Thirunavalur

Thirunavalur

Padal Petra Sthalam, Villupuram District

God

Bhaktajaneswarar, Thirunavaleswarar, facing east

Goddess

Manonmaniammai, Sundarambigai, Sundaryanayagi, facing east

Other Deities

Sundarar, Natarajar, Sivakamiammai, Vinayaka, Muruga, Dakshinamurthy, Sekkizhar, Nalvar, 63 Nayanmars, Gajalakshmi,
Yugalingams, Chandikeswara, Varadaraja Perumal, Rama

Thirunavalur is a large temple with a 5 tier Rajagopuram and separate shrines for the main deities. Chandikeswara’s history is depicted by beautiful carvings around the Sanctorum Sanctorum. A small temple is found a little way away where the great saivite saint Sundarar¬†was borne.

Holy Water – Gomukhi Theertham, Chanda Theertham (Gedilam River) and the nearby Naaval Kulam

Holy Tree – Naval (Syzygium cumini)

History

Sundarar (8th Century CE) was borne here at Thirunavalur and he rendered Thevaram Hymns for the lord here. About 56 stone inscriptions which have been found at Thirunavalur all belong to the Chola Era between 870 CE to 1140 CE approximately. It is also said that Vijayanagara Kings contributed to the temple’s growth later. Arunagirinadar (15th century CE) has mentioned Thirunavalur in his Thirupugazh songs dedicated to Lord Muruga.

Legend

Lord Mahavishnu to destroy the formidable Hiranyakashibu is believed to have prayed here at Thirunavalur to Lord Shiva for his favour and advise before taking the Narasimha Avatar. The legend of Chandikeswara is said to have its origin here contradicting another version which is widely accepted. A devotee called Sivapriya who was given the duty of dividing the milk yielded by cows and distributing appropriately to prescribed uses decided that the portion for the lord is insufficient and made his own decision to apportion the milk giving more to the lord. Infuriated by this his father reprimands him and angered by this Sivapriyan beats and tries to kill his father with a sword. The Lord in the form of a hunter intervenes, also prevents his suicide attempt by showing his original form and gives him the Chandikeswara name and duty. The Lingams believed to have been prayed to by Sukra and Narasingamunayarayar are seen here at Thirunavalur.

Directions

Half way between Villupuram and Ulundurpet, before you cross the River Gedilam, the Thirunavalur road takes off on the left. Thirunavalur temple is about 2 kilometers down this road.

Stay and Food

Tea and snack shops available near the temple.

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