Thursday, April 9, 2015

Thiru Nallur Sundareswarar Temple

One of the Mada Koils built by Ko Chenganan
Lord Shiva provided darshan in a Kalyana Kolam to Sage Agastya - Temple for liberation from Kalyana Dosham


Located 3kms South East of Papanasam and 1km from Sundara Perumal Koil near Kumbakonam is the Kalyana Sundareswarar temple in Thiru Nallur, a temple that has been praised by Appar, Sambandhar, Sundarar and Manickavachagar.

The fight between Vayu and Adiseshan
Vayu gets angry after adiseshan is praised as being better than him. Adiseshan says that he can cover Kailayam and threw up a challenge to Vayu to remove one stone from the Meru Mountain through his power. Vayu blew air as powerfully as he could. Everyone was in a shocked state and went to Lord.

As adiseshan turned his head for a fraction of a second, Vayu’s capitalised on this momentum lapse and his power sent several pieces scattering from the mountain. One piece fell here in Thiru Nallur. This is a swayambu moorthy.
Agastya gets Kalyana Kolam Darshan
The entire set of devotees of Shiva congregated in the North to witness the celestial wedding of Shiva and Uma Devi. The weight tilted the balance of the earth as the excess weight on the Northern side led to rising of the Southern side. Realising this imbalance, Shiva directed Sage Agastya to head South to bring about a balance between South and North.

As Agastya expressed unhappiness at his missing the celestial wedding, Shiva promised to provide a similar darshan in the place down south if he helped bring about this south-north balance during the period of his wedding.

Agastya reached Thiru Nallur and with an idol of Shiva performed pooja everyday. This idol is seen even today inside the sanctum south of the Swayambu Moorthy

In a thankful gesture, Shiva provided ‘Kalyana Kolam’ darshan to Sage Agastya here at South Kailasam. Also, seen inside the sanctum are Vishnu and Brahmma in a standing posture.  This is a special temple for the first Darshan of Vishnu, Brahmma and Shiva together. Ancient paintings are seen on the walls of the Sanctum.

Kunti Devi’s liberation from sin

Having thrown his first son into the river, Kunti was seeking liberation from the sin of having thrown her first son into the river. On the occasion of Maasi Magam she met Sage Narada who suggested that it was sacred to have bath on this auspicious day. Kunti invoked the blessings of Lord Shiva who brought the Saptha Sagara Theertham here at Thiru Nallur. In memory of this event, one finds the idol of Kunti in a posture of invoking the blessings of Lord Shiva.

The story goest that the ‘Magam’ began here and Maha Magam in Kumbakonam.

The famous Thyagaraja of Thiruvarur stays here
After having secured the idol of Lord Thyagaraja of Thiruvarur from Lord Indra, Musukanthan was directed to place the idol here for three days before taking it to his abode at Thiruvarur. Hence Thiru Nallur is credited with the historical event of a 3day pooja being performed for Thyagaraja before finally resting at Thiruvarur.

Thiruvadi Deekshithai for Appar
Seeking the Lord’s feet before his death, Saivite Saint Poet Thirunavukarasar (Appar) began his trip from Thiruvathigai and had darshan at Chidambaram, Sirkazhi and Thiruvidamaruthur. Pleased with his sincere prayers, Lord Shiva directed him to come to Thiru Nallur.  On reaching here, Appar received Thiruvadi Deekshithai with Lord Shiva placing his feet on the head of the great Saint Poet. In memory of this event, Shataari, which is placed on the head of a devotee as a blessing of Lord Vishnu in Perumal temples, is placed on a devotee at this temple as well. This placing of Shataari on the devotee is a unique feature at the Thiru Nallur temple.

Delighted at this gesture of Lord Shiva, Appar praised the Lord as வடபால் கைலாயம்  தென்பால் திரு நல்லூர்

He stayed here for many days singing praise of the Lord before he moved on to nearby places such as Thiru Palathurai, Thiru Karugavur, Thiru Aavur and Thiru Pazhanam. And finally he moved on from here to Thiruvarur.

Pancha Varna Display every day
The Swayambu Moolavar Idol changes colour five times a day every 2 1/2hours changing from Lotus colour to red to gold to green and finally to a colour as visualised by a sincere devotee in the evening. As he provides darshan in these five different colours the Lord is also referred to as Pancha Varneswarar. Hence it is said that visiting the Lord here and invoking his blessings is equivalent to visiting the Pancha Bhootha sthalam.


This is one of the Mada Koils ( one where an elephant cannot reach the sanctum) built by the famous Chozha king Ko Chenganan, others include Thiruvanaikaval ( and Nachiyar Koil (

During Malik Kafur’s invasion, the idols were kept in safe custody in the ground floor of the temple. To this day, the treasure room is found on the ground floor. One has to climb 10steps to reach the Sanctum at this temple. Ambal is believed to be a village Devathai as she remained here and protected everyone including the Lord during the Muslim Invasion. Kali is seen in a cool form here unlike her usually fiery posture.

There are several inscriptions at the temple that date back to the Chozha period.

One of the inscriptions dating back to the rule of Rajendra Chozha refers to this place as ‘Niththa Vinodha Vada Naattu Nallur’, ‘Panchavan Mahadevi Chaturvedi Mangalam’ with the Lord being referred to as ‘Thiru Nallur Udaya Naayanaar’ and the main Vinayaka deity being referred to as ‘Agampadi Vinayaka’.

Each of the idols seen at this temple are also special. The Chathura Thaandava Nataraja is one not seen in any other temple.  


10day Brahmotsavam in Maasi including a famous Chariot festival. Maasi Magam was celebrated in a grand way in memory of the event bringing the 7rivers here for Kunti Devi.

Vaikasi 7 city Procession – Visakam / Thiru Kalyanam
On the 12th day of the Visakam Festival in Vaikasi, Kalyana Sundarar in a Glass Palanquin with Sundaragiriyar opposite him makes a trip to nearby villages including Ranganathapuram, Kiliyur, Govindakudi, Aavur, Eri, Panathidal, Maligai Thidal, Mattiyam Thidal, Papanasam, Thiru Palathurai and Uthani. During this procession, Sage Agastya too accompanies the Lord providing darshan to the devotees.

However, with the swindling of the temple lands and the finances relating to the temple in the century gone by, these festivals in recent times have lost its grandeur.
Panguni Kali Amman Paal Kudam

Aani Amarneethi Nayanar Utsavam
Aadi Pooram Ambal Procession
Karthigal each of the Sundays Thula Snanam – 4 Theertham
Every Sunday Sanga Abhishekam
Margazhi Manickavachagar procession

The temple is administered and managed by Thiru Vaduthurai Aatheenam.

Quick Facts
Moolavar : Kalyana Sundareswarar
Ambal     : Giri Sundari
Praised by: All four Saint Poets
Time        : 730am-1pm and 5pm-730pm
Contact    : Kannan Gurukal @ 94881 10697
                  K Swaminathan (Kanakkar) @ 99521 71207
                  Venkatesan (Supervisor) 94444 41506

How to reach
Thiru Nallur is about 2kms South off the Thanjavur-Kumbakonam highway near Sundara Perumal Koil. Town Bus every half hour from Kumbakonam and Papanasam till Sundara Perumal Koil. Auto from there will cost Rs. 40. One can also get down at Uththani Railway Gate on the Kumbakonam-Thanjavur highway and take an auto (1km) to reach the temple.

This is under the control of Thiruvaduthurai Aatheenam.

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