Sri Abathsahayeswarar Temple, the sthalam of Guru Bhagavan is at Alangudi. The presiding deity here is Abathsahayeswarar and His consort is Elavarkuzhali Ammai or Umayammai. The Shiva Lingam here is a Swayambhu (self manifested). Dakshinamurthy in the praharam (circumambulatory path) around Shiva’s shrine is worshipped as Guru Bhagavan here.
In all Shiva temples the main deities are Shiva and Parvati. Other deities like Pillayar Murugar, Dakshinamurthy, the Navagrahas, and Chandikeswarar are also present in the praharam (circumabulatory path). As defined in the temple Vaasthu Shastra, the deities are placed in a particular position and facing a particular direction. There is a group of temples around Kumbakonam whose deities form a big temple. This group of temples is called the Parivara Sthalam.
This big temple would have
- Shiva at Thiruvidaimarudhur
- Vinayakar at Thiruvalanchuzhi
- Murugan at Swamimalai
- Ambal at Thirukkadaiyur
- Dakshinamurthy at Alangudi
- Navagraha Sannidhi at Suryanar Koil
- Saneeswaran at Thirunallar
- Durgai at Patteeswaram
- Chandikeswarar at Sengalur
- Bhairavar at Sirkali
- Natarajar at Chidambaram
- Somaskandar at Thiruvarur
- Nandi at Thiruvavadudurai
I do not know if these temples are to be visited in any particular order. I hope I will be able to visit these temples in the prescribed order if any, and post the details.
The story of the Devas and Asuras churning the celestial ocean or the parkadal is associated with many temples. During this churning, Vasuki spat out deadly poison. Lord Shiva consumed that poison here to save the world. Hence the name Alangudi: Ala meaning poison. The Lord himself came to be known as Abathsahayeswarar (one who helps in crisis) as he saved the world from impending danger. Lord Ganesha defeated Gajamuhasuran here, to save the Devas from the asura’s atrocities. Ganesha is worshipped here as “Kalangamal Kaaththa Vinayakar”. This place is also known as Thirumana Mangalam as Ambal undertook penance to marry Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva in the guise of a boatman had helped Sundarar to cross the Vettaru which was in spate. It is believed that Sundarar had received his Gnanopadesam from Dakshinamurthy at this temple. Gu in Sanskrit means darkness and ru means the destroyer of that. Hence Guru means one who destroys darkness or one who enlightens. Thus Guru is one who leads you from the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge.
Alangudi is the most popular Parihara sthalam for Guru. The other ones that readily come to mind are Thittai and Padi in Madras. Poolai is the sthala vriksham.
Pooja: Guru is attributed to luck, favor and fortune. The unfavourable position in the horoscope can cause skin problems, arthritis, heart related problems, worry & uneasiness. Guru blesses his devotees with progeny, good education, valour, long life and cure from diseases. Devotees light 24 ghee lamps and do pradharshanam (circumambulation) of Shiva’s shrine 24 times. Offerings of yellow cloth, konda kadalai (chick pea) and vella mullai (a type of Jasmine) are made to Guru here. The transit of Guru, known as Guru Peyarchi which happens every year, is an important festival in this temple. Thursdays being the day of Guru is very important. Fasting or eating only once (oru pozhudhu) on Thursdays is recommended. Banana and salt is to be avoided on these days.
Recite the following mantra facing North East to get over the malefic effects and benefit from his benevolence.
Guru Moola Mantra: Aum gram grim graum sah gurave namah
Guru Gayathri: Rishabadhwajaya vidhmahe gruni hasthaya dhimahi thanno Guru prachodhayath
Other Guru Parihara Temples:
Ramanatheeswarar Koil at Porur
Thiruvalidhaym or Padi near Chennai
Murugan Temple at Tiruchendur
Guruvayur Krishna Temple
38 Kms from Thiruvarur town
Alangudi is 17.5 kms away from Kumbakonam on Kumbakonam – Needamangalam – Mannargudi road in Tiruvarur district.
Other Temples nearby:
Thiruvenniyur or Koyil venni – the Shivalingam here has marks resembling sugarcane
Kasi Vishvanathar Temple at Needamangalam
Boarding & Lodging: There are quite a few shops here but there is no decent place to stay or eat. If hungry, prasadam from the temple is the best option. Stay at one of the nearest towns like Kumbakonam or Thiruvarur.
Temple Timings: 6 AM to 1 PM and 4 PM to 8.30 PM.
Arulmigu Abathsahayeswarar Temple,
Alangudi – 612801
Telephone Number: 04374 – 269407
Donations and Deposits for the Temple can be made through City Union Bank Account Number : 293822
Please send the amount by M.O or D.D. must be in favour of
Assistant Commissioner / Executive Officer,
Arulmigu Abathsagayeswarar Temple,
payable at Alangudi (612801).
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