What is special about this temple?
This temple is exclusively built for Saneeswarar. You may find sani bagwan or navagrahas only in Shiva temples along with other deities.But here the Shiva temple is a little away from Saneeswarar temple.
The Sani Bagwan here is called "swayambu" meaning emerged on its own. There is a Uthsava murthy nearer to the main idol.
This is the place where Sani Baghwan himself got relieved of the Brahmmahathi dosha.
The temple ambience is so excellent that it is on the bank of a flowing river called Surabhi surrounded by green paddy fields and coconut trees. The speciality is it is a running water and kept clean. It is a pleasure to take bath in this small river where the water is upto the shoulder level and we can easily take dips. It is a belief that any one who takes bath in this river is supposed to get liberated from the sins of previous birth.
Many people having Sani Dosha come here for getting the blessings of Sani Bagwan.
What is the procedure for worshipping?
1. Have Gingelly oil on the head and take bath in the Surabhi river. (They are available near the river itself).There is a belief that people who leave the dress in the river as "vasthra dhanam" will get their prayers fulfilled by te God. . Nice arrangements are made along the banks of the river to collect the dress material s left by devotees in the river. There are temple volunteers who keep collecting the dress by using a stick and keep the river water flowing.
On the day when I went there (4th Sep2010) the weather was so pleasant and the running water was upto the chest level, chill and enjoyable.
2. After the bath, buy 'arugam pull' (sacred grass)and worship Lord Ganesha and Ragu idols on the banks of the river.
3. Get a plate of rice cooked with gingely seeds and feed it to the crows. (rice plate available in the temple)
4. Get the clay models of the crow and keep it in front of the Saneeswara Bagwan (clay models available in the temple premises)
5. Sprinke the puffed rice and salt in Kodi maram and light lamps of gingely oil.
6. Do archana for the God with a black cloth and coconut. You may consume the coconut as prasadam after the archana , but not supposed to take it home for cooking purpose.
7. You may buy food packets from reliable shops ( There is a mess called Ganapathy mess on the opposite side of the main road who prepare the food very well for annadhanam. ) and distribute to the poor people around.
How to reach this place?
Reach Madurai by bus, train or flight. Go to Theni or Chinnamanur by bus. There are direct buses (KPN) from Chennai to Theni. From Theni go to Chinnamanur by bus. From Chinnamanur you may go to Kuchanur by bus or auto.
Decent lodges are available in Theni for staying.
What are the puja timings?
Morning 6:00 AM to 1PM. Evening 4PM to 8:30 PM