Sri Naganathaswamy Temple or Rahu Sthalam in Tamil Nadu is one of the 9 Navagraha Temples and is dedicated to Rahu. The Presiding Deity is Lord Naganathaswamy. Shrine is adjacent to Naganathaswamy’s shrine and GiriGujambika with Lakshmi and Saraswathy by her side has a separate temple.
What is the history of Thirunageswaram?
According to the history of Thirunageswaram, the serpents Aadi Seshan, Dakshan and Kaarkotakan worshipped Shiva here. Also, Nala worshipped Shiva here as in Gowtama muni, Paraasarar and Bhageerata also associate with legends that relate this temple. Rahu prayed to Shiva and hence this place got the name Thirunageswaram.
Here Rahu Bhagavan has manifested with both his consorts.
King Sambumali who had incurred the wrath of sage Kaalangiri, attained moksha after bathing in the temple tank and praying to the Lord and Ambal of this temple. Then the devas and asuras churned the Paarkadal to obtain amirtham that would free them from death, keeping them alive for ever.
When the amirtham emerged, Lord Vishnu in the guise of Mohini was distributing the amirtham only to the devas. He was worried that the evil deeds of the asuras will increase multifold if they consumed amirtham. Realising this, one of the asuras with the help of the asura guru Sukrachariyar, took the form of a deva and consumed the nectar. Suryan and Chandran who noticed this, complained to Lord Narayana.
In anger, Lord Narayana hit the asura on the head with the spoon in his hand. The head was cut off and fell on the ground. But because the asura had consumed amirtham, his head and body continued to live. The body of a snake got attached to the head to become Rahu Bhagavan. Rahu prayed to Lord Vishnu (Narayana) and got the position of a Sayagraham. Rahu takes his revenge on Suryan and Chandran, whenever he gets a chance by devouring them. People commonly call this as eclipse.
What is the significance of Thirunageswaram Temple?
Here’s the significance of Thirunageswaram Temple:
- A unique feature of Naganatha Swamy temple is that Rahu Bhagavan has human face. Usually in other places, Rahu Bhagavan has a serpent face. Here Rahu Bhagavan is present with his two consorts Nagavalli and Nagakanni. This was originally a forest of Senbaka trees. A Shivalingam was found under one of these trees here and hence He came to be known as Shenbagarane Eswara.
- On entering the Eastern gate way, one can find the Vinayaga temple, Balipeedam, Nandeeswarar Mandapam and Dhwaja Sthambam (Flag post). Also, On the southern side there is the temple tank. Further, On entering the main gopuram, the Deity of Rahu Bhagavan is in the south West corner of the praharam
- Rahu is the source of plenty. Kalathra dosham, puthira dosham, communicable diseases, mental disorders, leprosy, fall in grace are caused by Rahu dosham. Praying to Rahu at this sthala helps to rid a person from these factors and also saves the person from all poisonous life forms. Trips to holy places, Gnanamarkam are his beneficial aspects.
- Also, Lord Pambureswarar in the lingam form blesses in the sanctum sanctorum. The ‘utsavar’ form of Adhisesha is in the worshipping posture in the sanctum sanctorum. There is also a most encompassing the sannadhi, with three sides of the moat covered by the mandapam
What are the timings of Thirunageswaram Temple Temple?
Here are the timings of Thirunageswaram Temple:
|Morning Darshan||6 AM||9 AM|
|Evening Darshan||1 PM||5 PM|
|Ushakkala Pooja||6 AM|
|Kalasandhi Pooja||9 AM|
|Uchikkala Pooja||1 PM|
|Sayaratchai Pooja||5 PM|
|Irandam Kala Pooja||7 PM|
|Arthajama Pooja||9 PM|
What are the festivals celebrated at the Thirunageswaram Temple?
Some of the festivals celebrated at Thirunageswaram Temple are:
Chithirai Brahmmotsavam: Chithirai Brahmotsavam is the celestial celebration of Devi Meenakshi’s divine marriage with Lord Sundareshwara. Also, Therottam or Car Festival occurs on the 11th day of the festival. Moreover, Kumkumarchana is the offering of personal puja in your name in which there is chanting of different names of Devi Meenakshi along with the offering of Kumkum – vermillion. Women also offer Kumkumarchana for receiving special blessings for fulfilling their wishes.
Thai Poosa star float festival: Float festival occurs on the Full Moon Day of the Tamil month of Thai (come in between mid Jan- mid Feb) every year. On the festive night, devotees decorate the images of goddess Meenakshi as well asLord Sundareswara with ornaments and take them out in a colourful procession to the huge Mariamman Teppakulam. Also, the unique character of the Thai Pusam is the astonishing parade of people bearing kavadis.
Adipooram: The day of Aadi Pooram is also the day of Goddess Shakti as devotees believe that the Goddess herself comes to Earth in this auspicious day, to bless her devotees. In the temples, priests adorn Goddess Andal wiith silk saree, glittering jewelleries and garlands. There is also an elaborate feast to the Goddess in which every household in the community contributes.
Masi Magam: The festival falls in the Tamil Month of Masi (February – March). In this festival various traditional customs take place like bringing the deities from the neighboring temples around Karaikal. Also, many devotees come to take holy dip in the sea to cleanse all the sins. The most significant deity is Sowriraja Perumal of Thirukannapuram.
What are the poojas and Rituals of Thirunageswaram ?
The poojas are rituals of Thirunageswaram are:
- Sundays are very auspicious and devotees perform milk abhishekam for Rahu. A noteworthy feature is that the milk turns blue. A dip in Soola Theertha cures one of diseases and gives prosperity.
- Five kala poojas take place everyday. Special Abhisekas also take place between 4.30 to 6 PM (Raaghu Kala) on all Sundays.
- Astrologers suggest that doing Milk abhishekam (especially on Sundays) here for Rahu during Rahu kalam (period of 1 and 1/2 hours occurring every day ) neutralizes the malefic effects of Rahu like marriage obstacles, lack of progeny, troubled marital life, Kalasarpa Dhosham, Kalasthra Dhosha , Sarpa Dhosha. During this milk abhishekam, the milk turns blue. Devotees also make the offering of blue cloth and ulutham paruppu (urad dal) here. Mantharai flower is special to him.
How to reach Thirunageswaram Temple?
Here’s how to reach Thirunageswaram Temple:
- Air: The nearest airport to Naganathaswamy Temple is Tiruchirapalli International Airport.
- Train: Thanjavur railway junction has three rail heads leading to Tiruchirapalli, Kumbakonam and Thiruvarur.
- Road: Buses Available from Kumbakonam (8kms), 10mins of travel form Kumbakonam, buses also available from Tanjore and major towns such as Trichy, Madurai.
Where to stay in Thirunageswaram?
Some of the places wehre one can stay in Thirunageswaram are:
- Hotel Kanakabhishegam Contact: No. 6, Sannathi Street, Thirukkadaiyur, Tamil Nadu 609311
- Mookambigai Residency Hotel Contact: Thirukadaiyur Main Road, Thirukadaiyur, Tamil Nadu 609311
- Hotel Chella Residency Contact: Thirukadaiyur, Tamil Nadu 609311
Where to eat in Thirunageswaram?
Some of the places where one can eat in Thirunageswaram are:
- Krishna Bhavan Veg Hotel Contact: Thirukadaiyur, Tamil Nadu 609311
- Majnu Restaurant Contact: Thirunagari – Mangaimadam Rd, Mangaimadam, Tamil Nadu 609106
- Annapoorani Contact: Tiruvengadu – Poompuhar Rd, Manigramam, Tamil Nadu 609107
What are some temples near Thirunageswaram temple?
Some temples near Thirunageswaram temple are:
Brihadeeswarar Temple: Thanjavur Peruvudaiyar Kovil also popular as Brihadeeswara Temple and Raja Rajeswara Temple which was achieved by Rajaraja Chola I (985 -1012 AD) in Tamil architecture. Also, his big Hindu temple is for Lord Siva. The main deity of Brihadeeswara Temple is lord Shiva (Lord Brihadeeswara), and has three eyes.
Thirunallar Temple: Sri Darbaraneswarar Temple is the abode of Lord Shani(Lord Saturn). The Temple is also most famous to Lord Shaneeswarar (Saneeswaran in Tamil), one of the 9 Navagrahas(Nine Planets). Various poojas are also offered to Lord Saneeswara(Shani) Bhagawan every day. Moreover, the other deities of the shrine are Swarna Vinayaka, Lord Subramaneswara Swamy and Thyagarajar.