Posts Tagged ‘Tamil Nadu’

Valvil Ramar Kovil at Thiru Pullaboothangudi is one of the 108 Divya desams and one of the Vaishnava Navagraha Parihara kshetrams around Kumbakonam. The Moolavar is Valvilraman and the Utsavar is Raman at this temple. The thayar or the Lord’s consort at this temple is Hemambujavalli. The holy water is Jatayu theertham. The vimanam is Shobana Vimanam. He is facing East and present in Kidantha kolam or a lying posture.

Valvil Ramar Koil Thirupullaboothankudi

Valvil Ramar Koil Thirupullaboothankudi

The story of Jatayu Moksham is associated with this temple. When Rama was serving his time in the forest, Sita was abducted by Ravana. Jatayu, the King of Birds, saw this and immediately came to the rescue of Sita Devi. He fought a valiant but vain battle and sacrificed his life in the process. Rama and Lakshmana who came in search of Sita Devi saw Jatayu. Jatayu narrated the abduction of Sita Devi. A dying Jatayu requested Rama to perform his last rites. Normally, while performing such ceremonies the wife must be present with the husband. Since Sita Devi had been abducted, Boo Devi, another form of Sita Devi took her place and Rama performed the last rites of Jatayu. The same story is associated with another Divay Desam also, Thiru Putkuzhi which is 7 Kms from Kanchipuram on the Chennai Vellore route. As Jatayu belonged to Pul(tamil) family of birds and Rama rested (meaning kudi in Tamil) here after performing the last rites of Jatayu this place is known as Thiru Pullaboothankudi. Rama who could not perform the last rites of His father Dasaratha took solace from performing the last rites of Jatayu. The punnai tree inside the temple premises is believed to be the tree under which Rama rested.

Usually Rama is seen in a standing posture (Ninra Kolam) at all the temples. In this temple he is seen in a lying posture (Kidantha Kolam). Is this because he is believed to have rested here? Another interesting feature is that Rama is seen hold Sangu (Conch) and Chakram (discus), whereas He is usually seen holding bow and arrow.

This is the Budhan Parihara sthalam. This temple is considered to be a Pitru Kadan Nivarthi sthalam. Devotees believe that praying here will also remove marriage obstacle. Those looking for improvement in career or seeking employment can pray to Udyoga Narasimhar and Yoga Narasimhar at this temple for manifestation of their desires.

Location:


Click for the map

Thirupullamboothangudi is located at a distance of about 5.5 Kms from Swamimalai.

Other Temples Nearby:

Swaminatha Swamy Temple, Swamimalai

Andalakkum Aiyyan Temple, Thiru Adhanur

Vilvaneswarar Temple, Thiruvaikavur

Vellai Pillayar Temple, Thiruvalanchuzhi

Gajendra Varadhar Kovil, Kapisthalam

Vaiyam Kaththa Perumal Temple, Thirukoodalur

Boarding & Lodging:

Have your Travel Base at Kumbakonam which is around 12 Kms from here.

Temple Timings: 7.30 am to 12.00 pm & 4.30 pm to 07.30 pm

Temple Address :

Arulmigu Valvil Raman Thirukkovil
Thiruppullaboothangudi – 612301
Thanjavur District
Tamilnadu.
Priest: Shri Gopal Bhattar

Mobile: +91-94435 25365

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

 

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.

To recap from my earlier post on Bitchandar Koil or Uthamar Koil, Shiva was afflicted with Brahmahatti Dosham due to His act of plucking off Brahma’s fifth head.   He was partly absolved of the sin at Bitchandar Koil.  His hunger was satisfied at Bitchandar Koil but Brahma’s skull was still stuck to his palm.  To attain complete absolution of His sin, Vishnu instructed Shiva to worship Him (Vishnu) at Thirukandiyur after a bath in the temple tank.  Shiva went to Thirukandiyur and did accordingly and was absolved of the sin.  The temple tank since then has come to be known as kapala theertham.  In my next post on Brahmapureeswarar temple at Tirupattur, we shall see how Brahma was absolved of His sin.

 

Brahma Sira Kandeeswarar Temple, Thirukandiyur

Brahma Sira Kandeeswarar Temple, Thirukandiyur

 

 

Hara Saba Vimochanar Temple, Thirukandiyur

Hara Saba Vimochanar Temple, Thirukandiyur

I can’t resist deviating from the central topic for a short while.  It is to be noted that though Shiva himself is God, He still cannot escape from the effects of His sins.  Time and again, there are several stories in our Puranas where Gods have had to undergo suffering due to their sins.  The purpose is to stress the doctrine of moral responsibility. It is to imbibe into our mind that like everything else in this universe is governed by law; all things that happen to us also are governed by a law.  Every human being is governed by this law known as ‘Law of Karma”.  The modern Management Gurus have termed this Law as “Law of Cause & Effect”.  Karma is nothing but our actions, thoughts, feelings and emotions.  Our Karmas are responsible for our past, present, and future experiences. All Karma (our actions, thoughts, feelings and emotions) should have a Karma Palan (reaction).  So, if your Karma is good, it is bound to have good result.  In other words, our thoughts, actions, beliefs, emotions manifest into our experience.  We act only after the thoughts first come to our mind.  All that we are is the result of what we have thought, it is founded on our thoughts, and it is made up of our thoughts. Each individual is what he is because of everything that he thinks, feels and does.  Your thoughts and emotions, no matter how secret they are, have an effect on your circumstances, situations and people around you.  Be aware of your thoughts and emotions as they also have an effect on you.

Thus each one of us is responsible for all the happenings (both Good and Bad) in our lives.  It also means that we can take control of our circumstances and situations by changing the way we think.  Change your thoughts by using positive words in present tense (as though you already are what you want to be) and using positive goals.  Meditate on your goal everyday until you have achieved it.

Coming back to the topic on Thirukandiyur temple, Shiva as an act of gratitude built a temple for Vishnu here and also a temple for himself.  Vishnu is known by the name, Harasaaba Vimochanar, which literally means one who absolved Shiva or Haran of His Sins.  Vishnu’s consort here is Kamalavalli thayar.  Devotees throng the temple seeking atonement for their sins.  Shiva here is known by the name, Brahma Sira Kandeeswarar or one who plucked off Brahma’s head. His consort is Mangala Nayaki. There was a separate temple for Brahma here.  It is now in a dilapidated condition and the idols of Brahma and Saraswati are housed in a separate shrine at the Brahma Sira Kandeeswarar temple.  The postion of the navagraha in this temple is unique.  Suryan is present with His two consorts, Usha & Chaya.  The rest of the navagrahas face Suryan.

This is one of the 108 Divyadesams and also one of the 275 Padal petra sthalams.

The Shiva temple here is one of the Ashta Veeratta sthalams.  The eight temples are as follows

1. Thirukadaiyur

2. Thirukandiyur

3. Thirukkovilur

4. Thiruvadhigai

5. Thirupparaiyur

6. Thiruvirkudi

7. Vazhuvur

8. Thirukkurakkai

In the Tamil month of Vaikasi the act of Shiva punishing Brahma is enacted.

Nandi’s marriage took place at Thirumazhapadi near here.  As per the Hindu marriage ritual the couple goes around the ceremonial fire seven times.  Shiva took the newly wed couple to seven Shiva temples around Thiruvaiyar.  These seven temples are known as saptha sthanams.  This group of temples is very close to each other and can be covered in one session.  In the tamil month of Chittirai, the Deity (Utsavar) of Thiruvaiyar is carried on a palanquin to all these temples.  This is a very important festival in these temples around Thiruvaiyar.  These seven temples to be visited in order as follows:

1. Thiruvaiyaru

2. Thiruchotruthurai

3. Thiruvedikudi

4. Thirupponduruthi

5. Thillaisthanam

6. Kandiyur

7. Thiruppazhanam

Location

Thirukandiyur is about 10 kms from Tanjore on the way to Thiruvaiyar.  Thirukandiyur is about 2 Kms from Thiruvaiyar.  There are frequent buses from Tanjore and Thiruvaiyar.

Click here for the map

Temple Timings:

Brahma Sira Kandeeswarar Temple – 8AM to 12 Noon and 4.00  PM to 8 PM

Hara Saba Vimochanar Temple – 8 AM to 12 Noon and 4.30 PM to 8 PM

Temples addresses:

Arulmigu Brahma Sira Kandeeswarar Koil

Thirukandiyur

Thirukandiyur Post

Via Thiruvaiyar

Tanjore District

Pin: 613 202

Arulmigu Hara Saba Vimochanar Koil

Thirukandiyur

Thirukandiyur Post

Via Thiruvaiyar

Tanjore District

Pin: 613 202

 

Priest at Hara Saba Vimochanar Temple: Sriram Bhattar +919865302750

My next three posts are all interlinked.  These are about Bitchandar Koil, Thirukandiyur and Tirupattur. Before I start, I should acknowledge that I came to know about the temple at Tirupattur through Mr. Raju’s blog.  He has been doing a great job.

Uthamar Koil

It is very rare to find temples where the Holy Trinity – Brahma Vishnu and Shiva are Worshipped in the same temple premises.    The fact is that there are not many temples dedicated to Brahma.  But it is also to be noted that there is no temple without a niche of Brahma.  Thirukandiyur near Tanjore and Bitchandar Koil near Trichy are two such holy places where the Holy Trinity is present.

Shiva is known as Bitchandar at Bitchandar Koil or Purushottamar Koil. Shiva’s consort here is Soundarya Nayaki or Vadivudai Nayaki.  Vishnu is known as Purushottamar and His consort is Poornavalli Thayar.  There are also separate shrines for Brahma and Saraswati.  This is a rare temple where the Holy Trinity is present with their consorts in six separate shrines.  Brahma himself is present as Guru.  All the seven Gurus viz Brahma Guru, Vishnu Guru, Shiva Guru, Sakthi Guru, Subramanaya Guru, Deva Guru and Asura Guru are present here.  This is a very important temple for worshipping Guru.

There is a story interlinking these two places.  An extension of this story also links the Brahmapureeswarar Temple at Tirupattur near Trichy.  According to a legend, Brahma became very arrogant because He was the Creator and also had five heads – just like Shiva.  This made him feel superior to Shiva.  Brahma once visited Kailasam to meet Shiva.  On seeing someone with five heads Parvathy concluded that it should be Shiva.  Without even having a look at the face, She started performing Paada Puja.  Brahma knew that Parvati was performing the puja thinking that He was Shiva, despite which He kept quiet and did not stop Her.  As this was happening Shiva came there and immediately understood the fact that Parvati had no idea that it was Brahma.  He was very angry with Brahma and plucked the fifth head.  Since then Brahma has only four heads and is known as Chaturmukha.  Shiva also stripped Brahma of the power and the responsibility of creation.  Now, Shiva was afflicted with Brahmahatti dosham (sin due to murder of Brahmin).  The fifth head of Brahma stuck to His palm and would not come off.  He started on a pilgrimage visiting various temples to be absolved of the sin.  He used the skull stuck in His palm as the begging bowl.  The begging bowl would not fill up and Shiva was very hungry.  At Bitchandar Koil, Lakshmi as Poornavalli Thayar got rid of Shiva’s hunger.  Since Shiva came here with a begging bowl and his hunger was satisfied, he is known as Bitchandar here.  Shiva noticed that though His hunger was gone, the skull was still stuck His palm. He was only partially absolved of His sin.  Read my next post on Thirukandiyur for the continuation of this story.

Dasaratha performed a yagna here and Rama was born to him. The belief is that the childless are blessed with progeny.  Devotees believe that as per Vishnu’s instructions Brahma does not refuse anything to His devotees who pray Him here.

Chariot festivals of Shiva & Vishnu are celebrated in the tamil months of Vaikasi & Chittirai respectively.  The Utsava murthy of Lord Ranganathan from Srirangam is brought to this temple once a year and is an important occasion.  Shiva and Vishnu are taken out in simultaneous procession in the tamil month of Karthigai.

More details on the temple can be had at the official website of the temple here.

Location:

This temple is located on the Northern Banks of Kollidam near the toll gate in Trichy, on the highway towards Musiri.  This temple is at a distance of about 10 Kms from Trichy Junction. This is on the outskirts of Trichy and is well connected by public transport.

Click here for Map

Other Temples nearby:

Srirangam

Thiruvanaikaval

Rock Fort Temple

Uthiram Star Temple at Edaiyathumangalam

Travel Base: Trichy

Temple timings:

6am – 12.30pm and 4pm – 830pm

Temple Address

Uthamar Koil

Manachanallur Taluk

Bitchandar Koil

Trichy 621 216

Temple Priest: S. Varadharaja Bhattar 0431 2591 351, 99424 62145 / 98654 24167

Thiruvidaimarudhur

Mahalingaswamy Temple at Thiruvidaimarudhur near Kumbakonam is one of the three Shiva temples having Marudha tree as its sthala vruksham.  The other two are Sri Sailam (Andhra) and Thiruppudaimarudur, Ambasamudram.  As this is located between the two it is known as Thiruvidaimarudhur (Thiru + Idai + marudhur); thiru, Idai and Marudhur meaning Sacred, middle and place where Marudha tree is the sthala vruksham.  The presiding deity in this temple is Mahalingeswarar.  His consort is Brihathsundarakujambigai or Nanmulainayaki.  Some consider this temple equivalent to Kasi.  The pooja is first performed to Mahalingaswamy in this temple and only then to Vinayakar.  This is a huge temple with three praharams (circumambulatory paths).  They are ashvamedha praharam, kodumudi praharam and pranava praharam.  Ashvamedha praharam is the outermost praharam and circumambulation of this Praharam equals the benefit of performing an Ashvamedha Yagnam.  Benefits include; relief from illness caused due to seivinai (evil spirits). Kodumudi Praharam is the middle one, and circumambulation of this Praharam is equivalent to circumambulation of Mount Kailash which is the primary abode of Lord Shiva.  The innermost praharam is the Pranava Praharam or Omkara Praharam. Circumambulation of this Praharam will result in Moksham (liberation from all sufferings and pain).

Paintings depicting the story of the temple, thiruvidaimarudhur

 

Paintings depicting the story of the temple, thiruvidaimarudhur

 

Mahalingeswarar here is the main deity of the Parivara sthalams.  Parivara Sthalams are a group of temples which together form a much larger temple.  The Presiding deity of such a huge temple is Mahalingeswarar at Thiruvidamarudhur.  The Group of temples which form this large temple is as follows:

  1. Mahalingeswarar at Thiruvidaimarudhur
  2. Vinayakar at Thiruvalanchuzhi
  3. Murugan at Swamimalai
  4. Ambal at Thirukkadaiyur
  5. Dakshinamurthy at Alangudi
  6. Navagraha Sannidhi at Suryanar Koil
  7. Saneeswaran at Thirunallar
  8. Durgai at Patteeswaram
  9. Chandikeswarar at Sengalur
  10. Bhairavar at Sirkali
  11. Natarajar at Chidambaram
  12. Somaskandar at Tiruvarur
  13. Nandikeswarar at Tiruvavaduturai

There are four other main Lingams viz Viswanathar, Rishipureeswarar, Aatmanathar and Chokkanathar around the Presiding Deity.  Since there are five Lingams, this place is a Panchalinga sthalam. Apart from these five Lingams there are also Lingams dedicated to each of the 27 nakshatrams (Birth Stars).  All these 27 birth stars installed a Lingam each and worshipped Lord Shiva here.  This is the temple for performing parihara pooja (remedial pooja) for the malefic effects of the Birth stars.

Story of Chandran and the 27 Nakshatram, Thiruvidaimarudhur

 

This temple is closely connected to the life of a Pandya King by name Varaguna Pandyan.  Once when Varaguna Pandyan was returning from a hunting expedition, his horse accidentally trampled upon and killed a Brahmin.  Since he was the cause of the death of a Brahmin he was afflicted with Brahmahatti Dosham (Sin due to murder of Brahmin).  As a result, he was constantly haunted by the Brahmin’s ghost. The King prayed to Somasundarar at Madurai seeking relief from this sin.  Lord Somasundarar appeared in the King’s dream and directed him to pray Him at Thiruvidaimarudhur for relief.  Thiruvidaimarudhur was under Chola rule and they were bitter enemies of the Pandyas.  There was a war between the two in which the Cholas were defeated.  The King then visited the temple at Thiruvidaimarudhur as per the Divine guidance and prayed to Lord Mahalingeswarar.  He entered the temple through the Eastern entrance and the Brahmahatti and the ghost could not enter the temple and waited outside the temple for the King to return.  As advised by Mahalingaswamy, the King left by the Western Gopuram (Tower) and hence got rid of the Brahmatti dosham and the Brahmin’s ghost.  Even today, devotees use different gopurams to enter and exit the temple premises.

Method of worship, Thiruvidaimarudhur

 

 

The Shiva Lingam here is a swayambhu (self manifested) Lingam.  In the process of teaching and demonstrating the Worship procedures to the Seven Great Sages, Lord Shiva is believed to have worshipped himself here.  Lord Shiva blessed Markandeyan by appearing before him in the form of Ardhanareeswarar.  There is a shrine for Mookambiga in this temple which is to the south of the Goddess’ shrine.  Apart from Thiruvidaimarudhur the only other place in India to have a shrine for Mookambiga is Kollur in Karnataka.

Location:

Click here for Map

Thiruvidaimarudhur is 8 kms from Kumbakonam on Kumbakonam Mayiladuthurai Road.  There are frequent buses from Kumbakonam.


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

Other Temples nearby:

Thirumangalakudi and Suryanar Koil

Sivayoginathar temple at Thiruvisanallur

Karkadeswarar temple at Thirundudevankudi

Rahu temple at Thirunageswaram

Uppiliappan Koil

Thirubuvanam Kambahareswarar Temple

Neelakandeswarar Temple, Thiruneelakudi

Govindapuram

Sengalur

Temple Address

Arulmigu Mahalingaswamy Temple

Thiruvidaimarudhur 612104

Tanjavur District

Temple Phone Number: 0435 – 2461946, 2460660

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

As per Indian Astrology the planetary positions determine a person’s destiny. It is commonly understood that Navagraha means nine planets – Nava meaning nine and graha meaning planet. However, graha in Sanskrit may also mean influence.  Hence, according to some it is not nine planets but nine influences. Whatever is the case, they are the nine biggest influences on the destiny of a person. There are nine temples (one for each Graha) located within a radius of 60 kms of Kumbakonam in TamilNadu.  It is a belief that performing shanthi or parihara puja for the particular Graha(s) and its Lords will yield quick and timely results.

 

These temples are

 

  • Sivasuriyanarayana Temple (Suryan, Sun) at Suryanar Koil near Aduthurai
  • Kailasanathaswamy Temple (Chandran, Moon) at Thingalur near Thiruvaiyaru
  • Vaitheeswaran Temple (Chevvai, Mars) at Vaitheeswaran Koil or Pullirukkuvelur near Sirkali
  • Swetharanyeswarar Temple (Budhan, Mercury) at Thiruvengadu near Poompuhar
  • Abathsahayeswarar Temple (Guru, Jupiter) at Alangudi near Needamangalam
  • Agneeswarar Temple (Shukran, Venus) at Kanjanur near Aduthurai
  • Dharbaranyeswarar Temple (Saneeswaran, Satrun) at Thirunallar, Karaikal
  • Naganathaswamy Temple (Rahu, North Lunar Node) at Thirunageswaram near Kumbakonam
  • NaganatharTemple (Kethu, South Lunar Node) at Keezhaperumpallam near Poompuhar

 

While the first seven planets as in the list above have a day of the week assigned to them, Rahu and Kethu have no special days assigned to them.  Instead, one and a half hours each day of the week is assigned to each of them.  Thus we have one and a half hours of Rahukalam and one and a half hours of Yamagandam, everyday, which are assigned to Rahu & Kethu respectively.

 

I have been visiting these temples regularly over the past few years.  I shall soon be writing about each one of them in subsequent posts.

 

 

 

 

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