Nagannathaswamy Temple, Keezhaperumpallam, Tamil Nadu

The Naganatha Swamy or the Thirunageshwaram temple, is located in the village of Keezhaperumpallam, in the state of Tamil Nadu, the temple is also known as Kethu Sthalam. The supervising deity in the temple is Kethu a shadow planet, but Lord Shiva is considered as the main deity in the temple. The village of Keezhperumpallam is considered one among the nine Navagraha Sthalas mentioned in the puranas.

The temple covers about 630 feet on the south-north direction of the village and 800 feet in the east-west direction of the village. The outer boundary of the temple is occupied by sub-lanes and four major streets. The temple consist of four main gateways and a gopuram comprised in the high compound walls of the temple. Next to the compound walls there is a pathway which has a beautiful flower garden constructed in its Northern side. The Eastern gate way of the temple leads to the Vinayaka temple, the Thajwa Sthambam, Balipeetam, and to the Nandeeswarar Mandapam. The Southern gatee leads to the sacred water tanks if the temple and the four mandapas, and the 100 pillar mandapa constructed in the style of a ratha. The eastern wall possess many artistic carvings and sculptors.

From the Central Gopuram of the temple there is a praharam; pathway which leads to the famous mandapas of the temple, and in the south-west direction of the pathway one can see the Sri Raaghu Bhagavan Sannathi. Next to the pathway, is the madapam here the deity of the Lord is decorated and religious functions are held. It is believed that, this mandapa, was built by the Chief Minister of Achuthappa Naikkar, a King who ruled Thanjavoor in the 16th century. On the eastern and the southern sides of the mandapa, there are pillars constructed in the design of ‘older and nine horses’. On the northern side of the pathway, there is another mandapa, of which the pillars are carved in the design of ‘Yalli face’. In this mandapa the idols used for procession is decorated. The western walls of the temple possess magnificent carvings. It also contains the descriptions of five deities placed in the temple. The western wall was renovated in the year 1929. On the way to Sannathi, one can see the art works dedicated to the King Sambumali and the sculptor of Ambal in the penance pose. On the each side of the entrance of the Swami Sannathi, there are beautiful Dwarapalaga Sudhai work, which steals the heart of every visitors.

The Naganatha temple is considered as one of the most pure temple in South India, due to the presence of the guardian deity Kethu, and the principal deity of the temple, Lord Shiva, is considered as very beneficent. It is said that, the famous Saiva saints like, Thirunavukkarasu Swamingal, Thiru Sundaramoorthy Swamigal, and Thirugnana Sambanda Swamigal have praised the temple in their work. The temple is considered to be the worshipping place for the famous Saiva saint, Sri Sekkizar Swamigal, which created the famous text Peria Puranam.

The temple also constitutes the two consorts of Raaghu Bagavan, Nagavalli and Nagakanni. The deity of these two goddesses are placed together with the deity of Raaghu Bagavan. One of the other unique factor of the temple is that, the deity of Raaghu in the temple is with human face, where as in ther temple the deity of Raaghu is seen in the form of serpent. It is believed that, in this temple Raaghu Bagavan prayed to Lord Shiva for penance for his curse. The Poudiga Purana statest that, once Lord Shiva, told his wife Parvathi, Shhenbagaraniyam, which is now known as Thirungaeswaram.

The legend says that, Lord Shiva, under the Shenbagam tree, at Shenbagaranivam, was known as Shenbagarane Eswara. He used to rest under the trees and bless his devotees. The Nandi bull is believed to have workshipped here in order to attain the position of Nandeesan. Vinayaga, the eldest son of Lord Shiva attained the position of Head of Ganas here. The legend also states that, Indra, the king of devas worshipped here to the Goddess Girigujambalin order to get rid of the pungent smell spreading from him. It is also said that, sages like, Vashista, Parasarar, King Nala, Bageerathan, Gowthama, and Pandavas, were great devotees of Sri Naganatha Swami.

The main festival celebrated in the temple is the Bramahotsavam, which is celebrated during the months of November and December. This festival is celebrated for 10 days. Another one of the festival celebrated in the temple is Kandashati, celebrated during the months of October and November. The celebration lasts for about six days. Sivarathri is also grandly celebrated in the temple every year. The Navarathri festival which lasts for about nine days is celebrated on behalf of Goddess Girikujambal.

The temple is located 6 km away from Kumbakonam.  The nearest railway station to the temple is Tiruvidaimarudhur, which is located five kilometres from the temple and another one of the railway station located near to the temple is Kumbhakonam, which is 8 km away from the temple. Regular trains are available from major stations to Kumbhakonam railway station. The nearest sirport to the temple is located at Trichirapalli. The roads to the temple are well connected and regular buses are available from majr towns like Trichy and Madurai.