Posts Tagged ‘swayambhu’

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

About a month back I visited a couple of temples on the outskirts of Chennai, Gnayiru Gramam and an hitherto unknown temple near Poondi.  Pushparatheswarar Temple at Gnayiru Gramam is one of the Navagraha temples around Chennai dedicated to Suryan.  The village itself gets its name from Suryan or Sun God, Gnayiru in Tamil means Sun.

Temple Gopuram

Temple Gopuram

I had first visited this temple about 8 years back and it was a balalayam.  It was unknown too. During that visit I had waited for an hour for the temple priest to come after finishing the rituals at another temple in a neighbouring village.  Today, the temple is getting popular.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the temple has been renovated thanks to the efforts of the local villagers and few other devotees.  It is very well maintained too.  I would say that it is one of the better maintained temples that I have visited.  Work on the temple pond is still on and hopefully it should be ready in about 6 months.  I also found a rare tree here, in fact, the first time I have seen this tree.  Thiruvodu (begging bowl of the sanyasis) is a half of the outer shell of the fruit of these trees.  It is also used by them to drink or eat food from and is believed to prevent viral infections.

Thiruvodu Tree

Thiruvodu Tree

Thiruvodu Tree

Thiruvodu Tree

Thee are a few interesting legends behind this temple.  A Chola King was returning after successfully waging a war on a kingdom in Andhra Pradesh.  He camped at Cholavaram.  He was a staunch Shiva devotee and went in search of lotus to perform his daily pooja.  During his search he saw a pond full of lotuses.  One of the flowers was taller, bigger and more beautiful than the rest.  The King wanted this flower for the pooja and tried to reach the flower.  As the King neared the flower it moved away and was elusive.  After several futile attempts, the King was very angry and threw his sword at the flower.  The sword broke into pieces.  One of the pieces fell on a Lingam which was in the pond.  The pond turned red in no time because of the blood that was oozing from the Lingam.  This scar can still be seen on this Shiva Lingam.  The King fainted there. His horse fled from the scene before fainting.  Lord Shiva then appeared before the King and blessed him.  The King apologized to the Lord.  Lord Shiva asked the King to build a temple for the Lingam that was found in the pond.  The Shiva Lingam is a Swayambhu (self-manifested).  Here, Lord Shiva is known as Pushparatheswarar.  His consort here is Swarnabigai.  The God is also known as Poothereeswarar.  Both the names convey the same meaning; Poo or Pushpam means flower and ratham or ther means chariot.  Since the Lingam was found in Lotus, He got this name. Lotus is the flower that is offered to the God here.

Gnayiru Gramam, Praharam

Gnayiru Gramam, Praharam

Landscaped Praharam

Beautifully Landscaped Praharam

Here is the story on why this place got the name Gnayiru Gramam.  A Chola King was on a Pilgrimage to Kasi and was passing through this village.  He saw the beautiful lotus in the pond and as he tried to pluck the same he was blinded.  He prayed to the Lord that he would build a temple here on his way back from Kasi.  Immediately, his eyesight was restored in one eye. As promised he came to the village on his way back.  Lord Shiva appeared to the King and shone brightly on the lotus as Suryan.  The King then built a temple as instructed by the Lord and got back his eyesight in the other eye as well.  Since then, this place is known as Gnayiru Gramam and came to be known as a Surya Sthalam.  People come here to get themselves cured of eye related ailments.

Temple Tank

Temple Tank

The ancient temple here had shrines for Pushparatheswarar and His Consort Swarnambigai apart from shrines for Karaneeswarar, Kapaleeswarar, Jambukeswarar and Hiranyeswarar.  Inscriptions here suggest that some additions were also made by the Pandyas and Vijayanagar Kings.

In my earlier post on Suryanar Koil near Aduthurai, I had narrated the story behind the Navagrahas being cursed by Lord Brahma, as a result of which Suryan was afflicted with leprosy.  Suryan, during his pilgrimage to get absolved of the curse also visited this village.  He saw a pond filled with lotuses and was enamoured by its beauty.  Some of the lotuses even had a thousand petals.  Surya decided to stay here and offer His prayers to Lord Shiva.  As time passed, one fine day Lord Shiva was pleased with Suryan’s devotion and appeared as a Lingam in one of the lotuses and blessed Suryan.  A grateful Suryan built a temple for Him here.  Since Lord Shiva appeared from a lotus or a flower, He is known as Pushparatheswarar. Lord Shiva also gave Suryan an Akshaya pathram (a bowl which is always full).  Suryan blesses His devotees who pray to Him here with prosperity, good health and happiness.

Dhwaja Sthambam

Dhwaja Sthambam

Sage Agasthiyar, the author of Ādityahṛdayam is believed to have stayed here and worshipped Lord Shiva. Ādityahṛdayam is a sloka recited by Agasthiyar to Lord Rama in the battlefield before the fight with Ravana. The sage teaches Lord Rama the procedure of worshipping Suryan for strength and to gain victory over the enemy. Recting this sloka of about 30 verses everyday is said to be highly beneficial.  Here is a nice link explaining everything about Ādityahṛdayam.

Surya Moola Mantram: Aum hram hrim hraum sah suryaya namah.

Surya Gayathri: om ashwadhwajaaya vidmahae padma hasthaaya dheemahi tanno surya: prachodayaath

The navagraha temples around Chennai are 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:


Gnayiru Gramam is located at a distance of about 10 Kms from Red Hills (Chenkundram).  There are buses available from Red Hills to Gnayiru Gramam.  Route numbers T 57, 58 A and 58 G ply from High Court to Gnayiru Gramam.

Click here for the map

Travel Base: Chennai.

Temple Timings: 7 AM to 12 Noon & 4 PM to 8 PM (3 PM to 8 PM on Sundays)

Temple Address:

Pushparatheswarar Temple

Gnayiru Gramam

Via Cholavaram

Chennai 600 067

Phone: 044- 29021016, Mobile: +91- 99620-34729.

PS:  After worshipping at this temple, we proceeded towards Poondi to visit Shree Agneeswarar Temple at Neyveli (near Thiruvallur).  The story behind its discovery and the subsequent events are quite interesting.  I came to know about this temple through Raju’s blog.

Here are a couple of photos of this temple from that visit.

Location of this temple – view Map

Shiva Lingam covered by Cement bags

Shiva Lingam covered by Cement bags

Temple under Construction

Temple under Construction

Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Thirupattur

 

There is an interesting story behind Brahma not having many temples dedicated to Him.  Once, Vishnu and Brahma had a dispute as to who amongst the two was superior.  They approached Shiva and asked Him to play Judge.  Shiva then appeared as a huge Lingam and said that whichever of the two saw the feet and the head of the Lingam and returned first would be adjudged superior to the other.  Brahma took the form of a Swan and went in search of the head while Vishnu took the form of a Boar and dug into the earth to reach the feet.  Vishnu accepted defeat and returned. Brahma was not the one to accept defeat so easily.  He saw a Thazhampu or Ketaki (common name – Fragrant screw pine) coming down.  On enquiry the flower said that it was coming from top of the Shiva Lingam.  Brahma enlisted the flower to testify before Shiva that Brahma had indeed reached the top of the Lingam.  When they both approached Shiva and claimed Brahma’s victory, Shiva was very angry with Brahma for having told a lie and with Ketaki flower for false testimony about Brahma’s “discovery” of the top of the Lingam.  He cursed them both.  He cursed that henceforth Brahma would not be worshipped and would not have Temples built for Him.  He also cursed the flower that it would not be used in any religious ritual.  There are possibly just a couple of temples where Brahma is the main deity.  There are a few other temples where Brahma is given importance and has separate shrine.  Thirupattur or Thirupidavur near Trichy is one such temple.

In my earlier post on Uthamar Koil or Bitchandar Koil and Thiru Kandiyur, I had narrated the story of Brahma’s fifth head being plucked off by Shiva and the travails of Shiva due this act and finally His absolution.  This temple at Thirupattur is connected with that same story.  Brahma went on Pilgrimage of Shiva temples after He lost His fifth head and also being stripped of the responsibility of creation.  In the course of His pilgrimage, Lord Brahma also visited this temple and installed 12 lingams around Bramhapureeshwarar and worshipped Shiva here for a very long time.  Shiva, on Parvathy’s recommendation liberated Brahma from the curse and restored the power and responsibility of creation to Brahma. Shiva also blessed Brahma that He would have a separate shrine at this temple. He also instructed Brahma that since Brahma himself had His destiny rewritten here for the better; Brahma should rewrite the destinity of His devotees visiting this temple. While Shiva was absolved of the Brahmahatti dosham at Bitchandar Koil and Thiru Kandiyur, Brahma was absolved of His sin here.

Brahma Theertham, Thirupattur

The 12 Lingams of Lord Shiva which were installed by Brahma are Sri Bhramapureeswara, Sri Pazamalainathar, Sri Pathalaeswarar, Sri Sudharaneeswarar, Sri Thayumannar, Sri Sabthagereswarar, Sri Kalathinathar, Sri Jambukeswarar, Sri Kailasanathar, Sri Arunachaleeswarar, Sri Ekambreswarar, Sri Manduganathar.  These lingams housed in separate shrines are seen around the Brahma theertham.  Brahma theertham is the pond from which Brahma took the water for performing puja to Shiva.

Names of the 12 Lingams installed by Brahma, Thirupattur

 

A view of two of the shrines housing Lingams installed by Brahma, Thirupattur. Brahma Theertham is in the foreground.

 

Brahma Pureeswarar Temple, Thirupattur

Since Lord Shiva absolved Brahma of His sins, He is known as Brahmapureeswarar in this temple.  The lingam here is a Swayambhu (self manifested) lingam.  His consort here is called Brahma Sampath Gowri (The one who gave Brahma’s wealth back) or BrahmaNayagi.

Brahma’s shrine is in the circumambulatory corridor of Brahmapureeswarar’s shrine.  The 6 ft tall deity with an eternal covering of turmeric paste or manjal kappu can be seen in padmasana posture on a lotus.

The Jeeva Samadhi of Patanjali Munivar is located near Brahma’s shrine.  A pathala lingam is also located close the shrine.

There are seven doorways through which we have to go before reaching the sanctum sanctorum of Brahmapureeswarar, which is at a distance of 300 metres from the main entrance. What is amazing is that the main deity is clearly visible from the main entrance. That’s not all. The Sun’s rays still can fall directly on the Shivalingam for three days every year viz., 15th, 16th and 17th of the Tamil month Panguni. These dates are approximately the 3rd, 4th and 5th of April.

 

Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Thirupattur, Sthala Perumai in Tamil 1

 

Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Thirupattur, Sthala Perumai in Tamil

 

More information can be had from the official Website of the Temple here.

Location:

Thirupattur (or Thirupidavur) is around 35 km from Trichy on the Trichy – Chennai Highway.  While driving from Trichy, take a left near Siruganur and the temple is about 6 km here.  It is at a distance of about 16 km from Samayapuram (Mariamman temple).

Click here for the map

Boarding & Lodging:

Have your travel base as Trichy which is just about 35 Kms from here.

Other temples nearby:

Bitchandar Koil or Uthamar Koil

Samayapuram Mariamman Temple

Ekambareswar and Thandayutha Pani Swami Temples, Chettikulam

Thirupainjili

Temple Timings: 6AM to 1 PM and 4 PM to 9 PM

Temple Address:

Arulmighu Brahmapureeswarar Koil

Tirupattur 621105

Trichy Taluk

Trichy District.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lakshmi Gayatri Mantra

Om Maha Lakshmicha Vidmahe

Vishnu Patnicha Dhimahi

Tanno Lakshmi Prachodayat

Lakshmi Moola Mantra

“Om Shri Maha Lakshmyei Namah”

“Aum Gum Shreem Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha”

“Om Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha”

“Om Shrim Siddayei Namah’

“Om Shreeng “

“Om aing shreeng hreeng kleeng aing kamalvasinayae swaahaa”

Other Temples Nearby

Vaitheeswaran Koil

Thirupungur

Location

Click here for the Map

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

Boarding & Lodging:

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

Temple Timings:

6AM to 12.00 Noon and 4 PM to 8 PM

Temple Contact

SUBRAMANYA GURUKKAL,

TIRUNINRIYUR

MAYILADUTHURAI RMS 609118

Phone: 04364-320520

Thirukollikadu – Pongu Saneeswaran Temple

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saneeswara Moola Mantra:

Aum pram prim praum sah shanaisharaya namah.

 

Saneeswara Gayathri:

Pangupadhaya vidmahe Surya putraaya dheemahi, thanno Mandha prachodayath

Location:

Click here for Map

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

Boarding & Lodging:

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

Nearby Temples:

Thirunellika

Thirukuvalai

Thiruthengoore

Kaichinam

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Agneeswarar Alayam

Thirukollikadu

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

Ph: 04369 237454

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Garbarakshambigai Mantra

Aum Garbarakshambigaayai cha vidhmahe

Mangala dhevadhaayai cha dheemahee

thanno devi prachodhayaath

Garbarakshambika sloka for Marriage and To beget children

Aum devendhiraani namosthubyam

Dhevendhira piriya baamini

Vivaaha baakyam aarokyam

puthra laabam sadhehime

Padhim dhehi sudham dhehi

Soubaakyam dhehime subhe

Soumaangalyam subam Gnayanam

Dhehime Garbarakshake

Kaathyaayini mahaamaaye

Maha yoginya dhisvari

Nandhagoba seedham dhevam

Padhim Megurudhe Namah

Garbarakshambigai Sloka for Safe Pregnancy and Delivery of baby

Hey sangara Shamarahara PramadhaadhiNaadhari Mannaadha shaamba sasisuda

HarithiriSulin sambo sugaprasava kiruthbavame dhayaalo

HeyMaadhaviVanesa Paalayamaam Namasthe

Blessings of Garbarakshambigai for safe delivery of baby

Hamavath yuthare Paarchve shuradhaa naama yakshini

Dhasyaa Shmarana Maathrena visalyaa Garbinibavedhu

Location

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

Thirupungur is a small village about 2 kms from Vaitheeswaran Koil.  This place was once surrounded by Pungu trees and hence the name Thirupungur.

The Shiva lingam is one of the 64 Swayambhu (Self manifested) lingams and is supposed to have come from an anthill.  The Nandi here is also a Swayambhu. The presiding deity at this temple is Shivalokanathar and His consort is Soundaryanayaki.  Vinayakar is supposed to have dug a tank here for nandanar on Lord Shiva’s orders and is known as Kulam Vettiya Vinayakar. Devotees offering their prayers to Kulam Vettiya Vinayakar have all their wishes fulfilled.

Kulam Vettiya Vinayakar

Kulam Vettiya Vinayakar

Nandanar was a devout Shiva Bhaktha.  He was born into a low caste family and as a result was denied entry into any temples. His ambition was to visit the temple at Chidambaram.  He was working in the fields of a Brahmin Landlord. He would always put off Nandanar’s request to visit Chidambaram. Nandanar used to tell everyone that he will visit “Chidambaram tomorrow” (Thiru Nalai Poven). He was telling this over a period of time to everyone and he came to be known as “Thiru nali Povar”.

Nandanar's Shrine

Nandanar's Shrine

Nandanar

Nandanar

However, one fine day, he told Nandanar that he would be granted the wish if Nandanar were to achieve the impossible task of tilling all the forty acres of the paddy field overnight.  A disappointed Nandanar prayed to Shiva to grant him the wish of visitng Chidambaram.  Lo and Behold!! The next morning, the Landlord and Nandanar were both astonished to see that all the forty acres of the field had been ploughed!!!  The Brahmin immediately realised his folly and prostrated before Nandanar and pleaded forgiveness.  Nandanar set out to Chidambaram and on the way he stopped at Thirupungur to have a darshan of the Lord.  Nandanar was not able to have the darshan as Nandi was blocking his view.  He started singing in praise of Lord Shiva.  Lord Shiva wanted to know who the devotee was.  The dwarapalakas informed Him that it was Nandanar.  Immediately, Lord asked Nandi to move to a side to facilitate Him to have a clear view of Nandanar.  You can see the Nandi at this temple is shifted to a side.  Also the Nandi is not hanging out the tongue as is usually the case.  You can also see the dwarapalaks craning their necks as if to see in the direction of the entrance.

Nandi gritting his teeth in anger

Once, there was debate between Shiva and Parvathi as to who was more charming.  They sought the opinion of Vishnu, who in turn asked Brahma to play the Judge.  Brahma rolled a dharba grass and threw it.  He said that an answer would be available wherever the grass fell.  The grass fell at Thirupungaur and became Pancha Lingam.  When Shiva and Parvathi came here, Shiva looked very handsome to Parvathi and Parvathi looked very beautiful to Shiva.  Their dispute was thus amicably resolved.  It is a belief that marital problems will be solved by worshipping at this temple.  Separated spouses will be reunited after visiting the temple.

Pancha Lingam at Thirupungur

Pancha Lingam at Thirupungur

Brahma Lingam at Thirupungur

Brahma Lingam at Thirupungur

According to archaeological evidence, Rajaraja Cholan had gifted twelve velis (measures) to this temple.  During his reign there was severe drought that resulted in famine and the king prayed to Lord Shiva to bring rain. Lord Shiva came in his dream and asked him to do special poojas for Sivaloganathar. Sundarar was present at the temple when the King came to offer his prayers.  The King requested Sundarar to sing in praise of the Lord and bring rain. Sundarar agreed on the condition that the King would donate twelve velis (measures) of land to the temple. Sundarar sang in praise of the God and there was a heavy downpour threatening to cause heavy damage to the country.  The King requested Sundarar to stop the rain.  Sundarar again laid the same condition.  The king gifted the land and immediately it stopped raining.

Location:

Click here for Map

This place is just 3 kms away from Vaitheeswaran Koil.  There are regular bus services from Mayiladuthurai, Vaitheeswaran Koil etc.

Other temples nearby:

Adhi Vaidhyanatha Swamy Temple

Vaitheeswaran Koil,

Thiruninriyur Lakshmipureeswarar

Boarding & Lodging:

This is a very small village and you can’t expect any facility here.  Vaitheeswaran Koil is the nearest place where you can find good hotels to eat and stay.  If you have to rest a couple of hours before you visit the next temple, there are choultries at Vaitheeswaran Koil that allow you to use their facilities for a nominal payment of Rs 50/- or Rs. 100/-.

Thirunallar – Saneeswaran Temple

Posted: February 1, 2010 in Navagraha Temples, Temples around Kumbakonam
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Dharbharanyeswaraswamy or Dharbaranyeswarar temple at Thirunallar is dedicated to Saneeswaran or Saturn. Thirunallar in Karaikal, in the Union Territory of Pondichery, is one of the more famous and important navagraha temples. It is at a distance of 6 Kms from Karaikal town. This is one of the parivara sthalams. I shall explain what a parivara sthalam is in my post on Alangudi.

 

Though Saneeswaran here is very famous, the presiding deity is Dharbaranyeswarar. His Consort is Bogamartha Poon Mulayal or Praanaambikai. The lingam here is a self manifested Lingam or Swayambhu. The Sthala vruksham is Dharba or grass. This place was a forest of Dharba.  Dharba is a type of grass and aranyam means forest and hence the name Dharbaranyeswaraswamy or Dharbaranyeswarar for the Lord. Even today you can see the impression of grass on the lingam here. Thirunallar is one of the “Saptha Vidanga Sthalam”. The idols in these temples depict Lord Shiva performing one of His seven dance forms. It is believed that Lord Shiva imparted the knowledge of the Vedas & Shastras to Brahma here.  People pray to Swarna Ganapathy here to overcome financial problems.

Lord Surya was married to Usha or Light. Usha Devi was unable to bear the heat radiated from Surya and left her shadow or Chaya with Suryan while she herself stayed away. Saneeswaran is the son of Chaya Devi and Suryan. The very sigh tof Saneeswaran is dreaded and believed to be destructive. Suryan’s chariot is believed to have been destroyed when Saneeswaran as a baby first opened his eyes and looked at Suryan. Saneeswaran after intense penance on Lord Shiva attained the status of a celestial planet.

It is believed that Saneeswaran became lame when he was kicked by Lord Yama (Sani’s step brother – son of Surya & Usha) in a fit of anger. It is because of this that he is a slow moving planet, taking approximately two and a half years to move from one Zodiac Sign to another. Such a transit known as Sani peyarchi is very important and devotees from all over throng the temple to offer their prayers. Saneeswaran is believed to have a major influence on the course of ones life and also the most feared planet. The unique aspect here is that Saneeswaran is in standing posture with abhayahastha ie hand bestowing blessing.

Everyone experiences sade sati or ezharai sani in their life time. It occurs 2 to 3 three times in a life span as it recurs after approximately 30 years. Even the Lord himself is not exempt from the effect of ezharai sani. Once, Shiva hid himself in a remote cave to meditate and escape the effect of Sani. On his return he was informed by Sani that the Lord had went into hiding in the first place because of the influence of ezharai Sani. An astonished but pleased Shiva, declared to him to be Saneeswaran.  No other planet has the tag eswaran to the name.

There is a saying in Tamil “Saniyaipol Koduppavanum illai, saniyaipol keduppavanum illai” which translates to “There is none like Saneeswaran who can give a good life or ruin a life”. Actually, even at the worst of times Saneeswaran only delays but never denies.  The experience of going through the ezharai sani makes one mentally very strong.   He does not test us more than we can handle.  He affects a person based on his past deeds.  He is supposed to be Just. Interestingly, the two sons of Suryan, judge us and give us the palan or results based on our karma or deeds.  Saneeswaran does this during our lifetime and Yama does that after ones death.

According to a Legend, King Nala had not washed his feet properly while doing puja. Saneeswaran who was waiting for such an opportunity for about 12 years, immediately caught hold of him. This has probably prompted the tradition to wash our feet before entering the house. Getting back to the story of King Nala, under the influence of ezharai sani, he lost his kingdom, separated from his wife and children, had health problems and wandered around like a beggar. As per the advice of Bharadwaja muni he worshipped Dharbaranyeswarar at Thirunallar, after a dip in the holy tank here. It was then he was relieved of the effects of Sani. After this, Shiva asked Saneeswaran to be here and bless all his devotees.

Pooja:

Those visiting Thirunallar should first have an oil bath in the Nala theertham. Some believe that you should leave behind a piece of your cloth near the tank. There are lots of shops around the tank, selling black towels, sachet of gingely oil etc. The tank is usually clean but on occasions you may not want to get into the water. After the bath worship the Vinayakar in the small temple nearby, break a coconut there and then proceed towards the Dharbaranyeswarar temple which is about 5 minutes walk from there.

Devotees offer Blue cloth and light Gingely oil lamp. Special Poojas are performed on Saturdays as Saturday is the day of Saneeswaran.

Recite these mantras facing west to get relief from malefic influence and get His blessings.

Saneeswara Moola Mantra: Aum pram prim praum sah shanaisharaya namah.

Saneeswara Gayathri: Pangupadhaya vidmahe Surya putraaya dheemahi, thanno Mandha prachodayath

Other Saneeswaran Sthalams:

Agastheeswarar Temple at Pozhichalur near Pallavaram.  This place is also known as Vada Thirunallaru

Pongu Saneeswarar at Thirukollikadu near Tiruvarur

Saneeswarar Temple at Kuchanur near Dindigul

Sri Mandeswara Swami Temple at Mandapally, which is 38 kms from Rajamundy

Saneeswaran temple at Shanishingnapur in Ahmednagar District of Maharashtra

Boarding & Lodging: The temple Devasthanam has accommodation facilities.  There are a few choultries in the Sannidhi Street.  A few hotels with air-conditioned rooms are also available starting from Rs.600/- per day.  This is a reasonably big town and hence there are quite a few eateries.  There are a few households in the Sannidhi street that have allocated a portion of their house for use of pilgrims.  If you want to rest for a couple of hours in the afternoons here they would charge a nominal rate of Rs.50/- to Rs. 100/-

Location:

Click here for Map

290 Kms from Chennai

55 Kms from Kumbakonam

34 Kms from Mayavaram

6 Kms from Karaikal Town

23 Kms from Nagapattinam

19 Kms from Nagore

Temples Nearby:

Thirukadaiyur Abhirami temple – 27 kms

Sikkal Murugan temple -31 kms

Thiruvarur – 40kms

Other Attractions Nearby:

Velankanni Shrine is 40 kms from here.  Tharangambadi or Tranquebar, a former Danish colony from 1620-1845, is 18.5 kms from here on Karaikal Thirukadaiyur route. Fort Dansborg, built by the Danes in 1620, now houses a museum to exhibit Danish era there.

Temple Timings: 6 AM and 1 PM and 4 PM to 8 PM. Since Saturdays are the special days for Saneeswaran, the Saneeswaran sannidhi is open even between 1 PM & 4PM.

Temple Address

Sri Darbaranyeswara Swami Devasthanam,

Thirunallar-609607

Temple Phone No: 04368-236530 or 236504

Alangudi – Guru Temple

Posted: January 25, 2010 in Navagraha Temples, Temples around Kumbakonam
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Sri Abathsahayeswarar Temple, the sthalam of Guru Bhagavan is at Alangudi.  The presiding deity here is Abathsahayeswarar and His consort is Elavarkuzhali Ammai or Umayammai.  The Shiva Lingam here is a Swayambhu (self manifested). Dakshinamurthy in the praharam (circumambulatory path) around Shiva’s shrine is worshipped as Guru Bhagavan here.

In all Shiva temples the main deities are Shiva and Parvati. Other deities like Pillayar Murugar, Dakshinamurthy, the Navagrahas, and Chandikeswarar are also present in the praharam (circumabulatory path). As defined in the temple Vaasthu Shastra, the deities are placed in a particular position and facing a particular direction.  There is a group of temples around Kumbakonam whose deities form a big temple. This group of temples is called the Parivara Sthalam.

This big temple would have

I do not know if these temples are to be visited in any particular order.  I hope I will be able to visit these temples in the prescribed order if any, and post the details.

The story of the Devas and Asuras churning the celestial ocean or the parkadal is associated with many temples.  During this churning, Vasuki spat out deadly poison.   Lord Shiva consumed that poison here to save the world. Hence the name Alangudi: Ala meaning poison.  The Lord himself came to be known as Abathsahayeswarar (one who helps in crisis) as he saved the world from impending danger. Lord Ganesha defeated Gajamuhasuran here, to save the Devas from the asura’s atrocities.  Ganesha is worshipped here as “Kalangamal Kaaththa Vinayakar”.  This place is also known as Thirumana Mangalam as Ambal undertook penance to marry Lord Shiva.

Lord Shiva in the guise of a boatman had helped Sundarar to cross the Vettaru which was in spate. It is believed that Sundarar had received his Gnanopadesam from Dakshinamurthy at this temple. Gu in Sanskrit means darkness and ru means the destroyer of that.  Hence Guru means one who destroys darkness or one who enlightens.  Thus Guru is one who leads you from the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge.

Alangudi is the most popular Parihara sthalam for Guru.  The other ones that readily come to mind are Thittai and Padi in Madras. Poolai is the sthala vriksham.

Pooja: Guru is attributed to luck, favor and fortune.  The unfavourable position in the horoscope can cause skin problems, arthritis, heart related problems, worry & uneasiness.  Guru blesses his devotees with progeny, good education, valour, long life and cure from diseases. Devotees light 24 ghee lamps and do pradharshanam (circumambulation) of Shiva’s shrine 24 times.  Offerings of yellow cloth, konda kadalai (chick pea) and vella mullai (a type of Jasmine) are made to Guru here.  The transit of Guru, known as Guru Peyarchi which happens every year, is an important festival in this temple.  Thursdays being the day of Guru is very important.  Fasting or eating only once (oru pozhudhu) on Thursdays is recommended.  Banana and salt is to be avoided on these days.

Recite the following mantra facing North East to get over the malefic effects and benefit from his benevolence.

Guru Moola Mantra: Aum gram grim graum sah gurave namah

Guru Gayathri: Rishabadhwajaya vidhmahe gruni hasthaya dhimahi thanno Guru prachodhayath

Other Guru Parihara Temples:

Thiruvalidhaym or Padi near Chennai

Thenkudi Thittai or Thittai near Tanjore

Murugan Temple at Tiruchendur

Guruvayur Krishna Temple

 

Location:

Click here for the Map

38 Kms from Thiruvarur town

Alangudi is 17.5 kms away from Kumbakonam on Kumbakonam – Needamangalam – Mannargudi road in Tiruvarur district.

Other Temples nearby:

Thirupoovanur (Pushpavanam)

Thiruvenniyur or Koyil venni – the Shivalingam here has marks resembling sugarcane

Kasi Vishvanathar Temple at Needamangalam

Boarding & Lodging: There are quite a few shops here but there is no decent place to stay or eat.  If hungry, prasadam from the temple is the best option.  Stay at one of the nearest towns like Kumbakonam or Thiruvarur.

Temple Timings: 6 AM to 1 PM and 4 PM to 8.30 PM.

TempleAddress

Arulmigu Abathsahayeswarar Temple,

Alangudi – 612801

Valangaiman Taluk

Thiruvarur District

Telephone Number: 04374 – 269407

 

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