Dharbharanyeswaraswamy or Dharbaranyeswarar temple at Thirunallar is dedicated to Saneeswaran or Saturn planet also called as Sani Bhagawan.
Sri Darbaranyeswara Swami Devasthanam, Thirunallar–609607
Temple Phone No: 04368-236530 or 236504
6 AM to 1 PM and 4 PM to 8 PM. Since Saturdays are the special days for Saneeswaran, the Saneeswaran sannidhi is open even between 1 PM & 4PM.
Those visiting Thirunallar should first have an oil bath in the Nala theertham. After the bath, worship the Vinayakar in the small temple nearby, break a coconut there and then proceed towards the Dharbaranyeswarar temple which is about 5 minutes walk from there.
Devotees offer Blue cloth and light Gingely oil lamp. Special Poojas are performed on Saturdays as Saturday is the day of Saneeswaran or Saturn.
Dharbharanyeswaraswamy or Dharbaranyeswarar temple at Thirunallar is dedicated to Saneeswaran or Saturn. Thirunallar in Karaikal, in the Union Territory of Pondichery, is one of the more famous and important navagraha temples. It is at a distance of 6 Kms from Karaikal town. This is one of the parivara sthalams.
Though Saneeswaran here is very famous, the presiding deity is Dharbaranyeswarar. His Consort is Bogamartha Poon Mulayal or Praanaambikai. The lingam here is a self manifested Lingam or Swayambhu. The Sthala vruksham is Dharba or grass. This place was a forest of Dharba. Dharba is a type of grass and aranyam means forest and hence the name Dharbaranyeswaraswamy or Dharbaranyeswarar for the Lord. One can see the impression of grass on the lingam here. Thirunallar is one of the 'Saptha Vidanga Sthalam'. The idols in these temples depict Lord Shiva performing one of His seven dance forms. It is believed that Lord Shiva imparted the knowledge of the Vedas & Shastras to Brahma here. People pray to Swarna Ganapathy here to overcome financial problems.
Lord Surya was married to Usha or Light. Usha Devi was unable to bear the heat radiated from Surya and left her shadow on Chaya with Suryan while she herself stayed away. Saneeswaran is the son of Chaya Devi and Suryan. The very sight of Saneeswaran is dreaded and believed to be destructive. Suryan's chariot is believed to have been destroyed when Saneeswaran as a baby first opened his eyes and looked at Suryan. Saneeswaran after intense penance on Lord Shiva attained the status of a celestial planet.
It is believed that Saneeswaran became lame when he was kicked by Lord Yama in a fit of anger. It is because of this that he is a slow moving planet, taking approximately two and a half years to move from one Zodiac Sign to another. Such a transit known as Sani peyarchi is very important and devotees from all over throng the temple to offer their prayers. Saneeswaran is believed to have a major influence on the course of one's life and also the most feared planet. The unique aspect here is that Saneeswaran is in standing posture with abhayahastha, ie., hand bestowing blessing.
Once, Shiva hid himself in a remote cave to meditate and escape the effect of Sani. On his return he was informed by Sani that the Lord had went into hiding in the first place because of the influence of ezharai Sani. An astonished but pleased Shiva, declared to him to be Saneeswaran. No other planet has the tag eswaran to the name.
It is said that King Nala, under the influence of ezharai sani ( bad period of Saturn), lost his kingdom, and was separated from his wife and children, had health problems and wandered around like a beggar. As per the advice of Bharadwaja muni he worshipped Dharbaranyeswarar at Thirunallar, after a dip in the holy tank here. It was then that he was relieved of the effects of Sani. After this, Shiva asked Saneeswaran to be here and bless all his devotees.