Arul Somanathar, Needur, Nagapattinam


Basic information about the temple

Moolavar:Arul SomanatharAmbal / Thayar:Veda Nayaki, VeyuruthoLiyamman, Abayapradambigai, Adhigandhi Ammai
Deity:SivaHistorical name:Tiruneedur
Vriksham:MagizhamaramTeertham:Senkazhuneer Odai
Agamam:

Age (years):

Timing:6 to 12 & 4 to 8Parikaram:

Temple group:Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Vada Karai)
Sung by:

Sambandar, Sundarar

Temple set:

Navagraham:

Nakshatram:

City / town:NeedurDistrict:Nagapattinam
Maps from (click): Current location Mayiladuthurai (6 km)Kumbakonam (43 km)

Thiruvarur (50 km)Nagapattinam (59 km)

Location

Needur is located on the northern outskirts of Mayiladuthurai.

Sthala puranam and temple information

This temple’s puranam is very closely connected to that of the Parimala Ranganathar temple at nearby Indalur. According to the Puranas, Chandran married the 27 daughters of Daksha, under the promise that he would love each one equally, but was particularly fond of Rohini. The other siblings complained, and Daksha made Chandran’s lustre wane every 14 days. Under advice from his guru, Brhaspati, Chandran prayed to Vishnu and Indalur, and came to this place and prayed to Siva, and was able to have his lustre reinstated. Since Siva blessed Chandran here for this purpose, He is known as Somanathar (or Arul Somanathar). Parvati here also has the name Aditya Varadambikgai, as she blessed Suryan who prayed to Her here.

Indra wished to witness the cosmic dance of Lord Siva, and would perform Siva puja with this purpose. Once, when he came here, it was nearly time for his puja, but there was no Lingam he could pray to. So he made a Lingam of sand from the Kaveri river, and prayed to it. He sang devotional songs in the praise of Siva, and pleased with this devotion, Siva performed his cosmic dance for Indra, here. Since Indra’s wish was to witness the dance, Siva here also has the name Gaana Nardhana Sankarar. It is believed that within 12 years of their visit to this temple, devotees will receive material and spiritual gains.

It is believed that the Lingam of sand made by Indra is the one that continues to exist even today. For this reason, no abhishekams are performed to the Lingam, which is has a metal cover. It is also said that Indra’s finger marks when sculpting the Lingam, can be seen even today.

A demon named Thanmasudhan was cursed to be a crab. Under the advice of Sage Narada, he sought asylum and prayed earnestly to Lord Siva here. Pleased with his devotion, Siva relieved him of the curse and gave him residence in Himself, through a hole in the lingam. For this reason, Siva’s another name here is Karkateswarar, and this temple is considered special for those under the Kataka rasi.

According to the puranas, there is a flood (pralayam) after every yugam, where all things are destroyed. However, it is believed that nothing of that sort has ever happened to Needur, which continues to exist, and this has given the place its name (in Tamil, Needu = continuing). Historically the town was called by other names including Magizhavanam, Vagularanyam and Magizharanyam.

Since Siva and Parvati are the adipathis of all the planets, and Suryan and Chandran have prayed here, there is no separate Navagraham shrine at this temple.

Needur is the mukti sthalam of Munaiyaduvar Nayanar.

This is a classic example of a medieval Chola temple, though there is no detailed information available about the exact period of construction or other grants provided to this temple. There are some very interesting bas relief images on the outer walls of the inner prakaram depicting the worship by Indra, Suryan and Chandran here, as well as a very beautifully sculpted Dakshinamurti on the southern koshtam.

Other information for your visit

There are several important temples including Paadal Petra Sthalams nearby, including Abatsahayeswarar at Ponnur, Parimala Ranganathar at Indalur and the Mayuranathar temple at Mayiladuthurai. Also within and around Mayiladuthurai are several other temples of importance.

Mayiladuthurai has decent budget and mid-range accommodation, and several options for food.

Contact

Contact: 99436 68084

Gallery

Sthala puranam by temple Sivacharyar

Author: TN Temples Project

A personal project to catalogue information on temples (both mainstream and off-the-beaten-track), so that people can learn about them and visit those temples more regularly.

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