Exploring the Ancient Jupiter Temple Of Alangudi
Location: Alangudi, Tamil Nadu
Apatsahayesvarar Temple Distance From Trichy: 40 km
Dedicated To: Lord Shiva
Temple Timings: 6 pujas performed per day from 6:00 AM
Ancient Jupiter Temple Alangudi:
Apatsahayesvarar Temple, Alangudi, or Guru Sthalam is a Shiva-dedicated Hindu temple that can be found in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruvarur district in the village of Alangudi. The lingam serves as a representation of Shiva, who is revered as Apathsahyesvarar. Elavarkuzhali is the representation of his consort Parvati.
Numerous people flock to Alangudi Apatsahayesvarar Temple, particularly on the day of Jupiter’s transition to ask Guru Bhagavan for protection from catastrophic events. This divine temple is renowned for being the holy residence of the planet Jupiter, or Brihaspati, and is frequently referred to as the “Guru Sthalam” dedicated to Guru Bhagavan.
The current building was constructed in the 16th century during the reign of the Nayak, while the original complex is claimed to have been constructed by the Cholas. The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu currently looks over and manages the temple.
The temple, which holds an image of Jupiter, is one of the nine Navagraha temples in Tamil Nadu and is a part of the state’s well-known Navagraha pilgrimage. The temple features six daily rituals that take place at various times between 6:00 a.m. and 8:30 p.m., as well as four annual festivals. The most notable event is Brahmotsavam, which takes place in Chithirai.
The name Alangudi and the title of the deity Apatsahayesvarar, which means saviour in difficult times, are thought to have come about as a result of Siva ingesting lethal poison. The presiding god is also known as Aranyeswarar. The temple includes a 5-tier rajagopuram that is encircled by two prakarams. There are several shrines in the temple, the most notable of which are those of Apathsaheswarar and his spouse Elavarkuzhali.
According to Hindu tradition, the Navagrahas can have both positive and negative impacts on an individual, but the negative effects can be lessened by praying. Planet Jupiter, who is renowned for his superiority in knowledge, education, and the beautiful arts, has a temple called Alangudi Apatsahayesvarar Temple dedicated to him. As a result, worshippers throng to the Alangudi Apatsahayesvarar Temple to pay respects to the all-knowing deity and invoke his blessings for longevity, a good education, prosperity, and courage. It is firmly held that if devotees light 24 ghee lamps and perform 24 rounds of Pradakshina around the Shiva shrine, Guru Bhagavan will grant them His blessings.
Alangudi’s Apatsahayeshvarar Temple:
It is said that Amuthokar, a devoted follower of Lord Shiva who served as Masukuntha Chakravarti’s minister, built the Alangudi Apatsahayesvarar Temple. He refused to renounce his virtue in the king’s name, so the emperor had him executed. Yet after the minister passed away, the name “Amuthokar” resonates throughout the temple. The King was alarmed by this and realized his fault. He, therefore, began to passionately serve Lord Shiva in order to be freed from all of his doshas related to killing a Shiva devotee.
Tale Of Alangudi’s Apatsahayesvarar Temple:
According to mythology, Vasuki – the king of serpents interrupted the Devas and Asuras as they were churning the Paarkadal (Cosmic Ocean) in search of the Amrutha (the elixir of eternal life), by emitting lethal toxic fumes. As a result, the Devas and Asuras went to Lord Shiva to ask for help. As a result, Lord Shiva drank the deadly poison right away. According to a belief, anyone who comes in contact with the poison of the serpent Vasuki would die whether they are on earth, in hell, or in heaven. Because he took it upon himself to shield the three worlds from the effects of the deadly poison, Lord Shiva is known as “Apatsahayesvarar,” which means “rescuer” in Tamil. In addition, the area acquired the name Alangudi, where Alang stands for poison and Kudi for a drink.
Features of Alangudi temple:
The term Panch Aranya Sthalam, which refers to a location covered by five forests, is used to describe the Alangudi Apatsahayesvarar Temple. The Alangudi Apatsahayesvarar Temple is surrounded by the holy rivers Cauvery, Kolidam, and Vennaru. The Chakra Theertham, which is thought to have been produced by Maha Vishnu’s Chakra and Amrita Pushkarani, is one of the 15 Theerthams that the Alangudi Apatsahayesvarar Temple talks about. The Poolai Shrub is recognized as the sacred tree of the Alangudi Apatsahayesvarar Temple and is treasured here. The fact that measles scars can be seen on the statue of Saint Sundarar is another unique feature of Alangudi Apatsahayesvarar Temple.
Festivals and their customs:
The biggest event in the Alangudi Apatsahayesvarar Temple is the Guru Peyarchi Festival, which commemorates the day that the planet Jupiter changes constellations from one zodiac sign to another. Masi Maham, the Lord Dakshinamurthy Chariot Festival, the ten-day Chitra Pournami Festival, Chitthirai Purnima, Thai poosam, and Panguni Uthiram are some of the other festivals that are passionately observed here.
Rituals and Offerings:
The puja is performed every day by the temple priests six times daily.
|Irandam Kalm||9:00 AM|
|Irandam Kalm||7:30 PM|
Each ceremony consists of four steps, the sacred bath – abhisheka, the adornment – alangaram, the food offering – naivedyam, and the deeparadhanai -waving of lamps for Apatsahayesvarar and Elavarkuzhali. There are monthly celebrations such as amavasai, pournami, etc, as well as weekly celebrations such as somavaram (Monday) and sukravaram (Friday).
Indulge in the divinity and serene ambiance of the Apatsahayesvarar Temple in Alangudi on your next trip to Tamilnadu. For all devotees of temples, it is a must-see place.
Image Courtesy: https://www.nayatrip.com/places/thanjavur/alangudi-guru-temple-photos-5445/