The Kailasanathar temple of Thingalur, also known as Chandiranaar is a Hindu temple and one of the Navagraha temples of Kumbakonam. Thingal means Moon and hence the name of the city is after this temple which is the sthalam of Moon. Though the chief deity of the temple is Soma or Moon, the main murthi in the temple is that of Kailasanathar or Lord Shiva.
The temple has a small shrine dedicated to Chandra, the Moon. It adorns the image of Chandra made of black granite and clad with a white cloth. There are other small shrines in the temple for Ambar, Subramanya, Gajalakshmi and Bhairavar. Being a sthala of Moon, the temple is most worshiped for boons of marriage, child and education excellence. Those with Chandra dosha, visit this temple to get relief from various problems such as mental issues, skin disorders, ill health of mother or wife and problems related to nervous system.
Devotees light diyas of Ghee and perform parihara to avert the doshas. The temple is also popular to carry out the Anna Prasanna ritual for infants, where the infants are fed rice for the first time. A unique feature of the temple is that during Puratasi and Panguni months, the moon rays directly fall on the Shiva Lingam in the temple.
Around 33 km (21 mi) from Kumbakonam, the Kailasanathar temple is located in the village of Thingalur in Tamilnadu. Not far from Thanjavur, the temple’s location is easy to find and reach. The temple is considered one of the nine Navagraha temples in Tamil Nadu. Thingalur is the birth place of Appothi Adigal an ardent devotee of saint Thirunavukkarasar.
Thingalur is the sthalam of Chandra, Thingal meaning Chandra. This is Shaivite Shrine and is one of the Navagraha temples of Kumbakonam, thus making it an important part of Navagraha pilgrimage in Tamilnadu. Maha Shiva adorned the crescent – shaped Chandra on his forehead upon being impressed by Chandra’s penance in this place. Hence this temple is of great religious significance in Hinduism.
Further, as per Hindu beliefs and customs, the navagrahas have good and bad effects on an individual’s life, depending on the planetary position in the birth chart.
Vedic astrology suggests that Chandra is one of the most vital planets in the birth horoscopes of an individual. The moon represents the ability of a person to sense and perceive various things in life and hence a favorable position of the Moon is desirable to experience the splendors of life.
Those with Chandra Dosha face various mind and emotions related issues like mental fatigue, depression, lethargy, disinterest in things, emotional vulnerability, disturbed relationships and infertility. This temple, being the sthalam of Chandra, visiting this Navagraha temple wards off these ill effects and thus holds significant religious importance.
The temple is open to Darshan on all days of week. Devotees can visit the temple in two slots: 7:00 am – 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm -8:00 pm.
6 pujas are performed daily in the temple with each puja comprising of 4 steps in sequence:
Abhishekham, Alankaram, Neivethanam and Deepa aradhana
Ushathkalam : 5:30 am
Kailasanthi : 8:00 am
Uchikalam : 10:00 am
Sayarakshai : 6:00 pm
Irandamkalam : 8:00 pm
Ardha Jamam : 10:00 pm
Chandra being white in color, the daily offerings are white rice mixed with jaggery, white flower and white clothing. Lord Chandra being the presiding deity of the temple, special rituals are performed on full moon days.
The Kailasanathar temple of Thingalur is a 7th century monument and was built by Rajasimma Pallavan and is around 1500 years old. The word Thingal means Moon and the village of Thingalur derives its name from this word. Associated with Chandra, it is the second of the Navagrahas and has a great influence on the human mind. The birth of Chandra is said to be from divine light that flew from the eyes of sage Atri.
Brahma Dev ordained Sage Atri to build the worlds and the sage went into deep meditation. The Divine light that emanated from sage Atri’s eyes was so powerful and illuminating that the dikpaalakas could not bear it and threw it in the sea of milk and it is from this sea that Chandra and Lakshmi were born as siblings.
Chandra, who is known as the left eye of Vishnu, hinted to Lord Vishnu about Rahu and Ketu wanting to drink the elixir that was produced by churning the sea through cozenage and trickery. Lord Vishnu, angered by the same, beheaded both Rahu and Ketu with his Sudarshan Chakra. It is since then that Rahu and Ketu hold a grudge against Chandra and display their resentment by eclipsing him.
When Chandra prayed to Maha Shiva, he was blessed with the power to grow back to full size in 15 days after being completely eclipsed by Rahu. Lord Shiva also adorned Chandra on his forehead to make sure anyone who offers prayers to Lord Shiva, will also pray Chandra by default.
The kailasanathar temple of Thingalur is an ancient Shaivite shrine and is built in the Dravidian style architecture. The temple has a three-tiered rajagopuram, surrounded by a parakram. The main entrance to the temple faces south and the central Shrine and the gopuram face east. There is a temple tank named Chandra Pushkarani.
The temple has a huge sculpture of Nandi facing the temple. The Shiva Lingam as the main deity of the temple is 16-sided and is placed in the main shrine. Made of black granite, the shiva Lingam is positioned in such a way that the moonlight directly falls on it in the Tamil months of Puratasi and Panguni. The image of Chandra in the Chandra shrine of the temple is also made of black granite and is adorned with a white cloth.
The other shrines inside the temple are devoted to Gajalaskhmi, Subrahmanya, Bhairavi and Ambal. The temple underwent multiple restorations and the current structure is said to have been built in the 16th century. Presently, the temple is administered by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department, Government of Tamilnadu.
The nearest railway station is Tanjore railway station, 18 km.
The nearest airport is Trichy airport, 59 km.
By Train: In the absence of a railway station in Thingular, one has to take a train to Tanjore and then take a bus or a taxi to Thingalur.
By Road: The village is well connected with regular bus services from various parts of Tamilnadu. The roads are well maintained and one can easily drive to Thingalur.
By Air: The closest airport to Thingalur is Trichy airport which is at a distance of 59 km. From Trichy airport, one can either take a private taxi or bus service which is available at regular intervals.
One can stay in any of the hotels in Tanjavur, some of the options being
TamilNadu Hotel – 12.2 km to the temple
Svatma – 13.1 km to the temple
Sangam Hotel – 13.9 km to the temple
There are 4 main festivals celebrated in the temple namely:
Maha shivaratri in February – March
Margazi thiruvadhirai in December – January
Panguni Uthiram in March – April
Tirutarthikai in November – December
Apart from these four main festivals, the temple also performs weekly rituals like Somavaram and Sukravaram and fortnightly rituals like Pradosham. Special rituals are performed on New moon day (Amavasi), Full moon day (Poornima) and Chaturthi.
An important part of the Navagraha pilgrimage in Tamil Nadu, this temple is a must visit for all Shiva devotees. For all those dealing with Chandra Doshas, this temple becomes a resort to relieve them of ill effects. A temple that brings inner joy, emotional balance and mental stability, this is a must visit for one and all. A special mention to all the parents of newborns, do not forget to visit this temple for performing your ward’s Anna Prasana as this is one of the most popular temples for the ritual.
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