Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Pandava Sahaya Perumal||Ambal / Thayar:||Bhoomidevi, Neeladevi|
|Agamam:||Age (years):||Timing:||to & to||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Pandur||District:||Mayiladuthurai|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Mayiladuthurai (6 km)||Kumbakonam (39 km)|
|Tiruvarur (49 km)||Nagapattinam (61 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
The story of the Pancha Vaidyanathar Sthalams – the 5 Siva temples that preceded today’s Vaitheeswaran Koil temple – is not complete without this small but ancient temple for Vishnu – in the form of Krishna – as Pandava Sahaya Perumal.
The village of Pandur gets is name from the sthala puranam that in the Mahabharatam, the Pandavas stayed at this place for some time during their period of exile. At that time, all five of the Pandavas were beset with a different illness. Not knowing what else to do, they prayed to their friend and saviour – Krishna – who advised them to build temples for Siva as Vaidyanathar, the great physician, and worship Lord Siva. The Pandavas did so and were cured. In order to thank Krishna for helping them in their hour of need, the Pandavas together built this temple for Krishna. This also gives Vishnu His name here.
During the Mahabharatam war, Yudhishtra was forced to tell the only lie he uttered in his life – that Ashwathama (the elephant, but mentioned sotto voce) was dead. Later, in order to seek expiation for this sin, Yudhishtra worshipped at this temple.
Towards the end of the Dwapara Yugam (the previous age), the Pandavas had to toil for establishing the way of dharma. Along the way, they faced numerous problems, but they were able to surmount them all by the grace of Lord Sri Krishna and thus stick to the path of dharma. They recalled their tribulations in this place, and foreseeing the challenges that Kali yugam would throw at the world, they again prayed to Krishna, seeking that those who worship at this temple in Pandur will be blessed by the Lord and their burdens removed.
Sage Narada had seen so many Kali Yugams come and go, and feared for the world at the time the present Kali yugam was about to begin. So, at the end of the Dwapara yugam, he approached Brahma and asked the latter, the way to overcome the effects of Kali Yugam. Brahma advised Narada (and the world) to chant the Kali Santarana mantram – 16 names of Vishnu that help one transcend the adverse and evil effects of Kali yugam which are represented by 16 envelopments.
हरे राम हरे राम | राम राम हरे हरे॥
हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण | कृष्ण कृष्ण हरे हरे॥
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
At Pandur, Narada in turn imparted this mantram to the Pandavas.
At this temple, Krishna is believed to exist in two forms – one for the people of Dwapara Yugam, and one for those of Kali Yugam.
This small, unassuming temple has no gopuram or dhwajasthambam. Past the gate is a small mandapam attached to the main mandapam of the temple. Inside is the bali peetham and a vigraham of Garudazhvar. The inner mandapam – one could call it the maha mandapam, if so inclined – has various vigrahams which are worshipped. These include Krishna, Anjaneyar, Vishwaksena, Neela Devi and azhvars. In the garbhagriham is Vishnu in nindra kolam, flanked by Bhoomidevi and Neeladevi. There are no other shrines in the temple.
The temple seems to have been renovated recently (as of December 2021) and also rebuilt in contemporary style, so the outer walls are simple with no architecture, carvings, etc.
Other information for your visit
As it is located in a relatively remote village, the temple is not open through the day. However, the officiating Bhattar is very kind and lives in the village itself. He is able to open the temple for devotees during normal temple hours.
Very close to this temple is the Pandur Aadi Vaidyanathar temple, one of the Pancha Vaidyanathar sthalams.