Garbarakshambigai Temple is an ancient temple in the Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu. Goddess Garbharakshambika is a form of shakti who cures infertility in women and also blesses pregnant women with a safe delivery. ‘Garbha’ means Pregnancy, ‘Raksha’ means ‘To protect’ and ‘Ambigai’ is a name of Parvati.
|Temple Timings||5:30 am to 12:30 pm, 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm|
|Location||Tanjore, Tamil Nadu|
|Poojas||Pregnancy Ghee, Delivery Castor Oil|
What are the timings of Garbarakshambigai Temple?
Here are the timings of Garbarakshambigai Temple:
|Morning Darshan||5:30 am to 12:30 pm|
|Evening Darshan||4:00 pm to 8:00 pm|
|Abhishekam||8:00 am to 8:30 am|
What is the history of Garbarakshambigai Temple?
According to the history of Garbarakshambigai temple, sages Gowthama and Gargeya did penance in a garden of mullai flowers. Sage Nithuvar was living here with his wife Vedhika. Then, one day when Sage Nithuvar was away, sage Urdhvapada visited the garden. But Vedhika was asleep and didn’t show hospitality.
She was having pains due to pregnancy but Urdhvapada unaware of her difficulties got angry. He thought that she didn’t bother to wake up and hence, cursed her. The curse caused a lot of pain and she thought she would lose the child.
So, she prayed to Goddess Parvathi to help her. Goddess Parvati took the avatar of Garbarakshambigai and appeared before Vedhika. She protected the child in herwomb by holding it in a “kalasam ” – divine pot. When Vedhika cried as she was not able to feed the baby with her milk, a sacred cow came in front of the temple and made a lake of sacred milk.
Vedhika prayed to Goddess Garbarakshambigai to remain in the temple forever and bless all women with their difficulties.
The temple is spread over a wide expanse with huge towering Gopurams and a beautiful water tank in front of it. The main sanctum of this temple has the Shiva lingam and Goddess Garbharakshambika is situated to the left of the Shiva temple. It is believed that the Nandi at this temple is in Swayambhu vigraham (Self manifested).
What is the significance of Garbarakshambigai Temple?
The significance of Garbarakshambigai temple is that the Shiva Lingam in the sanctum is Swayambu, made up of ant hill mud. Therefore no water abhishekam is done for this idol. But, the Lingam is only pasted with Punugu. Devotees also believe that people with incurable diseases can offer “Punugu Chattam.”
Moreover, goddess Garbarakshambigai is the goddess of mercy to bless women with gift of childbirth and safe pregnancy. Hence, she is the supreme personality of Motherhood. Her beautiful idol is about 7 feet tall and has beautiful kanjeevaram sarees and exquisite jewellery.
What are the festivals celebrated at Garbarakshambigai Temple?
Some of the festivals celebrated at Garbaratchambigai temple are:
- Vaikasi Brahmotsavams: Vaikasi Brahmotsavam commenced in a grand manner at this temple. Amid Vedic chants and recitals of verses from scriptures, the priests perform the rituals in the temple. There are processions and large number of people participate in them.
- Navratri: Navarathri is celebrated for 10 days in the month Purattasi. Every year the beginning of summer and the beginning of winter are the times when devotees worship the divine power during Navratri. The most important Navratri in a year is the Sharadiya Navratra.
- Margazhi utsavam: Margazhi festival is celebrated at all temples in Tamil Nadu and India. Mainly the celebrations of this festival take place in all Vishnu temples and Shiva temples. Another importance of margazhi is that devotees read Tamil Holy Scriptures “Thiruppavai” and “Thiruvempavai” during this month.
- Panguni Uthiram: Panguni Uthiram is a day of importance to Hindus especially those who belong to Tamil nadu. It falls on the day the moon transits in the asterism of Uttara-phalguni. The day connotes the wedding of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva, Lord Muruga and Devasena and other celestial couples. According to Ramayana, it is also on this day that Sita married Rama.
- Thirukkarthigai: Tamil Nadu celebrates Karthigai Deepam as the traditional festival. This festival of lights involves lighting lights almost anywhere to put an end to darkness. People believe that the light will make people close with Lord Shiva on Karthigai Deepam. Lord Shiva will shed all his blessings during this special time of the year.
What are the Poojas and Rituals of Garbarakshambigai?
The poojas and rituals of Garbaratchambigai temple are:
- Women who come here to pray for pregnancy and childbirth just offer flowers and do archana for goddess.
- Virgins who fail to find suitable grooms for a long time should come to this Garbarakshambigai temple in person. They should wash the steps with a little ghee draw ‘Kolam’ and perform Archana to the Goddess.
- The childless couples offer ghee at the feet of the Goddess Garbarakshambigai. They should consume a little of the ghee as prasad at night daily for about 48 days and the woman will conceive.
- The women who are expecting deliveries should offer castor oil at the feet of Sri Garbarakshambigai. During labor pains, one should apply this oil on their abdomen and devotees believe that it removes all complications of deliveries.
- Kattalai Archanai takes place on the particular date of the stars and the temple sends prasadams on monthly basis. Pregnant women consume it during their pregnancy period.
- Women light up eleven lamps and pray for the safe delivery. On performing the Garbarakshambigai Homa, childless couples attain parenthood and pregnant women undergo safe delivery.
How to reach Garbarakshambigai Temple?
Here’s how to reach Garbarakshambigai temple:
- Air: The nearest airport is in Trichy.
- Rail: The nearest railway station is the Papanasam railway station.
- Road: Thirukarukavur is present on Thanjavur-Kumbakonam main road. Several buses ply between Papanasam and Saliyamangalam at 30 minutes interval.Papanasam is 25 kms from Thanjavur and then to Thirukarukavur 6 kms from Papanasam.
Where to stay near temple?
Some of the places where one can stay near Garbarakshambigai temple are:
- Hotel Simran Heritage Contact: Station Road, Moudhapara, Near Fafadih Chowk
- Hotel Pace Contact: 217, Pace City I, Sector 10A, Near Hero Honda Chowk
- Manyaa Hotels Contact: Khasra No. 500, Khandsa Chowk, Opposite Sector 10 A, Before Sector 37 Industrial Area
- Motel Melfort Contact: Raj Nagar, Near Delhi Jaipur Highway, Raj Nagar Mod
- Gautam Retreat Contact: M-200, South City I, Behind Unitech House
What are some temples nearby?
Some of the temples near Garbarakshambigai temple are:
- Brihadeeswarar Temple: Thanjavur Brihadeeswara temple is one of the most ancient temple, situated in the city of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, India. The complex that houses the main sanctum is popular as the ‘Periya Kovil’. Thanjavur had the distinction of specifically being a religious city with the temple in the centre.
- Gangaikonda Cholapuram: The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Shiva. The temple is famous for having the biggest Shivalingam, with a 4 meter Lingam in South India. The majestic entrance of the sanctum has beautiful image of Goddess Saraswathi.
- Darasuram Temple: Raja Raja Chola built this temple for Lord Siva, and it is either famous as Drasuram temple or Airavateswara Temple. The main mandapam of this temple is in the form of a chariot with horses. The steps are stones, which give different musical sounds when people tap them.
- Tirumanancheri Temple: This temple is quite famous among the devotees from the Hindu community who wish to find suitable life partners for marriage or in order to overcome. All times are auspicious since Lord Shiva and Parvathy are in a bliss here always. The shrine of Thirumananjeri is has close relation with legends that tell the story of Shiva’s marriage to Parvati.