Friday, August 26, 2016

Sathyanatheswarar Temple (Karaivananathar Temple), Thirukalimedu, Kanchipuram – Legends

Sathyanatha Swamy Temple, Thirukalimedu – Legends

Birth of Planet Budha:

As per legend, Chandra (Moon) was learning under his Guru Jupiter. He developed a desire on Dhara, his Guru wife.  He once conducted a Yagna dedicated to Lord Vishnu seeking his grace.  Jupiter attended the Yagna with his wife Dhara as Moon’s Guru. Moon allured Dhara and made her stay with him.  Budha (Mercury) was born to Moon and Dhara. Jupiter prayed to Lord Shiva and took back Dhara. Budha was brought up by Chandra (Moon).  When he grew older, Budha was pained to learn the nature of his birth and performed penance. He came to this temple and begged Satyanatha Swami to give him a place among the planets.  Lord appeared before him and assured that he would get the place at an appropriate time. There is a shrine for Budha (Mercury) in the prakara, situated to the south of the Sanctum.


As per legend, Indra, the king of Devas, was attracted by the beauty of Ahalya, the wife of sage Gautama. He took the form of a rooster to wake the sage early in the day. The sage started his day by going to the river, leaving Ahalya alone in the house. Indra entered the house to attain Ahalya, but the sage sensed something was wrong in the day. He returned to the hermitage and saw Indra escaping as a cat. He cursed Indra to have eyes throughout his body. Indira wandered in earth praying to Lord Shiva in many places seeking relief. He saw Lord Shiva among the Karai bushes in this place, worshipped him in a touching manner and got his relief from the curse. Hence, Lord Shiva came to be called as Karaivananathar.


In ancient times, people used the path of Thirukalimedu to gain access to Kanchipuram. Since the path is full of spiny plants, the sacred place came to be called as Kachinerikkaraikkadu.

Other Names:

The place was called as Karai Tirunagar, Sathyaviratha Kshetram, Sathya Viratha Natham, Indrapuri, Indiresam and Kachinerikkaraikkadu.