Posts Tagged ‘surya’

Semmeninathar temple at Thirukkanur near Vishnampettai is one of the 275 padal petra sthalams. This is on the banks of River Coleroon or more commonly known as Kollidam River. Vishnampettai is special to me because it is the village of my maternal ancestors. I have spent the summer holidays in this small village with my brother, sister and cousins. My Great grandfather started the school at this village about 125 years ago, around the year 1885. His father had earlier started the School at Thirukattupalli which later became the Sir Siva Swamy Ayyar Higher Secondary school.

Karumbeswarar Temple, Thirukkanur

Karumbeswarar Temple, Thirukkanur

The Shiva lingam here is one of the 64 Suyambhu lingams. The Lord’s concert at this temple is Soundarya Nayaki and She is also known as Sivayoganayaki. The ambal here has not got a crown but is seen to be having Jadamudi (long braided hair). The theertham here is veda theertham. This temple is believed to be over 2000 years old. This temple was actually submerged in the sands on the banks of Kollidam. It was accidentally discovered by a shepherd. There was a single sugarcane tree at the spot where the temple was unearthed. Hence He is also known as Karumbeswarar; Karumbu meaning sugarcane in tamil. This temple was originally built by the Pandyas and was later renovated several times by the Cholas.

The Great Chola King Karikala Cholan was hiding in exile here. Karikala Cholan’s father died when Karikala was very young. His mother raised him in this village to protect him from enemies. When political normalcy returned, the Chola courtiers sent the royal elephant in search of the young Prince. The elephant found him here. Karikala Cholan went on to become one of the most renowned of the Chola rulers. He built the Kallanai or Grand Anicut on Cauvery. This dam is the oldest in the world and is more than 2000 years old. It is a nice little picnic spot about 20 kms from this village. Grand Anicut is just about 17 kms from Trichy or Srirangam. Wonder why this place is not as famous as it should be.

Lord Naraiyur nambi and nachiyar thayar preside here in a wedding posture. Special importance is given to thayar in this temple and always the first privilege to given to nachiyar. The prasadam is also first offered to the goddess only and nachiyar leads the procession in hamsa vahanam. There is a statue of garuda here in a separate sannadhi. During Garuda sevai, the number of people required to carry garuda through each of the five prakarams of the temple keeps doubling from 4 to 128 people. Again while coming inside the temple, the weight keeps decreasing and the number of persons carrying keeps reducing by half to final 4 who carry it into the sannadhi. Worshipping Kal Garuda is said to free devotees from naga dosha and bless childless couples. It is the only temple among the 108 divyadesams of srivaishnavas where God Naraiyur nambi has the conch and charka in front of his face. Also, only in this temple, there are idols of the presiding deities of the 108 divyadesams of Srivaishnavas. Another specialty of the temple is only in this divyadesam, there is brahma in standing posture inside the temple. How to reach The nearest town is Kumbakonam, 10 kms away. Buses from kumbakonam to tiruvarur stop at nachiyar koil. Since there are three more divyadesams on this route, it would be ideal to hire a private car or auto. Nearest railway station: Kumbakonam Sannadhis Naraiyur Nambi Vanjulavalli thayar (same sannadhi as the lord) Kal Garuda Yoga Narasimha Hanuman Sri Ram Chakrapani Pushkarni and Vimanam The temple tank I known as Mani mukthi nadhi theertham while the vimanam is named after the lord as “Srinivasa Vimaanam” Temple timings and Contact Details The temple is open from 6.30 am to 12.30 pm in the mornings and from 4.30 pm to 8.30pm in the evenings. Contact person is Sri Gopinathan Bhattar (9443597388).

A view of the Grand Anicut

Getting back to the story of the temple, Paravathi was once separated from Shiva and had come to the earth to perform Her penance to unite with Him. She found this village at Thirukkanur suitable for the same. Pleased with Her devotion, the Lord appeared before Her as a column of fire. Due to the heat He was red in colour and hence He came to be known as Semmeninathar; sem meaning red and meni meaning body in tamil. There is a belief that visiting this temple as a couple will clear all misunderstandings and result in a happy marital life. Reuniting with estranged spouse is also one of the benefits of praying at this temple.

This temple faces east and the sun’s rays fall on the lingam on the 2nd, 3rd & 4th of April. These days are special days at this temple when Lord Surya is believed to come here and worship the Lord.

Inside the Temple, Thirukkanaur

Inside the Temple, Thirukkanaur

The nandi at this temple is seen in a very unique posture. It can be seen with its front left leg planted on the ground and ready to get into a standing position. It is in a posture ready to execute instructions from Lord Shiva. Praying at this temple is said to improve career prospects and result in job for the unemployed.

Nandi at Thirukkanur

Nandi at Thirukkanur

Those who are afflicted with chronic illness can do puja to the Lord here with the Vilva leaves and get cured. People (especially women) who are facing hurdles in getting married can overcome these hurdles by offering garland of red arali (oleander) to Soundaryanayaki and then lighting a ghee lamp in her sanctum sanctorum. The childless couple are blessed with progeny by doing abhishegam to Shiva and Ambal and offering garland of erukkam flowers (Crown flower). Generally sweets are also offered to the God and Goddess. The Ambal at this temple is made out of Salagram stone.

Parasurama had pledged to wipe out 21 generation of Kshatriyas and did so. The slaying of the Kshatriyas by him resulted in him being afflicted with Kshatriya Hatti Dosham. He had prayed at 21 Shiva temples to get rid of the affliction. This was the eighth of those 21 Shiva temples.

Painting on the Ceiling, Thirukkanur

Painting on the Ceiling, Thirukkanur

This place was once ruled by the Pandyas. The Pandyas ruled though local Chieftains who ruled on behalf of the Pandyas. The local Chieftain here was very just and had taken good care of his subjects. The Cholas waged a war on the Pandyas and reclaimed some of the lost kingdom. During this time, the local Chieftain here was captured, while his wife was let off because she was pregnant. However, the Chola rulers also said that those who helped the woman would be banished from the Kingdom. The lady who was in the advanced stage of pregnancy was not helped by anyone at Thirukkanur due to the fear of being thrown out of the kingdom. She was heartbroken and angered by the conduct of the very same people for whom they had done a lot. She cursed that the whole village be submerged by sand, and so it did happen. The villagers then moved a little further away to Vishnampettai and settled there. An ancient name for Thirukkanur is Manalmedu (mound of sand).

Click here to listen to the temple priest narrating the sthala puranam in tamil

When you visit the temple, do not miss the bath in the Kollidam. You will find locals there on the banks of the river. Be sure to enquire with the locals before entering the river as Kollidam is notorious for quicksand. It is safe provided you know the areas to avoid.

Venugopala Vidyalaya, Vishnampettai, Started by my Great Grandfather - Kittu Sir.

Venugopala Vidyalaya, Vishnampettai, Started by my Great Grandfather - Kittu Sir.

Location:

 

 

Thirukkanur is about 4 Kms from Thirukattupalli and 30 Kms from Tanjore. From Trichy/Srirangam it is 35 kms.

Click here for the location of the temple.

Other Temples Nearby:

Thiruvaneswarar Temple for Pooratadhi Birth Star

Sri Vadivazhagiya Nambi Perumal Temple, Anbil

Agneeswarar Temple at Thirukattupalli

Temple Timings: 10 AM to 11.30 AM & 3.30 PM to 5 PM

This temple is not known and there are not many visitors excepting those tracing their roots to Vishnampettai. The timings given are only indicative and the priest who goes to a couple of other temples also nearby may tweak it to suit his convenience. Hence, it is advisable to call the temple priest and inquire before proceeding to the temple.

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Semmeninathar Thirukovil

Thirukkanur, Vishnampettai Post

613 105

Via Thirukattupalli

Thiruvaiyaru Taluk

Tanjore District

Temple Priest:

Sri Vivek +91-4362-320 067, +91- 93450 09344

Thirunallar – Saneeswaran Temple

Posted: February 1, 2010 in Navagraha Temples, Temples around Kumbakonam
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

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