The name “TIRUNALLARU” is said to represent the association of Nala of the Nishadha country who got his deliverance from the evil effects of Shani (Saturn) by invoking the Lord’s mercy here. (Nala+Aru-Nallaru).
The word “Aru” also conveys the meaning “to heel” and the two words taken together will mean Nala’s place of redemption or the pace where Nala secured his redemption from the hold of Saturn through the Lord’s Grace.
Others are inclined to read the meaning ‘between rivers’ in the name Nal-Aru, as this place is situated in the midst of two rivers in the north i.e. Noolaru and Vanchiaru, and one in the south, Arasalaru.
And this name as such occurs in the earlier padikam as wel as in the Inscriptions. Besides, the name of Nallaru this sacred plaee has also other name such as Adipuri, Darbharanyam, Nagavidangapuram, Naleswaram etc
Lord Sani Bhagavan at Thirunallar
As per the history of the temple, the great King Nala of Puranic fame was relieved of the affliction of Lord Saturn or Lord Saneeswaran after worshipping the Lord consecreted in this temple.Whoever visits this temple and prays before Lord Saneeswaran is believed to have been relieved of all the curses and sufferings and get the blessings of Lord for a happy and prosperous life.
When the Planet Saturn transits between zodiac signs, literally millions throng this shrine. The Legendary King Nala is said to have been relieved of his affictions, which were due to the malefic influence of Saturn, after worships in this temple.
The moolavar of Dharbarenyeswarar is Swayambu Lingam.Poojas are performed 6 times(6 kalams) by the Brahmin priests.Poojas like Ashtothra Archana, Abhishegam, Sahasranama Archana and Navagraha Shanthi Homam are performed daily but Homams are not accepted on Saturdays.Facilities are also available to perform the following poojas on behalf of devotees and to send the prasadam (viboothy and kumkum) by post who wish to pay the prescribed amount.
The Important festivals celebrated in the temple are the following :-
Adi Pooram festival for one day for Ambal in July-August.
Vinayaga Chathurthi festival for Vinayagar for one day in August-September.
Navarathri Kolu, Ambu festival in September-October.
Soorasamharam festival for seven days for Subramanyar in October-November.
Thiruvathirai festival for ten days in December-January.
View Of Thirunallar Temple Gopuram
Sivarathri festival for Chandrasekarar and Ambal in February March.
The Brahmortsavam festival in Vaikasi.
Sanipeyarchi festival for two days once in two and half years when “Sani” changes his gruha or place.
Apart from these festivals, Special Abhishegam are also held in the Temple throughout the year on important occassions.
Among the Navagrahas, Lord Saturn (Saneeswarar) occupies an important place.
A malefic Saturn in one’s horoscope is believed to cause miseries and hardships which can be mitigated by worshipping him.According to astrology, Saneeswaran moves from one sign (house) to the next in the Zodiac once in 2-1/2 years and the day of his transit is observed as a festival in Thirunallar.
On the day previous to the day of transit, religious discourses and entertainments are arranged.On the festival day, Thiruppavai and Thiruvembavai are chanted at 5.00 a.m. An Abhishegam on a grant scale is performed for the Lord Saneeswara Baghavan.Oil, Milk, Curd, Rose-Water, Tender Coconut water, Fruit juice etc., are used for the Abhishegam.
The place was originally a forest of Dharba grass and it is stated that the Lingam even now has impressions left by the Dharba weeds within which it was situated.The Lord here is also known as “ADHIMOORTHY or NALLARAR”.The great Saivite saints Thirugnanasambhandar, Sundaramurthy Swamigal, Thirunavukkarasar and Arunagirinadhar have worshipped at this shrine and sung about the glory of the Lord.
“PACHAI PADHIGAM” sung by the great saint Thirugnanasambhandar is very famous one.
Of the numerous tanks theertams, the Nala theertam is the important one. By bathing here, it is belived that one washes off all kinds of misfortune , afflictions and to escape from the woes of sani. Saniswara or Saturn, is generally known to affect one adversely on occasions when he occupies certain positions in one’s horoscope.A prayer to him, especially on Saturdays, is said to mitigate the hardships one will have to face during these periods. Saniswara is considered equally a bestower of all benefits to the devotees who pray sincerely to him. He is ruled by Lord Yama.
Mantra for Saturn – Aum aing hring shring shung shanaishcharaye namah aum
How To Reach Thirunallar Temple:
Air : The nearest airport is Tiruchirapalli, 168 Kms. away
Rail : The nearest Railway Station is Nagore, 10 Kms. away from here.
Road: Karaikal is connected directly from Chidambaram, Mayiladurai, Kumbakonam,
Thanjavur, Thiruchirappalli, Thiruvarur, Velankanni, Nagappattinam.
Kumbakonam – 64 Kms.(Towards West)
Thanjavur – 103 Kms.(Towards West)
Tiruchirapalli – 168 Kms.( Towards West)
Nagore – 10 Kms. (Towards South)
Nagappattinam – 19 Kms. (Towards South)
Velankanni – 26 Kms. (Towards South : via – Nagore, Nagappattinam)
Chidambaram – 57 Kms. (Towards North on East Coast)
Pondicherry – 135 Kms. (Towards North on East Coast)
Chennai – 294 Kms. (Towards North on East Coast)