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| Last Updated:: 12/09/2023

Vaitheeswaran Koil













Vaitheeswaran Koil or Pullirukkuvelur is a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Shiva located in Tanjore District, Tamil Nadu. Shiva is worshipped as Vaitheeswaran or the "God of healing" and it is believed that prayers to Vaitheeswaran can cure diseases. Vaitheeswaran is a Tamil derivative from vaidya (Doctor) and Ishvara (God/Master). 




The temple is also known for palm leaf astrology called Naadi astrology in Tamil. It is based on the belief that the past, present and the future lives of all humans were foreseen by Hindu sages in ancient time. The texts are mainly written in Vatteluttu, which is an ancient Tamil script. The palm leaves are possessed by the families of astrologers in Vaitheeswaran temple and were passed down the years from one generation to the other. 




Lord Shiva is a swayambumurthi in the temple.  The Maragatha Linga (Emerald Linga) is very famous. Devotees from all parts of South India throng the temple as Lord Vaidyanatha is the the Kula Devatha of many families.  People pray here for remedy from various ailments. They get the special oil from the temple and apply them on the body. The holy soil rounded with ash (called Thiruchandu Urundai) is treated as medicine and believed to cure all the diseases. Another medicine given is chandan (sandalwood powder) with saffron. It is a practice to purchase silver-plated images of body parts to put in the Hundi (vessel for offering) to fix ailments one might be having. 




The temple has a five-tiered gopuram (temple tower) and large precincts. The central shrine is that of Vaitheeswaran present as lingam in the inner most sanctum. The first precinct around the sanctum has the metal image of Subramanya, worhsipped here as Muthukumara Swamy. The other metal images in the sanctum are of Nataraja, Somaskanda, Angaraka and stone sculptures of Durga, Dakshinamoorthy, Surya (Sun god), Jatayu, Vedas, Sampati.The shrine of Thaiyalnayaki who stands with the medicinal oil to cure the diseases of the devotees is present in the second precinct facing south. The large precinct also has a small shrine to Dhanvantari and shrine of Angaraka in stone sculpture. . The Sthala Vriksha (temple tree) is margosa (Azadirachta indica) which possesses medicinal properties. 















Siddamruta Theertham, a big tank opposite to goddess shrine, is known to have medicinal property. Devotees believe that taking bath in this water cures them of their diseases, especially skin diseases.













Angarakan was cured of his leprosy after a dip in the holy water here. It is also known as Goksheera theertham (Go means cow and ksheera means milk) as Kamadhenu's milk flowed into this tank when the holy cow performed abhishek to the deity here with her milk. The water tastes sweet like cane juice and hence known as Ikshusara Theertham. Jatayau had his bath here and hence it is also known as Jatayu theertham.  It is also believed that Lord Ram and Lakshmana cremated Jatayu here. There are niches of Rama, Lakshmana and Vishwamitra, Vasistha and Jatayu near the theertham. 












People who are affected by malefic Mars in their horoscope perform Angaraka pooja to neutralize the negative effects. The temple is a part of the popular Navagraha pilgrimage in Tamil Nadu. 




Brahmotsavam (annual festival) is celebrated during the Tamil calendar months of Panguni and Thai (January–February). Karthigai festival during November is also celebrated with pomp and glory. Kanda Sashti, a festive occasion for Subramanya, is celebrated in the shrine of Muthukumaraswamy.