Ranked 6 among Places to Visit in Thanjevur
Time Required: 1-2 hours
Alangudi and its temple are famous for being the Holy Sthala surrounded by the three holy rivers Cauvery, Kolidam and Vennaru. The place and the temple are intimately connected with each other and have some historical, mythological and local folklores tied to its past origin and present legend. The Alangudi Guru Temple is devoted to Abathsahayeswarar form of Shiva - the one who digested the poison of Vasuki Nag to save humanity from its toxin during samudra manthan. It also houses his female counterpart Elavarkuzhali and some other deities as well.
The temple is also known for being the home of Devguru Brihaspati or the planet Jupiter. As per Hindu Mythology, the nine planets are considered to be gods of heaven, where Earth, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are replaced by Sun, Moon, Rahu and Ketu. Tamil Nadu has nine temples dedicated to each of these nine celestial beings, and this one is for Jupiter. Staying true to the yellow hue of the planet we see in pictures, gifting yellow garments here is considered sacred. The transition of Jupiter from one zodiac to another's constellation is celebrated here as a big festival. Other festivals like Thai Poosam and Chithhtirai Purnima are also celebrated with pomp and show.
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