Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Palasavaneswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Periya Nayaki|
|Timing:||to & to||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Vaippu Sthalam||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Naalur||District:||Thanjavur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Kumbakonam (15 km)||Thiruvarur (25 km)|
|Mayiladuthurai (38 km)||Thanjavur (46 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
In ancient times, this place was called Chaturvedi Mangalam, representing a place where brahmins – those who learnt the four Vedas – lived.
This place takes special significance, since the four Vedas themselves are said to have worshipped here, and so the place was called Naalu-Vedi-yur (especially during the Chola period), which has become Naalur over time.
There are two temples in Naalur. One is the Gnanaparameswarar temple, which is a Paadal Petra Sthalam (its location is also referred to as Tirumeignanam). The other is this temple, which is a Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam, which find mention in the pathigams of Appar.
One of these temples is called the Naalur Mayanam koil – experts are divided over which is the one, but going by etymology, it would appear that the Gnanaparameswarar temple is the Mayana Koil.
Overall the temple is quite small, but presents a peaceful atmosphere.
According to one telling, this is the place where Brahma himself attained mukti, and this is a prarthana sthalam where devotees worship to avoid the cycle of rebirth.
It is believed that Siva and Parvati are here with their family, and wish to remain undisturbed. Therefore, no festivals are conducted here.
Sage Apasthamba (after whom one of the dharma sutras is named) is said to have lived and worshipped here. There is a very interesting story of how the sage got this name. Once, a brahmin wanted to perform the sraddha rites for his father, but could not find any brahmins to conduct the rites, and so he prayed to Siva. Suddenly, a brahmin appeared, and helped conduct the rituals. After this, he was served food, and as is the convention and custom, the karta asked the brahmin if he was satisfied. The brahmin replied that he was not. Angered by this, the man threw water at the brahmin, but the latter was able to stop it by just raising his hand. In Sanskrit, apa=water and sthamba=stop, which gave the name Apasthamba.
This Chola temple is also one of the maadakoil temples said to have been built by Kochchenga Cholan, and is on an elevated level. The Siva Lingam here is regarded as a swayambhu murti, and there are lines on the Lingam. The temple boasts of a beautiful gajaprishta vimanam over the garbhagriham. In the same elevated mandapam is the shrine for Periyanayaki Amman. One can also circumambulate the couple at the raised level.
Other information for your visit
The temple is open for most of the day, however daily puja takes place only once a day. That said, the temple is supervised by the hereditary trustee R Vasudevan, who can open the temple for devotees, at most times during the day.
R Vasudevan: 93440 31820 (Arankavalar)
Chandrasekara Sivacharyar 9443959839
Sthala puranam by temple trustee, and video by Sriram (Templepages.com) with Tamil narration: