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Sri Balambika-Karkodeswarar temple
Moolavar: Karkodeswarar
  Amman / Thayar: Balambika
  Thala Virutcham:
  Agamam / Pooja :
  Old year: 1000-2000 years old
  Historical Name:
  City: Kamarasavalli
  District: Ariyalur
  State: Tamil Nadu
  Monthly pradoshams; Tamil New year day falling almost on April 14; Aadi Pooram in July-August; Vinayaka Chaturthi in August-September; Navarathri in September-October; Aipasi Annabishekam in October-November and Margazhi Tiruvadhirai in December-January are the festivals celebrated in the temple.  
 Temple's Speciality:
  This is the temple most suitable for those born of Kartaka – Cancer – Rasi and those affected by the adverse aspects of snake planets – Rahu and Ketu and Sarpa doshas.  
Opening Time:
  The temple is open from 9.00 a.m. to 10.00 a.m. and from 6.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m  
  Sri Balambika-Karkodeswarar Temple, Kamarasavalli, Tirumanur, Ariyalur.  
  +91 98677 92299, 96267 70804 
 General Information:
  The temple has a sculpture telling the story of Karkodga performing Shiva Puja with Lord Vinayaka and Nandi.  Every pillar is studded with sculptural beauty.  Lord Vinayaka and Lord Muruga with His consorts Valli and Deivanai, Mother Durga, Chandikeswara and Navagrahas grace from their shrines in the prakara.  Lords Dakshinamurthi, Arthanareeswara, Lingodhbava, Brahmma are in the Goshta.  The temple has a Madap with Lord Nataraja.  There is also a kitchen.  There are some Nagar idols also as this the place where devotees pray for relief from the adverse aspects of serpent planets.  
  Those born of Cancer zodiac sign and belonging to stars of this sign (Rasi) are advised to pray Lord Karkodeswara also praised as Soundareswarar.  Also those seeking wedding and child boons, happy family life and facing adverse aspects of serpent planets pray in the temple. 
Thanks giving:
  Devotees perform abishek to Lord and Mother and offer vastras. 
 Greatness Of Temple:
  Lord is facing east and Mother the south.  Kamarasavalli is the place where king of serpents Karkodaga performed penance on Lord Soundareswarar to save his life.  Lord later came to be praised as Karkodakeswara.  Besides this puranic story, we have also other historical information from about 45 stone inscriptions.  The place has other names as Tirunallur, Karkodeswaram, Chaturvedi Mangalam, Rathivara Puram and Kamarathi Valli.  According to one inscription, the temple was built by Sundara Chola also known as Raja Kesari Varma (AD 957-974) in the year AD 962.  Raja Kesari Varman is the grandfather of Raja Raja Chola who built the Thanjavur Big Temple.  One Sriranga Thanda Naicker, the commander of the king Posala renovated this temple in the year 1260.
According to history, besides the cholas, Pandyas and Posala kings had also paid due attention for the maintenance of the temple.  Sundara Chola, Uthama Chola, Raja Rajan I, Rajendran I, Kulothungan I, II and III,  Vikrama Chola, Kadavarman directly supervised the administration of this Kamarasavalli temple, according to epigraphic findings.  These inscriptions also speak about the debates organized among the Vedic scholars, Margazhi Tiruvadhirai festival and the folklore dance called Chakkai Koothu.  Another inscription is about the visit of King Posala in 1240 to hear and deliver a verdict in a land dispute.  The flower Garden – Nandavanam was then known as Picha Devan Nandavanam.  There was also a family quarter for those maintaining the garden called Tiruthondan complex.  It appears there was also a mutt in the name of Child Saint Tirugnana Sambandar.  Above all, the temple has the added reputation that His Holiness Sri Kanchi Maha Periaval visited the temple in 1950 and performed abishek to Lord Karkodeswara with His own hands.
  Temple History:
  In the midst of the enlightened souls, there also existed and continue to exist in a more brutal manner a group that was hunting to satisfy their lust.  They forgot their duties.  Devas approached Lord Shiva to reform the society on moral lines, Cupid – Manmatha, responsible for lust was burnt by the forehead eye of Lord Shiva on an earlier occation.  Manmatha’s wife Rathi, losing her Mangal Sutra performed intense penance on Lord Shiva in this place begging for her husband.  Lord Shiva with the intention of restoring population growth and to bless Rathi, made Manmatha alive but visible to the eyes of  Rathi Devi only.  As Lord graced Rathi Devi, the place came to be known as Rathi Vara Puram and Kama Rathi Valli.  Later the name changed as Kamarasavalli.
To confirm this story, a copper idol of Rathi Devi is in the temple in the posture as begging the Lord seeking Her mangal sutra boon.  Remembering this event, the temple celebrates Kaman  festival – Manmathan the God of Lust.  During the festival, devotees plant a ‘cut into two’ castor plant.  Symbolizing the boon of Lord for Rathi-Manmatha unity, even now, rather as a committed promise, it comes to life within 8 days.   As the marital life of Rathi with Manmatha was restored, it is the faith of people that anything separated earlier will come to life back with their prayers to Lord.
Many concerned about the husband-wife problems and to avoid divorces and fostering unity in life in families throng the temple with their prayers.    Women seeking the Mangalya boon – that is longevity of their life with husbands – come here to realize the wish.
In days of yore, a large number of Brahmins well versed in Vedas were living in Kamarasavalli, thus known as Chaturvedi Mangalam.  According to epigraphic details, the temple was administered by a council of Brahmins to whom lands were granted.  The place was known for religious meetings of the council and discourses on Vedic philosophy.
Parikshit was the grandson of the Pandava brothers.  He was the son of Abimanyu (son of Arjuna) and Uthara.  Awathama, son of Dronacharya aimed at Parikshit even while he was in the womb of her Mother to avenge his father’s death in the Mahabharata war.  But he could not succeed due to the grace of Lord Krishna.
However, when he ascended the throne after the Pandavas, Parikshit, during his hunting sport, caused trouble to the penance of a sage by hanging a dead snake around his neck.  The son of the sage cursed Parikshit that he would be killed by a snake on the seventh day.  Though Parikshit came to know of the curse with his own moral powers and through others, he could not escape the impact of the curse.  He died of snake bite on the seventh day as destined.  The snake that bit the king was Karkodaga according to Devi Bhagavatham and other scriptures.
Karkodaga is the son of Kathru and the head of 8 great serpents – Ashtama Nagas.  Janamejaya, son of Parikshit decided to avenge the death of his father and began a special Yajna to destroy the whole Naga species.  All the Nagas were drawn to the yajna fire and were burnt, but Karkodaga was determined to escape the vengeance and sought the help of Lord Maha Vishnu.
Lord Vishnu directed Karkodaga to this place – Kamarasavalli - under the grace of Lord Soundareswarar and advised him to perform intense penance.  Karkodaga scrupulously followed Vishnu’s advice.  Lord Shiva – Soundareswara - appeared before Karkodaga and assured protection to his life and also to the serpent families from extinction.  Lord also assured that no Kala Sarpa dosha would affect the residents of the place and if any such that would be compromised.  After this event, Lord Soundareswara came to be praised as Karkodeswara.  According to inscriptions here, no one had died of snake bite in this place.  This happened on a day ruled by Cancer Lagna and Cancer Rasi.  Hence, those belonging to this Lagna and Rasi are advised to pray in the temple for relief.
Special Features:
  Miracle Based: Those facing adverse aspects of serpent planets and especially those belonging to Karkataka Lagna and Rasi – Cancer in the zodiac sign – pray in the temple for relief.
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