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Sri Vanchinathar temple
 
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Moolavar: Vanchinadeswarar
  Urchavar: -
  Amman / Thayar: Mangala Nayaki, Vazha Vandha Nayaki
  Thala Virutcham: Sandal
  Theertham: Gupta Ganga, Ema Theertham
  Agamam / Pooja : Kameekam
  Old year: 1000-2000 years old
  Historical Name: Tiru Vanchiam
  City: Sri Vanchiam
  District: Tiruvarur
  State: Tamil Nadu
 
Singers:
     
  The glory of Lord of the temple is praised by Saint Tirugnana Sambandar in his hymns.  This is the 70th Shiva temple on the southern bank of Cauvery praised in Thevaram hymns.  
     
 Festival:
     
  As a tradition, Theerthavari is performed only on the final day of Brahmmotsavam in Shiva temples. Here it is performed on the second day in the temple tank itself during the Masi Magam festivals in February-March. Lord Vanchinathaswami comes in procession on the Ema Vahan. On the final day, pujas are dedicated to Lord Muruga. Theerthavari is celebrated on Karthikai Sundays too in November-December. A 10 day festival is also celebrated following Aadi Pooram in July-August. Special Aradhanas and abisheks are performed on Sundays.  
     
 Temple's Speciality:
     
  During the eclipse days also Sri Vanchiam temple is open though as a tradition other temples are closed during the time. Special abisheks are dedicated to Lord on these days. Lord Shiva in the temple is a swayambumurthi.  
     
Opening Time:
    
 The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and from 3.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. 
   
Address:
   
  Sri Vanchinatha Swami Temple, Sri Vanchiam-610 110, Tiruvarur district.  
   
Phone:
   
  +91-4366 291 305, 94424 03926, 93606 02973. 
    
 General Information:
     
 

The 110 feet tall five tier Rajagopuram is facing east.  It was built by Rajendra Chola in the year AD 850.

 

There is a separate temple for Yama the Lord f Death on the left side of the entrance.  Shrines for Lord Vinayaka and Subramania (Muruga) are in the first Mandap.  Lord Vinayaka in the temple is praised as Abayankara Vinayaka.  Passing the inner entrance, we have the shrine of Mother Mangala Nayaki in Her standing posture. 

 

The Thevaram hymns related to the temple are carved on a marble stone fixed on the wall.  Sri Adhikara Nandhi is on the left side.  The procession deities are kept safe in a mandap.  Presiding deity is a little fatter and tall.  There are Vennai Pillayar, Muruga, Panchabhooda Lingas, Jeshtadevi and Sani Bhagawan shrines in the inner corridor-prakara.

 
     
 
Prayers
    
 

Those born of Magam, Pooram, Sadayam and Bharani Stars and belonging to Aries (Mesha), Aquarius (Kumba) and Leo (Simha) Rasis or Lagna pray here for any adverse planetary problems faced by them.  Also those who had lost jobs, aspiring promotions and transfers, separated couples for re-union pray here on Karthika Sundays after a bath in Gupta Ganga in November-December.

 
    
Thanks giving:
    
  Realizing their wishes, devotees perform abishek and aradhanas to Lord and Mother and offer vastras. 
    
 Greatness Of Temple:
     
 

During the eclipse times also, the doors of the temple is open though as a tradition in other Shiva temples they are closed.  Special abishek is performed to Lord of Sri Vanchiam during this time.  Mother Ganga once sought a solution from Lord to cleanse Herself of the sins left on Her by those who bathed in the river.  Lord directed Her to pray at a place where even Yama the God of Death was blessed by Him.  Accordingly, Ganga left just a small power of Her in the original Ganga and merged with the sacred spring here with the remaining 999 parts of Her holiness.  Hence, the Theertha is called Gupta Ganga.   It is still believed that She is residing in the theertha secretly.  This Theertha is considered holier than Ganga.  Presently, it is known as Muni Theertha.  During Masi Magam, a festival is celebrated in this Theertha also.

 

To punish those who participated in Daksha’ Yagna for which He was not invited with a motive to insult Him, Lord Shiva sent Veerabadra to destroy the Yajna.  Sun-Surya was one of the participants.  Due to Lord’s anger, he lost his shining and begged pardon for a relief.  He performed rigorous penance here and regained his brightness with the blessings of Lord Shiva. 

 

Lord Vishnu desirous (Vaanchithal in Tamil) of Mahalakshmi (Sri) sought the help of Lord Shiva to realize His wish, hence the place came to be known as Sri Vaanchiam.  As Lord Shiva is all dominant in the temple, there is no shrine for Navagrahas the nine planets.  Yama and his assistant Chitra Gupta are in a same shrine in the southeast corner-Agni corner- in the temple.  Devotees worship Yama with garlands made of Vada a popular dish of Tamilnadu.  People also conduct in the shrine their birthday pujas and homas seeking longevity.  Mother Mahishasuramardhi with Her eight hands is blessing the devotees in the temple.

 
     
  Temple History:
     
 

Yama the God of Death felt very sad that he was assigned the job of taking the life of people while there are many jobs of happy nature.  He went to Tiruvarur and spoke his sorrow to Lord.  Lord Shiva directed him to go to Sri Vanchiam and pray there.  Yama performed penance.  Pleased with his penance, Lord Vanchinadheswarar appeared before him on the Masi month Bharani Star day in February-March and asked what he wished. 

 

Yama said that he had been assigned the job of taking the life of people thus incurring their hatred and harsh criticism and he was suffering the Brahmmahati dosha caused by his job duty.  Lord Shiva assured him saying that in future, people would attribute the cause of death due to diseases, age and accidents and they would not blame him.  Lord also instructed Yama that he should permit only those who are less sinners and they should not have rebirth.  Lord also emphasized that Yama should make their end peaceful.  He also granted him the status of Kshetra Palaka and the devotees would worship him first and then only at Lord’s shrine.  Accordingly, the first puja is dedicated to Yama only in this temple each day.

 
     
Special Features:
     
  Miracle Based: Lord Shiva is a swayambumurthy in the temple.
 
     
 
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