Sri Vaitheeswaran koil

The temple is located between Sirkali to Mayiladuthurai State Highway. Frequent bus services are operated by Tamil Nadu government. There is a Railway station which is located between Chennai to Mayiladuthurai railway road. Karaikal is the nearest proposal airport located around 40 kilometer from temple. Now Buses originate from Vaitheeswaran Koil to Chennai directly.

This temple is one among the navagraha sthalam and is associated to Mars planet (Angharakan).

The entrance of the temple leads to a narrow path fully covered with both the sides shops of pooja articles, ghee diyas flowers, garlands, idols of lords and much more things .

Vaitheeswaran Koil or Pullirukkuvelur is a temple dedicated to the Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is worshipped as Vaidyanathar or Vaitheeswaran meaning the “God of healing” and it is believed that prayers offered to Vaitheeswaran can cure diseases. Vaitheeswaran is a Tamil derivative from vaidya (Doctor) and Ishvara (Lord Shiva). The presiding deity is Sri Vaidyanathan . He is the God of Healing. When pronouncing in Tamil, it sounds like “Vaideeswaran”.

During the Ramayana period, Rama, Lakshmana and Saptarishi have worshipped the deity in this place. There is a pond at this temple called Jatayu kundam (pot of Jatayu having holy ash of Vibhuti). One of the nine planets, Angaraka (Mars), suffered from leprosy and was cured by Vaidhyanathaswamy and from then on it is treated as one of the Navagraha Temples for planet Angaraka. Goddess Parvati, the consort of Shiva, asked her son,Subramanya to appear with one face from his regular appearance of six faces. When he did so, she was pleased and presented him with vel (a weapon) to slay the demons. Subramanya overcame the asura Surapadman (a demon) and in the war, his army was severely injured. Lord Shiva came out as the healer Vaitheeswaran and cured the wounds. As per another legend, Shiva came as Vaidya, a doctor, and cured the leprosy of a staunch devotee named Angahara. Jatayu, Muruga and Surya were all believed to have worshipped Lord Shiva here. Murugan obtained a trident at this place and is called Selvamuthu Kumaran.

The temple has a five-tiered gopuram(temple tower) and large precincts. The central shrine is that of Vaitheeswaran present as lingam in the inner most sanctum. The first precinct around the sanctum has the metal image of Subramanya, worhsipped here as Muthukumara Swamy.

The other metal images in the sanctum are of Nataraja, Somaskanda, Angaraka and stone sculptures of Durga, Dakshinamoorthy, Surya (Sun god), Jatayu, Vedas, Sampati.

The shrine of Thaiyalnayaki who stands with the medicinal oil to cure the diseases of the devotees is present in the second precinct facing south. The large precinct also has a small shrine to Dhanvantari and shrine of Angaraka in stone sculpture. The southern gateway from this precinct leads to the temple tank and directly faces the Thaiyalnayaki shrine. The Sthala Vriksha (temple tree) is margosa (Azadirachta indica) which possesses medicinal properties.
It is located in the eastern gateway of the temple. The eastern gateway also has the shrine ofAdi (original) temple that has a smaller replica of the main shrines. There is a fine metal image of Gangavisarjanar inside the temple.

The temple is revered by Devaram hymns of saint poets Thirunavukkarasar and Thirugnanasambandar belonging to the 7th century. The poets name the towns where they found the temple in their hymns and Pullirukkuvelur finds a mention in their verses, corresponding to the temple. The hymns appear to recognise the function of the mantras(sacred text) as invocation of Lord Shiva. In addition the hymns from Thirunavukkarasar likens Shiva to luminous objects – a flame, a pearl, a diamond and pure gold. He also indicates wasting lot of days not worshipping Shiva at this temple.

Devotees take a holy dip in the temple tank before worshipping Vaitheeswaran in the temple. It is also a local belief that dissolving jaggery (Tamil:vellam) in the waters cures skin diseases. Tonsure ceremony of getting children shaved for the first time to promote proper growth is a very common practise. Mavilaku ma (litting lamps in rice cakes) is a form of worship practised. The practise of jamming salt and pepper in front of the temple mast and the pot near the temple tank is also followed. Unlike other temples in South India, where each shrine has a priest, each priest in the temple associates themselves with the devotees and perform worship on their behalf.

The holy soil rounded with ash (called Thiruchandu Urundai) is treated as medicine and believed to cure all the diseases. Another medicine given is chandan (sandalwood powder) with saffron. It is a practice to purchase silver-plated images of body parts to put in the Hundi (vessel for offering) to fix ailments one might be having. The Vaidya Veeraraghavaswamy temple at Thiruvallur is considered the Vaishnavite temple equivalent of healing abilities of the presiding deity to that of the Saivite Vaitheeswaran Kovil.

The temple is a part of the popular Navagraha pilgrimage in Tamil Nadu. The planets are believed to influence the horoscope computed based on time of one’s birth and subsequently influence the course of life. Each of the planets are believed to move from a star to another during a predefined period and thus sway over an individual’s fortunes. The Navagrahas, as per Hindu customs, are believed to provide both good and bad effects for any individual and the bad effects are mitigated by prayers. As in other Navagraha temples, the common worship practises of the devotees include offering of red cloth, grains (toor dhall) , flowers and jewels specific to the planet deity. Lighting a set of lamps is also commonly followed in the temple.

Brahmotsavam (annual festival) is celebrated during the Tamil calendar months of Pankuni and Thai (January–February). Karthigai festival during November is also celebrated with pomp and glory. Kantha Sashti, a festive occasion for Subramanya, is celebrated in the shrine of Muthukumaraswamy.
The temple is maintained by Dharmapuram Adheenam, a Saivite muttor monastic institution located in the town of Mayiladuthurai, India. As of 1987, there were a total of 27 Shivatemples under the control of theadheenam.

The village is also known for palm leaf astrology called Naadi astrology in Tamil. It is located 7 kilometers from Sirkazhi, 235 kilometers from Chennai, 27 km from Chidambaram, 110 km from Thanjavur and 16 km from Mayiladuthurai .

The holy waters of the Siddhamirtham tank within the temple complex contains nectar, and a holy dip is believed to cure all diseases.

The temple is revered by the Devaram hymns of 7th-century Saiva nayanars -Tamil saint poets and is also classified as a Paadal Petra Sthalam (temple revered by the nayanars).

In front of the temple entrance
Temple pond
Lord Vaidyanathaswamy
Picture if Vaidyanathaswamy and Goddess Thayalnayaghi
The temple corridor
Angharakan sthalam
Sthalapuranam
Picture of Lord Muthukumaraswamy

Published by Ranjini Madhavan

Iam a homemaker who like to travel to spiritual places and like to share my spiritual tours , pictures and my personal tour experiences .Though am not expressive to put it in words thought it would be easy for others who likes to travel these places so that they may know what all places to be covered and a sweet memories for myself.

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