be an Ilam Kovil (temple within temple).  Since there are two temples side by side, a unique feature of this temple is that you can see Shiva (present as Lingothbhavar) Vishnu and Brahma simultaneously from the North West corner of the outer prahara (Circumambulatory path).

 

On the Northern side of the outer Prahara near the Sakala Bhuvaneswarar shrine is the Asthabhujanga Durga. In the right hand of Durga is a parrot.  Devotees, who want their prayers to come true, convey the same to Lalithambigai through this Durga.  The parrot is supposed to be taking the message to Lalithambigai.  Some lucky devotees can see that spectacle of a Parrot flying from above Durga’s shrine to the dhwajasthambam opposite Lalithambigai’s shrine!!!

 

There is something interesting that happened as recently as 1999.  A devout woman from Bangalore had recurring dreams of Ambal asking her for gold anklet (Golusu).  This woman went in search of the Goddess and visited various temples.  She chanced upon the issue of “Alayam” magazine in which Lalithambiga Temple appeared as the cover story and immediately recognised the Ambal as the one from her dreams.  She had the anklet made and visited the temple.  She told the priest of her dreams and wanted the Goddess to be adorned with the Golusu.  The priest said that since there is no way for the Golusu to go around Her feet it would not be possible.  On her insistence, the priest decided to give it a try and to his astonishment could find a soft spot in the idol’s ankle and he could actually pass the Golusu through it!!!  Later, it is said that they could find holes in Her nose which is now adorned with mookuthi (nose pin), oddiyanam(roughly translated as waist belt) around Her Waist.

Location:

Click here for the Map

Thirumeyachur is about 2 Kms from Peralam.  Peralam is on Mayiladuthurai Thiruvarur Road.  It is a crucial junction and the Karaikal Kumbakonam Road also passes through this twon.

Nearby Temples:

The other temples nearby are Thilatharpanapuri, Saraswathy temple at Koothanur & Thirupampuram.

Boarding & Lodging:

Have your travel base as Kumbakonam or Mayiladuthurai.

Temple Phone Number: 04366 239 170