We again started our journey on Wednesday morning by 6 AM, as usual. First, we went to Panduranga temple in Govindapuram. This is Maharashtriyan style temple. Lord Panduranga graces the devotees accompanied by Mother Rukmini from the sanctum sanctorum. Cows are devotionally and affectionately taken care of by the ashram here.
Our next place of visit is Thiruvidaimaruthur. By worshipping the Prime Deity, Lord Mahalinga Swamy, one’s sorrow and unhappiness are alleviated. We were totally amazed and impressed by the vast, beautiful, sacred and majestic look of the Lingam. The Ambal Shrine is one of the Sakthi Peetams and is on the right side of the Swami shrine, that is on southern side as a KALYANA KOLAM – a rare one. The Ambal name is Brahathsundarakujambal. The Mookambigai here is as famous and great like the Karnataka Kollur Mookambigai. In India, only in Kollur and Thiruvitaimaruthur, Mookambigai shrines are seen.
Then, we visited the Shani Bhagavan temple at Thirunallar. Here, Lord Shiva is known as Darbaranyeswarar as this place was covered by Darba in the ancient times. The Ambal is known as Bogamartha Poonmulayal. The only temple where Lord Saneeshwara lost all his power to Lord Shiva (Dharbaranyeshwarar) which saved his devotee Nalan from Saturn’s curses. So, it is believed that to get relief from Shani’s power, people visit often here. People offer their prayers by taking bath in Nala theertham, lighting gingelly oil lamps, performing archana, abhishekam and homam to Saneeswara. Special prayers are done by taking the Sani Bhagavan in golden crow vahanam and feeding crows. We can take Shani prasadam to home, as he is in anugraha pose. Lakhs of people gather here during Shani Peyarchi time.
Next, we went to Thirukkadayar. At that time about 30 Sashtiyapthapoorthi/ Bheema Ratha Shanthi/ Sadhabishekam functions were taking place. We could stand before the main deity Amirthakadeswarar for few seconds only. as there was heavy rush there. There are plenty of good vegetarian hotels available near the temple. On the day Markandeya was destined to die, Yama, the deity of death, appeared with his noose to tie around the soul of Markandeya and take it with him. Markandeya sought refuge in the temple and embraced the Siva Lingam. Shiva appeared and warned Yama not to touch Markandeya, as he was under his protection. Yama refused to listen and threw the noose anyway, binding Markandeya and the Lingam together. Angered by Yama’s extraordinary arrogance, Shiva kicked him and held him under his foot, making Yama inactive. Markandeya was blessed by Shiva to remain sixteen years old eternally. Meanwhile, with Yama being rendered inactive, there were no deaths on earth, but people were still being born. Burdened by the weight of so many people and unable to sustain their hunger, the earth-goddess, Bhumadevi, appealed to Shiva for help. Shiva, feeling compassionate for the earth-goddess, released Yama, allowing death to occur again. However, in order to remind Yama never to try to kill someone while they are worshiping Shiva again, the icon of Shiva in this temple is depicted with his forefinger raised in warning. Since it is believed that Lord Siva subdued Yama in Thirukkadaiyur, the Lord is called Mrityunjaya, Conqueror of Death.
Mother Abhirami here, is all merciful and powerful. She grants boons of prosperity, wedding, child and distinction in academic pursuits. To save Her sincere devotee Abhiramibattar, Mother Abhirami threw Her Thadanga – ear rings in the air which shone as a full moon.
Our forenoon session was over and we returned to lodge for lunch.