Presiding Deity : Bhakthajaneswarar
Reputation : Swayambu
Holy tree: Naval
Holy Spring: Gomukhi
Place : Thirunavalur
Scriptural name: Jambunathapuri
District : Villupuram
Thirunavalur is the birth place of saivite saint Sundarar Prayer, prayer commitments,speciality of the temple, reputation, general information, festivals and history.
Thirunavalur shrine is devotionally revered by those closely attached to Saivism. It is here planet Sukra (Venus) got relieved from retrograde effects. People awaiting marriage, expecting trade development, elevation in jobs, health visit this temple for fulfillment of their desires. Those worshipping the Lord here get mental peace, oratory skill, educational recognition and above all the very blessing of the Lord.
It is noteworthy that Sukra (Venus) installed a Shivalinga here and performed the pujas as per rules and was blessed by the Lord. This Linga is near the Navagraha (9 planets) in the temple. Special pujas are performed to this Linga on Fridays as Friday belongs to Sukra.
Devotees worship the Lord with white lotus, white silk dhoti, do the lighting with white ghee and achieve their boons from the Lord. Their endeavours progress without any obstacle. Archana (worshipping the Lord chanting his names) with 3 limes and 3 turmeric bring happy events to the family.
Abishek is done with oil, turmeric powder, flour powder, milk, curd, fruits, sugarcane juice, honey, panchamirtham, sandal, rosewater, sacred ashes and cloths offered. Annadhanam is undertaken by the wealthy to the visitors.
Speciality of the temple – Sundaramurthy Nayanar
Thirunavalur is the holy soil where Sundaramurthy Nayanar, the hero of the celebrated epic Periapuranam was born. He was born to the Sivachariar (priest of the temple) in charge of the daily pujas of the temple.
Sundarar as Alalasundarar was a close associate of Lord Shiva in Kailash. He loved two virgins there Anindhai and Kamalini. Understanding his mind, Lord Shiva ordered him to be born on Earth as the son of Sadayanar and Isaignaniyar in Thirunavalur in Nadu Naadu. The two virgins also were born on Earth in the names of Paravayar and Sangiliar. Sundarar wedded Paravayar in Tiruvarur and Sangiliar in Tiruvottriyur. Sundarar is the author of Thiruthondathogai, the basis for the later Periapuranam penned by Sekkilar. In Thiruthondathogai, Sundarar had mentioned that he was the disciple all Nayanars whom he had mentioned reverentially by name. He later took up the mission of spreading Saivism and did the miracle of reclaiming a boy from a crocodile that swallowed him years back. This miracle took place in Avinashi.
On the day of his marriage in Thirunavalur, Lord Shiva, in the guise of an old man and relieved Sundarar from the bonds he was likely to be tied in then. There is still a Mutt in Thirunavalur in his name. There is a separate shrine for him in the temple. Sundarar appears here with his consorts Paravayar and Sangiliar.
Thirunavalur is the holy soil that gave birth to Sundarar. The Bhaktajaneswarar temple is ageless. Goddess is seen with unfurled hair performing penance. The Iravadam elephant sent by Lord Himself to take Sundarar back to Kaialash can be seen in the inner roundway of temple.
Dakshinamurthy in the temple is on the Rishab Vahana (bull vehicle). He is the deity for the Poorada star. He gave darshan to Sundarar. Planet Sukra (Venus) worshipped Goddess Manonmani and as directed by the Goddess, he worshipped Bhaktajaneswarar then.
This is the shrine worshipped by Brahmma, Vishnu, Chandikeswara, Saptha Rishis (Seven sages), Garuda, Sundarar, Sadaya Nayanar, Isai Gnaniyar, Narasinghamunaiarayar. Sun did worship here. The Shivalinga, worshipped by Sukra also known as Barghava is installed near the Navagrahas in the name of Bhargaveeswara Linga.
The Sun is facing the West here. During the month of Panguni (March-April) from 23 to 27, Sun rays fall on the presiding deity.
Of the Shiva shrines of Nadu Naadu region, Thirunavalur is the eighth.
Thirunavalur is 16 kms from Panruti, 35 from Cuddalore, 22 from Villupuram. 56 from Pondicherry. Lodging facilities are available conveniently in Panruti charges ranging from Rs. 200 to Rs. 500. The temple lies on the Ulundurpet Panruti route. Bus facilities are comfortably available from Panruti. Nearest railway station is Panruti, Parikkal and the airport Chennai.
Temple Pujas are followed in accordance with the Kamika Agamam.
One day festival in the month of Avani (August-September) on Uthra star day is celebrated with all splendour. Sundarar Guru Puja day takes place in the month of Adi (July-August) on Swathi Star day.
Chithirai Car Festival (April-May) 15 days. Chitra new Year day is very grandly celebrated with the assistance of donors. Pujas are performed to Panchamurthis and Sundarar.
Pooram Star day in Adi month (July-August) is the festival for Goddess Manonmani. Special pujas are performed to Goddess Manonmani and Durga on Tuesdays, Fridays. Rahukala puja is observed on Tuesdays for Goddess Durga between 3.00 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. Women gather in large numbers for this Rahukala Puja.
Special Puja is performed on Fridays for the Linga installed by Sukra with butter, white ghee, beans, white silk.
Thursday Puja is performed to Lord Dakshninamurthy with yellow clothing, yellow flowers, yellow pulse. Every religious day will be a festival in Thirunavalur temple and on Pradosha days drawing huge crowd of devotees.
The presiding deity is also known as Jambunatheswarar, Thirunavaleeswarar and Thiruthandeeswarar. Goddess is also known as Navalambikai, Sundarambikai and Rakshambikai.
Vinayaka in the temple is known as Sundaravinayakar, Muruga as Shanmuganathan.. The holy springs are Gomukhi theertham and Garuda river. Thirunavalur is highly praised by Sekkizhar in his celebrated epic Periapuranam also known as Thiruthondar Puranam. Saint Arunagiriar has Muruga in his Thirupugazh.
When the milk ocean was churned, the alakala poison came out which Lord Shiva consumed to protect the lives of all creatures. The drops that fell on earth were grown into Jumbo fruit trees and came to be known as Jumbo forest. The Lord decended on this spot and the antiquity of the place is said to be earlier the Yugas began. There was only a sanctum Sanatorium and no other buildings for the temple. Later the temple was extended with more structures by the Chera, Chola, Pandya and Pallava kings. The Sanskrit Jambunatheswarar was later mentioned as Thirunavaleesan in Chaste Tamil by Sundarar. He also named the place as Thirunamanallur. Thirunavalur is a Shiva Shrine that no Saivite can afford to miss to see in his lifetime.