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Photo By Dinesh Flicks

Thirunallaru is the temple dedicated to Lord Sani, located in Karaikal, Puducherry district. Lord Sani is the only planet who holds the tag Saneeswaran.  Among nine planets, his affliction will be more during the Ezharai Sani, Astamathu Sani, Astamartha Sani and Sani Mahadisai. People, who experience severe effects of Lord Sani in these periods, usually visit Thirunallar to appease his afflictions. Though the temple is dedicated to Lord Dharbaranyeshwarar (Shivan), Sani is worshipped as the main deity here. Lord Saneeswaran is a stern master in punishing or flourishing the people based on their past karma. The story behind the temple is quite interesting.

The History of Thirunallar

The King Nala who had lived with morale married Queen Damayanthi, led a happy life. Devas wished to marry Damayanthi, but their desire was not fulfilled. So, they had gone and met Lord Sani Bhagavan to help them. After seeing the couple, and their true love, he advised devas to forget their wish. However, Lord Sani started to give lots of troubles in Nala’s life. During the Saturn period, King Nala lost his kingdom, wife, and children who were taken cared by his father-in-law. Nala was strolling in the forest with an ugly appearance from a serpent Karkodagan curse. Finally, he reached Thirunallaru, prayed Lord Dharbaranyeshwarar and drowned in the Water Tank. He was freed from all the evil curses, diseases and got his regal appearance, kingdom, his family back.

It has been advised that if anybody is afflicted by Lord Saturn, the person should visit the temple, drown in the Nala Teertham, lit the sesame lamp, and pray Lord Shiva, and Lord Sani to come out from the furious time.

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Lord Saneeswara Idol is a tiny one. The deity has two hands and his right-hand shows Abhaya Mudra. Generally, in other temples, Lord Sani found with four hands. The meaning behind the mudra is fearlessness and it specifies peace, secure and chases away from fears. The mudra clearly notifies that Lord Saneeswaran protects all devotees who offer him pooja here.

saneeswaran photoPhoto by Dinesh flicks

Though the mythology says there were 13 theerthams surround the temple, the devotees can see only 6 theerthams and they are Hamsa theertham, Bramha theertham, Vani Theertham, Agasthiar theertham, Nala theertham and Saraswati theertham.


How to worship Lord Sani at Thirunallar Temple?

First of all the devotee has to take bath in Nala Theertham and it is good to have in the early morning time. The devotee should drown fully into the Theertham to ensure head to toe is wet. It is necessary to leave the stale clothes in the banks of the Theertham. Then, one shall wear a dry, new dress. Soon after completing the bath, should not turn back or see the bathing place.

Ganesha Temple photoPhoto by Technofreak

Secondly, visit the Ganesha Temple with coconut. After dedicating prayers, break the coconut into pieces at the coconut stand outside the temple.


Thirdly, the devotee shall buy pooja items for performing archana. Lord Sani is to be worshiped primarily then Lord Shiva and other deities shall be worshiped later. When coming out of the temple, there is vast space to light the sesame lamp with gingelly oil. If the devotee wishes, he may offer curd, sandal paste, milk, tender coconuts etc. There is a separate place for tonsuring in the temple.

Generally, after worshiping Lord Sani, one has to return home without visiting other places or temples. The person should not bring Prasadam, sacred ash to the house.

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The quick facts about Lord Saneeswaran:

  • Color:          Black, Ash
  • Food:           Curd rice mixed with sesame seeds
  • Flower:       Kuvalai, Vanni
  • Vehicle:      Crow
  • Number:     8
  • Day:             Saturday
  • Metal:          Iron
  • Gemstone: Blue Sapphire
  • Benefits:     Free from diseases, debts and increased longevity
  • Temple Tree: Darba


vishnu photoPhoto by goblinbox_(queen_of_ad_hoc_bento)

The deities Brahma, Indra, Vishnu, Arjuna, Agasthia, and King Nala had visited and worshiped in the temple.



The temple timings:

  • Morning: 6.00 AM to 12.30 PM
  • Evening: 4.00 to 9.00 PM

There is an adage in Tamil that “Saniyai pol koduppavarum illai, keduppavarum illai”. So, when we always indulge in moral activities need not worry about the affliction of Lord Sani.

Photo by Dinesh flicks

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