Sri Thatheeswarar Temple lies in Chithukadu near Chennai. It is a star temple for Swathi Nakshatra natives. The presiding deity here is Shiva, and the Goddess is Poonguzhali. Swathi contains Shiva’s power in itself, as the letter ‘Va’ is present in Namah Shivaya Mantra. Swathi Nakshathra is a star of learning. Those born on the Swati Nakshatra day are sharp in their thinking.
Swati Nakshatra people are good-natured and fortunate. They are independent and confident, flexible and adjusting. People like them for their modesty, compassion, and generous nature. They are honest and charming. A feeling of pride and entitlement may be found in them. They are prone to anger, which can cause problems in their relationships. Other negative traits are their tendency to procrastinate and self-indulgence. Visiting Sri Thatheeswarar Temple, at least once in a year or on Swathi star days, can help them to overcome the adverse effects of the planets in their horoscope.
Sthala Purana says that two Siddhas, Padukkai Jadamudi Siddhar and Prana Deepika Siddhar, performed rigorous penance here and installed a Shiva Lingam beneath a gooseberry tree which was named Nelliappar (‘Nelli’ is the word for gooseberry, in Tamil). In Sanskrit, ‘that hiri’ is the word for gooseberry. So the deity is called Sri Thatheeswarar. Due to the fact that the Siddhas did penance here, and the place is filled with vegetation, the place came to be called Siddharkadu. They also created a beautiful garden in this place, with sweet smelling flowers for the deity’s worship. Hence, the place came to be called “Thirumanam” or holy fragrance. In later years, Siddharkadu became Chithukadu. Carved images of the two Siddhars can be seen on the temple pillars. Devotees worship them with great fervor. Prana Deepika Siddhar is believed to protect devotees from life threatening and chronic ailments. The PadukkaiJadamudiSithar is seen to have long hair on which he supposedly lies down in Yoga Nidra. It is said that he goes around saving people’s lives.
Benefits of the temple
A unique aspect of the temple is the structure of the bull, Nandi, the vahan or vehicle of Shiva. The Nandi seen here does not have a nose rope and appears calm and relaxed as it is in the presence of saints. This temple is also renowned for those who face delays in their wedding. The story goes that, once, a king, found an idol of a Goddess when renovating the temple. He gave her the name, Poonguzhali, and built a shrine for her. Devotees believe that doing special Abishekam and Pooja for the Goddess and the main deity can remove obstacles to marriage. People who are desirous of early marriage should do Abishekam to Shiva with gooseberry powder, seeds, and juice and seeds, besides offering green clothes and bangles to the Goddess. They should also light Ghee lamps. If Swathi star natives visit the temple and make offerings of curd rice, gooseberry pickle, and tamarind rice to Shiva, and also offer them to the poor, their lives will be happy and prosperous.
The temple has a close association with Muruga. Special poojas are performed for Muruga on Karthigai Nakshatra day. Swathi Nakshathra natives can be greatly benefited if they worship the deity sincerely. Chithukadu temple is said to have the combined grace of Shiva and Vishnu. Interestingly, the pillars have Vishnu’s Dasavatharams inscribed on them, testifying to the Shaivite – Vaishnavite harmony that prevailed in those days. The book, Sivamayam Kanda Siddhargal, says that this place was an abode of Bodo Siddhar and his Jeevasamadhi can also be found here. Praying to him supposedly cures problems caused by Ashtama Sani, Ezharai Sani or Jenma Sani.
8 am to 10 am – 5 pm to 7 pm.
How to reach
Chennai is well connected by air and rail to major cities in India and abroad. One can hire a cab from the airport or railway station to reach the temple.