56. Sri Karumbeswarar Temple, Thirukkaanoor, Thiruvaiyaru (Chola Nadu - North of Kaveri):Names of God : Sri Karumbeswarar, Sri Semmeninathar
Name of Goddess : Sri Sivaloka Nayagi
Holy water (Theertham) : Vedha Theertham.
Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) : Vilwa Tree.
Thevaram : Thirunavukarasar - 1 ; Sambandar - 1
District : Thanjavur.
Location : Thiruvaiyaru.
Timings : 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 noon and from 03:30 p.m. to 05:00 p.m.
For Complete List of 275 Shiva Temples : Click HereThis is the 56th sthalam on the northern side of river Cauvery. Moovar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple. Tirukkaanur is a village near Tanjore town in South India. Currently, the place is called as Manal Medu. It is located near Tirukkandiyur and Tirukkattuppalli, which in turn is located near Tiruvaiyaru. The village has an important temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is considered as the 56th among the Tevara Paadal Petra Stalams (274 most important temples of Lord Shiva) located in the Chola region north of Cauvery river.
- Once the temple was completely covered with sand and a sugar cane was growing on the top of the sand heap. The temple was discovered after removing the heap of sand and hence the Iraivan is called as Karumbeeswarar.
- Moolavar is suyambu.
- Iraivan appeared as fire in this temple for Ambikai’s thapas. Hence Iraivan is called as Semmeninathar.
- Karikal Chozhan hide in this place with his mother. Latter Elephant garlanded him and lead him to Uraiyur.
- To remove the sin caused due to killing of Karthaveeryarsunan by Parasuraman and worshiped this temple Lord.
- Three tier Rajagopuram. There is an embedded sculpture of hare Moon and snake to represent the lunar eclipse, it is noteworthy.
- There is no Dwajasthambam.
The Great Chola King Karikala Cholan was hiding in exile here. Karikala Cholan’s father died when Karikala was very young. His mother raised him in this village to protect him from enemies. When political normalcy returned, the Chola courtiers sent the royal elephant in search of the young Prince. The elephant found him here. Karikala Cholan went on to become one of the most renowned of the Chola rulers.
The nandi at this temple is seen in a very unique posture. It can be seen with its front left leg planted on the ground and ready to get into a standing position. It is in a posture ready to execute instructions from Lord Shiva. Praying at this temple is said to improve career prospects and result in job for the unemployed.
Those who are afflicted with chronic illness can do puja to the Lord here with the Vilva leaves and get cured. People (especially women) who are facing hurdles in getting married can overcome these hurdles by offering garland of red arali (oleander) to Soundaryanayaki and then lighting a ghee lamp in her sanctum sanctorum. The childless couple are blessed with progeny by doing abhishegam to Shiva and Ambal and offering garland of erukkam flowers (Crown flower). Generally sweets are also offered to the God and Goddess. The Ambal at this temple is made out of Salagram stone.
Parasurama had pledged to wipe out 21 generation of Kshatriyas and did so. The slaying of the Kshatriyas by him resulted in him being afflicted with Kshatriya Hatti Dosham. He had prayed at 21 Shiva temples to get rid of the affliction. This was the eighth of those 21 Shiva temples.
This place was once ruled by the Pandyas. The Pandyas ruled though local Chieftains who ruled on behalf of the Pandyas. The local Chieftain here was very just and had taken good care of his subjects. The Cholas waged a war on the Pandyas and reclaimed some of the lost kingdom. During this time, the local Chieftain here was captured, while his wife was let off because she was pregnant. However, the Chola rulers also said that those who helped the woman would be banished from the Kingdom. The lady who was in the advanced stage of pregnancy was not helped by anyone at Thirukkanur due to the fear of being thrown out of the kingdom. She was heartbroken and angered by the conduct of the very same people for whom they had done a lot. She cursed that the whole village be submerged by sand, and so it did happen. The villagers then moved a little further away to Vishnampettai and settled there. An ancient name for Thirukkanur is Manalmedu (mound of sand).
History / Legend:Paravathi was once separated from Shiva and had come to the earth to perform Her penance to unite with Him. She found this village at Thirukkanur suitable for the same. Pleased with Her devotion, the Lord appeared before Her as a column of fire. Due to the heat He was red in colour and hence He came to be known as Semmeninathar; sem meaning red and meni meaning body in tamil. There is a belief that visiting this temple as a couple will clear all misunderstandings and result in a happy marital life. Reuniting with estranged spouse is also one of the benefits of praying at this temple.
This temple faces east and the sun’s rays fall on the lingam on the 2nd, 3rd & 4th of April. These days are special days at this temple when Lord Surya is believed to come here and worship the Lord.
The east facing temple has three tiered tower (Raja Gopuram). It is believed that the original temple was built by the Pandyas and later was renovated by the Cholas.
The sanctum sanctorum has the main deity in the form of Shiva Linga named as Karumbeswarar. There is a separate shrine facing
the south direction dedicated to the Mother Goddess Soundara Nayaki.
The sub-shrines of Ganesha and Skanda-Valli-Devasena, Chandikeshwara, Nagas, Ayyanar, Surya, Chandra and Nalvar are found in the prakara.
Dakshinamurti, Bhikshatana, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are found as the niche (koshta) idols around the sanctum sanctorum.
Location: This temple is located 6 Kms from Tirukkattupalli ( Tirukkaattupalli - Tirukandiyur route) on the banks of river Kollidam beyond Vishnampettai Agraharam. It is advised to engage an auto at Tirukkaaattupalli to visit Tirukkaanur.
Temple Address & Contact Details:Arulmighu Semmeninathar Temple
Phone: 04362 320067 ; 93450 09344.