Tirunageswaram (Rahu) – Sri Nageswarar temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Nageswarar temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Nageswarar, Naganathar

Ambal: Piraiani Vanudhalal , Girija Gujambikai

Sthala Theertham: Surya theertham

Sthala Virksham: Shenbagam

Devaram: Tirugnanasambandar

Sthalapuranam:

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. This is commonly called as eclipse.

Legend has it that the mythological serpents Aadi Seshan, Dakshan and Kaarkotakan worshipped Shiva here. Legend also has it that Nala worshipped Shiva here as in Gowtama muni, Paraasarar and Bhageerata are also associated with legends related to this temple.The king of the nagas, Rahu prayed to Lord Siva and hence this place got the name Thirunageswaram. Here Rahu Bhagavan has manifested with both his consorts. At this sthala, the colour of milk changes from white to blue during Abhishekam.  Sri Naganathaswamy Temple or Rahu Sthalam is one of the 9 Navagraha Temples around Kumbakonam [Thirunageswaram] and is dedicated to Rahu . The Presiding Deity is Lord Naganathaswamy. There are two Shrines for the Goddess; Piraiyanivanudalumai’s Shrine is adjacent to Naganathaswamy’s shrine and GiriGujambika with Lakshmi and Saraswathy by Her side has a separate temple. Rahu Bhagavan is seen with his two consorts Nagavalli and Nagakanni. Sri Naganathaswamy Temple is one where Lord Shiva was worshipped by Rahu and got relieved of a curse.

A unique feature of Naganatha Swamy temple is that Rahu Bhagavan is seen with human face. Usually in other places, Rahu Bhagavan is seen with 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. Nandi after worshipping Shiva attained the status as Nandeeswaran here. Vinayakar attained the status of Head of Ganas or Ganapathi. Indira, the King of Devas was relieved of bad smell emanating from his body by worshiping Goddess Girigujambal with Punugu.

On entering the Eastern gate way, one can find the Vinayaga temple, Balipeedam, Nandeeswarar Mandapam and Dhwaja Sthambam (Flag post). On the southern side there is the temple tank. On entering the main gopuram, the Deity of Rahu Bhagavan is in the south West corner of the praharam. Astrologers suggest that doing Milk abisekam (especially on Sundays) here for Rahu during Rahu kalam (period of 1and 1/2 hours occurring every day ) the malefic effects of Rahu like marriage obstacles, lack of progeny, troubled marital life, Kalasarpa Dhosham, Kalasthra Dhosha , Sarpa Dhosha are all neutralized. During this milk abhishegam, the milk turns blue. Offering of blue cloth and ulutham paruppu (urad dal) is made here. Mantharai flower is considered special to him.

Tirunageswaram Rahu Temple is on the Kumbakonam – Karaikal bus route and is just 7 km from Kumbakonam.Route:

Temple Timings:

6:00 AM to 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

Temple Telephone Number:

0435 2463354,+91- 435-246 3354, 94434 – 89839

Temple Address:

Sri Naganatha Swamy Temple,

Thirunageswaram – 612 204,

Kumbakonam Taluk,

Thanjavur District.

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