Sunday, March 6, 2016

Kailasnathar Temple, Thingalur, Thanjavur

Kailasanathar Temple, Thingalur, Thanjavur
Kailasanathar Temple is a Hindu temple in the village of Thingalur, 18 Kms from Kumbakonam. The presiding deity is Soma (moon). However, the main idol in the temple is that of "Kailasanathar" or Shiva. Thingal means moon. Monday is special day for worship. The main deities here are Kailasanathar (Lord Shiva) and Periyanayagi (Goddess Parvati). It is here that Chandran prayed to Lord Siva and got his blessings. Chandran is the Lord of Kadaga Rasi and he faces the South-East direction.

Thingalur Kailasanathar temple is noted for the importance of first rice feeding of the infant child known as Anna Prasanam. Kailasanathar Temple is considered as one of the Navagraha temples dedicated to Moon god. Navagraha temples are the nine temples dedicated to Navagrahas (nine planets or nine celestial bodies).

The Navagrahas are believed to be the transmitters of Universal, quintessential energy or power. The Navagrahas are closely associated with the fixed stars in the Zodiac. Each Navagraha temples are located at different places in and around Kumbakonam sector. The Navagraha temples are considered to be the best destination to get rid of from the influence of planets.

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 Suryanar temple.

The Navagraha Temples are:
·        Suryanar Temple – Surya (Sun)
·        Agneeswarar Temple – Shukra (Venus)
·        Kailasanathar Temple – Chandra (Moon)
·        Vaitheeswaran Temple – Mangala (Mars)
·        Tirunageswaram Nageswarar Temple – Rahu
·        Thirunallar Dharbaranyeswarar Temple – Sani (Saturn)
·        Keezhperumpallam Naganathaswami Temple – Kethu
·        Abathsahayeswarar Temple – Guru (Jupiter)
·        Thiruvenkadu Swetharanyeswarar Temple – Budha (Mercury)
Kailasanathar Temple is built in a Dravidian style of architecture and has a five-tiered Rajagopuram (temple tower) with two precincts.

Restoring Appoodi Adigal Son’s Life:
Legend has it that there lived a merchant Appoodi Adigal, a nayanar in the village of Thingalur who was a devotee of lord Shiva. Appoodi Adigal held Appar in high regards and wanted to host him. The day arrived, but his son was killed by a venomous snake bite while the saint was being hosted. Appar, moved by Appoodi Adikal's devotion is said to have miraculously restored the lad to life.

Thingalur is a place that is closely associated with the life and times of a Shiva devotee of rarest of the rare nature named Appoodi Adigal.  Adigal is a suffix used in the names of renowned religious leaders and ascetics.  Appoodi Adigal belongs to this category of leaders as a role model teaching the greatness of Guru. 

He did not perform penance.  He did not worship even Lord Shiva.  He had in his mind only the great Shiva devotee Sage Tirunavukkarasar.  For him everything was Tirunavukkarasar alone.  He named his eldest son Senior Tinavukkarasu, younger son Junior Tirunavukkarasar and every charity institution he established was named after the sage.  In his decisive opinion, serving a devotee means serving God, a truth approved by God Himself.

Appoodi Adigal and members of his family have special respect in the temple with their statues installed.  Once when Adikal’s son was bitten by a snake, Tirunavukkarasar brought the boy back to life with his “Ondru Kolam” Thevaram. Celebrated poet Sekkizhar tells the story of Appoodi Adigal in 46 verses in Peria Puranam.

Waxing & Waning of Moon due to Rahu & Ketu:
The Devas and asuras were churning the Paarkadal using Mandhira Malai and the snake Vasuki. The asuras held the head portion of the snake and the Devas, the tail portion. When Lord Vishnu was distributing the Amrutham amongst the Devas, at the behest of Shukracharya, one of the asuras in the guise of a deva consumed the nectar.

Suryan and Chandran noticed this and complained to Lord Vishnu.  An angry Vishnu used his chakrayudham (discus) to cut the Asura into two and threw them away. The head joined with a snake’s body to become Rahu Bhagavan. The body portion kept growing because the Asura had consumed Amrutham.  This later joined with the head of a snake and became Kethu Bhagavan.

Now, Rahu and Kethu did not forgive Suryan and Chandran.  Rahu went after Chandran and started consuming him.  It is here that Chandran prayed to Lord Siva and got his blessings. Shiva blessed Chandran with the power to grow back to full size in 15 days after being consumed by Rahu.  That is why we have the waxing and waning moon.  Shiva also blessed Chandran by adorning Chandran on his forehead so that anyone who prays Shiva will have to pray Chandran.

Waxing & Waning of Moon due to Dakshan’s Curse:
Another story for waxing and waning period of Chandran is, King Dakshan gave all his 27 daughters in marriage to Chandran. Those 27 wives of Chandran are the 27 stars in Tamil Calendar. As Chandran’s favourite was Rohini and he spent most of his time with her, the others complained about this to their father. King Dakshan asked Chandran to treat all of them equally, which Chandran refused.

An angry Dakshan cursed Chandran that all his beauty and brightness will disappear slowly every day. A worried Chandran, on the advice of Lord Brahma, then performed penance on Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva appeared before him and adorned his forehead with the crescent-shaped Chandran. Shiva then came to be known as Chandrasekaran also.  He blessed Chandran to regain his beauty and brightness slowly day by day.  This waxing period of the moon is called Sukla Paksham or Valarpirai.  

Chandran gets back all his beauty and attains full brightness on Full moon day or Pournami.  From Pournami to the full moon day he again starts losing his beauty and brightness till the New moon day or Ammavasai.  This waning period of the moon is called Krishna Paksham or Theipirai.

Thingalur is the sthalam for Chandran. Thingal in Tamil means Chandran and hence the name Thingalur. Chandran is the Lord of Kadaga Rasi and he faces the South-East direction. The Adi Devatha is water; Prathyathi Devatha is Gowri; his colour is white and his vahana is white horse. The grain associated with him is paddy, rice; the flower – white Arali; fabric – white cloth; gem – pearl; rice - Curd rice.

Built in the 7th century by Pallava King Rajasimha, this ancient Shaivite shrine reflects the early Dravidian architecture. A unique feature of Thingalur Temple is that during the months of Puratasi (September - October) and Panguni (March - April) on the full moon day (Pournami), the day before and on the succeeding day (3 days), the rays of the rising moon will fall on Lord Siva .This rare phenomenon occurs only in Thingalur and not anywhere else.

Greatness of Temple
Villagers commence the rice feeding of their infant children in the temples of their family deities. The affluent do this in the Guruvaayurappan temple.  In Tamilnadu Thingalur Kailasanathar temple is noted for this ritual. This function is celebrated by people on Ashwini, Mrigashirsha, Uthiram, Swathi, Thiruvonam, Sadayam and Revathy star days during the Chandra Hora time ( Horas are specific times each day showing good and bad times – Chandra Hora is one of the best time in the day).  

Before feeding the child with rice (Annaprasana) the child is shown the moon and a cow, thus bringing the blessings of Jaladevadha (water God) and Oushadhi Devadha (God of medicines).  It is believed that Jaladevadha would protect the child from cold, fever etc. and even if it so happens it would be cured by the Oushadhi Devatha.

It should be understood that showing the moon to the child while feeding is not simply to make the child cheerful and eat but there is a spiritual aspect too.
The Temple
The temple has a 5-tier Rajagopuram surrounded by two prakaram (closed precincts of a temple). The place is revered by the verses of Appar, but since there is no mention about the deity, it is not classified as Paadal Petra Stalam. The presiding deity of Kailasanathar Temple is Lord Kailasanathar (Lord Shiva), in the form of a Lingam, an infinite nature of Lord Shiva.

The Thayaar of Kailasanathar Temple is Goddess Periya Nayaki Amman. The Moon god is located in a separate shrine in Kailasanathar Temple. The other deities of the temple are Lord Ganesha, Lord Subramanya Swami, Lord Dakshinamurthy, Lord Chandikeswarar, Bhairavar and Goddess Gajalakshmi. Entrance into the temple is direct the Southern gate of the Kailasanathar temple located at the eastern end of tiny hamlet at Thingalur. Devotees are blessed with the vision of Holy Mother Periya Nayaki Amman whose gracious demeanor drives away all grief and sadness that lie in our heart.

The temple is at the eastern side of the village Thingalur. This temple has dedicated to Lord Shiva. The sanctum looks to the east. Holy Mother looks south. There are two blunt towers at the east and south entries of the temple. Chandra Theertham and the Cauvery River are sacred theertham of this temple. Plantain and Vilwa trees are the holy trees of the temple. The Navagraha Chandran and Sooriyan were worshiped here. Saint Gautama, Apputhiadigal and Sekkizhar were also worshipped here. Pearl is the gemstone of the Chandra Bhagavan.
In this temple there is a single sanctum of Chandran through which a handsome canopy has been built. There is also a huge hall where devotees who see the temple for propitiating Chandran can sit and have darshan of this providential divinity.

An open courtyard and the pond Chandra theertham are against the eastern entrance of the temple. To the left of the sanctum of Lord Kailasanathar is the sanctum of Sooriyan and the kitchen where the Lords food is cooked. In the sanctum is the glorious linga of Kailasanatha, whose blessing manifested in the spirits of the saints Appar and Apputhiadigal. The smiling countenance of his consort, Divine Mother Periyanayaki Amman, is a sight which can inspire tears of bliss in the heart of humble devotee.
In the front hall, Apputhiadigal and his wife with his sons elder Thirunavukarasar and the younger, stand with children facing sage Appar who looks to the west. There is also a holy place for Lord Dakshinamoorthy (GURU) who poses in the yogic posture or padmasana. A separate canopy covers this lord of wisdom. Southwest of the hall is Pillaiyar and Lord Murugan with his consorts Valli and Deivanai in the middle. In the North West niche of the hall in the shrine for Gajalakshmi, Mother Durga, Sandikeswarar and the holy Vilwa tree are at the Northern part. Meeting with the east walls, the Navagrahas are worshipped in a canopy latterly constructed.
Kailasanathar Swamy temple is one of the nine Navagraha sthalas located in the Cauvery Delta region dedicated to planet Moon, called Thingal in Tamil language. There is a separate shrine for Lord Moon.
Temple Opening Time
The temple remains open from morning 06.00 AM to 01.00 PM and in the evening from 04.00 PM to 08.00 PM.
Dosham to mother, mental retardation, skin and nerve problems, jaundice, and fluid accumulation are the diseases caused because of Chandra dosham. By praying to Lord Chandran, the above afflictions can be overcome. Wealth, mother’s/wife’s happiness, Govt’s help, ownership of vehicle, marriage, offspring’s, prosperity, and foreign travel will be bestowed on his devotees.
People pray for removal of obstacles in marriage talks, for child boon and progress in education. Devotees contribute for temple renovation and maintenance, perform abishek and offer vastras to Lord and Mother.
The special offerings offered to moon god are Oleander flowers, cloths of white color, and raw rice mixed with jiggery and paddy.
·        Pournami Festival – March or April
·        Mahasivarathri Festival – February or March
·        Margazhi Tiruvadhirai Festival – December or January
·        Panguni Uthiram Festival – March or April
·        Tirukarthikai Festival – November or December
Sri Kailasanathar Temple,
Thingalur, Thanjavur
Phone: +91-4362-262 499, 9344589244, 9443586453
Thingalur is 4 km from Tiruvaiyaru on the Kumbakonam road. It is located at a distance of 18 Kms from Thanjavur. Buses available from Kumbakonam can be reached in 50 minutes of time (35km).
The nearest railway station to Thingalur Kailasanathar Temple is Ariyalur Railway station which is 29 Km from the temple.
Nearest Major Railway Station is located at Thanjavur (18Kms) & Kumbakonam (35 Kms) & Nearest Airport is located at Trichy.

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