Temples around Kumbakonam
Since the no of temples are too high, the details are given in two pages.
Around Kumbakonam – 1:
Kumbakonam – Papanasam (Tanjore)
Kumbakonam – Innambur – Thiruppurambiyam
Swamimalai – Thiru Aadhanoor – Thriuvaikavur
Kumbakonam – Swamimalai – Ganapathy Agraharam (Thiruvaiyaru)
Kumbakonam – Valangaiman – Needamangalam (Mannargudi)
Around Kumbakonam – 2 (this page):
Kumbakonam – Thiruppananthal (Anaikkarai / Chennai)
Kumbakonam – Kathiramangalam (Poompuhar)
Kumbakonam – Aduthurai (Mayiladuthurai)
Kumbakonam – Thiruneelakkdi (Kollumangudi – Peralam – Karaikal)
Kumbakonam – Nachiarkoil – Thirucherai (Kodavasal –Thiruvarur)
Kumbakonam City: To be done
For better Wikimapia viewing:
The wikimapia geographical location is given for every temple. When you click the link ‘Location’, you will be taken to the wikimapia geographical position of the location. Press ‘Wikimapia’ at the top right corner and then select ‘satellite’ (the other view satellite + old places will be really clumsy) under ‘map type’. This will give a very clear map with roads as well.
Last Updated: 21st Dec 2012
Kumbakonam – Thiruppananthal (Anaikkarai / Chennai)
Koranattu Karuppur Shiva temple and Petti Kali amman
Location: 3 kms from Kumbakonam in the Chennai highway
Main deity: Sundareswarar with Abhirami ammai
A big box, containing a beautiful half portion (hip to head) wooden image of the Goddess Kali, now being called Petti kali amman, with eight hands which was floating on the river Cauvery, drifted ashore here. She is kept in the temple and being worshipped. The box is opened only once in a year with all rituals.
- Brahma, installed a Sivalinga in a dense forest (Vana) containing Pathiri trees (hence the name Padala vanam) and worshipped the Lord daily. He was blessed with Jnana Upedesa (initiation into the mysteries of Wisdom) by the Lord.
- Agasthiyar, Vakkilliyar, Kanva and other sages worshipped the Deity.
- Indra came with his Iravatha (white color elephant) and worshipped the Deity. He got deliverance from curse on a Full Moon Day of Chithirai (Tamil calender month).
Thiru Velliankudi Vishnu temple
Location: 15 kms from Kumbakonam. 9 km to Kovilacheri on the Chennai highway and then 6 km diversion to the east.
Main Deity: Kolavilli Ramar in Bujanga sayanam (sleeping posture) with Maragadha valli thayar
Utsavar: Srungara sundarar
Theertham: Chakra, Brahma, Indra & Parasara theertham
Sthala vruksham: Kadali (vazhai)
- One of the 108 divya desams
- It is considered that visiting this kshetram is equvalent to visiting all the 108 divya desams.
- Only in this temple, Garudhazhwar has four hands with Sangu and Chakra
- Vaishnava navagarha sthalam for Sukran
- Celestial Sculptor Viswakarma had created many divya desams but the sculptor of Asuras Mayan was longing that he never got a chance to build such a temple. So he penanced and got the dharshan of MahaVishnu with Sangu and Chakra here. But he wanted the dharshan of Vishnu in Sri Rama kolam. So MahaVishnu gave away his Sangu and Chakra to Garuda momentarily and gave dharshan as Kolavilli Raman with bow and arrow.
- Sukra (Navagrha God of Venus, Velli, Friday) worshipped here, the place is called Velliangudi.
- Brahma, Indra and Parasara muni, Markandeyan and Bhoomi devi have worshipped vishnu of this place.
Timings:9 AM to 12 PM and 5 PM to 8 PM
Location: 13 kms from Adhurai and 18 kms from Kumbakonam.
1) Vishnu Temple
Main Deity: Sreenivasa perumal in standing posture
2) Sathyagreeswarar Shiva Temple
Main deity: Swayambu lingam Sathyagreeswarar east facing with Ambal Sakidevi ammai south facing
Sthala vruksham: Aathi
- One of the 275 Thevara Padal petra stalams;
- Arunagiri nadhar sung Thiruppugazh on this temple;
- Birth place of Chandikeswara nayanar
Murugan worshipped Shiva of this place and got Rudhra Pasupatha army
Worshipped by Sibi Chakravarthi and Harichandran
3) Shivaloka nathar temple
Thiruvoipadi Shiva temple
Location: 16 kms from Kumbakonam;2 kms before Thiruppanandhal in the Chennai highway
Main deity: Swayambu lingam Balukantheeswarar with ambal Periyanayahi
Sthala vruksham: Aathi
Theertham: Ksheera gundam, Mannyaru
One of the 275 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams
The Lord took the milk from an Idayan and so He is calledBalukantheeswarar
Sandeswara naynar attained mukthi here on a Sivarathri new moon day. The nayanar worshipped with a linga made of sand. Sandeswara naynar is seen with the main deity
Thiruppananthal Shiva Temple
Location: 18 kms from Kumbakonam on the Chennai highway;10kms north of Aadhudurai.
Main Deity: Swayambu linga known as Arunajadeswarar facing West with Ambal Perainayaki facing East
Sthala Vruksham: Panai (palm). Of the 275 Shivastalams six shrines are associated with Panai. They are Panaiyur, Panankattur, Puravaar Panankattur, Cheyyar, Tirumazhapadi and Tiruppanantaal.
Theertham: Brahma, Iravadha, Manniarru and many more. The river Manni is said to be a derivation from its original name Subramanya nadhi.
One of the 275 Thevara Padal Petra sthalams;
Arunagirinadhar sang Thirupugazh on this temple;
The fact that it is an Upadesa Stalam renders significance to this shrine.
- A lady by name Thadakai was worshipping God for a child. One day when she was about to garland the God, her saree started slipping down. She managed to hold it but found to difficult to garland the Lord. So Shiva bent down and accepted her garland. From that day the Deity was not straight. So the temple is also known as Thadagaeeswaram and the Lord as Thadagaeesaramudaiar.
- Later, a King tried to straighten with his army power but failed. Kunguliyakkalaya nayanar, one of the 63 nayanmars tied a rope to his neck and to the linga and straightened it to the old position hrough his devotion.
- Ambihai, Iravadham, Sangukannan, Nagukannan, Nagakanniar, Brahma and Vishnu worshipped Shiva here.
This temple occupies an area of 3.5 acres with 7 tier rajagopuram at west and 5 tier rajagopuram in east with 3 praharams. This shrine is under the administration of the Dharumapura Adhinam. Six worship services are offered daily.
Note: Kasi madam installed by Sri Kumara Gurubara Swamigal is in this town.
Location: 5 kms Southeast of Thiruppananthal, this has 3 popular temples. Wife of Raja Raja Chola I called Thirailokkiya Madevi belongs to this place and this place is mentioned as ‘Thirailokkiya Madevi Chathurvedi mangalam’ in the inscriptions.
1) Sheerapthi Sayana Narayana Perumal temple
Sri Ksheerapthi Sayana Narayana Perumal, in sleeping posture on a 5 headed Sri Aadhi Seshan with His head towars South, feet towards North and face towars East. The Perumal is found with chathur (4) hands holding Sangu and Chakkaram on His hands. On the head side Sri Lakshmi and towards his feet side Bhoodevi are found in sitting position. And from his naabi kamalam, Lord Brahma is found. No Thiru manjanam (the divine bath) is done for Him and only thaila Kaapu (special oil) will be smeared.
Unusual to a Vaishnava temple, the sthalam viruksham is Vilva tree and archanas are performed with Vilva leaves. Any milk related neivedhyams are said to be special for this Perumal.
Lakshmi Theertham where Sri Lakshmi took bath and performed her tapas below the Vilva tree.
The thaayar of this sthalam is Sri Kshera Nayaki and she is found in a separate sannadhi. Once, the Perumal very urgently came to Bhoolokam thinking of His bhaktas leaving Sri Lakshmi alone. Sri Lakshmi could not be alone leaving Sriman Narayanan even for a second. Having felt for this, she performed the tapas here for never being left alone at any point of time.
- The temple is considered special to create intimacy between the copuples. So, if any misunderstanding / problems arise between the married couples or if the copuples are separated, they can worship the Thaayar here to get relief for their problems.
- A South facing Durgai is considered powerful and the Vishnu Durgai in a separate shrine here is facing South.
This temple is said to be about 5000 years old and was re-constructed and maintained by the Chozha king – Rajendra Chozhan.
Near the Maha Mandapam, Sri Varadharajar Perumal is found in standing posture facing South. The Abhaya Varadhar is found along with Sangu and Chakkaram in a separate sannadhi.
Garudalwar is in a standing posture and he is offered with kozhakattai as a special neivedhyam.
Shri. S. Kannan, Tiruchirapallai, 0431 – 2730392, 94425 30392
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Shri. S. Rajagopalan, 0435 – 2456432.
2) Sundareswarar temple
Main deity: Swayambu lingam Sundareswarar with ambal Akilandeswari.
- 500o years old Thevra vaipu thalam
- Lord Sundareswarar as Rishabaroodar in human form embracing Ambal Akilandeswari and sitting on Rishabam (Nandhi).
- Guru Bhagawan worshipped Shiva here
- Sridevi worshipped Perumal and Sundareswarar with Ahilandeswari to get the place in the chest of Perumal
- Karuvur Thevar Siddhar has a Thiruvisaippa pathikam on this temple
3) There is another Shiva temple here in the name of Kailasanathar temple in the model of Gangai konda Cholapuram
Kumbakonam – Kathiramangalam (Poompuhar)
The Kumbakonam – Pompuhar road goes along the northern bank of Cauvery river and pass through the outskirts of Mayiladuthurai
Thiruvisanallur (Thiruviyalur) Shiva temple
Distance: 8kms from Kumbakonam en route Veppathur
Main Deity: Sivayoga nadhar, Yoganandeswarar, Vilvaaranyeswarar with Soundra nayagi Santha nayagi
Sthala Vruksham: Vilvam
- One of the 275 Thevara Padal petra sthalams
- There are 4 Bairavas in the same place
- This is the temple for Rishabha Rasi. People born under Rishabha rasi are recommended to visit this temple regularly.
- There is a Sun Dial in the periphery wall of this temple opposite to Ambal’s Sannidhi that shows time accurately from 6AM to 6PM, which is a symbol of the scientific advancement during the Chola period.
- Here unusually Nandi comes first, bali peta next and then dwajastamba (in the reverse order).
- Brahma in his birth as Sivayogi muni penanced here along with his 7 brothers and merged with Lord Siva and hence the name Sivayoginathar. It is said that 7 hair strings are present at the back of linga.
- This place was a vilva forest at one time and hence He is also called Vilvaranyeswarar.
- Jadayu said to have worshipped Shiva here.
- Once a man who was a habitual sinner and has never done anything good in his life was about to be taken away by Yama. He came to Lord Shiva here shouting and pleading. Nandhi turned his ears towards the entrance of the temple to hear the cry of the man and informed Lord Shiva about it. Though he was a habitual sinner, Lord Shiva blessed him with papa vimochanam (absolution of sin) and Mukthi because he had come to Shiva with total devotion. We can see Nandhi here with his head turned to a side. It is believed that those who pray to Him here during the Pradosham will be absolved of all their past sins.
This is a temple with a 5 tier Rajagopuram and 2 prakarams.
It is believed that Saint Agastiyar worships God Shiva here on every Shivaratri day.
This temple is closely associated with Rajaraja Chola I.
The four Bhairavars, (Chatur Kala Bhairavars) each representing the four phases or four Ashramasin the lifespan of a human being is famous here and are as follows:
Gnana Bhairavar: The Brahmacharya phase of the human life is dominated by his quest for knowledge. Gnana Bhairavar bestows good education and good employment on his devotees.
Swarna akarshana Bhairavar: In the Grahasta phase, Swarna akarshana Bhairavar blesses his devotees with excellent growth in career and material gains.
Unmattha Bhairavar: In the Vanaprastha phase, His devotees are blessed with good health, financial stability and good luck.
Yoga Bhairavar: In the Sanyasa stage of life, a man is supposed to be totally devoted to God. By praying to Yoga Bhairavar and the Kailash Lingam beside the Yoga Bhairavar, man attains salvation.
Devotees who worship the Chatur Kala Bhairavars during the 8th day of the waxing period (ashtami of Sukla paksham or valarpirai) gain in prosperity and advancement in business and career and devotees who worship during the 8th day of the waning period (ashtami of Krishna paksham or theipirai) get cured of their diseases, peaceful family life, protection from evil spirits and envy.
Lighting oil lamps with black pepper on eight consecutive Sundays during Rahu kalam 4.30 PM to 6.00 PM at Bhairavar’s sannidhi results in getting back lost property and wealth.
There is also a shrine for Lakshmi and Narayanar which is a rare. Vishnu and Lakshmi got the blessings of Shiva here for their marriage. Worshipping Lakshmi Narayanan on shravan nakshatra, ekadasi and Saturdays is considered special.
Sridhara Ayyaval’s Mutt
Sridhara Ayyaval’s Mutt is in this village. There are few miracle incidents in his life.
- Devas and Pithrus are believed to have partaken in a meal when the local Brahmins refused to attend the Shraddham he conducted for his father.
- Once on a Karthigai New Moon day, he brought Ganges from the well in his house for purification. Every year, for 10 days before the New moon day of Karthigai month, festival takes place in a grand scale. On the New moon day, around 10,000 people take a dip with the water from this well and annadhanam also takes place in a grand scale.
- He is also credited with restoring life to a young man, out of compassion for his parents.
- Sridhara Ayyaval is reported to have vanished after entering the sanctum sanctorum of Madhyarjuna Shiva temple at Thiruvidaimaruthur.
Thirundhu devan kudi (Nandaankoil) Karkadeswarar Temple
Location: 10 Kms from Kumbakonam; 2 Kms from Tiruvisainallur
Main Deity: Swayambu lingam known as Karkadeswarar, Devadevesar east facing with Arumarundha nayaki ammai, Aravindanayagi
Theertham: Pankaya theertham and Cauveri
Name: Crab worshiped Shiva here and hence the name Karkata. This temple is nowadays known as Nandaankovil. The original name Thiru Nandu (meaning crab) Devan Kudi has become Tirundhu devan kudi
- One of the 275 Thevara padal petra sthalams.
- This temple is special for Kataka or Karkata Rasi and Ahilyam or Ashlesha Nakshatram in particular. People born under this Nakshatram/ Rasi are advised to light Nallennai vilakku (Sesame or Gingely Oil lamp) and worship Lord Shiva on ashtami (eighth day from New Moon or Full Moon), New Moon days, Tuesdays and Saturdays apart from Ahilya Nakshatram thithis.
- The Ambal is called Arumarundha nayaki, meaning the Goddess of rare medicines. The oil applied to the Goddess is considered very special to cure many diseases.
- Indran worshipped the lingam here with 108 lotuses everyday. Varunan was given the task of creating those flowers in the temple moat. Indran ran short of a flower during pooja one day. He inquired with Varunan who was very confident that he had created 108 flowers. When this continued for a few days, Indran himself decided to keep a watch on the flowers. Ultimately, he noticed one of the flowers moving out of the water into the garba graham (sanctum sanctorum) through the drain onto the top of the Shivalingam. On closer scrutiny, he saw that it was a Golden crab that had brought the flower from the waters. As he was about to hit the crab, it made a hole right on top of the Shivalingam and disappeared into it. Since then He came to be known as Karkadeswarar (Karkata means Crab).
- It is believed that this Crab was a Yaksha who taunted Sage Dhurvasa. He mimicked the walk of the Sage like the crawl of a crab and made fun of him. The Sage who was well known for his short temper, cursed the Yaksha to turn into a crab. Quickly realising his folly, the Yaksha apologised to the Sage and sought a remedy. The Sage advised him to worship Lord Shiva at this temple for absolution of his sin.
- Shiva, in the guise of an elder, is said to have rid of painful affliction of a devout King; The Lord also said to have directed the King to a spot where the current lingam was found and then disappeared. Shiva is also said to have revealed to him, the medicines for other afflictions, hence the name Arumarundu Devar, the Lord of Medicine and Healing.
- It is believed that the vegetation covering the temple is of medicinal value. It is speculated that in the days of its glory, this village would have been a medical care center with an Ayurvedic dispensary, providing herbal remedies to various ailments. In support of this, a sculpture of an ayurvedic doctor preparing medicine is seen.
- The image of a golden crab as well as the hole created by it can be seen on the Shivalingam during the ablution rituals (abhishegam).
- The temple is fairly big surrounded by a moat called Tirumaruvum Poihai in the midst of green fields. There are only paddy fields as far as you can see.
- There are two shrines for Ambal here, Arumarundu Nayaki and Apoorva Nayaki. The idol of Arumarundu Nayaki was once stolen and a replacement idol was installed but within a day of installing the new idol, the stolen idol was recovered. Hence the original idol then came to be known as Apoorva Nayaki.
- Chandra in this place is in yoga posture and this is a Chandra dosha nivarana sthalam.
- The Shivalingam has the mark of a cut on its face.
Timings:9 AM to 1 PM and 4 PM to & 7 PM. As this is a very desolate place the temple closes early.
Phone: 0435 – 200 0240, 99940 15871
Thiru Mangalakkudi Shiva Temple
Distance: 2 kms from Adudhurai; 15 kms from Kumbakonam; 8 kms from Thiruppanandhal
Main Deity: Swayambu lingamPrananadheswarar east facing with Mangalambika amman south facing
Theertham: Mangala theertham, Cauveri
Sthala Vruksham: Kongu ilavalam
- One of the 275 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams
- Thirumangalakudi is known as Panchamangala Kshetra. The name of the place is Mangalakudi. The Goddess is Mangalambika. The tower is Mangala Vimanam. The holy water is Mangala Theertham. The Vinayaka is Mangala Vinayaka. Everything in the temple is but Mangala – Prosperity.
- All dhoshams will get cleared off by visiting this temple
- There is no special place for the Navagrahas here. It is believed that the Navagrahas in the nearby Navagraha temple, Suriyanar koil are the ones belonging to this temple. This is the place where navagrahas themselves worshipped and got rid of their sins. So devotees set to Suriyanar koil should visit this temple first to complete their worship.
Minister Alaivanar was ordered to be beheaded by King Kulothunga in the 11th Century for building a temple from the revenues of his kingdom without his permission. The minister requested that he be cremated in Thirumangalakudi. His body was brought to the place as wished by him. His wife went to the Mangalambikai temple and sought the grace of the Goddess for getting back her husband which was responded by a sound in the air and the minister came back alive. He went to the temple, embraced the Lord calling him Prananadeswara. As prosperity means a married life till the end (Mangalam) and as it was granted to the woman in distress, the Goddess is known as Mangalambika.
Women are blessed with full marital prosperity (Deerga Sumangali Bagyam).
Here, Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Protector, Sage Agasthya, Sun, Akashvani, Mother Earth worshipped the Lord.
- There are two Nataraja Sannidhis here.
- The Lord has three faces representing human, animal and birds, a rare one not found in other temples.
- The temple is administered by Thiruvavaduthurai Adheenam.
Sooryanar Koil Navagraha Sun temple
Distance: 2 kms from Adhudurai
Main Deity: Viswanadhar with Visalakshi ammai
Theertham: Surya theertham
Sthala Vinakar: Kol theertha vinakayar
Navagraha temple for Surya
All the navagrahas have separate sanctums in their respective places around Surya.
Kalava muni was to suffer of leprosy for his sin but he was helped by navagrahas in changing his time of sin. Brahma was not happy with navagaraha’s action and punished them. To get rid of their sin navagrahas worshipped Shiva of Thirumangalakkudi Prananadeswarar and got blessed. So, one has to worship both Surayanar temple and Thiru Mangalakudi Shiva for full effect.
Navagrahas here are present as anugraha moorties without their vehicle (vahanas) and weapons.
Kanjanur Navagraha Sukran temple
Distance: 4 kms from Adudhurai
Main Deity: Swayambu lingam as Agneeswarar east facing with ambal Karpagambikai east facing
Sthala Vruksham: Palasa tree.
Theertham: Cauvery, Manikarnika, Agni, Chandra, Anjenaya theertham.
- Navagraha tenple for Sukra worship
- One of the 275 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams; Arunagirinadhar sang Thirupugazh.
- Sivacharya named Haradatta sat on a red hot iron stool to prove Lord Shiva is the Almighty. There is a separate sanctum for him along with the linga he worshipped.
Kanjan (sukra) worshipped in this place so it is known as Kanjanoor.
Sage Parasarar got his mental illness cured
Brahma got the dharshan of Lord’s marriage
Contact: Tyagaraja Sivacharuyar 0435 – 2470155, 98432 85689
Note: Also, there is another Shiva temple in this village in the name Swayamprahasar which is 1600 years old
NCN037 – Thirukoteeswarar temple at Thirukkodikka / Maharajapuram (Thevara Temple)
Location: It is about 5 kms from Suryanarkoil (Navagraha kshetra for Sun God) and 2 kms from Kanjanoor (Sukhra kshetra on the east) and 5 kms west of Kuttalam town.
Significances: One of the 276 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams
Main Deities: Swayambu linga known as Thirukodeeswarar or Kodikanathar with Vadavambiki or Thripurasundari amman.
- Multitudes of Gods (Koti) are said to have worshipped at this shrine beautified by countless gardens (kavu) and hence the name Kotikka
- Shiva is said to have escorted a devotee Haradatta to Kanjanur nearby and mysteriously disappeared. Vasishtar is said to have installed an image of Ganapathi made out of sand.
- It is also believed that the Azhwars were asked by Venkatachalapathi of Thirupathi to worship Thripurasundari here before offering worship at Thirupati. Agasthyar is said to have helped them to cross the Cauveri river, which was in spate. Thripurasundari Amman is then said to have blessed them with a vision of Venkatachalapathi.
- Ganesha of this place is known as Karai atrum vinayakar.
- Nataraja idol is made of stone which is rare.
- Chitragupta and Yama have separate sanctums here.
- Sambandar and Appar composed the Pathigam; Arunagirinadhar sang Thirupugazh.
Sthala Vruksham:Perambu (cane variety).
Theertham:Cauvery river, Mukkoti Theertham.
Contact: Shanmugananda Shivachariyar – 94866 70043
Vishnu Durga Temple at Maharajapuram
Maharajapuram is the native place of Music Maestroes Late Viswanathaiyer and his son Late Santhanam. Per Legend, this temple was setup by Durvasa to guard 1,00,008 Shiv Lingas in 3 miles radius present underground.
Baskararajapuram is situated on the bank of river Cauvery at 1km from Kathiramangalam. This was gifted to the great saint and Sri Vidya Upasakar Sri Baskararayar (Basuranandanadhar) by King Sarfoji of Thanjavur. The saint enriched Sri Vidya Upasana by his unique Bhashyam (Sowbhagya Bhaskaram) on Sri Lalitha Sahasranamam. He is considered by the Sri Vidya Upasakas as the very embodiment of Sri Lalitha Tripura Sundari. “Varivasya rahasyam” is another gem he has gifted to the Shakta upasakas.
In the year 2004 a fitting memorial was built for this great saint.
Vanadurgai Temple at Kathiramangalam (Mirugaseerisha Star temple)
The temple is located at 25 kms from Kumbakonam and 14 kms from Mayiladuthurai in the Mayiladuthurai – Kumbakonam route (Via Vanathirajapuram).
The presiding deity is Shri Vana Dhuraga Parameswari amman. The amman idol is 6 feet high and gigantic. It is believed that She visits Kasi during the nights and comes back to this temple every morning 8.00 a.m.
This is the parihara temple for people born in Mirugaseerisha Star.
Poet Kambar also worshiped this deity and got her blessings.
The pooja for this temple is held during Ragu kalam.
Contact: Ramanatha Gurukkal – 04364 – 232555 / 94432 61999
….Continues with temples of Thirumanancheri etc., in Mayiladuthurai – South page
Kumbakonam – Aduthurai (Mayiladuthurai)
Ammachatram Shiva Temple
Location: 5 kms from Kumbakonam; 2 kms before Thirubhuvanam
Place: Ammachatram is an ancient village mentioned as ‘Bairavapuram’ in ‘Bavishyotta puranam’ and later was called as ‘Sakkuvambalpuram’ or ‘Ammani Ammal Chatiram’ and presently as ‘Ammachatiram’.
Main deity: Saptharishiswarar with Ambal Gnanambikai
Sthala Vruksham: Vilva tree and Jackfruit tree
Legend: Saptharishsis prayed this Lord and they arranged the marriage for Him
In Bavishyaotta Purana, this is a Kalabairavar sthalam and this place is mentioned as a Sin relieving place, as powerful as Kasi (Varanasi) because the Kalabairavar who is blessing here will give protection from all the eight directions. Worship here is considered to give the brilliance and stability to withstand the karmas in life.
This 1500 Years old temple contains five Lingams (including moolavar), Vinayakar, Dhakshnamurthi, Murugan, Mahalakshmi, Lingothbavar, Vishnu, Durga, Chandikeshwarar, Kalabairavar, Saneeswarar, Suriyan, Chandiran etc.,
There is supposed to be an underground tunnel here
The Full moon Ashtami pooja for Kalabairavar is very familiar for its great power of solving the problems and giving remedies to life.
Thirubhuvanam Kambakareswarar Shiva temple
Distance: 7 kms from Kumbakonam en route Aduthurai; 2 kms before Thiruvidai marudhur
Main deity: Swayambu linga known as Kambakareswarar or Saranadhar with Aram valartha nayaki east facing
Sthala Vruksham: Vilvam
Theertham: Saraba theertham and many others
- Sarabeswarar, the form Lord Shiva took to cool down the ferocity of Narasimha, will normally be seen only in pillars in all the temples. This is the only place where He is having a big and exclusive shrine.
- Pooja during Rahukalam on Sundays is expected to bring success in desired areas
- This is one of the four temples, the four Chola kings built exclusively to proclaim the artistic and architectural mastery of their kingdom – Tanjore Big temple by Raja Raja I; Gangai konda Cholapuram by Rajendra Chola; Dharasuram temple by Raja raja II; and this temple by Klothunga III. These four temples have huge vimanams much higher than the normal temples.
- The temple is built by stone from the basement to the top of the vimanam.
- Occupies a sprawling 5.5 acre area with a 160 feet 7 tier Rajagopuram facing east and 2 praharams.
This is a temple where people get rid of their fear (Kamba means fear). King Varaguna Pandian got his Brahma Harthi dhosham cleansed off in the nearby Thiruvidai marudhur temple but got rid of his fear of Brahma-Harthi only here. Also Vishnu, Brahma, Brahladhan and Aswagreevan got rid of their fear here. So the deity is called Nadukkam (shiver, fear) Theertha (got rid) Peruman and the place is called Nadukkam Theertha Sthalam
Sarabeswarar is seen with His consorts Soolini and Prithyanhara. He gives relief from bad evils, fear, court cases, debts and other difficulties. Sunday Ragu kalam (4:30 to 6 PM) is the best time to worship Him.
In the southern side of the Somaskandhar mandapam, there are sculptures of different bharathnatya poses. Ramayana paintings are beautiful in the temple walls.
Thiruvidai marudhur Maha Linga Swamy temple
Distance: 9 kms from Kumbakonam
Main Deity: Swayambu linga known as Maha Linga perumal with Perunala mamulai amman and Moogambihai in different sanctums.
Theertham: There are as many as 35 Theerthams out of which Karunya theertham is very popular
- Generally in all Shiva temples, the main deity will have a specific name but here it is called Mahalingam (Big lingam) since legend says that Lord Shiva worshipped Himself here in the process of teaching and demonstrating the Saivite worship procedures to the seven great sages.
- The Shiva Lingam here is a swayambhu facing east and is said to be on par with Varanasi (Kasi).
- Brhamahathi dosham of King Varaghuna Pandiya was cleared off in this place. He entered thorugh one entrance and left by another entrance as per the guidance of Sri MahalingaSwamy. Brhamahathi is still waiting for the king to return at the left corner of the way to the main shrine through the main entrance. So one should make it a point to enter through the main entrance to Shiva shrine, then to Goddess shrine and return by a different entrance to get rid of one’s dhoshams.
- The pooja is first performed to Mahalingaswamy in this temple and then only to Vinayakar. Here Vinayagar Himself is worshipping Shiva.
- Once when Parvathi devi playfully blind folded Shiva, the whole universe was in total darkness and deep trouble but Thiruvidaiarudhur alone was illuminating as a fire with the Jyothirmaya Sri Mahalinga Swamy
- This huge temple in a sprawling campus of 20 acres, bejewelled with 7 lofty towers, 7 praharams and many ornate mandapams is one of the greatest Saivite shrines in Tamilnadu.
- The Ammbal Shrine is one of the Sakthi Peetams and Chakkara Maha Meru is installed here.
- Parivaara Devata’s Shrines: Usually, a temple will have a Linga in the sanctum and Parivara Devatas around the sanctum sanctorum. Such is the grandeur and glory of this temple that it is considered that some of the temples in the vicinity like Thiruvalanchuzhi, Swamimalai, Chidambaram etc., which by themselves are very grand, constitute the parivara devata shrines to f this temple – thus the entire Chola Nadu is treated as one temple
- The temple has three famous praharams:
(i) Aswamedha pradhakshina praharam – Going around this will give the effect of doing Ashwamedha yaga.
(ii) Kodumudi praharam – Going around this will give the effect of going to Kailash.
(iii) Pranava praharam – Going around this will give Moksha.
- One of the 275 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams; Arunagirinadhar has composed Thirupugazh
Location: Govindapuram is a village named after Sri Govinda Dikshithar, a minister in Nayak dynasty, 2 kms from Thiruvidaimaruthur en route Aduthurai.
1) Sri Vittal Rukmini Samsthan, Dakshina Pandaripuram
Sri VittalDas is constructing a huge Pandurangan temple here and the full details are available in the weblink given below.
There is also a Goshala here and the uniqueness is that all the cows here were brought from Sri Brindhavan, Sri Govardhan and Sri Dwaraka. The cows belong to the parampara of cows grazed by LORD SHRI KRISHNA Himself. They are being maintained with utmost care in a very sophisticated and hygienic condition. GoSamrakshanam is being carried out scrupulously.
2) Shri Bodhendral Adhishtanam
Sri Bodendral was anointed the 59th Acharyal of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam in 1638 by his predecessor and Guru Sri Atma Bodendral who commanded Sri Bodendral to spread Bhagavan Namam, following the footsteps of Kabirdas, Tulasidas and Mira Bai. Sri Bodendral was the first Guru in Bhajana Sampradhayam, on the forefront of establishing Nama Siddhantam in South. Sri Bodendral was the contemporary of Sri Sridhara Venkatesa Ayyaval of Tiruvisanallur and Sri Sadasiva Brahmendral. Sri Kanchi
After adorning the Kanchi peetam for nearly 5 decades, Sri Bodendral achieved Jeevan Mukthi on the banks of River Cauvery in 1692 on a Purattasi month full moon day. Treating himself as consort to Lord Rama, he achieved Jeevan Mukthi by burying himself in ground, just like Sita Devi had done. For a while, this place was lost and forgotten and more than 100 years later, in 1803, Sri Marudhanallur Sadguru Swamigal discovered this place after hearing Rama namam emanating from water here. When the Swamigal discovered this place, he also found Nama Kaumudi that Sri Bodendral had carried with him all along. Also, Marudhanallur Swamigal had his Shishya, King Sarabhoji divert the river. Even now, there are reports of devotees hearing Rama namam in Sri Bodendral’s Adhishtanam in Govindapuram.
As an interesting aside, the Adhishtanam of Sri Atma Bodendral, the predessor and guru of Sri Bodendral was also unknown till it was dramatically discovered by Sri Kanchi Paramacharyal in 1927. Paramacharyal speculated that Sri Bodendral started wearing Vaishnava symbol of Urdhva Pundiram instead of the traditional Saivite symbol of Vibhooti.
Among the miracles attributed to Sri Bodendral, he made a dumb boy chant Bhagavan Namam and he cured a Brahma Rakshas by chanting Rama Namam.
Annadhanam on Srardha days:
Sri Kanchi Periyaval had a great connection to this place and established the procedure of Annadhanam during the Srartha days of the pithrus which has become highly popular now. By paying staring from 2000/= people can arrange for lifetime annadhanam during the Srardha thithis of loved ones. During the Mahalaya period, people throng the place.
Sri Bodhendra Saraswathi Swamigal Trust – 0435 2472054, 2460872, 94437 86370, 94437 45592
Adhudurai Shiva temple
There are two places in the name Kurangaduthurai and they are called so since Lord Shiva in these palces were worshiped by the two monkey (Kurangu) kings of Ramayana. This place is called Then Kurangaduthurai since it is located on the southern side of the Cauvery and worshipped by Sugreevan. The other one, Vada Kurangaduthurai, is located on the North side of the Cauvery and worshipped by Vaali.
Distance: 3 kms from Thiruvidaimarudhur; 13 kms from Kumbakonam en route Mayiladuthurai
Main Deity: Swayambu linga known as Abathsahayeswarar with Pavalakodiammai
Theertham: Sakaya theertham
Significances: One of the 275 Thevara padal petra sthalams
Lord Shiva rescued Sugriva from his brother Vaali because Sugriva could not compete with Vaali in a fight. Sugriva prayed to Lord Shiva who turned Sugriva to a swan and kept him above the ‘Vilva’ tree, so Vaali could not find him.
It is believed Lord Rama searching for Sita came here with Hanuman and Sugriva and prayed here.
Other Temples in Aduthurai:
1) Madhurakaliamman Temple
This is one of the popular temples of Aduthurai. There is one such temple in Siruvachoor (Trichy Dist) also.
2) Sri Navaneetha Krishnan Temple
This 300 years old temple is located at the heart of the town. Here Lord Krishna is posing in dancing style upholding one leg and having butter in one hand. Two Amman deities are Sri Rukmani and Sri Sathyabama.
3) Sri Bhavana Maharishi Temple
This temple, built in north Indian style, is situated in the middle of Krishnan koil street. Bhavana maharishi is the successor of Markendeya Maharishi and is the community god of Padmasaliyar community.
4) Sri Sri Jeyaveera Anjaneyaswami Temple
Located in the Krishnan koil street, this temple is famous in this village and surrounding villages and the temple is accompanied by a big pond.
Melmaruthuvakudi Shiva Temple
Distance: 1 km south of Adhudurai en route Thiruneelakkudi
Main Deity: Swayambu linga known as Iravadeswarar with Abhirami ambal
Sthala Vruksham: Vilva
Theertham: Chandra, Yama, Agani, Agastiya, Brahma, Kasyapa, Gowthama and Sesha theertham
- Iravadham worshipped in this place and was blessed and so the deity is called Iravadeswarar.
- Chandra worhsipped here to cleanse off his sins and so there is a Chandra Theertham.
- Sri Krishnar worshipped and got Rukmani Devi.
- Sri Aadhi Seshan worshipped here and got the power to hold the earth.
- Agasthiar owrshipped here
- It is also the place where Lord Shiva slew an evil demon, Marutthuvasura, from which the name of the village originated from.
- A learned Brahmin who was too greedy started taking ill dhana which fetches more money because the person who is giving the dhana will be transferring his sin also. Over a period of time, the Brahmin became black and huge ugly figure due to sins he accumulated. To get back to normal form he started penancing in the middle of fire for 12 years. Shiva was pleased with his worship and granted boon but he started troubling everyone again. Indra was afraid of the Brahmin and he worshiped the Lord here. Shiva sent Agoramurthy to punish the brahmin and to take him into custody. Since he was a true devotee, Shiva excused him for his sin and made incharge for the nandavanam.
- The linga is a Swayambu and is said to be formed of a sort of white clay material. So the abishekam is performed only with kavacham on linga portion.
- Another important deity of this temple is the Goddess Abirami Amman who is worshipped in five temples including the famous Thirukkadaiyur.
- Nandi here is located slightly away from its original position. It is named Baana Nanadi and looks pored on its surface. It is believed the Nandhi was injured with Maruthuvasura’s ‘Baanas’ (arrows) and protected Lord Shiva.
- Vinayaka here is known as ‘Viruchika Vinayagar‘ in unique form with His trunk resembling Virchika (Scorpion) and also numerous scorpio like things engraved on Him all over. He is believed to be able to heal poisonous insect bites of those who worship him.
- It was said to be built during the period of SembiyanMadevi, during the reign of the Queens of the Chola Dynasty.
Other temples in Maruthuvakkudi:
1) Mummoorthy Vinayagar Temple
This temple is one of the oldest temples in Maruthuvakudi and the main deity Lord Vinayaga is believed to lie in the Samadhi (tomb of a saint). There are three statues, which is unusual for Ganesh temples. The temple is located on the main road to Thirunageswaram. Unlike other temples it has no Vimaana or Gopuram.
2) Neelamegha Perumal Temple
The temple is famous for the Neelamegha Perumal statue made of a stone which turns blue when milk is poured on the surface of the statue (Neelamegam, meaning “blue clouds”). The statue itself looks partially bluish. Perumal’s consorts are the goddessess Sreedevi and Boomidevi. The temple is located on the main road to Thirunageswaram.
Manthrapureeswarar Shiva Temple at Manjamalli
Shiva Temple at Killukudi
Varadharaja Perumal Temple at Sathanoor
Ayyanar Thirumoolar Temple at Sathanoor
It is believed that Thirumoolar worshipped Ayyanar here.
Vellai Vembu Mariamman Koil
Neem Tree here has white leaves!
Shiva Temple at Peravoor
Peravoor has been a very well- known village for its Aadhitheswarar – Kamakshi temple. It seems to have been a great shiva- vishnu temple and has been mentioned in Dhevaram by Thirunaavukkarasar. Today only the kamakshi shrine is predominant.
SCN035 Thirukozhampam Kokileswarar Temple at Thirukozhambam
Location: This Shivastalam is located in the vicinity of Thiruvavaduthurai near Kumbakonam.
Significance: One of the 276 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams.
Main deities: The presiding deity is Kokileswarar and the Ambal Soundara Nayaki
Legend: A scholar who was cursed by Indra to assume the form of a cuckoo, prayed Lord Shiva at this kshetram and was relieved of the curse, hence Kokileswaran and the place is called Kokilapuram.
It is also believed that Parvathi devi took the form of a cow and worshipped Shiva; the hoof marks of a cow are seen on the Shivalingam.
Sambandar and Appar composed the Pathigam.
Theertham: Madhu Theertham
Kumbakonam – Thiruneelakkdi (Kollumangudi– Peralam – Karaikal)
Thirunageswaram Raahu Navagraha Temple
Location: 6 kms east of Kumbakonam enroute Thiruneelakkudi
Main deity: Lord Shiva in the name Naganathar with consort Girigujambal
Theertham: Surya theertham
- Navagraha Raahu parihara (Sarpa dosha nivarthi) sthalam
- The chest of the granite vigraha of the deity turns blue during Abisheha with milk
Legend: Worshipped by Navagraha Rahu and got relieved of a curse.
- There are two Shrines for the Goddess; Piraiyanivanudalumai’s Shrine is adjacent to Naganathaswamy’s shrine and GiriGujambika has a separate temple with Lakshmi and Saraswathy along with Her in sila roopam.
- Raahu Bhagavan is uniquely seen with human face, unlike in other places where he is seen with a serpent face. Here he is present with his two consorts Nagavalli and Nagakanni.
- Nandi after worshipping Shiva attained the status as Nandeeswaran here.
- Vinayakar attained the status of Head of Ganas or Ganapathi.
- Indira, the King of Devas was relieved of bad smell emanating from his body by worshiping Goddess Girigujambalwith Punugu.
- Astrologers suggest that doing Milk abisekam (especially on Sundays) here for Rahu during Rahu kalam, will remove all the malefic effects of Rahu.
Thepperumanallur Shiva Temple
Distance: 8 kms from Kumbakonam; 1.5 kms north of Thirunageswaram
Main Deity: Viswanadhar with Ambal Vedantanayaki
- The Shiva here is also called Annadhana shiva and used to feed lakhs of people during each Mahamakam festival in Kumbakonam without a single pie in his hand. It is said that this temple fed about 8000 people daily during its glorious days.
- There is a siva linga in whose Avudiyar a maragada is fixed inside on which sunlight falls everyday.The Power of this linga is said to be the combination of all the 12 jothirlingas in India and therefore unique.
- The Dakshinamurthy Idol is unique and is considered more powerful and boon bestowing than Alangudi or anywherelse.
- A huge serpent visits the temple almost every day wounds round the Bhairavar statue inside the temple and also on the Linga and two shedded skins of the cobras have been collected and kept safely.
- The Ambal is called Vedantanayaki and swami as Viswanathar. There is a rudraksha kavacha on the sivalinga.
- This is the only temple where archana to siva is done with rudraksha – archana with eka mukha to 12 mukha rudrakshas provides boons and purusharthas as the devotees require.
- There is vigneswara, Shanmuga, navagraha sannathis and also a temple tank on the eastern side.
- The power of the temple is such that Rahu/Kethu doshas are removed, childless couples bestowed with divine child and there are many more plus to benefit the devotee.
Note: On an eclipse day in Jan 2010 , a Naagar (snake) visited the temple, plucked vilva leaves from the temple tree and worshipped Shiva . The news and photos were circulating and became very sensational.
Uppiliappan Koil Divya Desam
Location: 7 kms from Kumbakonam; 500 meters south of Thirunageswaram
Main deity: Oppiliappan with consort Bhuma devi
One of the 108 Divya desams
All food offerings at the temple are strictly and completely saltless. Salt or any food item containing salt is not allowed in the temple beyond Garuda’s Sannidhi. It is a sin to carry salt inside the temple. Hence the Lord is also called as ‘Lavana Varjita Venkatesa’ i.e., Venkatesa who avoids salt.
Once Sage Markandeya prayed for children and Goddess Bhumi Devi was reborn as his daughter near a Tulsi plant. Later, Lord Uppiliyappan came in disguise as an old man and sought marriage to Sage Markandeya. Rishi also accepted, but he was worried that his daughter is too young and does not know about household things and does not know even to put salt in food. Lord accepted that whatever she cooks he would eat showing mercy towards the Rishi Markandeya. Marriage was held in pomp and Glory. To this day, the prasadam offered will be of without salt in order to approve the Lord’s words.
He is also called an elder brother of Lord Venkateshwara of Tirumala Hills.
The Lord is praised by the Nayanmars as Oppila Appan (means not comparable with anybody).
- There is no separate shrine for Bhoomidevi here and She is sitting with folded hands by the side of the Lord in the main sanctum sanctorum. The Lord is always with His consort and the utsava deity oppiliappan is never taken out of the temple without His consort, Bhoomidevi, during the festivals (because She is too young?).
- The temple has a holy tank inside the temple premises.
- The area for pradakshinam has many beautiful paintings of Dasavatar.
Ayyavadi Maha Prathyankara temple
Location: 1 km south of Uppiliappan temple
- This village was once called as Aivar Padi. According to legends, the 5 Pandavas visited this place, kept their weapons under a tree, worshipped Sri Maha Prathyangira Devi and went around in the forests. As the five Pandavas worshipped here, it is beleived that the place was called as Aivar (means 5 in tamil) Padi which later changed as Ayyavadi.
- Lord Narasimha became very ferocious after killing the demon king Hiranyakasipu. Lord Shiva took the Sarabeswarar form to cool down the ferocity of Lord Narasimha. The Sarabeswara form has lion’s face with eagle’s wings. Shakthi accompanied Lord Shiva in the form of Sri Maha Prathyangira Devi seated on one of the wings.
- In Ramayana, Indrajit, son of Ravana performed a Yaga called “Nigumbalai Yagam”, worshipping Sri Maha Prathyangira Devi at this place. Had he completed the Yaga successfully, he would have got the powers to kill Rama but it was spoiled by Lakshmana and Anjaneya before the completion.
- Sri Maha Prathyangira Devi is an important Goddess in Shakthi worship. Prathyankira and her moola manthram was discovered by 2 rishis in ancient times – they were Angiras and Prathyankiras, in whose honour the Goddess assumed the name of Prathyankira. She is also known as Aparajitha.
- Here the Devi is seated on the chariot with 4 lions, 8 arms with weapons possessing Lion’s face.
- Sri Maha Prathyangira Devi’s worship will take away all evil forces and unsolvable problems from one’s life. All fears from evil forces will be dispelled.
- Darshan during Full moon day and No moon day will be get beneficial results.
- Homams are conducted during these days after which huge volumes of red chillies are offered to the Goddess.
Thiru Neelakudi Shiva Temple
Distance: 13 kms east of Kumbakonam; 3 kms south of Adudhurai.
Main Deity: Swayambu linga known as Manaokyanadhar, Neelakandar with Anoopamasthini amman.
Sthala Vruksham: Pancha Vilvam; Vilva leaf is 5 in a bunch which is rare; this place is known Pancha vilvaarayana kshetra.
Theertham: Brahma theertham as a well; Devi, Baradwaja and Markendeya theertham.
- One of the 275 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams.
- Oil abishekam to the main deity linga is absorbed fully.
- Navakkuarasar was chained by Samanars and thrown into the sea. Navakkuarasar sang hymns about Shiva of this place and was able to float and reach the shore.
- Shiva is present here after consuming the poison that came out during the churning of Thirupparkadal and hence the place is known as Neelakudi.
- Brahma linga that was worshipped by Brahma is present.
- Varunan, Romasa muni, Deva Kannigais worshipped Shiva here
- Markandeyar worshipped and was blessed by Shiva and so Markandeya lingam is also present
Kumbakonam – Nachiarkoil – Thirucherai (Kodavasal –Thiruvarur)
Malayappa nallur Vinayahar Temple
Location: 5 kms from kumbakonam, on the way to Sivapuram
Vinayakar under a very old banyan tree whose hanging roots have multiplied into numerous trees. He was kept there long back and is now present in a nice cave like shrine naturally formed by several of those hanging roots thus protecting Him from rain and sun. The main tree is in ruins and is now supported by the roots that stand majestically.
Sivapuram Shiva Temple
Distance: 6 kms from Kumbakonam.
Main Deity: Swayambu linga known as Sivapuranadhar with Singaravalli
Shala vruksham: Sanbaham
Theertham: Chandra pushkarani and Surya theertham
- One of the 275 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams
- Arunagirinadhra sung Thiruppugazh
- The Natarajar of this temple is very beautiful. It was smuggled abroad but was got back after many legal battles, is world popular.
- Guru and Rahu are together which is very rare.
Vishnu worshiped Shiva in the form of Swetha Varahar
Guberan took the birth as a a King in the name of Thanapathy and worshipped Shiva here
Here the left ear of the dog near Bairavar is lifted up as if our prayers are heard by him and forwarded to Bairavar.
Contact: Bala.Sakthi Gurukkal / S.SaiSatheesh Gurukkal – 98653 06840 / 96984 60984
Azhagaputhur Padikkasunathar Shiva temple
Distance: 8kms from Kumbakonam; 2 kms before Nachiayar koil.
Main Deity: Swayambu lingam Swarnapureeswarar, Padikkasunathar west facing with Ambal Azagammi; Shanmuga nathan (Murugar)
Sthala Vruksham: Vilvam
Theertham: Arasalaaru opposite the temple
One of the 275 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams
The Lord, Swarnapureeswarar, blesses His devotees with prosperity. Devotees worship by offering even no of coins / notes and taking back half of them to keep in their houses for financial abundance.
Lord Murugan appears with 12 hands and Sangu and Chakra offered by Mahavishnu to encounter demons in a war
Pugazhthunai nayanar worshipped and attained eternity.
The place was originally Arisir karai puthur
Thirunaraiyur / Nachiar koil
1) Siddheswaram Shiva Temple
Location: 9 kms from kumbakonam
Main deity: Siddhanathar-Swayambu lingam. Consort Soundaranayagi.
Sthalavruksham: Pavazha malligai
Theertham: Soola theertham
The place is called Siddheeswaram since the Lord here is worshipped by Siddhars like Korakkar.
One of the 275 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams
- Medhavi munivar worshipped Lord here, got Lakshmi as his daughter and Her marriage to Mahavishnu took place here.
- Korakka Siddhar did penance here and got liberated from the curse of Devars. So, the Shiva is called Siddheswaran.
- Naran got the birth as a bird due to a curse by Dhurvasa muni and got it cleared with the blessings of Shiva here
- Lord Muruga, Brahma, Vishnu, Markandeyan and Arjunan worshipped Shiva here
- A merchant by name Chithragupthan got his acute disease cured by taking the abshisheka oil. It is believed that doing the abhisheham and drinking the abhisheha oil of this deity cures any type of skin disease.
2) Ramanathaswami/ Mangala Saneeswarar Temple
This temple lies between Thirunaraiyur Siddheswaram Shiva temple and the Nachiarkoil Vishnu temple.
The presiding deity here is Ramanatha Swamy facing east and the Goddess, as in Rameswaram, is Parvathavardhini and Her shrine faces south. The temple is considered as holy as Rameswaram and many devotees who are unable to visit Rameswaram make their offerings to the Lord here.
Lord Saneeswaran, called Mangala Saneeswaran here, is present with his two wives Mandhadevi and Jyeshtadevi (also known as Neeladevi) and two sons, Maandhi and Kuligan. This is the only place where Saneeswaran is present with his whole family. Though a sub-shrine, Saturn’s abode here has separate Dhwajasthambam, Balipeetam and the crow mount in front of it and this temple is more popular as a Saneeswarar temple.
Lord Rama and Anjaneya, during their return from Lanka to Ayodhya worshipped Shiva here.
When King Dasaratha ruled the entire world, Saturn was to pass through Rohini star after staying in Krithigai, on one occasion. Sage Vasishta and others told Dasaratha that if Saturn did so it would spell doom for the world. There would be famine everywhere for 12 years and animals and human beings would be put to much hardship. He requested Dasaratha to prevent it. Dasaratha immediately got into his fast-moving chariot, carrying all Divine weapons and reached the star, Rohini. He saw Saturn moving in his golden chariot towards Rohini and sent the Divine weapons including the “Samhara Asthram” towards him. Saturn, laughing at the king’s futile attempts, told him that He could destroy anybody by His mere look. The powers that Dasaratha had got through severe penance, austerity and Divine grace prevented Saturn from eliminating him. Dasaratha requested Saturn not to pass through Rohini and thus spare the world from experiencing famine for 12 years. Saturn was immensely pleased with the king’s concern for the welfare of his subjects and granted the two requests. He also told him that if he visited Thirunaraiyur and bathed in the tank there he would appear before him. Dasaratha did accordingly and Saturn appeared before him.
Medha Dakshinamoorthy is is one of enchanting beauty. There are shrines for Vinayaka, Subramania with His consorts, Valli and Devasena, Gajalakshmi, Hanumantha Lingam, Annamalaiyar, Brahma, Durgadevi and Chadikeswarar. There is a separate shrine for Navagrahas with the Sun at the centre with his two Consorts, Ushadevi and Prathyushadevi, which is said to be a rarity. The other eight grahas are found around Sun.
Theertham: Rama Theertham
Contact: N. Shanmugam phone number 0435 — 2476411 / 2476157
3) Nachiar koil Srinivasa Perumal Temple
Location: 10 kms from kumbakonam.
Main deity: Thiru nariyur nambi, Srinivasa Perumal in standing posture with Consort Vanjulavalli Thayar in bride posture.
Theertham: Mani mutha theertham
- One of the 108 Divya desams
- This is the birth place of Nachiyar (Sri Devi)
- One of the few Divya Desams where Goddess has prominence over the Lord. The others are Srivilliputhur (birth place of Sri Andal), Woraiyur and Thiruvellarai. While Srivilliputhur is called Naachiyaar Thiru Maaligai, Thiru Naraiyur is called Naachiyar Koil. There is no separate Sannidhi for Goddess and She is always seen together with the Lord. On all occasions, the first rights are reserved for the Nachiyar. Even the food is first served to the Nachiyar and only then to the Naraiyur Nambi. We can see the Lord slightly by the side and the Goddess is the one who has the prominent position inside the sanctum. Even from the entrance of the temple, one gets a glimpse of Vanjulavalli Nachiyar.
- Rishi Medhaavi wanted Goddess to be born as his daughter and undertook penance on the banks of the Manimutha river. Pleased with his penance, Goddess was born under the Vanjula tree and the Rishi brought her up as Vanjula Valli. Both Lord and Nachiyar got married here and they are seen here in a beautiful wedding posture, a unique feature at this Divya Desam.
- Thiru Naraiyur Nambi is the only Divya Desam Lord to have offered the Pancha Samaskaram initiation to anyone. As a mark of initiating the Pancha Samaskaaram on the ThiruMangai Mannan, Lord Srinivasa is seen leaning forward slightly, quite a unique sight at this temple.
- Thiru Naraiyur Lord is praised as Nambi. Lords of only a few Divya Desams have been praised as Nambi. The most prominent among them is Thiru Kurungkudi. An Achaarya is referred to as Nambi and since Thiru Naraiyur Lord initiated the Pancha Samaskaram to ThiruMangai Mannan, he became the Achaarya of Thiru Mangai Azhvaar.
- Recognising this special initiation of Pancha Samaskaaram, ThiruMangai Azhvaar praised the Lord with over 100 Paasurams, the highest for any temple. The only other Lord that ThiruMangai Azhvaar has praised with 100 Paasurams is Thiru Kannapuram Sowri Rajan Perumal, where the Lord explained the Thiru Mandhiram to Thirumangai Azhvaar.
- An old Brahmin wanted to see all the Divya Desams. However, he could not visit because of his old age. The old Brahmin prayed before ThiruNaraiyur Nambi, who is said to have given the idols of all the 108 Divya Desam Lords to the Brahmin. This is the only Divya Desam where the idols of all the 108 Divya Desams can be seen in one place.
Kal Garuda (Stone Garuda):
Garuda, the vehicle of the lord, is of special significance at this temple. The story goes that a sculptor who was creating an image of Garuda suddenly found the idol flying after he had made its wings. Shocked at this sudden action, the sculptor threw a stone at Garuda and struck him on the nose. Garuda came falling down and decided to settle here at this place and bless the devotees. A huge and well built Lord Garuda is seen just next to Lord Srinivasa’s Sannidhi.
During street procession (Margazhi and Panguni), an unbelievable event takes place at the Nachiyar Koil. While only 4 people carry Lord Garuda out of his Sannidhi, as the Lord goes out of each layer and prakaram, he is said to increase in weight, that 8 people, 16 and then 32 people are required to carry Lord Garuda out of the temple. Finally, when the Lord is taken outside the temple, Garuda increases in weight so much that 64 people are required to carry the Lord. On his way back, it is said that Garuda mount decreases in weight and finally when he is back in the Sannidhi, only 4 people are required to carry him.
On Thursdays the Lord gives Dharsan with his family (seated) on the stone Garuda.
Kal Garuda is said to answer the prayers of devotees immediately and remove all Doshams. Childless couples, unmarried women, people with Naaga Dosham etc will also be relieved if they pray to the Kal Garuda at Thiru Naraiyur temple.
- Built by the Chola King Ko Chengat, the temple has 16 Gopurams including the 5 tiered Raja Gopuram. Ko Chengat had already built 70 Saivite Temples and this one, the 71st, was his first Vaishnavite temple. Hence, this temple has a lot of resemblances to Saivite temples, in its form and structure. The temple has been built in such a way that one can see the sanctum even from outside the temple premises. With several layers, each comprising of several steps, leading to the sannidhi, the sanctum looks like being atop a hill, on first looks from the temple entrance. Ko Chengan built many temples in this style called ‘Mada koil’ where elephants can not enter (has a legend connection with Thiruvanaikkaval at Trichy).
- This is the only Divya Desam where Lord is seen with a conch and charka in front of his face.
- Another unique feature at this Divya Desam is that the Vimaanam above the Sanctum Sanctum is like a tower.
- This is the only Divya Desam where one finds a 10 feet Brahmma in a standing posture within the sanctum. In other Divya Desams one finds the image of Brahmma on the wall.
- Nachiyar Koil is the beginning of the Krishnaaranya Kshetram. This continues at Thiru Cherai, Thiru Kannamangai and finally ends at Thiru Kannangudi, near Nagapattinam.
Temple timing: 6:30 am – 12.30 pm and 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Thiruppanthurai Shiva Temple
Location: 3 kms Northeast of Nachiyar koil
Main deity: Sivanandeswar, Swayambu lingam with Consort Mangalambikai
One of 275 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams
Bitcahdanar of this temple is very special
The place is originally called Penu perunthurai
Worshipped by twin Vinayagars, Umaiammai, Murugan and Brahma
1) Shiva Temple
Location: 5 kms from Nachiyar koil; 15 kms from Kumbakonam
Main deity: Saraparameswarar as Swayambu lingam with Consort Gyanavalliammai; Rina Vimochana Lingeswarar in the praharam is highly popular.
Thertham: Markandeya theertham
One of the 275 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams
One can get rid of their indebtedness by worshipping this Lord
Markandeyer worshipped Shiva here and got his indebtness of his birth cleared and attained moksha.
The temple is highly popular for its Rina Vimochana Lingeswarar at the praharam. He is considered to get rid of one’s debts and so people throng the temple on Mondays. The temple opens at 3:30 AM and closes at 11 PM on Mondays without any break. About 3000 (!) archanas take place on that day. By paying Rs 245/= at the temple, they do archana for 9 consecutive Mondays and it is beneficial to attend the abhisheham on the 10th Monday.
2) Vishnu Temple
Main deity: Saranatha perumal in standing posture facing east with consort Saranayagi (Sara Naachiyaar)
Pushkarani: Sara Pushkarani
- One of the 108 divya desams
- Prathyaksham for River Cauvery and Markandeya Maharishi
- Only Divya Desam where Lord Vishnu is seen with five of his consorts: Sridevi, Bhoodevi, Neeladevi, Mahalakshmi and Saranayagi.
- After the fall of the Vijayanagar empire in Tanjore, Azhagiya Manavala Naicker who ruled Tanjore planned to erect a temple for Rajagopala swamy in Mannarkudi. He appointed his minister Narasa Boopalan for this job who was to get black stones from all possible places. This minister was a great worshipper of Saranatha Perumal of Thirucherai and wanted to erect a temple for Him too. So he ordered his men to unload one stone from each cart which passed Thirucherai. The king, came to know of this, became angry and came for an inspection. But before that, in overnight, Narasa Boopalan constructed this temple and to please the king, added a sannathi for Rajagopala swamy too. His plan worked and the King cooled down and ordered to complete the temple with his money.
- When time came to destroy the world and finish the yugam, Brahma was worried a lot. He pleaded Lord Vishnu to tell him a way to keep the tools necessary for Srishti and all vedas safetly. Lord ordered him to put all these things in a strong mud pot. Brahma, after trying mud from all places finally made a pot out of the sand taken from Thirucherai and saved all vedhas and all necessary aids for srishti. Hence, as this place gave the magical mud which held a lead role and became reason for all living things to live even after the Maha pralaya, this place is called “Sara Shetram”.
- And also as the place, Lord, Goddess, Pushkarani and Vimana all five together gave the support this place is called “Pancha Sara Shetram”.
- River Cauveri wanted her status to be equal to river Ganges and performed a hard penance. She laid 3 wishes before the god. (a) The Lord should stay in this place for ever (b) all the Jeevans in this place should attain His lotus feet (c) she should be treated as pious as river Ganges. Lord Vishnu granted all her wishes and to improvise her status further among all the other rivers He accepted her as His mother and crawled as a child in her hands.
- Mudikondan river flows from the west and Kudamuruti river in the south.
- There are shrines for Hanuman, Vianayaka, Rajagopala swamy with His consorts Rukmani and Sathyabama, Thiruvenkatamudayan, Ramar, Narashimar and Manavala Maamunigal.
- Lord Sri Rama gives us a very special dharshan along with Sita and Lakshmana as he was found in forest for 14 years.
- Inside the Moolaver’s Karbagraham, Saranathar along with his wives – Sridevi, Boomidevi, Neela devi, Mahalakshmi and Sara Naayagi blesses us. To His right Markanteya Maharishi and River Cauvery are found. Santhana Gopalan and Selvar are too found in this sannadhi.
On every Thaipoosam day, Lord Saranatha with His 5 wives blesses us as a child in His mother Cauvery’s hand in a beautifully decorated chariot.
Temple timing: 7 am – 12 noon and 4 pm – 7 pm
Priest: Ramudu Bhattar at 94440 04374
“Thamiazhaga Sivathalangal”, a nice book by J.C.Murali
Sadhura Pathippagam, Somangalam, Chennai – 602109