Chandramouleeswarar temple is situated at Thirvakkarai, in the Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is primarily dedicated to Lord Shiva and is praised by saints Tirugnana Sambhandhar and Sundharar in the holy hymns of Thevaram. This is the 30th temple in Thondai Naadu region praised in the Thevaram hymns.
About the Deity
The principal deity of this temple is Lord Shiva who graces here as a distinct Mumukha Linga (three faced Linga). While the Panchamukha form of the Lord is found in Nepal and Kalahasthi, the Mumukha form is found only here.
The Atma Linga of the Lord is seen in the western side of Kali Shrine. This linga which is also called as the Kanda Linga, is believed to have been worshipped by demon Vakrasura. One special feature of this Linga is that, it stays cool even during the scorching summers, while the water droplets stay on it during monsoon.
Lord Muruga graces in this temple from a separate shrine and is praised in the revered Tirupugazh hymns composed by saint Arunagirinathar. Lord Chandramouleeswara fondly called Chandrasekhara, Piraisoodia Peruman. Mother Parvathi here is also known by the name Amirthambikai, Vadivambikai.
About the Temple
This is the only Mummukha Linga of Lord Shiva ever found . The Mukha (face) facing east is known as Tathpurusha Linga, while the one facing north is the Vamadeva Linga. The face seeing the south is the Agora Linga. It must be mentioned that Agora Linga has two sharp teeth on either sides which is visible only during abhishekas.
Few attributes of this temple are quite contradictory to those that are usually found in the temples. For instance, the flag post is slightly on the north side, while usually it is in line with the entrance under the main tower. Similarly the Rajagopuram, flag post and Nandhi are not on a straight line and are found away from one another.
Devotees visit the temple in huge numbers during the full moon days at midnight, while on new moon days (Amavasya) special Jyoti darshan is offered to Mother Vakrakali Amman in the noon. A light is lit above the tower mandapa which is worshipped by the devotees. Sri Sankara Acharya had installed a Sri Chakra on the left leg of Mother Vakrakali here. This chakra of Lord Varadaraja is distinct from those found in other temples.
The Samadhi of Saint Kundalini Siddha is present within the temple premise, since the saint is believed to have attained Paralokha Padhavi (heavenly abode) there.
The benevolent mother Vakrakali appears graceful and adorns a Shishu (baby) shaped ear ring on her right ear.
The crow, being the vahan of Sani Bhagwan is on the left against the right. Those facing Vakra Sani period (some times planets use to move retrograde called Vakra), pray here for relief from its effects.
The Mayanam (cremation ground) is found opposite to the Devi's shrine.
Legends and stories
According to Hindu Mythology, Sri Varadaraja Perumal had destroyed the wicked demon Vakrasura, while Vakrakali destroyed Dhunmukhi, the sister of Vakrasura. Dhunmukhi was actually pregnant when Maa Kali had attacked her. Sastras and Dharma are against killing a Shisu (Child), and considers the act a sin. Thus, Maa Vakrakali is believed to have taken the child out from Dhunmukhi's womb and wore it as earring on her right ear, after which she slayed the demoness. The goddess is then believed to have stayed in this temple as Maa Vakrakali. Since the goddess was in a ugra (furious) state, saint Sri Sankaracharya had installed a Sri Chakra on her left leg to cool her down. Thus the temple also got to be called Vakra Shanthi thiruthalam.
Goddess Kali is regarded as the house deity for the serpent planets Rahu and Ketu. Hence devotees seeking relief from Rahu and Kethu dosha must circumambulate the shrine, 4 times in the clock wise and 5 times anti-clockwise direction.
The vigraha of goddess Vakrakali is sculpted like the Patteeswaram Durga, Chidambaram Brhamma Chamundeeswari and Thillai Kali. Maa Kali is considered as a guardian deity and so most temples of the deity are seen at the borders of a village or town. Whereas in this temple at Tiruvakkari, Maa Vakrakali graces from her shrine just near the Rajagopuram of the main Shiva temple. The idol of Vakrakali appears terrifying and is majestic with her hair glowing red with flames. She adorns a skull on her head as a crown with the Sishu(baby) as an ear ring on her right ear. The deity has ashtabhuj (eight hands) with her four right hands holding weapons as Pasam, discus, sword and a skull respectively. She is also wearing a garland crosswise of the heads of the demons.
Vakrakaliamman is taken on a procession on the holy day of Chithra Poornima falling in the month of April-May. The annual Thepotsavam of Sri Chandra mouleeshwarar is conducted on the Tamil New year Day that mostly falls on April 14 every year. The Kanum Pongal, Aadi Kruthikai, Thai Kruthikai, Vinayaka Chaturthi, Vijayadasami and the Karthikai Deepam are some of the other festivals celebrated in this temple. Despite being a Shiva temple, the shrine is more popular as the Vakrakali Amman temple.
Lord Shiva here is believed to bless his devotees with mental peace, relief from adverse planetary effects, removal of obstacles in undertakings, safety and welfare of the family members.
Devotees offer prayers to Mother Vakrakali for a happy married life by lighting lamps made from lime and oil, in the Deepa Lakshmi shrine. Some also undertake to tie the mangal sutra, seeking wedding boons.
How To Reach Chandramouleeswarar Temple
The Nearest Airport is Chennai Airport.
The Nearest railhead is Tindivanam railway station.
Thiruvarai is about 7kms from Perumbakkam, which is on the Tindivanam-Puducherry route. Buses to this temple are available from Tindivanam. Cabs or autos can also be hired to reach the temple.
Thiruvakkarai, Tamil Nadu - 605501.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- For mental peace
- For relief from adverse planetary effects
- To overcome obstacles in undertaking
- To overcome sins from last birth
- For safety and welfare of children
- For total solutions for any problem threatening self and the family
Kailaasarana Shiva Chandramouli Phaneendra Maathaa Mukutee Zalaalee Kaarunya Sindhu Bhava Dukha Haaree Thujaveena Shambho Maja Kona Taaree
Meaning -Oh Lord Shiva who is seated on Mount Kailash, where the moon decorates his forehead and the king of serpents crown his head, who is merciful and removes delusion, You alone can protect me. I surrender to thee.
Aum Trayambakam Yajaamahey Sugandhim Pusti Vardhanam Urvaarukamiva Bandhanaath Mrutyor Muksheeya Maamritaat
Meaning -We worship the fragrant Lord Shiva, who has 3 eyes and who cultivates all beings. May He free me from death, for immortality, as even a cucumber is separated from its bond with the vine.
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and from 5.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.