The Navagraha Temple Index
Description: This Shivastalam is a well
known, well visited shrine with towering Gopurams; hailed as one of the 9 Navagraha
Stalams, sacred to Mars - Angarakan it is visited by thousands. It is located
in close proximity to Sirkazhi and Chidambaram. The Singaravelar - Subramanya shrine is also of
importance here. There are several literary works about this shrine. Ramalinga Adigalar
has sung its praises. Tiruvenkaadu is also
located near Vaideeswaran Koyil.
This temple is rich in legend and tradition. There are several works in Tamil
dedicated to this shrine. It was visited by Tirugnanasambandar, Appar. Arunagirinathar's
Tiruppugazh hymns also speak of the glory of this shrine. So do the hymns of saints
such as Kumaragurupara Swamigal and Ramalinga Adigalaar. Poems of Kaalamega Pulavar and
Padikkasu Tambiran also speak of the glories of this shrine.
Legends: Shiva is considered to be the Divine Healer Vaidyanathar.
His consort Thaiyalnaayaki is said to accompany him with a vessel containing medicinal
oil. There is also a shrine dedicated to Dhanwantari here. The prasadam offered at this
temple goes by the name Tiruchaandu Urundai and it is considered to be a panacea capable
of curing many ailments. It is made of ashes taken out of the homa kundam in front of the
Subramanya shrine. Rituals are performed where a mixture of earth and ashes from the
homakundam are shaped into pills and placed at the Thaiyalnayaki shrine and distributed.
Another prasadam offered here is sandal paste mixed with saffron again at the Murugan
shrine here. It is referred to as Nettirapidi Chandanam.
Offereings of salt and pepper are made in this shrine. Offerings of unrefined sugar are
placed in the temple tank Siddhamrita Theertham.
Rig Vedam (Irukku), Jatayu (Pull), Sambadi, the Surya
(Oor) and Skanda (Vel) are said to have worshipped Shiva here and
hence the name PullirukkuVelur..Rama Lakshmana
and the Saptarishis are also said to have worshipped Shiva here. It is
also believed that Rama performed the last rites to Jatayu here. The
nectar with which the Sidhas worshipped Shiva is said to have flown into the Sidhamrita
The Temple: This is a vast temple with several mandapams and gopurams.
The Navagrahams are in a single file as in Tiruvarur
and a few other places.
Deities: Vaidyanathaswamy and ThaiyalNayaki are the presiding deities
of this temple. The Selvamuthukkumaraswamy shrine
here is also considered to be of importance. There are Shivalingams said to have been
worshipped by Rama, Jatayu, Skanda, Surya and Angaraka.
Angaaraka: The Angaaraka shrine here is also of great
significance and is indeed unique to this temple. A bronze of image of Angaaraka
is housed in this shrine and is taken out in procession on a goat mount every Tuesday.
Angaaraka represents the planet Mars and is described as one with a
fiery red complexion attired in red and as the overlord of the zodiac
signs of Aries and Scorpia and as being the strongest in the zodiac
sign of Capricorn.
The Dharumapuram Adhinam has made several endowments to this temple.
Inscriptions from the period of Vikrama Chola (12th century CE), the Nayakas (16th
century CE) and the Mahrathas (18th century) are seen in this temple.
Worship: Six worship sercvices are offered each day. Kartikai is
celebrated in great splendour here. The final worship service (arthayama puja) is offered
to Skanda before being offered to Shiva.The annual Bhrahmotsavams are celebrated in the
months of Pankuni and Thai. Skanda Sashti is celebrated with grandeur