We continued our visit to temples from the next day morning ie on Tuesday morning by 6 AM. First, we went to Thirunageswaram. Here, the main deity Shiva is known as Naganathar and Parvathi as Piraisoodi Amman(Giri Gujambigai). It is believed that the king of serpents Adhisesha did penance and got the blessings of Lord Shiva and hence, the place is known as Thirunageswaram. There is a separate sannidhi for Rahu. Many people visit this temple during Rahukalam to see the milk abhishekam which turns into blue in colour.
Our nest place of visit is Oppiliappan temple. Markandeya maharishi prayed for the boon by doing penance for 1000 years that Goddess Lakshmi should appear as his daughter and Vishnu as his son-in-law. Lakshmi appeared as a baby under the already incarnated thulasi plant. He took possession of the baby and raised her. When the young girl reached adolescent age, Vishnu appeared as an old man and asked for the hand of Markandeya’s daughter in marriage. Markandeya replied that, “You are very ripe and old, my daughter is too young and she does not even know how to cook with proper salt contents” to which the old man replied, “If your daughter must cook without salt, then I will still take it as my best food, but I will not leave from here without marrying her”. Markandeya sought the help of Vishnu and then realised using his penance that the old man was none other than Vishnu himself. Markandeya offered his daughter’s hand in marriage. As per the legend, the temple Neivethiyam is always prepared without salt in the food.
Then, we went to Ivarvadi to have the darshan of Goddess Prithyangara Devi. This temple has got cremation grounds on all the 8 sides. Pratyangaradevi with Her Lion face and 18 hands and smiling face appeared from the forehead eye of Lord Sarabeswarar. She is dark in complexion wearing crescent moon on the head and holding trident, Pasam, Damarugam a leather musical instrument accompanied by Mothers Lakshmi and Saraswathy on both sides. Devotees participate in the Nikumbala Yajna to regain the position they had lost, for removal of enemy threats, relief from debt burdens, promotion in jobs, employment opportunities, wedding boon and progress in business. Those afflicted with adverse aspects of Saturn-Sani Bhagwan also take part in the Nikumbala Yagam. The red chillies used for homam will not cause cough or other inconvenience to the devotees. The sacred banyan tree in the temple has also leaves of other trees as Bodhi, Mango, Ichi and Purasu. Five types of leaves exist in the same tree.
There is a legend about this temple. Ravana’s son Indrajit performed Nikumbala Yagna to get victory in the war against Rama. If he completed the yajna successfully, he would become unconquerable. Knowing his plans, Lord Sri Rama too performed special pujas to Devi. Mother Pratyangaradevi knew the purpose of both sides. She did not want to help Indrajit as his purpose was unjust. She blessed Lord Rama with success in the war and in rescuing Mother Sita from the captivity of Ravana.
Our next visit is to Nachiar kovil. The Srinivasa perumal kovil here is 14th of 108 Diva desams. Goddess Lakshmi is known as Vanjulavalli. Kal Garudar is the most prominent feature of the temple. Offering worship to the ‘Kalgarudan’ (Garuda made of stone) on Thursdays dispels all types of doshas. Perumal’s Garudaseva is popular in this temple. As per Hindu legend, the sage Medhavi was doing penance at this place. While taking a bath in the river, he found an image of Chakrathazhvar entwined with Yoga Narasimha. A divine voice asked him to install the image in his hermitage and worship it. The Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu chose to grow in the hermitage and appeared to the sage in the form of a small girl and requested him to take care of her. Vishnu traveled in search of Lakshmi on his vehicle Garuda, the eagle. Garuda found the presence of Lakshmi in the hermitage. Vishnu appeared to Medhavi, pleased by the latter’s devotion and asked his daughter to be married to him. The sage happily married Lakshmi to Vishnu and requested him to stay in his place, which Vishnu accepted.
The next destination is Alangudi. The main deity Shiva is known as “Apatsahayesvarar”. As per legend Shiva consumed deadly poison, giving rise to the name Alangudi and deity being termed Apatsahayesvarar, indicating saviour during hard times. The ambal is known as darmasamvardhini. This temple is the Parihara sthalam for Guru. Guru is attributed to luck, favour and fortune.