Friday, March 18, 2016

Sri Naganathaswamy Temple (Rahu Stalam), Tirunageswaram, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur

Sri Naganathaswamy Temple (Rahu Stalam), Tirunageswaram, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur
Sri Naganathaswamy Temple (Rahu Stalam) is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva, located in Tirunageswaram, a village in the outskirts of Kumbakonam, a town in TamilnaduIndia. It is significant to the Hindu sect of Saivism as one of the temples associated with the nine planet elements, the Navagraha Stalas, and specifically Rahu.



Shiva is worshiped as Naganathar, and is represented by the lingam. His consort Parvati is depicted as Piraisoodi Amman. The presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the nayanars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam.




Sri Naganathaswamy Temple is located at Tirunageswaram, which is 7 km east of Kumbakonam on the Kumbakonam – Nannilam Road, in Thanjavur District, Tamilnadu, India. A unique feature of Naganatha Swamy temple is that Lord Rahu is seen with human face. While in other places, Lord Raaghu is worshipped with a serpent face. An important aspect of Rahu Temple at Thirunageshwaram is that during milk Abhishekam, the milk when poured over the idol, turns Blue which is clearly visible.



It houses four gateway towers known as gopurams. The temple has numerous shrines, with those of Naganathar, Rahu and Piraisoodi Amman being the most prominent. The temple complex houses many halls; the most notable is the ornamental entrance hall built during the Nayak period. The temple has six daily rituals at various times from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and twelve yearly festivals on its calendar.



Sri Naganathaswamy Temple or Rahu Sthalam is one of the 9 Navagraha temples located near Kumbakonam, Tamilnadu and is dedicated to Rahu. It is one of the 127 temples on the southern banks of river Cauvery and also one of the Panchakrosha Sthalas.



The Presiding Deity is Lord Naganathaswamy. There are two Shrines for the Goddess; Piraiyanivanudalumai’s Shrine is adjacent to Naganathaswamy’s shrine and Giri Gujambika with Lakshmi and Saraswathy by her side. Naganathaswamy Temple in Thirunageshwaram is designed and structured in such a way that it allows the sun rays inside the temple only in the month of Chithirai (April - May) and therefore it is called as Soorya Kottam.




And most of these Navagraha temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Shiva is worshipped as the main deity. The only Navagraha temple dedicated to Grahas (celestial bodies) is Suryanaar temple.



The Navagraha Temples are:
·        Suryanaar Temple – Surya (Sun)
·        Agneeswarar Temple – Shukra (Venus)
·        Kailasanathar Temple – Chandra (Moon)
·        Vaitheeswaran Temple – Mangala (Mars)
·        Tirunageswaram Nageswarar Temple – Rahu
·        Tirunallur Dharbaranyeswarar Temple – Sani (Saturn)
·        Keezhperumpallam Naganathaswamy Temple – Kethu
·        Abathsahayeswarar Temple – Guru (Jupiter)
·        Thiruvenkadu Swetharanyeswarar Temple – Budha (Mercury)
Legends
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History
The temple is another masterpiece which exhibits the Chola style of architecture. It is believed to have been built by Aditya Chola I in the 10th century A.D. Later rulers have modified the temple with their own additions. The temple has a separate shrine for Rahu.



The Chola King Kanadarathitya (950 AD-957 AD) changed it into a granite edifice. The inner Mantapa was built by Sekkizhar, as it was a favorite place to him. The wonderful halls of Naganathar Swamy temple are built by Govinda Dikshitar, the minister of three successive Nayaks of Thanjavur.



Govinda Dikshitar (17th century A.D.) a minister to Achuthappa Nayak constructed the outer Mantapam. Sambumali, a King built the beautiful Surya Pushkarani beautifully. The roof and other renovation work were done by Arimalazham Annamalai Chettiar.



Specialty
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Temple Architecture
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Temple Opening Time
·        Morning: 6 A.M. to 1 P.M.
·        Evening: 4 P.M. to 8.30 P.M.
Pooja Timings
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Worship & Religious Practises
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Religious Significance
The ablution of the image of Rahu during Rahukalam with milk turning to blue colour in this temple is considered to be a miracle and attracts devotees from distant places. There is a local belief that the worship during morning, afternoon and evening needs to be performed at the three Nageswaran temples namely Nageswaran Temple, Tirunageswaram and Thirupampuram respectively.
The temple is counted as one of the Navagraha Temples for planet Rahu. Thirugnana Sambandar, a 7th – century Tamil Saivite poet, venerated Naganathar in ten verses in Tevaram, compiled as the First Thirumurai. Appar, a contemporary of Sambandar, also venerated Shiva in 10 verses in Tevaram, compiled as the Fifth Thirumurai.
As the temple is revered in Tevaram, it is classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam, one of the 276 temples that find mention in the Saiva canon. The temple is one of the most visited temples in the district.
Festivals
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Prayers
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Contact
Sri Naganatha Swami Temple (Sri Raaghu Sthalam)
Thirunageshwaram, Kumbakonam Taluk,
Thanjavur District – 612 204
Phone: 0435-2463354
Connectivity
Tirunageswaram Rahu Temple is on the Kumbakonam – Karaikal bus route and is just 7 km from Kumbakonam. This place can be reached within half hour from Kumbakonam bus stand and frequent local buses are available.
By Road:
Buses Available from Kumbakonam (8kms), 10mins of travel form Kumbakonam, buses also available from Tanjore and major towns such as Trichy, Madurai.
The Kumbakonam town is connected with Chennai, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Ernakulam, Nagercoil, Tirupathi, Ooty and other major cities through regular bus services.
By Train:
Thirunageshwaram Railway Station or Tirunageswaram Railway Station, on the Mayiladuthurai – Kumbakonam rail route is the nearest railhead. Tambaram – Kumbakonam Fast Passenger & Kumbakonam – Mayiladuthurai Passenger passes through Tirunageswaram Railway Station.
Tiruvidaimarudur Railway Station or Tiruvidaimarudur Railway Station, on the Mayiladuthurai – Kumbakonam rail route, is another nearest railhead around 5 km from Thirunageshwaram.
Kumbakonam Railway Station, operated by Southern Railways, is the nearest major railway station to Thirunageshwaram. Tirupati – Tiruchirappalli Express, Chennai – Rameswaram Express (Sethu Express) are some of the long distance main trains passing through this Kumbakonam Railway Station.
By Air:
The nearest airport to Naganathaswamy Temple is Tiruchirapalli International Airport.

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