Vaitheeswaran Kovil Sirkazhi
Vaitheeswaran Kovil Sirkazhi – Planet (Chevvai,Mars) - Vaitheeswaran Kovil is one of the Navagraha Temples Located in Sirkazhi near Kumbakonam,Tamil Nadu ,India. There are many places where Angaaraga Bhagavan (Sevvaai) has offered worship. Among these, the place that needs special mention is Thirupullirukku Veloor (Vaitheeswaran Kovil). The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is worshipped as Vaitheeswaran or Vaidhyanadha Swamy. His Consort is known as Thaiyal Nayaki. Unlike most other temples that are known by the presiding deity,
Lord Muruga is a celebrated deity in Vaitheeswaran Koil. Though the name Vaidhyanadhan is associated with Lord Shiva, poet Arunagiri-nadhar prefers to call Muruga by that name in one of his verses, known for the beauty of their rhythm . Lord Rama cremated Jatayu here.
Description: This Shivastalam is a well-known, well visited shrine with towering Gopurams; hailed as one of the 9 Navagraha Stalams, sacred to Mars - Angarakan it is visited by thousands. It is located in close proximity to Sirkazhi and Chidambaram. The Singaravelar - Subramanya shrine is also of importance here. There are several literary works about this shrine. Ramalinga Adigalar has sung its praises. Tiruvenkaadu is also located near Vaideeswaran Koyil.
Vaitheeswaran Kovil is rich in legend and tradition. There are several works in Tamil dedicated to this shrine. It was visited by Tirugnanasambandar, Appar. Arunagirinathar's Tiruppugazh hymns also speak of the glory of this shrine. So do the hymns of saints such as Kumaragurupara Swamigal and Ramalinga Adigalaar. Poems of Kaalamega Pulavar and Padikkasu Tambiran also speak of the glories of this shrine.
The temple is enshrined at the centre of the town with tall and imposing granite walls surrounding it. The temple has three gopurams. The main tower, an imposing structure, is on the western side. On the eastern side, there is an equally imposing gopuram. The third tower on the northern side is relatively smaller. On the south, we have the temple tank, known as the Sidhdha-amrita-theertham, whose water is considered divine and is believed to cure many incurable diseases.
For some strange reason there are no frogs, nor there are snakes in and around the tank. Legend has it that sage Sadhananda was meditating in the banks of the tank when a frog, chased by a snaked, leaped on him. It is said that he ordained that no frogs or snakes should be found in the vicinity of the tank.
There are two big prakarams - corridors - with inner corridors surrounding the shrines of the presiding deity, Vaidhyanadha and His Consort, Thaiyal Nayaki. Vaidhyanadha is facing the west while Thaiyal Nayaki is facing the south. There are several minor deities installed along the corridors. Two dwajasthambas, (flag staff) one golden and the other silver, are installed in the corridor. On the northern side, under the smaller tower, is installed the deity of Muruga, who is known as Selva Muthukumaraswami. He received his 'vel', the spear with which he killed Surapadman, from Shakthi in Vaitheeswaran Koil. Interestingly, the 'vel' represents Him to many of his devotees and there are several temples where one can find a separate shrine for the divine spear, which is worshipped as a deity by itself.
Features: Murugan is the ruler of Mars, and Mars is said to have offered prayers to Him here. Hence the place is famous for both Murugan and Mars. Thus, Mars occupies an important place in the Hindu mythology.
The Angaaraka shrine here is also of great significance and is indeed unique to this temple. A bronze of image of Angaaraka is housed in this shrine and is taken out in procession on a goat mount every Tuesday. Angaaraka represents the planet Mars and is described as one with a fiery red complexion attired in red and as the overlord of the zodiac signs of Aries and Scorpia and as being the strongest in the zodiac sign of Capricorn.
Rig Vedam (Irukku), Jatayu (Pull), Sambadi, the Surya (Oor) and Skanda (Vel) are said to have worshipped Shiva here and hence the name PullirukkuVelur..Rama Lakshmana and the Saptarishis are also said to have worshipped Shiva here. It is also believed that Rama performed the last rites to Jatayu here. The nectar with which the Sidhas worshipped Shiva is said to have flown into the Sidhamrita Theertham.
The sthala vriksham here is vembu. The sacred pond is called 'Siddhamirdha Theertham'. It is believed that if one takes a dip in this pond every Tuesday and worships lord Muruga, they will achieve their goals and lead a peaceful life.
The holy ashes of Jatayu pit, present inside the temple and the Marundhu urundai sold in the temple are believed to have special powers to cure all kinds of diseases .