Tirunokkia Azhagianathar Temple, Tirupachethi, Sivaganga
Tirunokkia Azhagianathar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva located at Tirupachethi in Sivaganga District of Tamilnadu. Presiding deity is called as Tirunokkia Azhagianathar and Mother is called as Marunokkum Poonguzhali. Thala Vriksham is Paarijaatham. Theertham is called as Lakshmi Theertham.
Lord Shiva with an eye on the forehead is noted for his devastating fury. Though Manmatha (Cupid) played with him for a good cause was burnt by him. As the universe could not bear his anger, Brahamma collected Shiva’s anger in the form of fire and hid it under the ocean. Agni was born as a child in the ocean who was named Jalandiran by Brahamma. He grew and began to harass Devas and the Rishis. They approached Vishnu for protection.
Lord Vishnu understood that Jalandiran’s strength was in the fidelity of his wife Brinda (meaning Tulsi) and planned to destroy the trait. Lord Vishnu went to Brinda in the guise of Jalandiran. She understood the trick and fell on the fire to end herself. After the death of Brinda, Jalandiran lost his strength. He was defeated by Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva made a circle on earth and asked Jalandiran to lift it. When he did, it became a discus and destroyed him. Lord Vishnu mixed himself in the ashes of Brinda.
Vaikunda the abode of Lord Vishnu became dark. Mahalakshmi was sad. Parvathi came to Mahalakshmi and advised her to perform penance on Shiva with Shiva Theertha to get back Lord Vishnu her husband. Mahalakshmi followed this rigidly for a Mandalam (48 days) when Lord Shiva appeared before them. They went to Vegavathi River (now Vaigai) and worshipped Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva gave them some seeds to be sowed on Brinda’s ashes from which Tulsi appeared. Lord Vishnu worshipped Lord Shiva with the leaves and also made a garland and wore it himself. This happened on a Monday-Somawar. Since then, pujas to Lord Shiva in this temple is performed with Tulsi leaves.
Lord Nataraja, King of music and dance graces in the temple in the form of a musical stone. Somawar (Mondays) pujas to Lord Shiva is performed with Tulsi leaves against the established tradition of using Vilwa leaves. The antiquity of the temple dates back to 1300 years. It is believed that worship in the temple would bring all prosperity to the devotee.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 7.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Mahasivarathri in February-March and Margazhi Tiruvadhirai in December-January are the important festivals celebrated in the temple.
Couples separated due to difference of opinions pray here for reunion. Emperor Nala, separated from his queen Damayanthi was able to get her back after worshipping Azhagiya Manavalar. Mahalakshmi performed penance here. Youngsters praying here are united in happy wed lock. Child boon is ensured. Those facing adverse aspects of planet Saturn and other bad circumstance and affected by Brahmmahathi dosha (sin of committing a murder) pray here for relief. Realizing their wishes, devotees perform abishek to Lord and also contribute what they could for temple maintenance and arrange poor feeding.
Sri Tirunokkia Azhagianathar Temple,
Tirupachethi, Sivaganga District
Phone: +91 4574266 303, 266 495
Tirupachethi is 34 km from Madurai on the Rameswaram road. Buses from Madurai to Manamadurai, Paramakudi, Ramanathapuram, and Rameswaram pass through Tirupacheti. The temple is very near the bus stand. Nearest Railway Station and Airport is located at Madurai.