Pancha Vaidyanathar Sthalams

Of the thousands of Siva temples, and hundreds of them for Siva as Vaidyanathar, there are three prominent ones in Tamil Nadu. But less known is the group of five temples called the Pancha Vaidyanathar sthalams, which are said to be the precursor (and original) to the more famous Vaidyanathar temple at Vaitheeswaran Koil. This group also has a strong Mahabharatam connection, and in turn, is further connected to some other prominent temples in the region. What is the story of the Pancha Vaidyanathar temples?… Read More Pancha Vaidyanathar Sthalams

பஞ்ச வைத்தியநாதர் தலங்கள்

ஆயிரக்கணக்கான சிவாலயங்களிலும், நூற்றுக்கணக்கான சிவாலயங்களில், வைத்தியநாதராகிய சிவனுக்காக, தமிழகத்தில் மூன்று முக்கியமானவை உள்ளன. ஆனால் பஞ்ச வைத்தியநாதர் ஸ்தலங்கள் எனப்படும் ஐந்து கோவில்களின் குழு குறைவாக அறியப்படுகிறது, அவை வைத்தீஸ்வரன் கோயிலில் உள்ள மிகவும் பிரபலமான வைத்தியநாதர் கோவிலுக்கு முன்னோடியாகக் கூறப்படுகிறது. இந்த குழு வலுவான மகாபாரத தொடர்பைக் கொண்டுள்ளது, மேலும் இப்பகுதியில் உள்ள வேறு சில முக்கிய கோயில்களுடன் இணைக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. பஞ்ச வைத்தியநாதர் கோவில்களின் கதை என்ன?… Read More பஞ்ச வைத்தியநாதர் தலங்கள்

Pandava Sahaya Perumal, Pandur, Mayiladuthurai

As is clearly evident from the name, this temple’s puranam is closely connected to the Pandavas and the Mahabharatam. The Pandavas built this temple after they were cured by worshipping Siva, at Krishna’s advice; and as a result, this temple can perhaps be regarded central to the Pancha Vaidyanathar Sthalams (five temples for Siva as Vaidyanathar). But what famous mantram, originally instructed by Brahma to Narada, is associated with this temple?… Read More Pandava Sahaya Perumal, Pandur, Mayiladuthurai

Rajagopala Perumal, Nallicheri, Thanjavur

The ruling Nayak king of the time was unable to proceed to Mannargudi for his daily worship of Rajagopalaswami there, due to cyclonic storms. So he spent the night here, and through various voices and signs, was informed that he needed to build a temple for Krishna as Rajagopalar, here. The place gets its name from one of the 64 varieties of trees, plants, herbs, etc, that Shakhambari Devi created for a special visit here. Whose visit was this, and why did it take place?… Read More Rajagopala Perumal, Nallicheri, Thanjavur

Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal, Veppathur, Thanjavur

Considered to be over 2000 years old, this temple is located in the heart of Veppathur – once called Ghatika Sthanam and Chaturvedi Mangalam. The all-wish-fulfilling Perumal is attended to by Anjaneyar depicted as a child. Krishna gave mantropadesam to Agastyar here. But how is this temple connected to the Ramayanam, that too in a rather unusual way?… Read More Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal, Veppathur, Thanjavur

Parthasarathy Perumal, Triplicane, Chennai

With various puranams associated with it, this Divya Desam temple in Chennai is dedicated to Vishnu as Parthasarathy – Arjuna’s charioteer in the Mahabharatam, and also features Vishnu in four other forms. The iconography of the moolavar and utsavar murtis are highly nuanced, embedding instances from the life of Krishna as told in the epic. But what interesting reasons are is behind this temple’s chariot/car running twice during the temple’s annual festival, and differing neivedyams offered to Parthasarathy Perumal and Yoga Narasimhar?… Read More Parthasarathy Perumal, Triplicane, Chennai

Gopalakrishnan, Tirunangur, Nagapattinam

Often referred to by its ancient name of Tirukavalmpadi, this is one of the Divya Desams located in Tirunangur, near Mayiladuthurai. Vishnu here is considered the equivalent of the Krishna at Dwarka, and is said to have come from there. The temple’s puranam is connected to an ungrateful Indra refusing the Parijatham flower to Satyabhama, despite Krishna vanquishing Narakasuran and bringing back the things he stole from Devalokam. How did this come about? … Read More Gopalakrishnan, Tirunangur, Nagapattinam

Kudamadu Koothan, Tirunangur, Nagapattinam

Also called Arimeya Vinnagaram, this Divya Desam is also one of the 11 Nangur Ekadasa Divya Desam temples, all of which are connected with the 11 Rudra Peethams representing the fierce aspect of Lord Siva. Vishnu here is said to have come from Dwaraka, to quell Rudra’s anger. But what favouritism did Sage Uthangar accuse Krishna of in the Mahabharatam war?… Read More Kudamadu Koothan, Tirunangur, Nagapattinam

Moovar Kovil, Kodumbalur, Tiruchirappalli

In its heyday, today’s non-descript hamlet of Kodumbalur was a city of temples, much like Kanchipuram or Kumbakonam. This ancient temple complex of 3 shrines for Siva is regarded as possibly the earliest surviving example of early medieval Chola temples. The art and architecture here are exemplary, serving as prototypes for several temples. But what is the connection between the builder of this temple and some important characters in Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan? … Read More Moovar Kovil, Kodumbalur, Tiruchirappalli