'Thirumana Thiruthalangal', is a book written by Ms.Meera Nagarajan, the Managing Director and CEO of the company. The published chapters from the book narrate the importance on worshipping at various temples that are known to bless for an early marriage to a bride or groom.

Sri Pralayakaleshwarar - Pennagadam (Pennadam)

About the Temple:

During the Great Deluge, the stretch between Vellaru and Thenpennaru remained lofty unaffected by the inundating waters, puzzling the Devas. They soon realized that the God whose abode was on the banks of Vellaru was the reason for this miracle and prayed to Him to save the world from extinction. Let us visit the temple of Pralayakaleshwarar.

Reason for the name of the temple

In celestial world, one day Devendra could not find flowers for his Siva puja. He sent two women from Devaloka to the Planet Earth to fetch flowers. They could not find flowers anywhere. On learning about the flower garden of the Pralayakaleshwarar temple in Pennagadam, the duo went and picked up flowers from the garden. Carried away by the deep thought of Lord Shiva, they forgot themselves. With their minds full of devotion to Lord Siva, they offered those flowers to the Sivalinga there. Devendra, who was enraged at the women not returning, ordered Kamadhenu to bring the duo to him. Kamadhenu, which saw the two women engulfed in Sivapuja, forgot herself and worshipping Pralayakaleshwara by showering milk on Him. As Kamadhenu too didn't return, Indra sent his white elephant Iravatham in search of the women and Kamadhenu. Iravatham also joined the women and Kamadhenu in the puja forgetting his purpose, on seeing them all worshipping the Lord Pralayakaleshwara. The name Pennagadam was given because Penn (the duo) + aa (Kamadhenu) + gadam (white elephant) all together performed Sivapuja here. Thirugyanasambhandar and Thirunavukkarasar had referred to this place as Kadanthai. As the vimanam of Moolavar has been portrayed with a white elephant protecting it by its shadow, it is called Gajabrshta vimanam.

Also, the sthalam has got other names - as Parvathy worshipped, the place is known as Parvathypuram; as the rare flower garden existed here, it is known as Pushparanyam and because Iravatham worshipped, it is known as Dayarasapathy. When the Lord ordered Nandi to stop the deluge, Nandi turned eastward and sucked the deluge waters, says Thirukadanthai puranam. Nandikeshwara of this sthalam got the name Adhikaranandi because of this incident. In this temple, we can see Nandikeshwara facing the east unlike in other Siva temples where Nandi would be facing the Lord. The deity is called Pralayakaleshwarar because of His act of saving the people from the Deluge. The Bali peedam (altar) and a 9-mtr. tall kodikambam (flagstaff) are there in front of the sannadhi. Adjoining this, Nandidevar sannadhi is situated facing the east. The Nandi is called Prathosha Nandidevar. A small statue of Nandidevar is installed in front of the Pralayakaleshwarar sannadhi. At the Sanctum Sanctorum, Lord Siva has been portrayed in the form of a Sivalinga, facing east.

Temple tank:

It is said that there were ten tanks in this sthalam. The tank in front of the temple is called Paramanantha theertham. As Goddess Parvathy bathed in this tank, it is also called Parvathy theertham.

Structure and Architecture of the temple:

There are high compound walls around the temple on all the four sides. There is no tower for the entrance. But the figures of Panchamoorthys have been sculptured at the entrance . On entering, we first see Kudaivarai Vinayaka temple. The altar is situated to its west and adjoining it, Adhikaranandhi is installed inside a mandap. The temple tower is to the west of Adhikaranandi. Inside, in the sannadhi at the south, Meikandar is portrayed in standing posture facing the west.

At the south maadam of the sanctum, Dakshinamoorthy is portrayed in a sitting posture, facing the south, teaching his four disciples. On going around, at the southwest corner, Kodi Vinayaka sannadhi is situated. The figures of Thirugyanasambhandar, Thirunavukkarasu nayanar, Sundaramoorthy swamigal and Manickavasagar along with the Shaivite scholors, Meikandar, Maraigyana Sambhandar and Sekizhar Dandapani are seen near the sannadhi. To the west of the sanctum of Pralayakaleshwarar, Lingothpawar is there and in the north Pitchadanar. A small sannadhi of Chandeswarar, facing the south is situated in the north. At the north portion of the Pralayakaleshwarar sanctum, Goddess Durga, facing the north, blesses Her devotees. Also, there is a separate sannadhi for Her. During the Rahukaala pujas on Fridays, devotees throng in Her sannadhi. It is believed that all problems will be resolved if we worship Her. Soundhireshwarar is portrayed in the form of a Sivalinga at the hill temple, which lies to the north of the main temple. There are steps to climb. This temple was built; it is not a cave temple. The entrance to the Amman temple lies to the north. We can reach the east prahara through this entrance. Before the Amman sannadhi, bali peedam, kodimaram and Nandi are installed. In the Sanctum Sanctorum, the deity is portrayed facing the east in the names Amodanambal, Kadanthainayaki and Azhagiya kaadhali. Here, Ambal built a Yagasala to worship the Lord. The Nandi mandap near the kodimaram has been built in round shape. In the front mandap, paintings with references to the history of this sthalam could be seen on the walls of the vidhanam. The scene of Lord Siva swallowing the poison has also been painted artistically.
 

Stone Inscriptions:

Forty inscriptions have been found by the archaeological department at the Pralayakaleshwara and Parimalarenganatha temples. The inscriptions say that this temple was built by Kochengat Chola. The sthalam has been sung by Thirugyanasambhandar and Thirunavukkarasar. Meikandadevar, the author of Sivagyanabodham, the main Shiva shastra was born here.

Pujas and festivals:

Four worship services are offered daily. Pradosham is celebrated twice a month. Krithigai is observed every month. Karthigai light festival, Annabhishekam, Aadi poora thirukalyanam, Chathurthi, Navarathri, Natraja abhishekam are the festivals celebrated by the management and devotees together. Chithrai peruvizha, celebrated yearly, is a special festival here. During the Tamil month Chithrai, thiruvizha is celebrated for 12 days and car festival is held on the 9th day. During this festival, Panchamoorthis are brought on various mounts for veedhi ula. The fifth thiruvizha, which signifies the day on which Thirunavukkarasar was branded with the emblems of soolam and Rishaba deserves special mention.

Route to the temple:

The temple is situated facing east in Pennadam, which is at 1 1/2 km distance in the east from the Pennadam railway station on the railway route of Chennai & Trichy.