Pullirukuvelur, one of the most important Saivite shrines is popularly known as Vaitheeswaran Koil. Vaidhyanathaswamy or Vaitheeswaran (God of Medicine) got his name as He had cured Angarakan of His Leprosy here. Before I proceed further, I would like to inform about the Adhi Vaithyanatha Swamy Temple at a Village called Mannipallam, about 6 Kms from here. Click on this link to read more about that temple.
Vaidyanathaswamy is the main deity here and His consort is Thayyalnayaki ambal. She stands with the medicinal oil to cure the diseases of the devotees. Lord Subramanya, a very important deity here, is known as Selva Muthukumaraswamy. It is to be noted that Chevvai is ruled by Lord Subramanya. During Lord Subramanya’s fight with Tharakasuran – brother of Surapadman – there was a lot of casualty on both sides leaving many dead and injured. Lord Shiva obliged Lord Subramnya’s prayer to treat the injured.
Chevvai is supposed to have been born out of a drop of sweat that fell from Lord Shiva’s forehead onto the Earth. Another version is that Chevvai is the Son of Sage Bharadwaja and that Mother Earth brought him up. Yet another story goes thus; Veerabhadra was created by Lord Shiva from his Third Eye (Netrikann) to disturb the yaga of Dakshan (Lord Shiva’s Father-in-law). The Devas were terrified by the havoc created by Veerabhadra. Veerabhadra who became conscious of this fact then calmed down and attained the status of a celestial planet and came to be known as Chevvai. He is red in colour and hence known as Chevvai.
Chevvai or Angarakan is present in two forms – Utsavar (the idol that is taken out in procession during festivals) is near the Vaithyanathaswamy sannidhi (shrine) and the moolavar (the idol that is placed permanently in a place) is in the Eastern side of the outer praharam (circumambulatory path). The Utsava Murthy, mounted on a goat, is taken out in a procession inside the temple premises every Tuesday. There is a small shrine to Lord Dhanvantari in the praharam (circumambulatory path) around Vaitheeswaran’s Sannidhi (Sanctum sanctorum).
Siddhamruta Theertham, a big tank opposite to Ambal’s shrine, is known to have medicinal property. Devotees believe that taking bath in these waters cures them of their diseases, especially skin diseases. Angarakan was cured of his leprosy after a dip in the holy water here. It is also known as Goksheera (Go means cow and ksheera means milk) Theertham, as Kamadhenu’s milk flowed into this tank when she performed abhishegam to the deity here with her milk. It tastes sweet like a cane juice and hence known as Ikshusara (ikshu means cane and sara means juice) Theertham. Jatayau had his bath here and hence it is also known as Jatayu Theertham. Devotees buy jaggery from one of the many shops outside the temple and dissolve it in the water here. However, these days the temple administration is very conscious about keeping the water clean and discourage this practice. A separate bin has been placed near the temple tank to deposit the jaggery. After a dip in the tank or prokshanam (sprinkling water on ones head), have the darshan of Vinayakar and then offer salt and pepper opposite to Ambal’s shrine. You could buy the Silver plated body organs and deposit in the Hundi. This is supposed to cure all diseases. Have the darshan of Vinayakar in the praharam (circumambulatory path) around Vaidhyanathaswamy’s deity before praying to Lord Vaidhyanathaswamy. Selvamuthukumar, Gajalakshmi, Natarajar, Durgai, Dhanvantri, Dakshinamurthy, Sattanathar, Jatayu Kundam and Angarakan (Utsava murthy) are all there as you do the pradarshanam (cicumambulation) of Lord Vaidhyanathaswamy.
Near the Eastern Gopuram (tower) there are deities of Jwarahareshwarar (on who cures the common fever), Palaniandavar and Angarakan (Moolavar). The sthala vruksham is neem tree and is found in the outer praharam(circumambulatory path) near the Eastern Gopuram. This tree is supposed to have been in existence since Kritayuga. It was Kadamba during the Kritayuga, Vilva during the Tretayuga, Vakula during the Dwaparayuga and in the Kaliyuga it is neem. You can see the deity of Aadhi Vaitheeswaran under the sthala vruksham.
It is believed that Rama and Lakshmana cremated Jatayu here. There are niches of Rama, Lakshmana, and Vishwamitra. Vasishtha and Jatayu near the Jatayu Kunda.
Nethrapidi Sandhanam and Thiruchandu Urundai are two of the prasadams which are believed to cure all ailments. Thiruchandu Urundai or medicinal pellet was given by Vaidhyanathaswamy to Angarakan to cure his leprosy. It is prepared from the Homa Kundam. Nethrapidi Santhanam is a paste made by mixing sandal powder and saffron with water. This is applied on Muthukumaraswamy’s forehead before being given as medicine.
Poojas: The Chevvai dosham (malefic effect) caused by unfavourable position of Angarakan or Chevvai in the horoscope may manifest as aggressiveness, tendency to get into unnecessary arguments or jealousy in the native. It can also result in loss of money, physical injury or even imprisonment. Chevvai dosham is rectified by performing parihara poojas (appeasement poojas) to this deity. Devotees may perform Angaraka Pooja to get rid of financial crisis. Worshipping Chevvai here helps in neutralizing the negative effects. Offerings of red cloth and Bengal gram or kadalai paruppu are made to Chevvai here. Tuesdays are special days here as Chevvai is associated with that day of the week.
Recite the following mantras facing south, which is Angarakan’s direction.
Angaraka Moola Mantram: Aum kram krim kraum sah bhaumaya namah
Angaraka Gayathri: AUM Angarkaya vidmahe, bhoomibalaya dhimahi, thanno kujah prachodayath
Other interesting things here:
Vaitheeswaran Koil is the nerve centre for Naadi Josiyam, a popular form of astrology. The great sages (Sidhdhars) of India had the power to look into the past and future of the entire universe and had written these predictions on palm leaves. These can be deciphered by expert Naadi astrologers only.
Boarding & Lodging:
There are a few chatrams or choultries where you can stay. If you happen to land there in the morning after an overnight journey and want to leave immediately after darshan at the temple, choultries are the best and most economical option. They just charge you Rs.100/- or less for use of their facilities. Similar charges are applicable if you want to rest for a couple of hours in the afternoon. If you would want a more comfortable accommodation, especially overnight stay, a few Hotels like Sadhabhishegam are available. Thayyalnayaki mess opposite to the Western Gopuram (tower) is a decent place to eat. Sadhabhishegam also serves good food.
Buses going to Mayavaram from Chennai, Pondy, Chidambaram, and Cuddalore pass through Vaitheeswaran Koil.
250 Kms from Chennai
7.5 Kms from Sirkali on Sirkali – Mayavaram Road
24 Kms from Chidambaram
15 kms from Mayavaram or Mayiladuthurai
49 Kms from Kumbakonam
Other Temples Nearby:
Thiruninriyur – Lakshmipureeswarar Temple to gain prosperity.
Alternate Temples for Angarakan or Chevvai
Dhandayuthapani temple at Palani
Vaitheeswaran Koil at Poonamalee near Chennai
Temple Timings: 6AM to 1 PM & 4PM to 9PM.
Arulmigu Vaidhyanathar Temple
Vaitheeswaran Kovil Post
Temple Phone Number: 04364 279 423
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