The Navagraha Temple Index
Description: This is a vast temple known
for its shrine to Aghoramurthy and to Mercury - Budhan; one of the 9 Navagraha stalams.
Also known as Aadi Chidambaram, Natarajar's dance here is known as Hasti Natanam.
Tiruvenkadu is considered to be on par with Benares and is located on the road
linking Sirkazhi & Poompuhaar. Nearby
Shivastalams include Keezhtirukkattuppalli, Tiruvalampuram, Tiruchaaikaadu,
Pallavaneeswaram and Tirukkalikkaamur.
Legends: Indra, Airavatam, Budhan, Surya and Chandra are said to have
worshipped here.A sage by name Swetaketu is said to have been saved from the clutches of
death by the grace of Shiva here , in a legend similar to that of Markandeya at
Tirukkadavur. Meikkandaar the author of Sivagnanabodham is said to have been born by the
grace of Swetaranyeswarar & there is a shrine to him on the banks of the Agni
Theertham. It is also believed that Shiva took the fierce Aghoramurthy form, to vanquish
the demon Maruttuvan, to whom he had given his Shoolam - which he had misused.
The Temple: There are several shrines of significance in this well
visited temple , including those to Durga and Kali. The image of Natarajar here is
of great beauty.Worship to Aghoramurthy - Shiva's fiery form (Veerabhadrar) is said to be
of significance on Sunday nights. The Aalamaram here is referred to as Akshayavadam
(infinite one, indestructible banyan tree). Special worship services are offered to
Natarajar and the associated Spatikalingam, as in Chidambaram.
The Soma Theertham and The Surya Theertham created by the Sun & the moon are of
great significance here. It is believed that the Somakundam & Suryakundam referred to
in Silappatikaaram refer to these tanks. Vilvam & Konrai are the other stala vrikshams
.Inscriptions from the time of Aditya Chola I (870-907), Raja Raja I (10th - 11th
cent) & his descendants speaking of endowments made by the Chola rulers to this
temple are found here. Vikrama Cholan built the Vikramacholan Tirumandapam
(1118-1135). The present structure of the temple as well as the beautiful bronze
images in this temple are a contribution of the Great Chola emperor Raja Raja Chola I.
Some of these bronzes were recovered in treasure troves unearthed here. The
Ardhanareeswarar and Chandeswarar bronzes are now housed in the Chennai Museum. Natarajar,
Somaskandar, Devi, Bhoga Sakthi are housed in the temple, while images of Subramanyar,
Rishabhavahanadevar, Bhikshatanar, Kalyanasundarar Kannappar and others are housed in the
Thanjavur Art Gallery.