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Thirunageshwaram is one of the 127 temples on the southern banks of river Cauvery. It is one of the Panchakrosa Sthalas. The presiding Deity is Arulmigu Giri Gujambika Sametha Naganathaswamy. The Raaghu Sannathi (Nagaraja Shrine) is on the South-West direction of the second prakara. ThiruJnana Sambandar, Thiru navukarasu Nayanar, ThiruSundramoorthi Nayanar, and Arunagiri Swamigal have praised the glory of the Lord. The Thirunagechurappuranam which was written by Singaravelu pillai contains sufficient information about the temple. The Chola King Kandaraathithya (950AD-957AD) changed it into a granite edifice. The inner Mantapa was built by Seikkizhar, as it was a favourite place to him. Govinda Dikshitar (17th century A.D.) a minister to Acchuthappa nayak, constructed the outer mantapa. Sambumali, a King built the beautiful Surya Puskarani beautifully. The roof and other renovation work were done by Arimalazham Annamalai Chettiar. Gnaniyar Swamigal, the great saiva scholar, who was the pontiff at the Mutt at Thiruppapuliyur, was born here.


Raaghu, the Naga (Serpent) King worshipped the Lord Siva , hence this place is named ‘Thirunageshwaram’. Further Raaghu had received a boon from Siva for bestowing grace and prosperity to those who worship Him with devotion. He took His abode as God with His two consorts. As per the Sthalapuranam, there are two Shrines (Sannidhis) for the Presiding Deity (Moorthi)

1. Naganatha Shrine

2. Arthanareeswara Shrine

There are two Shrines for the Goddess also.

1. Piraiyanivanudalumai Shrine

2. GiriGujambika Shrine

The Jothisha Sastra (Astrololgy) states that if Raaghu is in good position in one’s horoscope He will bestow all prosperity (including Raja Yoga) to him and that person becomes a Kubera . If he is not in a good position and guilty (Dhosha) a person gets worst results and his life will be miserable. Therefore one should satisfy Raaghu (one of the 9 planets) by worshipping Him. One’s marriage will be delayed if Raaghu is in the 7th place in a horoscope. If he is in the 5th place, the Jaathaka (person) will not beget a child. In order to nullify Kalasthra dhosha, Naga dhosa and Putra dhosha one should worship Raaghu. People afflicted with Nagadhosa should perform oblations.


There are 16 inscriptions.

Sculpture :

There are some ancient sculptures in the Mantapas. The horse and lion figures on the pillars, Adhikaranandi, Seikkilar,Balaravoyar,his brother and their mother, Sambandar, Appar, Sundarar, Manikkavasagar, Bairava, Nataraja, and others are very beautiful. The thousand pillared mantapa is designed like a chariot having artistic stone wheels.

Some special features:

Thirumal, Brahma, Indra, Surya, Chandra, (Devas), Gautama, Markanteya, Parasara, (saints), Nala, Bageeratha, Chandravarma, and Sambumali (Kings) worshipped and got rid of their afflictions.

There is a separate shrine to Goddess Girigujambika. Lakshimi and Saraswathi are standing on either side of Her. There is no daily Abhiseka (oblation) to the Goddess, as it is a stucco Indra was cursed by Gautama Rishi. He got deliverance by worshipping the Goddess by adorning Her with civet. From that day onwards the Goddess has been bedecked with unguent, especially civet (punugu) in a particular day once in a year.

The milk poured (Abhiseka) to Raaghu changes into light blue color.


Pathirruppatthandathi written by Swaminatha Mudaliar,Piraiyani Vanuthalumaiyaval Maalai written by Sonachala Mudaliar, Kundrumamulaiammai Thotthiram written by Vetta Veli Swamigal are the important books about the temple. The following books are not available at present for reprint. They are Naganatha Venba, Kundrumulaianthathi, Kompanai Maalai .

Temple (Holy) Tree (Sthalavirutsha):- Sambaka tree (Champak),

Sacred Tank (Theertham):- There are 12 Theerthams

1. Surya 2. Yama 3. Rahma
4. Chandra 5. Agni 6. Durga
7. Gowthama 8. Paraasara 9. Indra
10. Bruhu 11. Kanva 12.Vashista

Poojas and Festivals:

Five kala poojas (5times worship) are being done everyday. Special Abhisekas are performed between 4.30 to 6 p.m. (Raaghu Kala) in all Sundays.


Tamil-Month Nature of Festival
Karthigai(3rd Friday) Brahmotsava


Thiruvathirai-Nartaraja’s Procession
Thai(1stday) Punuguchattam-Adornement
Masi Sivarathri-Nagaraja Worship-2ndkala
Chitirai Singaravelar’s Procession
Vaikasi(Visaka) Somaskanthar’s Procession
Purattasi Navarathri Festival
Aippasi Kandasasti
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