Shri Theerthagirishwarar Temple is one of the ancient temples constructed by Chola and Vijayanagara kings at Theerthamalai. The site lies in the Harur taluk of Dharmapuri and is situated at the top of a hillock. The temple is frequented by pilgrims and tourists during celebrations of Mahasivarathri, when the temple is beautifully decorated for the festival. Several processions are also hosted on this day in the temple.
Theerthamalai is an important sacred place in Harur taluk of Dharmapuri district located in Tamil Nadu, India. The name Theerthamalai in Tamil it means Hill with Holy Water. Theerthamalai is a village situated about 16 km north-east of Harur. Theerthagirishwarar temple is located at the top of a hillock. The temple situated about one km up the steep slope of a hillock derives its name from the five springs in the temple. Lord Theerthagireeswar (Lord Shiva) is the worshipping deity.
This pilgrim and picnic centre becoming very popular with the public. Lord Theerthagireeswar (Lord Shiva) is the worshipping deity. According to the legend it was here that Lord Rama worshipped Lord Shiva to absolve himself of the sin of having killed several demons in the war against Ravana. Hence there is belief that a holy dip in the waters of this spring will wipe out the sins committed by the people.
It is located 60Kms from Dharmapuri on the way to Thiruvannamalai via Haroor.
Deity: Theerthagirieeswarar and Arulmozhi Vadivambigai
Theerthagirishwarar was built in 7th century and many contributions were made by the Chola and Pandya Kings. Several Inscriptions can be found in the Theerthagirishwarar Temple. In the inscriptions on this temple says Chola emperors had regularly visited this temple including Rajendra Cholan. Poet Saint Arunagirinathar referred to the Temple of Theerthagirieeswarar in his compositions.
Several Inscriptions can be found in the Theerthagirishwarar Temple. They relate to the Vijayanagar and Chola rulers. There is one inscription in ancient Telugu and Kannada. Poet Saint Arunagirinathar referred to the Temple of Theerthagirieeswarar in his compositions. The Mandapam near the sanctum sanctorum is supposed to be built by Sila Naicken. He is said to have maintained a well-fortified garrison at the top of the hill from where a commanding view of the surroundings can be on all sides is available.
According to the legend, in order to worship to Lord Shiva, Rama sent Hanuman to fetch water from the River Ganga, but when Hanuman did not return at the appointed time for pooja, Rama unleashed an arrow onto the rocky slope of the hillock and water sprang forth, which today is called Rama Theertham. The tiny waterfall drops from a height of about 30 feet is perennial and during the summer as well as the rainy season the water falls on the bathing Ghat behind the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.
The other Theertham, all of which have their origin in different parts of the rocky surface, are the Agasthya Theertham, Agni Theertham. Kumara Theertham and the Gouri Theertham, besides these four Theerthams the Hanuman Theertham is situated about 16 km from the main temple on the banks of river South Pennar. This too is also closely associated with the temple. It is stated that when Hanuman returned with the water from the Ganga, he found that Rama had brought the Ganga water with his arrow. He then threw away in anger the vessel containing the Ganga water. This water fell onto the riverbank.
Hanuman Theertham also is a very holy place. During summer even when the river is dry there will be sweet water in the spring that flows from rock in the riverbed. The waters of the Theerthamalai are supposed to have medicinal values too. It may be mentioned that Theerthamalai has huge reserves of magnetite iron ore that can be utilized for the Salem Steel Plant.
There is another spring known as Vashista Theertham higher up in the hill. Close by are the wonderful granite pieces of Saptha kanyakas. The beauty of these sculptures is that they can be viewed only through a very narrow crevice in the rock. The nine-day annual festival at the Temple is in the month of March.
Lord Siddhi Vinayaka adores the temple. Vayu Theertham and Varuna Theertham are on the western side of the hill.
Indira Theertham is on the east. Hanuman and Yama Theerthams are on the north and south respectively. Vasishta Theertham is at the top of the hill. This is a divine hill surrounded by holy theerthas
According to Puranas, Kumara Theertham was created for abishek to Lord Muruga when He was crowned as the Supreme Commander of the forces of the Devas. Bathing here or at least spilling the drops blesses the devotee with knowledge and wisdom.
Gowri Theertham was created for Mother Ambica. She worshipped Lord with this Theertha and got His hand in wedding and became part of his body. Devotees worship Lord and Mother with this Theertha for happy wedding boons.
Agasthya Theertham is a blessing of Lord Shiva to cure the sage of ulcer troubles. It is said that the Theertha contains copper and herbal properties. Devotees consume the water and also use for cooking for relief from gastric problems. It also cures stomach pain.
Agni Theertham relieved Agni himself of the sins he earned due to passionate love of women. This balances the heat in the body and is a wonderful medicine for cold attacks, tuberculosis etc.
The antiquity of the temple dates far back to over 1000 years. Renovations were done in the year 1014 during the reign of Raja Raja Kulothunga Chola. Saint Arunagirinathar had sung the glory of the temple in his Thirupugazh hymns.
List of Theertham
Theertham means Holy water in Tamil language. All of which have their origin in different parts of the rocky surface, they are
· Agasthya Theertham in the Hill
· Ramar Theertham
· Agni Theertham
· Gowri Theertham
· Kumara Theertham
· Vasishta Theertham in the top of the Hill Cave
· Vayu Theertham, Harur
· Varuna Theerththam, Harur
· Indira Theerththam, Andiyur (Mondukuli)
· Yama Theertham, Veppampatty
· Anuman Theertham, Hanumantheerththam
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
People pray here for mental peace, relief from diseases, child boon and family prosperity and release from debt burdens. They believe that Lord and Mother hold the solution for all their problems. Those seeking child boon use to tie a cradle and also tie threads around the anthill. They also tie thread around the Pavalamalli tree for wedding boon. People also tie the thread around the anthill for relief from the adverse aspects of serpent planets. The wind carrying the smell of the herbal plants around the hill improves the health of the devotee while going up and coming down.
Tonsuring, ear boring are the main prayer commitments followed by devotees. They perform abishek to Lord with honey, oil, cosmetic powders, milk, curd, fruit juices, green coconut, panchamirtham, sandal, rose water and sacred ashes and rice flour. The affluent perform Swarnabishek – abishek with gold coins and also vastras to Lord and Mother. Annadhanam is undertaken by some.
The famous festivals of the temple are the 10 day Masi Brahmotsavam in February – March with procession of the presiding Lord, car festival on the 7th day, wedding festival on the 5th day and Sathaparana festival – Lord in reclining posture on the 10th day; Abishek pujas with 365 litres of milk on the Chithirai new year day falling mostly on April 14 or a day earlier or later occasionally, Navarathri in September–October and Aadi 18 July–August with special abishek at night followed by Girivalam – circumambulation of the hill. The devotee crowd in the temple is usually big on Saturdays and Sundays. Pradosha is devotionally observed. Also Tamil and English New Year Day are observed in the temple.
Sri Theertha Giriswarar Temple,
Phone: +91- 4346 -253599