Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Naganathar||Ambal / Thayar:||Soundarya Nayaki|
|Timing:||6 to 12.30 & 4 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Vaippu Sthalam||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Kilperumpallam||District:||Nagapattinam|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Mayiladuthurai (29 km)||Nagapattinam (52 km)|
|Thiruvarur (58 km)||Kumbakonam (66 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
Amongst the Navagraham deities, Ketu – the southern lunar node – is regarded as the one who grants wisdom and illumination to devotees. Ketu is considered as being both malefic and benevolent, forcing a spiritual outlook through intelligence, non-attachment and wisdom, by putting one through several challenges in life. Ketu’s mount, the eagle, accompanies him in most depictions.
During the churning of the ocean, Vasuki the serpent was used as the rope to churn the Manthara mountain. Unable to bear the pain, Vasuki spat out the dreaded Halahala poison, which Siva consumed to protect the world. The Devas and asuras threw Vasuki away, and it landed here, which was a bamboo forest at the time. Penitent that he caused Siva to consume the poison, Vasuki prayed to Siva for forgiveness here, and requested that Siva bless devotees here, while he (Vasuki) continues to worship Siva for all time. Siva therefore stayed here as Naganathar.
According to another puranam, during the churning of the ocean, Swarnabhanu – one of the asuras – crept into the line of the Devas. However, he was identified by Suryan and Chandran, and as punishment, Vishnu (in the form of Mohini) hit the asura on the head with the serving spoon. But because the asura had partaken of amritam by then, he survive. His head came off the rest of the body, and attached itself to the body of a snake, thus becoming Rahu. The body of the asura attached to the head of a snake, becoming Ketu. Rahu and Ketu then worshipped Siva, and were granted special status at Siva temples, even becoming part of the Navagraham. While Rahu is enshrined at Tirunageswaram, Ketu is here at Kilperumpallam. Here, Ketu is depicted as a five-headed snake on a simha-peetham, with folded hands worshipping Siva. This is one of the Kumbakonam Navagraham temples and a parihara sthalam for Ketu dosham.
Offerings to Ketu here are typically multi-coloured cloth, horsegram (kollu) millet, and red lilies. Because of its association with the churning of the ocean, and Siva drinking the Halahala poison, pradosham festivals at this temple are celebrated with great reverence. Also, unusually, special pujas are conducted at the time of Rahukalam and Yamakandam, every day.
The original structural temple dates back to the 12th century Chola period. However, as this is a Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam which Appar references in one of his pathigams, the original temple must have existed from before the 7th century.
This is primarily a Siva temple, but due to the association with Ketu, devotees throng this place almost exclusively to worship Ketu. However, the Ketu shrine itself is relatively new. Because this is a Ketu sthalam, there is no separate Navagraham shrine at this temple. However, as is the case with almost all Siva temples, there are separate murtis of Suryan and Saneeswaran here. There is a separate shrine for Anugraha Vinayakar here.
One interesting rule or custom about this temple is that any edible prasadam given to devotees must be consumed within the temple premises, and not taken out.
There is also a widespread belief that there is (or was, in the past) a tunnel connecting this temple with the Brihadeeswarar temple in Thanjavur, but this has never been found.
Other information for your visit
The place is said to get its name from the belief that Siva (Perumaan) has a V-shaped indentation (pallam in Tamil) on His forehead. Therefore, this entire area was referred to as Perum-Pallam. Since this place is located downstream of the Kaveri river, it is called Keezh-Perumpallam, while the place upstream is called Mel-Perumpallam, the location of the Valampura Nathar temple – a Paadal Petra Sthalam.
Phone: 04364-275222, 94435-64642
Swaminathan: 9865850552, Sattanatha Gurukkal 04364-291582