Thirunallar Saneeswaran Temple

Thirunallar Saneeswaran Temple is a very famous shrine for Shani bhagawan


Thirunallar Saneeswaran Temple is one of the Navagraha temples in Tamil Nadu, the sthala of Shani, and has its main deities as Lord Shiva as Dharbaranyeswarar with Goddess Parvati as Pranamambika. Also known as Dharbaranyeswarar temple, this temple is dedicated to Bhagawan Shani where devotees pray to get rid of curse and bad luck in their lives.

Thirunallar saniswaran temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva in form of Darbharanyeswaran and Goddess Parvati as Pranamambika or Poonmulalammal. It is one of the very powerful Navagraha temples of the South. The name Thirunallar came from the king of Nishadha country whose name was Nala. He prayed here to get rid of all the malefic effects of Shani (Saturn). “Aru” means “to heal” and two words together means Thirunallar.

Thirunallar Saneeswaran Temple

Saneeswaran can be seen in a graceful pose, standing next to Lord Dhabranyeswaran in the main sanctum. The Lingam in the temple has impressions of grass. This supports the fact that the village was initially a forest full of Dharba Grass. The name of Lord Shiva here, Dharbaranyeswarar is a derivation from two words, Dharba and Aranyam (forest).

There are more shrines dedicated to other deities such as Lord Somaskanda, Swarna Vinayaka, Lord Subramaneswara Swamy and Thyagaraja. There are images of Dakshinamoorthy, Durga and Lingodbhava on the sanctum.  There are many sacred theertam or tanks but Nala theertam is the most important one to take a dip as it is said that it washes away misfortune and illness caused by the past karmas. Lord Shani in known to be the dispenser of good and bad karmas.

By offering prayers at this temple Lord Shani helps one to bear the effects of the karmas. The temple is classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam, revered in Tevaram, a Tamil Saiva canonical work written by Nyanmars.


Thirunallar is a small town at 5km distance from Karaikal district of Puducherry, Tamil Nadu. This temple is situated around the rivers, Noolaru and Vanchiaru to the north, and Arasalaru to the south.

Shani Parihaara Navagraha Sthalam

Book a Pujan at Thirunallar Saneeswaran Temple

Religious Significance

The Dharbharanyeswarar temple or The Shaneeshwarar temple holds a special place in Hinduism because they have been mentioned by many Nanymars or Tamil Saivite Poets. The most popular mentions are by Sambandar, Appar and Sundarar. This temple is famously known for Murugan worship also because Arunagirinathar, a devotee of Lord Muruga, recited hymns in this temple in the 15th century. Tirugana Sambandar revered the temple in Tevaram, thus classifying this temple as Paadal petra Sthalam making it one of the 125 temples mentioned in Saiva canonical work.

Shani, is known as the curator of bad luck and so this temple holds great importance for people who feel supressed by bad luck in their marriage, work, achievements and acquisitions. They pray to Lord Shani to nullify the effects of bad luck and bring good tidings in life.

Temple Timings

Morning 6:00 am to 1:00 pm

Evening 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Rituals & Pujas

Six Pujas are performed every day in the temple, starting at 6:00 am and the last one at 9:00 pm with every puja comprising of 4 main steps, abhishekam, alankaram, neivedyam and deepa aradhani.

Ushatkalam 6:00 am
Kalashanti 8:00 am
Uchikalam 12:00 noon
Sayarakshai 6:00 pm
Irandamkalam 8:00 pm
Ardha Jamam 9:00 pm

Nearby places


As per the Puaranas, Wife of Surya Dev, Usha devi could not bear the heat of the sun so she created her shadow replica Saya Devi. Saneeswara was born to Saya Devi and Surya Dev. Later when Surya Dev came to know about this, he got angry with Usha and didn’t accept Saneeswaran as a part of his family. Saddened by the indifference of his own father, Saneeswaran went to Kashi and worshiped Lord Vishwanath and became a part of the Navagraha.

Famous king Nala and Queen Damayanthi liked each other and got married. There were many other Devas who wanted to tie the nuptial knot with queen Damayanthi. When King Nala got married to her, the other devas were very angry and jealous of Nala. They went to Lord Shani seeking his help. Shani gave a lot of troubles to Nala bring bad luck and curses to him. Finally, the king reached Thirunallar and worshipped Lord Dharbaneswara. He was freed from all his curses and doshas. He then stayed there some sometime to build the temple.

Another belief is that the Shiva Lingam appeared when the local inhabitants, Mudaliars, were ploughing the land here. The 49th padigam of the Tevaram hymn was sung at the shrine of Lord Shiva at Thirunallar.


The temple is built in the 12th century architecture type. The original structure was built by Cholas with later expansions by Vijayanagar rulers. The temple has a rectangular plan with five tiered Rajagopuram, the temple is built with granite walls. the main deity of Lord Shiva is placed in an elevated platform at the entrance and Lord Shani to the North side of the entrance. It is believed to offer prayers to Lord Shani before entering the Sanctum of Lord Shiva.

A Unique feature of the temple is that the Navagrahas are represented here as nine separate wells. The walls of the temple have paintings showing the history of King Nala. Upon entering the temple, one can see the Vasanta Mandapam with lamps set up all along the arena. Emblems of zodiac signs Acquarius and Capricorn are inscribed on the walls of the Saneeswara shrine.

The temple also has murtis of the 62 saints of Saivism. The temple also features a unique Golden idol of Ganpati. All the shrines in the temple are enclosed in concentric rectangular granite walls. The temple is presently under the administration of Hindu Religious Institutions, Government of Puducherry.

How to Reach

By Air: The nearest airport is Trichy International Airport which is 168 kms away from Thirunallar.

By Rail: Nagore Railway Station is the nearest to the temple, just 10 kms away. There are many trains passing through Nagore, this one of the easiest to travel.

By Bus: The nearest city is Thanjavur which is 100 kms, Pondicherry is 135kms and Trichy, 168 kms, there are many Tamil Nadu Government bus connecting Nagore and Thirunallar.

Where to Stay

Holiday Farms & Resorts – Karaikal

Kumaran Guest House – Karaikal

Hotel Nandha – Karaikal

Festivals celebrated

Sani Peyarchi festival is the most celebrated festival of the Saneeswaran Temple, this is celebrated for 2 days in every two and half years when Sani (Saturn) changes its position. Shivaratri Festival is celebrated in the months of February- March every year and the Brahmotsavam festival during the Vaikasi month (Mid May – mid June). Apart from these, weekly rituals are performed for Somavaram and Sukravaram and monthly festivals like amavasi, kruttika, Purnima and Chaturthi are also celebrated.


This temple is very famous to perform various Poojas as for pleasing Lord Shani to overcome bad and evil problems. Lord Shani attire is black and the grain associated with him is sesame. So, if you want to eradicate bad luck and bring good luck into your life, please Lord Shani by offering flowers and rice mixed with sesame powder on Saturdays.


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