Avalivanallur Satchinathar Temple, Thiruvarur
Satchinathar Temple is a Hindu temple located at Avalivanallur in Thiruvarur District of Tamilnadu. The temple is dedicated to Shiva, as the moolavar presiding deity, in his manifestation as Satchinathar. His consort, Parvati, is known as Soundara Nayaki. It is one of the shrines of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams - Shiva Sthalams glorified in the early medieval Thevaram poems by Tamil Saivite Nayanmars Tirugnana Sambandar and Sundarar. It was once situated in a forest of Trumpet Flower trees called Pathiri Vanam in Tamil.
This Temple is considered to be the 217th Thevaram Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 100th Sthalam on the south side of river Cauvery in Chozha Nadu. It is considered as one of the Pancha Aranya Sthalams. The five temples which collectively make the Pancha Aranya Sthalams are Thirukkarugavur, Alangudi, Avalivanallur, Haridwaramangalam and Thirukollampudhur. Avalivanallur is the second among this group of temples representing Padhiri Vanam.
Story behind the name Sakshi Nathar:
The legend of the temple is an interesting one. The priest of this temple was an ardent devotee of Shiva, and soon after his marriage, decided to visit Kashi. Leaving his young and beautiful wife behind, he proceeded north for the long and arduous journey to Kashi. Completing all the rites and rituals required, he returned after a few years. Meanwhile, his wife fell sick, and her sister arrived to nurse her. When the priest returned home, he saw the two women in the house - one sick and covered with rashes, looking rather ugly, and the other as a beautiful girl, resembling his wife. He immediately assumed that the beautiful one was his wife, and proceeded to the river to bathe and came back and claimed the beautiful woman is his wife. His real wife who turned ugly due to her illness prayed to Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva came to the rescue of the real wife and hastened to correct the error. He appeared in front of the priest with Parvati, informed him about his wife's illness, and explained that the beautiful one was his sister-in-law, not his wife. Since the lord acted as a witness, he is named Sakshi Nathar, and the goddess - Soundarya Nayaki. Behind the lingam in the sanctum is a panel with the image of Shiva and Parvati on the Rishabha Vahanam, the form in which they gave darshan to the priest. The statues of the priest, his wife, and his sister-in-law can be seen in the prakaram along with the other deities such as the Navagrahas.
Varaha worshipped Shiva here:
Both this temple and the one at Haridwaramangalam are associated with the Varaha Avatharam of Vishnu. Vishnu in his Varaha Avatharam worshipped Shiva here after losing his horn.
People worshipped Shiva here:
Varaha Moorthy, Kasiba, Agasthya, Kanva Suryan, Chandran, Lord Muruga worshipped Lord Shiva here.
Presiding Deity is called as Satchinathar / Saakshi Nayakeswarar and Mother is called as Soundara Nayaki. Theertham is Chandra Pushkarini and Sthala Vriksham is Paadhiri Tree. This east facing temple has a south facing Ambal shrine. It has no Rajagopuram and Kodimaram. Images of Shiva and Parvati on the Rishabha vahanam are seen behind the Shivalingam in the sanctum. Vinayagar, Atkondar and Uyyakondar are located near the sanctum.
There is no sannidhi in the outer prakaram. Inside the premises, Vinayagar, Nalvar, Kanva Muni with Paravai, Veerapathirar, Saptha Kannigar and 63 Nayanmars can be seen. The Temple is having the procession idols of Somaskandar, Vinayagar, Sivagami, Nalvar, Arumugam and Mahalakshmi. The shrine for Natarajar, Kumaralingam, Kasi Viswanathar, Visalakshi, Tapas Ambal, Kala Bairavar, Suryan, Chandikeswarar and Navagraha are seen.
In Koshtam Agasthiyar, Dhakshinamoorthy, Lingothpavar, Brahma and Durga are seen. The Temple has four inscriptions and two belongs to Chola Period. All the planets are facing Suryan in the Navagraha Sannidhi. It is believed that it is good to have the Dharshan at Avalivanallur in morning, Thirukarukkavur in Ushakalam, Arithvaramangalam in Uchikalam, Alangudi in the evening and Thirukollampudhur in night.
Temple Opening Time
The Temple remains open from 6.30 am to 11.30 am and 4.00 pm to 7.00 pm.
Four worship services are offered each day here. Thai Ammavasai (New moon day in the month of Capricorn) is celebrated here. In addition Navarathri and Skanda Sashti are celebrated each year.
This Temple is considered to be the 217th Thevaram Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 100th Sthalam on the south side of river Cauvery in Chozha Nadu. Appar and Tirugnanasambandar have sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple.
People take bath in Tamil month of Thai in Chandra Pushkarani Theertham to get cure from skin diseases.
Sakshi Nathar Temple,
Phone: +91 – 4374 – 316 911 / 275 441
This Shivasthalam Temple is located at about 3.5 Kms to the west of another Paadal Petra Sthalam at Tiruaradai Perumpaazhi (Haridwara Mangalam). Town bus service from Kumbakonam to Amma Pettai goes via this Shivasthalam. Likewise the town bus service from Thanjavur to Haridwara Mangalam also goes via this Shivasthalam.
Avalivanallur is located at about 13 Kms west of Alangudi, 30 Kms from Thanjavur, 10 Kms from Ammapettai, 12 Kms from Saliyamangalam, 84 Kms from Trichy, 20 Kms from Kumbakonam, 46 Kms from Thiruvarur and 60 Kms from Mayiladuthurai. Nearest Railway Station is located at Thanjavur and Saliyamangalam. Nearest Airport is located at Trichy.