Started by around 6:30 AM from Chennai (Adayar) and via Chenglepet reached Pazhaya Seevaram by 8AM. The temple is in a small hillock and there are steps
(about 50) to climb up and also a motorable road sideways for cars to reach the top directly. The priest was performing the pooja inside the main sanctum sanctorum closing it inside and also the other sannidhis. So we had to wait till he finsihes off his pooja. In the meanwhile we went around for a sightseeing. A wonderful environment indeed. From the hillock top, you can view the confluence of Palar and Cheyyar (and Vegavati joins Cheyyar a few kms before itself) and the Thirumukkoodal temple on the other bank. It would have been fantastic had there been water in the river (atleast in the rainy season) but the chances of it should be remote with both the dravidian parties competing each other in the clandestine sand mining.
We saw the holy water for Abisheham was being brought from somewhere with melam. Nadhaswaram was being played inside with much sincerity in spite of we being the only family out there. Finally at 9:15 the door was opened and we were allowed inside. But it was worth the wait. Considering the sincerity with which all the regular pooja activities are taking place irrespective of the no of devotees and the beauty of the deity it was worth the wait. The Lord Narasimhar was a gigantic Santha moorthy and beautiful indeed. Unusually, the entrance is from the back of the temple and the front entry where the dwajasthambam is there is completely closed with a wall with a very small grilled window. The main deity is facing Kanchipuram.
More details about the temple can be seen here
From Pazhaya Seevaram, this place can be reached by just crossing the bridge on the Palar. Since it is situated in the confluence of 3 rivers, it is called Thirumukkoodal. According to the priest, this is considered more sacred than Triveni Sangamam since here the 3 rivers are open whereas in Triveni Sangamam the Saraswathi river is underground and can not be seen. The temple is maintained by ASI and so is very clean. The confluence of the rivers and a big tree on the bank give a great backdrop to the temple. Here again, had there been water in the river, it would have added much beauty.
The priest was cooking rice and was not ready to come in the middle asking us to wait. After about 20 minutes, he came. The main deity is Appan Venkatesa perumal and he is very beautiful indeed. The priest was not ready to show the other sannidhis and grumbled that he is managing two temples and the authorities are not ready to add one more person to help him out. This has a rich historical value but it is paining that there are literally no visitors. If the priest takes some interest to show and explain the temple with interest to atleast the very few visitors whom are visiting, he would be doing justice to this historical place.
More details about the temple can be seen here
Main Deity: Shiva (Maakaraleeswarar, Agasteeswarar)
Theertham: Agni Theertham (a clean tank inside the temple compound)
Patikam: Sambandar, 7th of the 32 Tevara Stalams in the Tondai region.
Travel Base: Chenglepet Utiramerur Kanchipuram
Period: Before 7th Century, patronised by Chola kings.
- Nice and Calm Village atmosphere
- Well maintained and beautiful
- Beautiful entrance to the temple
- Nice and sincere priest
- Unlike any other temple, the Shivalingam here is in the form of the tail of an Udumbu (like a sharp thin knife)
Maagaral is a nice and calm village on the northern bank of the Cheyyar river. The temple is very well maintained and beautiful one. There is a big entrance with trees on both sides (no parking problem), an ideal play area for kids, that adds beauty to the temple. Since we arrived in odd-hour at 1:30 PM, the watchman brought the priest from his nearby house. Though we were feeling a little guilty about bending the temple timing per our wish, we didn’t have any choice.
After showing the main deity, the priest was kind enough to describe the temple history peacefully for nearly 20 minutes. He said he is the only Brahmin in the village. The temple has a Gajaprashta (the back of an elephant) Vimanam.
Across the Cheyyar river is another temple, the Kadambarkoyil.
Magaral means Udumbu, giant lizard.
In one legend, an Udumbu is said to have worshipped Shiva in an ant hill.
In another legend, there was a wonder jackfruit tree at Venupuram, 2 kms east from here, the fruits of were offered to the Chidambaram Thillai Natarajar first and then to Rajendra Chola 1 at Tanjore. The task was very strenuous through some bad and dangerous route and it was a long one indeed. Moreover this had become a daily routine since the tree bore sweet fruits everyday irrespective of the season. Unable to accept this hardship to his villagers, a bachelor boy burnt the tree, knowing the punishment he may face. The king, on knowing the motive behind gave a simple punishment. He ordered the boy to be transported out in the night and left in the early morning wherever he was, under the condition that he should never return back. The place where he was left is called ‘VidiMaagaral’, between Thiruvallur and Thiruthani. Later when the king came to Maagaral which was full of lemon trees, an Udumbu with a golden skin was moving. He chased it and it went into a snake pit with only its tail wagging out. He realized the manifestation of Shiva in it.
Maagaral is located at around 11 kms from Utiramerur, 15 kms from Kanchipuram on the Uthiramerur-Kanchipuram route.
Pazhaya Seevaram and Thirumukkoodal are on the opposite banks of the confluence of Cheyyar and Palar. You can see one temple from the other. Pazhaya Seevaram temple is just on the Chengelpat – Kanchipuram main road, 2-3 kms before Wallajabad, if you go from Chenglepat.