Padal Petra Sthalam, Thanjavur District


Nageswarar (also Naganadar, Shanbagaranyeswarar), facing east


Piraiyaninoodhalal and Girigujambigai

Other Deities

Vinayaka, Muruga, Nataraja, Sekkizhar, Rahu, Saraswathi, Lakshmi

Thirunageswaram is a huge temple which is also one of the Navagraha temples representing the shadow planet Rahu. The idol of Rahu here is with a human face, unlike other temples where he is found with the face of a serpent. When ritually bathed with milk it turns blue over the idol and again to white when reaching the base. Thirunageswaram was also called Senbaranya Kshetram on account of the presence of a large number of Shenbaga trees. Goddess Girigujambigai is in a separate shrine with Saraswathi and Mahalakshmi facing her on her left and right. Rahu is seen with his consorts Nagavalli and Nagakanni. Thirunageswaram temple covers an area of 630 ft (190 m) South-North and 800 ft (240 m) East-West with concentric sub-lanes and four major streets around the four sides. There are four gateways along the four sides with Rajagopurams and an inner very high compound wall. The temple tank is located in the southern side and has a hundred pillared hall. The second precinct includes the Rahu shrine in the northeastern corner. The path leading to the main shrine in the second precinct has a hall decorated with Nayak style pillars with Yalis. There is a hall on the northern side with pillars decorated with Yalis used for staging idols during the festive occasions. The Dwarapalaga images on each side at the entrance of Naganathar shrine are made of chunam clay.

Holy Water (Theertham) – Surya Theertham and 12 other theerthams (some of them are Gowthama Theertham, Parasara Theertham, Indira Theertham, Prugu Theertham, Kannuva Theertham and Vasishta Theertham)

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Shenbagam (Michelia champaka)


Thirugnanasambandar, Thirunavukkarasar and Sundarar (7th – 9th Century CE) have rendered Thevaram hymns here at Thirunageswaram. Aditya I (c.870 – c.907 CE) is said to have developed the Thirunageswaram temple. An inscription in the temple states that the Ganapathy shrine was installed by the great Saint Sadasiva Brahmendra along with a Ganapathy Yantra. The hall leading to the main shrine was constructed by Govinda Dikshitar, the minister of successive Nayak rulers, Achuthappa Nayak (1560–1614) and Raghunatha Nayak (1600–34).


Serpents Adishesha, Takshaka and Karkotaka worshipped Shiva here leading to the name “Thirunageswaram”. Adisesha is believed to have done a penance here at Thirunageswaram. Sages Gautama, Parashara and Kings Bhagiratha, Nala are said to have worshiped the Lord here at Thirunageswaram.


Thirunageswaram is 5 Kilometers east of Kumbakonam and is easily accesible by road and bus. Nearby is the equally famous 108 Divya Desam Oppiliappan Temple.

Stay and Food

Small eateries available locally, but your best option is to stay in Kumbakonam.

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