Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Bhaskareswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||MangaLaambikai|
|Vriksham:||Arasamaram||Teertham:||Surya Teertham, Chandra Teertham|
|Timing:||6.30 to 12.30 & 4 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Parithiappar Koil||District:||Thanjavur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Thanjavur (19.3 km)||Kumbakonam (43.3 km)|
|Tiruvarur (54 km)||Ariyalur (66.7 km)|
Parithappar Koil is located on the route from Thanjavur to Pattukottai, a few kms west of Mannargudi.
Sthala puranam and temple information
Parithiappar Koil refers to both the location of the temple, and the name of the temple itself. Parithi in Tamil, and Bhaskara in Sanskrit, mean Sun. The place and temple derive their names from the legend that Suryan, the Sun God, worshipped lord Siva here.
Suryan, the sun god, was cursed by Veerabhadra (a form of Siva) for attending Daksha’s yagam. He prayed at various temples including Konark, Thalaignayiru, Sankaran Koil, Suriyanar Koil, and Thirumangalakkudi, before finally reaching this temple, and was relieved of the curse / dosham. As Suryan worshipped at this temple, in the month of Panguni (March-April), on 3 days, the sunlight directly falls on the moolavar idol.
Legend has it that Sibi Chakravarti (also regarded as one of the early Chola kings in the Tamil tradition, and considered a descendant of Suryan) discovered this shrine by accident. Sibi Chakravarti renounced royal life and went on a pilgrimage to various Siva temples. When he arrived here, he wanted to relax, and asked his escort to gather grass for the horses. While the escort was digging the land for grass, his implement struck something hard. The king ordered further digging, and the hard object was excavated and found to be a Suryan Lingam. That Lingam was installed and a temple built for it, being this temple. There is a scar on Lingam, indicating where the implement struck it.
This temple is considered a pitru dosha parikara sthalam, ie for those who have not fulfilled their rituals to their ancestors (pitrs). On a related note, this temple is also a popular one to pray for longevity, like the Amrita Kadeswarar temple at Tirukadiyur. Therefore, 60th, 70th and 80th birthday functions are often celebrated here.
There are some interesting and unique aspects to the shrines in the temple. While there is a nandi / rishabham near the dwajasthambam, it is Suryan whose idol is in a standing posture, in front of the Lingam in the moolasthanam (a place normally reserved for nandi). The temple prakaram also features 3 Chandikeswarars instead of the usual one, to the north of the garbhagriham. On the west koshtam, along with Maha Vishnu, there is also a separate sub-shrine for Anjaneyar.
Other information for your visit
Vaduvur Kodandaramar temple is about 12km away
Thanjavur (19km) and Mannargudi (27km) are the nearest places where one can find decent accommodation.