The Saraparameswarar Temple lies in the Tanjore region of Tamil Nadu. It is 7 miles from Kumbakonam and 3 miles from Naachiyar kovil. It can be come to by transport and staying courses of action are well furnished.The temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in Thirucherai is known variedly as Udayaar Koil, Sen-neriyappar Koil and Arul migu Gnanavalli-samedha-Sara Parmeswarar Koil, to mention a few.
The Tamil word Udayaar means, 'one who owns, possesses, or one who is the Master’. The Lord is called Udayaar in the sense that He is the Master of the entire universe and His Consort is known as Udayaal. As He is the one who enables the minds of men to follow the path of rectitude, He is known as sen-neri-appan. The Lord who is the path himself. Lord Saranathan as Vishnu is named here, stands regally in the main sanctum at Tirucherai surrounded by Pancha Lakshmis- Sri Devi, Bhoo Devi, Neela Devi, Maha Lakshmi and Saranayagi Thaayar. The Vaishnavites of Thirucherai use the attribute 'Sara’ (quintessence, core, soul, etc.) to denote the Perumal enshrined here. The kshetra is known as Sara-kshetra. The Moorthi is known as Sara-nathan, His Consort as Sara-nayaki, the temple tower as sara-vimanam and the temple tank as sara-pushkarani. It is therefore that the Saivites have also chosen to call their Lord as Sara-Parameswarar. The Lord who is the core of all beings. The temple is popularly known as Arulmigu Gnanavalli-samedha-Sara Parmeswarar Koil.Saint TirumangaiAzhwar had sung the glory of Lord in his Mangalasasanam hymn. The temple celebrates Thai Poosam in January-February for 10 days. Car festival takes place on the final day. The darshan granted to Mother Cauvery took place during the Jupiter transition time. Jupiter transition from one zodiac sign to the next takes place once in 12 years. This happens in Thai (January-February) on Poosam star day once in 12 years. Bathing in Sara Pushkarini this day is considered equal to a bath in the Maha Magam day in Kumbakonam. On each Thaipoosam day, Lord Saranatha with his 5 wives favors us as a youngster in his mom hand in a perfectly enlivened chariot. Rama gives us an extremely exceptional dharshan here. Alongside Devi Sita and Lakshmana, all Alwars and Sri Rama's kolam (ie) he acts like he was found in backwoods for a long time.
About the Temple
Mudikondan River flows from the west and Kudamuruti River in the south. Lord Hanuman (or) Aanchaneya blesses as from the west end of the pushkarani and Lord Vianayaka from the North eastern side. The Rajagopuram is 120 feet tall and adjoining this is the first praharam and then is the Middle Gopuram. Next is the Thirukalyana Mandapam. From here Rajagopala swamy blesses us. In front of this sannathi Thiruvenkatamudayam sannathi is situated. After this Lord Sri Rama, Narashimar and Manavala Maamunigal sannathis are there. Inside the Moolaver’s Karbagraham, Saranathar along with his wives: Sridevi, Boomidevi, Neela devi, Mahalakshmi and Sara Naayagi gives away his heartful blessings. To his right Markanteya Maharishi and River Cauvery are found. Santhana Gopalan and Selvar are too found in this sannadhi. This temple has two prakarams. The temple is 116 meters in length and 72 meters width with 22 meters high Raja Gopuram. There are shrines for Yoga Narasimhar and Raja Gopalaswamy with his consorts Rukmani and satyabama. It is also believed that Anjaneya blesses the devotees from the west end of Pushkarini and Ganesh from north-eastern side. Naayak King of Thanjavur, who was attached to Vishnu temples, sent construction materials to Mannargudi for the construction of the Rajagopalaswamy temple. A minister of the king decided to bring a few bricks on every trip to Thiru Cherai for the renovation of this temple. Lord Perumal grants darshan to devotees in a standing posture facing east. The vimana above the sanctum sanctorum is known as Sara Vimana. Mother Cauvery was granted darshan by Lord. The length of the temple is 380 feet and the width 234 feet. The Rajagopuram is 90 feet tall. There are shrines for Sage Agasthya, Lord Brahmma and Mother Cauvery on the western bank of Sara Pushkarini opposite the temple. Shrines for Lord Srinivasa Perumal, Azhwars, Nammazhwar, Udayavar Acharya Sri Ramanuja, Lords Sri Rama and Rajagopala, Sri Anjaneya, Sri Andal, Mothers Rukmini and Satyabama and Lords Narasimha and Balasaranatha are in the inner prakara of the temple.
About the Deity
The Moolavar of this kshetram is Saranathan Perumal. The Moolavar is giving his seva in standing posture with his face facing the east direction. Prathyaksham for River Cauvery and Markandeya Maharishi. The Thayaar found in this sthalam is Saranayaki (Sara Naachiyaar).
Legend / Story
Streams from the west and Kudamuruti waterway in the south. Ruler Hanuman (or) Aanchaneya favors as from the west end of the pushkarani and Lord Vianayaka from the North eastern side. The Rajagopuram is 120 feet tall and connecting this is the first praharam and afterward is the Middle Gopuram. Next is the Thirukalyana Mandapam. From here Rajagopala swamy favors us. Before this sannathi Thiruvenkatamudayam sannathi is arranged. After this Lord Sri Rama, Narashimar and Manavala Maamunigal sannathis arrive.Inside the Moolaver's Karbagraham, Saranathar alongside his wives: Sridevi, Boomidevi, Neela devi, Mahalakshmi and Sara Naayagi gives away his ardent gifts. To his privilege Markanteya Maharishi and River Cauvery are found. Santhana Gopalan and Selvar are excessively found in this sannadhi.
Mother Bhoodevi’s father was Sage Markandeya. He has his place in the sanctum right of Lord. He attained salvation in this place. When the sage came to know that Lord Perumal loved his daughter, he told the Lord that she was a little girl and did not know even how much salt to be added to food. Perumal said that she can cook without salt at all and that He would accept it and married Mother Bhoodevi. Thus Perumal came to be known as Uppiliappan-Lord accepting food without salt. King Azhagia Manavala Naicken was sending stones for the renovation of Mannargudi Sri Rajagopalaswami temple. The carts carrying the stones were routed through this place as per instructions of the king. Other Perumal devotee Narasabhupalan took one stone from each cart for the renovation of this temple. When the king came to know of this, he came here for enquiry. When the devotee prayed to Perumal, He granted darshan to the king as Lord Rajagopalaswami.
Excited king executed renovations for this temple too. According to scriptures, during the Pralaya the devasting floods, Lord Brahmma took the soil of this place, made a pot and placed the Vedas in for safety. Mother Cauvery begged Perumal that she too may granted the status of Holy Ganga considered superior in washing off the sins of those bathing in the river. She performed penance for the boon under the Bodhi tree on the western bank of Sara Pushkarini. Pleased with her penance, Perumal crawled on the lap of Cauvery as a little child. Cauvery said that she was not for that boon alone. Perumal appeared before her with His five consorts. Cauvery begged Perumal that He should stay in the place in the same form. Obliging Cauvery, Perumal also granted a space to her in the Sanctum Sanctorum to His left, which devotees can see even now.
The temple is one among the 108 Divya Desas. It is the sole temple where Lord Perumal graces his devotees with his five consorts, namely, Sridevi, Bhoodevi, Mahalakshmi, Saranayaki and Neeladevi. The soil of the place is found to have several properties namely, Saram. This is why the Lord is called Saranathar and the place is called Tiru Charam, and was later changed to Tirucherai. People approach this temple with prayers for relief from the consequences of the sins they committed. It is believed that worshipping the Saranatha Perumal brings the benefit of having taken 100 baths in the Cauvery.
Mahashivarathri in Masi (February-March), Iypasi Annabishekam (October-November) and Margazhi Tiruvadhirai (December-January).
Six times a day.
Prasad and Offering
Devotees seek the grace of the Lord in this temple for freedom from debt burdens and cure from illness. Devotees offer abishek and Vastras to the Lord on realizing their prayers. The affluent ones do poor feeding (Annadhanam) and contribute for the maintenance and renovation of the temple.
Near By Temple
Hara Shaba Vimochana Perumal
Tirucherai is 15 km from Kumbakonam from where bus facility is available. The closest railway station is in Tanjore, and the closest airport is in Trichy.
Sri Saraparameswarar Temple,
Tirucherai Post – 612 605,
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Relief from diseases
- Purchase of vehicles
- Gain Knowledge
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.