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Sunday, 24 July 2011

Guru Baghwan

Abathsahayeswarar Temple at Alangudi, one of theNavagraha Temples in Tamil Nadu, is about 17 km fromKumbakonam on the way to Needamangalam, in Tiruvarur District ofTamilnadu
The main deities are Lord Abathsahayeswarar or Aranyeswara, accompanied by his consort, Ezhavarkuzhali or Umai Ammai.  The temple is regarded as a Guru Sthalam (the temple of Planet Jupiter) where Lord Dakshinamurthy (The Guru or teacher form of Lord Shiva) is held in great reverence. 
A special feature is that Lord Guru or Brihaspati (or Brahmanaspati) is engraved on the wall and is not in the form of separate idol, reunited with Shiva.   It is believed that Adi Shankaracharya and Sage Agastya had worshipped Lord Guru at Tiruvirumpoolai Abathsahayeswarar Temple, Alangudi.


Located on the south of the river Cauvery, the Alangudi Temple occupies a large area surrounded by lofty walls. There are around 15 theerthams in this temple and the one which is located inside the temple is referred to as Amrita Pushkarini. Abathsahayeswarar Temple abodes shrines of Surya, Gurumoksheswarar, Somanathar, Saptarishi nathar, Someswarar, Vishnunathar and Bhrameesar, Kaasi Viswanathar and Visalakshi. The inscriptions that date back to the period of Vikrama Chola (1131) refer Alankudi as Jananatha saruppedimangalam. The details of the Chidambaram Natarajar temple are also seen here. The Poolaivala River, which runs east of the temple, is an added attraction.


Legend says that once Devas and the Asuras tried to churn the celestial ocean, 'Parkadal' (sea of milk). They used the celestial snake 'Vasuki' as the rope and the mount 'Mandara' as the rod to obtain the nectar. The snake emitted deadly poison (Ala Visham) which the Lord swallowed to safeguard the universe. Hence Lord Shiva came to be called as 'Abathsahayeswarar', meaning 'savior' for having consumed the poison and the place came to be known as 'Alangudi'. Goddess Parvati is said to have been reborn on the banks of Amrita Pushkarini and later on reunited with Shiva and hence this place is known as Thirumana Mangalam. Sage Viswamitrar is believed to have worshipped Shiva here. Lord Ganesha is worshipped as 'Kalangaamal Kaatha Vinayagar' (the Lord who was firm in saving the devotees) for having murdered the ferocious 'Gajamuhasura' who was a great threat to the Devas.  Kasi Aranyam and Thiruvirumpoolai are the other names of Alangudi.


Alangudi is about 35 km from Tiruvarur which serves as the nearest railway station. Nidamangalam Railway Station, on the Thanjavur-Tiruvarur rail route, is the nearest railhead.

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