Name of the Temple

Sri Naganathar temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Naganathar

Ambal: Soundaryanayaki

Sthala Theertham: Naga theertham

Sthala Virksham: Bamboo

Sthalapuranam:

This is an ancient Saivite shrine where legend has it that Kethu, one of the 9 celestial bodies central to astrological beliefs worshipped Shiva. Keezhperumpallam, is an ancient Shaivite temple and legend has it that Kethu, the other planetary node of the nine celestial bodies worshipped Shiva here. Rahu and Kethu are associated with legend of the serpent that helped Lord Shiva churn the milky ocean. There is a Shrine dedicated to Kethu in this temple. Ketu brings prosperity to the devotee’s family. He grants good health, wealth, cattle and all round prosperity. He is ruled by Lord Ganesha and Indra. . Those who are affected by Kethu dosha come here for rectification.

This place is also called Vanagiri. Kethu prayed to Naaganaadhaswami and was blessed and rid of his sins by Lord Siva. It is rare to find Kethu with his head. At this sthala, he can be seen worshipping Naaganaadhaswami with his folded hands held high. 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, because the asura had consumed amirtham, his head and body continued to live. The head portion of the asura attached itself to a snake body to become Rahu Bhagavan. The body portion that was thrown away fell in Pothigai mountain region. This was found and preserved by a Brahmin. The head of a snake got attached to the asura body to become Kethu.

Pujas are performed to planet Kethu at Rahukalas and Yemakanda Kala times.  90 minutes each day is covered by these times.  There will be 16 types of abishek and homas with a nivedhana made of gram powder, salt and pepper in rice.  Vastras are offered in different colours.  They light lamps with gingely oil.  The nivedhana should be distributed in the temple to visitors and should not be taken home.  This Prasad is prepared in the temple itself for a fee of Rs. 75/=.  Kethu worship is followed on Mondays and birth star days.  The fee for abishek is Rs. 350 and for Homas Rs. 3,500 for individual pujas.  People pray to planet Kethu for general family welfare and prosperity, success in litigations, progress in trade, avoidance of accidents, freedom from fear of death etc. Vasuki (the serpent used as rope to churn the milk ocean) festival is celebrated in Panguni (March-April).  On the 3rd day of the festival, the event of Lord Shiva granting Darshan to Kethu is celebrated.  Planet Kethu comes in procession on this day and on the Rahu-Kethu transition days.

On the Rahu-Kethu transition day, a special Homa is organized by the Archakas-priests-of the temple.  There is no fee for participating in the puja.  According to numerology, No. 7 belongs to Kethu.  !6 types (1+6=7) of pujas are performed chanting 7 lakh mantras.  Preparations made of Kollu and sweet balls made of this grain, porridge, vada, choornam, rice, pudding-pongal – all made with kollu are offered in the Homa Fire.  Devotees offer 16 types of Dhans (alms) to Brahmins. Feeding also is organized to 7000 devotees this day.  Devotees offer all the things needed for this occasion to the temple in advance.

There is no Navagraha shrine in the temple as Kethu has all the prominence. However, there are two Sun idols and a Saturn idol in the temple.  Pujas are performed to one Sun during the Utharayayana Punyakala covering January-February to June-July and to the other Sun during the Dakshinayana Punyakala covering July-August to December-January.

Lord Anugraha Vinayaka graces in the temple from His separate shrine.  Planet Kethu with his serpent head and human body is facing west on his Simha (lion) seat with folded hands worshipping Lord Shiva.  He is the authority for wisdom.  He is a fearless planet doing all good for the devotees belonging to his Rasi.  People pray to planet Kethu for excellence in education and family prosperity.  Those facing some adverse aspects of this planet, pray first to Lord Naganatha and Kethu with red flowers, offering horsegram rice – Kollu sadham – as nivedhana and light seven deepas.

Shivrathri in February-March; Aipasi Annabishekam in October-November and Panguni Vasuki Utsav in March-April are the festivals celebrated in the temple.

Route:

The place is 22 km both from Sirkali and Mayiladuthurai. Transport facilities are available only during Rahu-Kethu transition days. It is not conveniently available during other days. Cabs can be hired from Mayiladuthurai.

Temple Timings:

6.00 a.m. to 12.30 a.m. and from 3.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.

Temple Telephone Number:

+91- 4364 275 222, 260 088, 260 424,94435 64642, 95004 16171

Temple Address:

Sri Naganathaswami Temple

Kilperumpallam,

Nagapattinam.