Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Kasi Viswanathar||Ambal / Thayar:||Bruhat Sundara Gujambigai|
|Agamam:||Age (years):||Timing:||to & to||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Ozhugacheri||District:||Thanjavur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Mayiladuthurai (23 km)||Kumbakonam (27 km)|
|Ariyalur (52 km)||Tiruvarur (54 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
The etymology of Ozhugacheri can only be inferred and guessed. The Kollidam river, on the banks of which this village lies, was once the main transport route from the sea inland. This particular spot on the banks, at Anaikkarai, used to be the main market for trading in salt. Sacks of salt would be loaded from the boats for transport inland, on to waiting bullock carts which were found in abundance here. A convoy of bullock carts used to be called “ozhugai”, and one may take a reasonable stab that this was how the place got its name, Ozhugacheri.
Another version on the etymology is that the place is named for Ulagamuzhuthudaiyal, one of the queens of Adhi Rajendra, the later Chola king.
The west-facing layout of the temple makes this a powerful place to worship Lord Siva at. West-facing Siva temples are generally viewed as mukti sthalams, and worshipping at such temples are regarded as the equivalent of worshipping at 100 east-facing Siva temples.
What is even more interesting is that Visalakshi Amman’s shrine does not face south (as is the case with most Siva temples) but faces east. This makes this temple a Guru-sthalam, like Tiruvanaikka or Tiruvamathur. (Unlike popular belief, this is not representative of their wedding state – kalyana kolam; however, this notwithstanding, devotees worship here to get married soon.)
The temple’s layout is rather simple, with the gates leading to a maha mandapam in which is a bpm and Nandi. There is no dhwajasthambam here. As it is a west-facing temple, Murugan and Vinayakar, on the left and right, respectively, guard the entrance to the ardha mandapam and garbhagriham.
Other than Dakshinamurti, there are no koshtam deities. In the prakaram are Vinayakar, Murugan with his consorts Valli and Deivanai and Chandikeswarar.
Other information for your visit
The temple was undergoing work for kumbhabhishekam during our visit in April 2022.
Very close to this temple is the Ozhugacheri Perumal temple which is located at the western end of the agraharam street of Ozhugacheri.