The beautiful temple of Shivji, which is also a Remedial Guru Temple (Guru Parihara Sthalam) is Ulaganayaki sametha Vasishteswaraswamy temple. This Temple is situated about 10 KM from Tanjore on the Tanjore Melathur Road in Thittai (also known “Thenkudi Thittai).
The presiding deity is Swayambootheswarar and the Goddess, Ulaganayaki. As the main deity is a Swayambu Lingam he got the name “Swayambootheswarar”.
The main deity is also called as Vasishteswarar as he was worshipped here by Sage Vashishtar.
This Temple is one of the shrines of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams – Shiva Sthalams glorified in the early medieval Tevaram poems by Tamil Saivite Nayanars Tirugnanasambandar and Thirunavukkarasar
Thittai Guru Temple
Thittai means a Mound in Tamil. It is here that Brahma & Vishnu worshiped Lord Shiva for protection during the Great Deluge (Pralayam). This was the only place in the deluge that hadn’t submerged. They venerated the Lingam they found here. Lord Shiva, pleased with their Devotion, delegated the duties of Creation & Protection respectively to Brahma & Vishnu.
Here the Lingam is Swayambhu (Swayam-self & bhu-being; Swayambhu means self-manifesting). It is believed that Sage Vasishta worshiped the Lord here, and hence the name Vasishteswarar. He is also known as Theerurnathar, Pasupathynathar, Dheenupureeswarar or Radhapureeswarar. After worshiping this deity Yama got rid of curse. Vasishteswarar’s divine consort is Ulaganayaki, also known as Mangaleswari and Sugantha Kunthaleswari. The goddess Ulaganayaki is known as Sugantha Kunthalambigai because after worshiping Ulaganayaki here, a Vaisya girl named Sugantha Kunthala brought her deceased husband back to life. Thus the married women worship Ulaganayaki for their husband’s long life.
In the four corners of the Temple, there are four Lingas, and the fifth linga is the main deity, hence this is a kshetram of pancha linga. This is therefore called the Pancha Bhootha Kshetra. Here the temple tank is Chakra Theertham, believed to have been created through the sudharshan chakra of Lord Vishnu.
Remedial Guru Temple (Guru Parihara Sthalam)
This is also a remedial Temple for Guru Graha. Lord Guru is seen between swami and ambal at a separate shrine. Guru here is Raja Guru with 4 hands holding his weapons and a book in a standing posture. (Lord Dakshinamurthy is worshipped as Guru in Alangudi, the principal Guru Parihara sthalam.) He is believed to have given upadesam here to Vasishta muni. Here worshiping the Guru and then worshiping Chandran at Thingalur on the same day should bring the Guru Chandra (Gajakesari) Yogam in the horoscope of the devotee. That should be very motivating for the worshipper.
Planet Jupiter (Guru) is worshiped by devotees with extreme devotion for gaining knowledge and wisdom besides getting financial prosperity. Offering prayer to planet Jupiter relieves the inauspicious periods from the devotees life. Students offer prayers to the Lord to perform well in their studies. Guru Peyarchi and Chitra Pournima are the most important festivals celebrated in the temple. From beginning till end of the months; festivals are celebrated in the temple like Maha Shivratri in the month of February-March, followed by Tirukarthikai in November and December including Guru peyarchi. It is said that the Surya Bhagawan offers his prayers to Shiva Linga by his rays on 15, 16 and 17 in Avani Month (August to September). During Panguni (March-April) and the Rising sun offers his prayers to Lord Shiva by dedicating his sun rays on Shivji.
Even for those who are not religiously inclined, this temple is an attractive and must see one. Devotees are allowed right up to the garbagraham entrance. There is a small hole in the GarbaGraham ceiling, and every 24 minutes a drop of water falls on the linga ie 1 Nazhigai. You can actually watch this amazing phenomenon, if you’re patient enough. The tower’s Chandragandham and the Suryagandham stones are meant to absorb the moisture from the atmosphere and convert it into water. The stunning fact is that the 24-minute interval per drop is maintained regardless of whether it is day or night, summer or winter. This phenomenon remains unexplained. The entire temple consists of stones including the walls, pillars, roof, and floor. A veritable Marvel of Architecture. Clearly, this is a spectacular evidence of advances in science and architecture of ancient India.