Sri Dharbarenyeswarar Temple Thirunallaru
By CR. Kaushik
Thirunallar is a small town located 5 Km west of Karaikal in the Union Territory of Puducherry and can be reached by road from the town of Kumbakonam. Dharbarenyeswarar Temple is an ancient Siva temple probably constructed around the 7th Century A.D.
The word “Aru” also conveys the meaning “to heel” or to remove. The place where one could ward the evil effects of Saturn. It also lies between two rivers in the name Nal-Aru, as this place is situated in the midst of two rivers in the north i.e. Noolaru and Vanchiaru, and one in the south, Arasalaru. And this name as such occurs in the Inscriptions. Besides, the name of Nallaru this sacred place has also other name such as Adipuri, Darbharanyam, Nagavidangapuram, Naleswaram etc
Sani Bhagavan at Thirunallaru. The Legendary King Nala of the Nishadha country of Puranic fame is said to have been relieved of his afflictions, which were due to the malefic influence of Saturn, after worships in this temple. Whoever visits this temple and prays before Lord Saneeswaran is believed to have been relieved of all the curses and sufferings and get the blessings of Lord for a happy and prosperous life.When the Planet Saturn transits between zodiac signs, literally millions throng this shrine.
The moolavar of Dharbarenyeswarar is Swayambu Lingam is also known as ‘Adhimurthy’ or ‘Nallarar’. The place was originally a forest of Dharba grass and it is stated that the Lingam even now has impressions left by the Dharba weeds within which it was situated. Dharbarenyeswarar is the main deity and Lord Saturn, Sri Pranambigai, Sri Thiagarajar and Sri Vinayagar are other deities in the Temple.
Poojas are performed 6 times (6 kalams). Poojas like Ashtothra Archana, Abhishegam, Sahasranama Archana and Navagraha Shanthi Homam are performed daily but Homams are not accepted on Saturdays. The great Saivite saints Thirugnanasambhandar, Sundaramurthy Swamigal, Thirunavukkarasar and Arunagirinadhar have worshipped at this shrine and sung about the glory of the Lord. ‘Pachai Padhigam’ sung by the great saint Thirugnanasambhandar is very famous one. Oil lamps with gingely oil and with black Dil (Ellu) are traditionally lit in this temple. Dil rice is offered as nivedhana. Navagraha Shanti Homas to satisfy and calm down the anger of the planets are conducted.
Saniswara or Saturn, is generally known to affect one adversely on occasions when he occupies certain positions in one’s horoscope. A prayer to him, especially on Saturdays, is said to mitigate the hardships one will have to face during these periods. Saniswara is considered equally a bestower of all benefits to the devotees who pray sincerely to him. He is ruled by Lord Yama. A malefic Saturn in one’s horoscope is believed to cause miseries and hardships which can be mitigated by worshiping here. According to astrology, Saneeswaran moves from one sign (house) to the next in the Zodiac once in 2-1/2 years and the day of his transit is observed as a big festival in Thirunallar. On the day previous to the day of transit, religious discourses and entertainments are arranged. On the festival day, Thiruppavai and Thiruvembavai are chanted at 5.00 a.m followed by abhishekas in a grand scale.
The Important festivals celebrated in the temple are the following :- Adi Pooram festival for one day for Ambal in July-August, Vinayaga Chathurthi festival for Vinayagar for one day in August-September, Navarathri Kolu, Ambu festival in September-October., Soorasamharam festival for seven days for Subramanyar in October-November, Thiruvathirai festival for ten days in December-January. Sivarathri festival for Chandrasekarar and Ambal in February March, The Brahmortsavam festival in Vaikasi, Sanipeyarchi festival for two days once in two and half years when “Sani” changes his gruha or place, Apart from these festivals, Special Abhishegam are also held in the Temple throughout the year on important occasions.
There are numerous tanks around the temple the Nala theertam is the important one. By bathing here, it is believed that one washes off all kinds of misfortune, afflictions and to escape from the woes of sani.
Karaikal is connected directly from Chidambaram (57 Kms), Mayiladurai, Kumbakonam (64 Kms) Thanjavur (103 Kms) Thiruchirappalli (168 Kms), Thiruvarur, Velankanni, Nagappattinam (19Kms).
Sri Darbaranyeswara Swami Devasthanam, Thirunallar – 609607, Puducherry Union Territory. Temple Phone No: 04368-236530 or 236504