Thiruvengadu Sri Swetharanyeswara Swamy Temple is located in Sirkazhi, Nagai district of Tamilnadu, represents the Navagraha Budhan (Mercury) and also dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple was said to be mostly contributed by the Chola kings Aditya Chola and Rajaraja Chola. Thiruvengadu Swetharanyeswarar Temple is one of the Navagraha temples, which is dedicated to the planet Mercury (Budha) and hence known as Budhan Sthalam.
Navagraha temples are the nine temples dedicated to Navagrahas (nine planets or nine celestial bodies). The Navagrahas are believed to be the transmitters of Universal, quintessential energy or power. The Navagrahas are closely associated with the fixed stars in the Zodiac. Each Navagraha temples are located at different places in and around Kumbakonam sector.
The Navagraha temples are considered to be the best destination to get rid of from the influence of planets. And most of these Navagraha temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Shiva is worshipped as the main deity. The only Navagraha temple dedicated to one of the Grahas (celestial bodies) is Suryanaar temple. The Navagraha Temples are:
- Suryanar Kovil (or) Sun Temple – Surya (Sun)
- Agneeswarar Temple, Kanjanur – Shukra (Venus)
- Kailasanathar Temple, Thingalur – Chandra (Moon)
- Vaitheeswaran Temple – Mangala (Mars)
- Thirunageswaram Naganatha Swamy Temple – Rahu
- Sri Dharbaranyeswara Swamy Temple,Thirunallar – Sani (Saturn)
- Naganathaswamy Temple, Keezhaperumpallam – Kethu
- Abathsahayeswarar Temple, Alangudi – Guru (Jupiter)
- Sri Swetharanyeswara Swamy Temple, Thiruvengadu Budhan Sthalam – Budha (Mercury)
The presiding deity of Thiruvengadu Sri Swetharanyeswara Swamy Temple is Lord Shiva in the form of Lord Swetharanyeswarar, who is called as “the Lord of white forest”. The Thayaar of Swetharanyeswarar Temple is Goddess Brahma Vidya (Goddess Parvathi). And there is a separate sannidhi for the planet Mercury (Budha). Thiruvengadu Swetharanyeswarar Temple is popularly known for “Agora Murthi”, a unique incarnation of Lord Shiva, who is worshiped especially on Sundays.
This temple is considered as equivalent to the Varanasi temple. This temple is one of the six holy temples on the banks of river Cauvery and Manikanigai. The six sacred Lord Shiva temples are:
- Tiruvenkadu Swetaranyeswarar Temple
- Thiruvaiyaru Aiyarappar temple
- Tiruchaaikadu (Chaayaavanam) Chaayavaneswarar Temple
- Mayiladuturai Mayuranathaswami Temple
- Tiruvidaimarudur Mahalingeswarar Temple
- Tiruvanchiyam Vanchinadha Swamy Temple
It is believed that Sun God Suriyan, Moon God Chandran, Lord Indiran, Airavatam, Mercury God Budhan have worshiped Lord Shiva at this place. Thiruvengadu Swetharanyeswarar Temple is considered to be the Adi Chidambaram (First Chidambaram) because Lord Shiva was said to have danced first at this temple before dancing at Chidambaram. There is a beautiful idol of Lord Natarajar found in this temple. And Lord Vishnu is seen near to the shrine of Lord Natarajar as in the Chidambaram temple.
The temple remains open from morning 06.00 AM to 12.00 PM and in the evening from 04.00 PM to 09.00 PM.
Chariot Festival – February
Swetharanyeswarar Temple is situated 23 kilometers away from Mayiladuthurai, on the Sirkali – Poompuhar linking road. The temple is 10 km from Sirkazhi and 59 km from Kumbakonam.
The nearest railway station to Swetharanyeswarar Temple is Mayiladuthurai railway station which is 19 Km from Swetharanyeswarar Temple.
The nearest airport to Swetharanyeswarar Temple is Neyveli airport, which is 62 Km from Swetharanyeswarar Temple.
- Alangudi Temple
- Kanjanoor Temple
- Vaitheeswaran Temple
- Suryanaar Temple
- Thirunallar Temple
- Thiruvengadu Temple
- Thirunageswaram Temple
- Brihadheeswarar Temple
- Keezhaperum pallam Temple