Monday, April 3, 2017

Kaya Rohana Swamy Nagapattinam

A temple praised by Appar, Sundarar and Thiru Gnana Sambandhar as one by the Sea Shore
Like the number of perumal temples that existed in Mamallapuram on the eastern sea shore, there is said to have existed a 108 temples dedicated to Shiva on the shores of Nagapattinam, but as with Mamallapuram, most of these were washed away by the sea over the centuries.

12 temples have survived the test of time here in Nagapattinam, the most prominent among them being the Kaaya Rohana Swamy temple. It is probably the only temple where the four major streets around the temple are named after the Ambal, Neela Devi.

Pundareeka Rishi was keen to have ‘Shiva Logam’ darshan and in his quest towards achieving this undertook penance at Kasi and Kanchipuram. He then undertook penance at Kumbakonam. From there, he was directed to Nagapattinam. 
After bathing in the sacred tank (now referred to as Pundareeka Theertham in his memory) in the West of the temple, Pundareeka Rishi installed a Lingam and invoked the blessings of the Lord by performing severe austerities. Pleased with the sincerity of the prayers, Lord Shiva appeared on Aani Ahilyam in a Somaskanda posture, hugged Pundareeka Rishi and provided him Mukthi. It was on Aani Ahilyam that Lord provided. Hence the Lord is referred to as Kaaya - Rohana (accepting the body of the devotee).There is a stone carving of Pundareega Rishi on the pillar at the entrance in memory of this legend.

Saptha ‘Vidangal’ Kshetram
This is one of the Saptha Vidangal Kshetrams. Musukuntha Chozha ( was handed 7 Lingams by Indra. He installed one of those here in Thiru Nagai. As the one here was the most beautiful, it came to be referred to as ‘Sundara Vidanga’.

The Saptha Vidangal temples include Vedaranyam, Thiru Kuvalai, Thiru Nallar, Thiru Voimur, Thiru Kaaravasal and the most prominent among them, Tiruvarur.

True Devotion to the Lord
One of the 63 Nayanmars, Athi Bhakta Nayanar attained mukthi here. To this day, when a descendent of his clan attains mukthi, he is brought to the entrance of temple and the Lord’s garland is placed on the body as a mark of respect. 
He went to the sea every day to catch fish for a living. At the end of the day, he would dedicate the best fish of the day to the Lord and would allow it back into the sea. One day he received a Golden fish as part of his kitty. Unmindful of the prized catch that would have solved his financial poverty he presented it back to the sea as his offering for the day.

Over a period of time, much to his surprise, he received just one fish a day and as was his devotion presented that single catch back to the sea. He and his family lived in hunger given the lack of catchings.

Delighted at his devotion, the Lord provided darshan, seated on the Rishabha Vahana. This episode is enacted every year on Aani Ahilyam.

Praised by three Saint Poets
The Saint Poets have praised the temple as one being by the Sea Shore and the Lord as 'Kaa-Rohanar'.
Sundarar was presented with gold and pearls here at this place in recognition of his great contribution. 

7 town Procession
A devotee in Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh) was destined to live just for 16 years due to a disease from birth. Invoking the blessings of the Lord Kaaya Rohanar through sincere prayers, he was blessed to remain 16 forever. When Yama came on the appointed day to pick him up, he understood the blessings of the Lord and dropped him back at Thiru Nagai. 
In recognition of this event, the King Salisa came here with his retinue and performed Linga pooja in 7 temples around Thiru Nagai. This event is enacted every year in Aani with a 7 town temple procession. There is a stone sculpture of the King on one of the pillars in memory of this event.

Dasaratha’s connection to this temple
When Saturn struck Ayodhya, King Dasaratha was directed by his Kula Deivam, the Sun God, to install a Bala ‘Sani’ Idol at Thiru Nagai to liberate himself from the Sani Dosham. In memory of this episode, all the Navagraha idols at this temple are seen facing the Lord.

Panchaakshi Peedam
This is also one of the 5 Aakshi Peedam place of Ambal, the others being Kasi, Kanchi, Madurai and Thiruvarur. There is a separate flag post for the Ambal at this temple. When the Lord sent Nandhi to offer protection to Ambal, a saddened vehicle turned one eye in the direction of the Lord to show his devotion to the Lord. Hence, one of Nandi is seen turned towards the Lord.

There are several inscriptions dating back to the Chozha period.  
23 day Brahmotsvam in Vaikasi
10 day festival in Aadi

The temple is open between 6am-12noon and 4pm-9pm. Contact: Shiva Kumar Gurukkal @ 99760 91450 / Raman Kanakku Pillai@ 98942 34731

How to reach
Auto from the Nagapattinam railway station will cost Rs. 50. One can also walk to the temple through the Big Bazaar street ( 15 minutes from the station).

When here also visit Thiru Nagai Soundararaja Perumal Divya Desam

and Thiru Kannangudi Divya Desam

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