Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Bhaktajaneswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Manonmani, Sudnaranayaki, Sundarambikai|
|Deity:||Siva||Historical name:||Tirunavalur / Tirunama Nallur / Jambupuri|
|Vriksham:||Naaval||Teertham:||Gomukhi Teertham, Garuda Nadi|
|Agamam:||Age (years):||Timing:||7 to 12 & 4 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Nadu Nadu)||–|
|City / town:||Tirunavalur||District:||Viluppuram|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Viluppuram (29 km)||Cuddalore (49 km)|
|Tiruvannamalai (81 km)||Ariyalur (96 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
During the churning of the ocean, one drop of nectar fell here, and grew into a Naval tree (Jambu in Sanskrit, similar to Tiruvanaikkaa in Trichy). Over a period of time, this temple was formed, the place got the name Navalur and the deity, Navaleesan or Navaleeswaran.
Sukracharya (Sukran) had obtained the elixir of immortality, and as the preceptor of the asuras, he used this to bring dead asuras back to life, repeatedly. The Devas complained about this to Siva, who cursed Sukra to be born on earth. Sukra worshipped Parvati seeking relief. She advised him to worship Lord Siva here, which he did, and was relieved from his dosham. Sukran had installed a separate Lingam, called Bhargaveswarar (now known as Sukra Lingam), for his worship, which is seen even today near the Navagraham shrine. For this reason, this temple is a sukra sthalam for sukra dosha parikaram.
This temple is said to have existed across the four yugams. According to the sthala puranam, Parvati worshipped Lord Siva here before being married to Him. Siva was also worshipped by Chandeswarar in the treta yugam, and by Brahma in Dwapara yugam.
Vishnu is said to have prayed to Siva here before undertaking the Narasimha avataram. There is a separate shrine for Vishnu as Varadaraja Perumal. In a fight between Garuda and Adiseshan, the former started turning blue after coming into contact with Adiseshan’s poison. Garuda worshipped Lord Siva here and was cured.
Tirunavalur, known in ancient literature as Jambupuri and Tirunama Nallur, is the birthplace of three Nayanmars – Sundarar, his father Sadaiyar, and Narasinga Munaiaraiyar (also a local chieftain). It is also the mukti sthalam of Sadaiyar Nayanar and Narasinga Munaiaraiyar. There is a separate shrine for Sundarar, along with Sangili Nachiyar and Paravai Nachiyar, inside the temple. In the second prakaram, there is a large Lingam which is the one worshipped by Narasinga Munaiaraiyar.
This temple also features some interesting iconography. Unusually, Suryan who normally faces east, faces Lord Siva in the west at this temple. Dakshinamurti is depicted standing, with scriptures in one hand, and His right hand is placed on a rishabham behind. Amman in seen in a state of dhyanam, but with her hair untied.
Worshipping at this temple is said to be especially auspicious for those born under the Rohini nakshatram (since the temple’s sthala vriksham, Naval, is associated with Rohini) and also those under Pooradam nakshatram.
Rajaditya Chola, son of Parantaka Chola, was stationed as commander of Tirumunaippadi (the name of the region between the Gadilam and Pennai rivers, in the Chola times), and this place is also called Rajadityapuram (and the temple goes by Rajadityeswaram). He is said to have built this temple in the early 10th century. Prior to this, there is said to have existed a Pallava temple for Siva (called Kalinareeswaram), and another temple for Siva as Agastyeswarar as well as a Vishnu temple (Tiru Metrali Maha Vishnu) in this place, but these are no longer in existence. Later additions were made by the Rashtrakuta ruler Krishna III who captured this region, and still later, by Raja Raja Chola I when he recaptured it. Contributions, constructions, grants and endowments made by these kings and dynasties are recorded in the inscriptions in the temple. The present masonry dates back to the 16th century.
Other information for your visit
A few meters north from the temple’s eastern entrance, is a separate temple for Sundaramurti Nayanar. The town also houses the Sundaramurti Nayanar matham.
About 10km east of this temple (towards Panruti) is Tiruvamur, the avatara sthalam of Appar (Tirunavukkarasar).
Chandrasekara Gurukkal, Sambandam Sivacharyar: 99433 59480 & 94436 24585