Sunday 11 November 2012

The Goddess who protects a womb

One of the most famous temples in South India to whom women in large numbers go is that of  Garbarakshambigal  at Thirukarugavur near Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu.
The temple is dedicated to Shiva and Goddess Garbarakshambigal. It is also called  Arulmigu Mullai Vana Temple as it was originally  consecrated in a park of flowers. The name of the Goddess means the mother who protects the womb.
As the name itself suggests, the temple is believed to protect the womb of a woman and help her beget a child. Women who want a child and those who are pregnant come here in large numbers.
The Shiva idol here is very unique as it is made of mud from anthill.
A couple have to participate in a particular ritual here for begetting a child. The Goddess is believed to bless women for a safe pregnancy.    
Once you completed the prescribed rituals, the priest will give castor oil which has to be applied by the woman who wants a child. Ghee is also given which has to be taken for a prescribed period.
I vaguely remember that you have to apply the oil or paste in your house only and you cannot take it outside your house. What I mean is that you cannot stay overnight in any place other than your house till the completion of the ritual.
The locals told me the story of the place. Here it goes.
A couple, Nithuvar and his wife Vedike were living in this garden of Mullai flowers here. One day, Nithuvar was away and Vedike asleep when another saint, Urdhvapada visited their home.
Urdhvapada found that he was not being welcomed appropriately in the house. Vedike did not get up as he was pregnant. The saint felt insulted and cursed her.
The curse had a telling effect on Vedike. She began suffering and the child in her womb also began feeling intense pain and suffering.
Unable to bear the pain and wanting to protect her child which was still in her womb, Vedike prayed to an idol of Parvathi which was near her house.
Goddess Parvathi reincarnated as Garbarakshambigai and came to the help of Vedike. She ensured that the child in the womb remained unharmed. She held a Kalasa near the stomach of Vedike to ensure that the child remained healthy and fit.
Vedike then delivered a healthy child. However, the woes of Vedike had not yet ended. She found to her dismay and disappointment that she could not feed milk to the baby. Goddess Parvathi then saw to it that a cow came near the house of Vedike and gave so much milk   that in course of time the liquid came to be called as lake of milk.
The mantra of Garbarakshambigai is supposed to be very powerful. It is said that if a woman repeats it with devotion, good will come out if it. Here is a portion of the mantra.
Om Garbarakshambaigaie cha vidhmahe
Mangala devadhayai cha deemahi
Dhano devi prachodayath
The temple opens at 5-30 a.m., and closes at 12-30 p.m. It again opens at 4-30 p.m., and closes at 8-30 p.m. You can get details of poojes by sending an SMS to 88700 58269.  As per the temple, it can be contacted on 04374-273423,  Cell No:88700 58269
Or  email ID

Putra Kameshteeswar Temple

This is one of the most famous temples of its kind in Tamil Nadu. The temple us situated in a small town called Arani which is in Tiruvanamalai district. It is about 38 kms from Vellore and 56 kms from Tiruvanamalai  Kamandala Naga river.
The temple is very near the bus stand.
Ramayana says that it is at this very place that King Dasarata performed Putra Kamesti Yagna for obtaining children. That is how Rama came to be born.
The temple priests will let you know what rituals you have to perform.
Arani has a large number of  ancient temples and a fort. 

Murugan Temples

Tamil Nadu has scores of  temples dedicated to Murugan. This god is considered to be a bestower of children.
The Murugan Temple in Chennimalai is well-known. Chennimalai is 24 kms from Erode and is therefore easily accessible.
The Murugan temple is on a hill. Those wanting a child have to come here after New Moon and observe Shasti Vrata.
The temple of Sri Periyandavar in Thirunilai seven kms away from Thirukalukundram is another favourite temple for couples wanting a child.
The temple is adjacent to a beautiful lake.
It is here that Shiva, when he was born as a human being, took shelter. There is also an idol dedicated to Angala Parameswari.
The Nandi here is in a standing posture. The deities are supposed to have special powers to bless childless couples.
Locals say that couples have to perform a very simple ritual here. The couples have to take a bathe in the temple pond and perform pooja and abhisheka with their own hands for six weeks.

Kari Krishna Koil

This temple is 35 kms from Chennai. It is called Kari Krishna Perumal koil. It is located in Thiru Aayarpadi, Ponneri.
The temple was constructed by Karikal Chola. The Krishna idol is slanted towards one side.
There is a pond called Santana Puskarni behind the Garba Gudi or sanctum Sanctorum. This is a pond of sacred water and it is believed to have miraculous powers of helping women conceive.
Women visit the temple during Rohini Nakshatra  with two plantains, half a litre of  milk, 100 grams butter and gingely oil. They have to take bath in the pond and perform Archana.


The  Ekambareshwara Temple here is famed for its architecture and the 5,000 year old mango tree. Devotees are expected to eat the mango here if they want a child.
Another temple is of  Rajagopalaswamy at Mannargudi.
The temple is among the oldest in Tamil Nadu and the name of the presiding deity is Paravasudevan.
Pray at the Santhana Gopala Krishna idol for a child. The temple is roughly 30 kms from Thanjavur.

Sri Margapandeswarar Temple

This temple is located at Vishnupuram near Vellore and it is off the Chennai-Bangalore road. Take a dip in the three Pushkarnis to get a child.

Vaikuntapathi Perumal Temple

This is dedicated to Vishnu in the form of Vaikuntapati. It is situated on Tiruchendur road in Srivaikuntam which is  37 km from Thirunelveli.
Couples wanting a child must consume ghee offered to the diety for 48 days.

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