274 Sthalams of erstwhile Chola Country have been sung in Devaram and Alangudi is one among the 127 Sthalams, situated on the southern banks of Cauvery river. Sage Sukha, Rishi Viswamithra, Sage Agastya, Adisankara and several other hoy men have worshipped at this shrine. The Lord of this Sthalam is Swayumbhu (Natural origination of the idiol). Hence, the period of this temple could not be fixed accurately. The temple is existing from ancient times.
Apatsahayesvarar Temple Construction
This temple was believed to be constructed by an ardent of Lord Shiva. ‘Amuthokar’, the minister of the King Masukuntha Chakravarti. He was beheaded by the Chakravarti, as he refused to give half of his Punya, (merit) to the King. On his death, the sthalam reverberated with the sound ‘Amuthokar’. The King got frightened at this constant diabolic echo, realizes his mistake and worshipped the Lord Abadsahayeswarar with ardent devotion. Then, he was relieved from all Doshas.
Alangudi is a tiny village in Thiruvarur Dt. of Tamil Nadu. It is 7 Kms South of Needamangalam Railway station and 17 Kms South of Kumbakonam, on the road that leads to maanargudi. Kasi Arranyam, Thiru Erumpoolai and Alangudi are the names by which this holy place is known. The Divine poet, Thirugnanasambandar has blessed this Sthalam as beautiful place filled with flowers.
Sthala Vruksha (The Holy Tree)
Poolai Shrub is the holy tree of this Sthalam and it is an object of worship here..
Theertham (The Holy Water)
Alangudi is surrounded by three holy rivers. They are Cauvery, Kolidam and Vennaru. Fifteen theerthams are around this temple, among which the Amrita Pushkarani encircling the temple is very famous. Chakra theertham is in front of the temple. It is said that this theertham, was created by Maha Vishnu’s Chakra (Disc).
Once a Chola Raja, who ruled over Thiruvarur, was fascinated by the idol of Sundaramurthy at Alangudi and desired to have it installed at Thiruvarur for worship. On learning this, temple priest at Alangudi become panic stricken. He disguised the idol as a child affected with chicken-pox, hid it inside a swing and brought it back safely to Alangudi. The traces of Chicken-pox can still be seen on this image. What a miracle! It reinforces our Spiritual faith in the Almighty even in this Kali yunga!
Apatsahayesvarar Temple Festivals
Pancha Paruva Urchavam, Special Darshan on monthly Guru Varams, Gurupeyarchi (Transgression of Guru Baghavan from one sign of Zodiac to another sign) Guruvara Darshan on Masi Maham, 1008 Conch Abisheka Festival, ten days Maha Festival during Chitra Pournami and the Guru Baghavan car festival on the tenth day and Laksharchanai during Guru Peyarchi are celebrated grandly.
Transit day of planet Jupiter from one zodiac sign to the next with special pujas, Poornima day (Full moon day) in the month of Chithirai (April-May), Thai poosam in January-February, Panguni Uthiram in March-April and Car festival for Lord Dakshinamurthy are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
Few Tips for Propitiating Jupiter
Donating yellow colored garments and chick peas (Channadal) is believed to bring happiness to his devotees.
Apatsahayesvarar Temple Timing
It is believed that only those who had obtained the blessings and punya from 14 generations could come to this temple. The Following sequential steps of the propitiatory ritual must be meticulously followed at the temple.
First Lord Vinayaka is to be worshipped as a prelude to any deity’s worship.
Then, Dwaja Ganapathy (appearing in the flag – mast) followed by Lord Abathsagayeswarar (the main deity) and Guru Dakshinamurthy have to be worshiped.
Later, the deities Somaskanda, Karthikeya, Mahalakshmi, Durga, Chandikeshwara, Navagrahas ans Festival Idol Gurumurthy, who are in the prakaras have to be worshipped.
Then, Lord Sani and Goddess Elavarkuzhali Ammai (Consory of the Main Deity) have to be worshipped.
Finally, prostration before the flag – mast is to be done, with our body touching the ground.
The worshipper is instructed to light 24 lamps with ghee and circumambulate the Guru Bhagavan temple 24 times.
Alangudi can be reached via bus services from Kumbakonam side, where the nearest railway station is around 14 km away, or from Tiruvarur side as well. Buses and open auto-rickshaws are easy transportations in Alangudi. For convenience, you can hire a car.