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Vaitheeswaran Koil -Nadi Jothidam, And the Temple’s Astrological Significance

Vaitheeswaran Koil in Tamil Nadu

The Vaitheeswaran Koil is located on the Northern Banks of river Kaveri, towards interior Tamil Nadu, in Nagapattinam district. The village, with its auspicious temple, is 27 km from Chidambaram, 235 km from Chennai, and 16 km from Mayiladuthurai. The main deity at this temple is Lord Shiva, worshipped as Sri Vaitheeswaran. The temple is famous for its ‘Vaitheeswaran koil nadi jothidam‘ (predictions based on inscriptions in palm leaves / manuscripts). This is one of it’s most interesting connections with astrology, besides the connection with Mars.

Gods in Hindu Mythology are depicted in various forms. And so, in the Vaitheeswaran Koil Temple, the deity is Sri Vaitheeswara (“Vaidya” means doctor), referred to here as the “God of Healing”. Vaitheeswara is a form of Shiva. The temple is the location for several grand festivities every year. For instance, one of the grandest ones is the annual Brahmotsavam. Grand festivities are performed during Shivaratri as well. The temple is well over 2000 years old.

Vaitheeswaran Koil in Tamil Nadu
The grand Vaitheeswaran Koil, famous for Nadi Jothidam

The History of Vaitheeswaran Koil

There are several tales behind the history of this temple. According to legend, Mars (also known as Angaraka) was suffering from leprosy and it was the blessings from the Lord Vaidyanatheshwara which cured him. Navagraha Temple has been the name of the location since then.

In the war against the demon Sura Padam, Lord Subramanya’s army was severely injured. Then, Lord Shiva transformed as Vaitheeswaran and healed their injuries.

Rama, Surya, Skanda, Jatayu, and Angaraka worshipped the Shiva Linga at this location, according to the legend. When Sita was abducted by Ravana, the Vulture king Jatayu was killed in the fight. So, Rama and Lakshama buried him at this temple. Therefore, Jatayu kundam is the name of a pond located at this temple.

The pond inside the temple
The pond located in the Vaitheeswaran temple, Jatayu Kundam

Interesting Facts About Vaitheeswaran Koil

The Navagrahas

The name in itself points out to one of the nine Navagrahas, the nine planets, Mars (Angaraka). And so, the temple has a shrine dedicated to Angaraka.

Astrology – Vaitheeswaran Koil Nadi Jothidam – Palm Leaf Manuscript Reading

The village in itself is famous across the world for Vaitheeswaran koil astrology. Vaitheeswaran koil nadi jothidam (reading of ancient Palm leaf manuscripts) is one of the main attractions here. In Tamil, the name for Palm Leaf is ‘Olai Chuvadi’.

How Does Nadi Jothidam / Palm Leaf Astrology Work?

According to Nadi Jothidam (Nadi astrology), ancient Siddhas (perfected beings, Rishis) compiled life events for the future generations in palm manuscripts. This was so that these generations could access it eventually and learn about themselves, straight from the Siddhas. Many interpret their current life occurrences through the lens of the different deeds done in any of their past lives. They learn of past lives by obtaining the correct manuscript that matches their identity.

Some of the lucky people who check their nadi readings, chance upon an ancient manuscript which correctly matches their identity. The match for a nadi and an individual occurs when factors like date, star of birth, name of mother and father, your age when you visit the nadi reader, and so on, all match with the details on the manuscript.

Once you have a nadi manuscript that matches your identity, your nadi astrologer or reader will help you with predictions for the future and readings about past lives. The remedial measures or ‘parikarams‘ may vary from chanting mantras and performing spiritual practices at home, to visiting specific temples or conducting certain poojas on auspicious dates.

Miracle Cure At The ‘Tank Of Nectar’

People travel thousands of kilometers praying for a cure from several body ailments, pimples, and scars. It is the deity Thaiyalnayaki, who carries medicinal oil which her lord, Shiva, uses to cure Mars (Angaraka) of leprosy. According to belief, a dip in the holy waters of the Siddhamritham tank ( ‘tank of nectar’) can one cure all diseases.

Architectural Significance

The western tower houses the Shiva Lingam. For a few days, every year, the sun rays fall directly on the Lingam. The temple contains inscriptions of King Vikrama Chola from the 12th century. Also, it consists of inscriptions of the Nayaks in the 16th century and the Marathas in the 18th century are also present.

The Deities at Vaitheeswaran Koil

There is a shrine of Thaiyalnayaki, which holds the medicinal oil that cures the diseases of the devotees, present in the second enclosure which faces the south. So, the southern gateway of temple directly faces the Thaiyalnayaki shrine.

Housing several significant deities in shrines, the Vaitheeswaran temple is a large place of worship. Lord Shiva is in the form of the swayambhu murti, the revered deity. Shiva Linga, also known as Maragatha Lingam (Emerald Linga), in the main shrine is world famous.

At the site, you can find several small temples dedicated to Goddess Durga, Lord Subrahmanya, Angaraka, the Sun god, and most importantly, the Navagrahas as well. Jatayu kund, a holy pond is located at the temple. Lord Rama, Goddess Sita and Lord Lakshmana came to worship Lord Shiva at this pond.

The deities at the vaitheeswaran koil
The deities adorning the Vaitheeswaran temple structure

Travel Route & Hotels

The Vaitheeswaran Koil is closest to Mayiladuthurai State Highway. So you can commute to the temple in a bus or car. Also, you can directly reach the temple located in Nagapattinam from Chennai by train.

There are several prominent hotels you can stay at overnight which are located close to the temple, namely – Sadhabishegam Hotel, Sri Guru Lodge, Sri Guru Lodge, and Sri Vishwa Lodge.

The temple timings in Vaitheeswaran Koil temple are 6 AM to 11 AM in the morning, and then between 4:30 PM to 9:30 PM, in the evening, every day.

Thousands of people travel to Vaitheeswaran Koil every year as they believe that all their diseases have a cure at this unique place of worship. People also worship Lord Vaitheeswara and throng this temple in the hopes of having good health after getting Lord Shiva’s blessings. Astrology and Nadi Jothidam is another big crowd puller, and many visitors to this temple town always make it a point to check if they have any astrology readings available for them.