Main Abode: Vana Durga Parameswari
Sthala Theertham: Sivagangai
Sthala Vriksham: Lotus
Vana Durga Parameswari Amman is a Temple dedicated to Vana Durga, situated in Kathiramangalam village, Tanjore district, TamilNadu. This Temple is one of the Nava (9) Durga who is presiding deity in this Temple. This Temple is around 3000 years old.
The main idol of the Temple is six feet height and special Pooja in the Temple held at Rahu Kalam, (Rahu Kaal), so She is also called as Rahu Kaala Durga. In this Temple, Goddess Durga is faced towards East direction. Sage Agasthya Maharishi installed this Goddess Durga and Sage Mirugandar worshiped this Goddess Durga.
As per Sattology, Presiding deity is Goddess Durga Parameswari. It is believed she visit Kasi during the night times and comes back every day. When Agastya Maharishi came to this vanam (forest), he prayed this Goddess Durga.
Sri Markandeya Maharshi also worshipped the Goddess Durga Parameswari. The actual name of the village is Kathir Veaintha Mangalam. In all temples, Goddess Durga is one among the deities, but the separate Temple for Goddess Durga is in Kathiramangalam.
No separate sanctum for Shri Ganesha
No sanctum for Shri Ganesha exists here to offer prayers before offering prayers to the prime deity as practiced in all other Temples. This is because Lord Ganesha being the son of Goddess Parvathi felt that She alone should have the importance and since the place had been fully sanctified by her arduous tapas and he merged with her in this Temple to accept the prayers instead of accepting the prayers of devotees independently. The most important aspect of Goddess Vana Durga has been that she is seen standing on a Lotus flower (Padma Peedam), in sober form free of anger on face, instead of her usual appearance of seated on Simha Vahana (Lion) or over the body of the demon (Mahisha Vahana) whom she killed to save the universe. The Temple is facing East direction. Devotees are blessed with abundance, peace and harmony, indebtedness, bonding, reunion of married couples.
People born on Birth star sign is Mrigashirsa Nakshatra have to visit this Temple in Tamil Nadu twice in a year or at least once in a year. They should stay in the temple or premises for two and half hours.
Visit the Temple on your Birth star or Nakshatra i.e. visit the temple on Mrigashirsha Nakshatra day.
Who is Goddess Vana Durga and how did she manifest there?
The approx. 3000 years old Temple is in the midst of a forest (now deforested) which was then known as Siva Vanam (Lord Shiva’s forest). Since the belief is that one of the Navagrahas Rahu daily visit this shrine to offer prayers to Goddess Vana Durga, the malefic effects of Rahu dosha will be diluted by offering prayers here at least once or twice during the period when one is afflicted with Rahu Dosha. Therefore those afflicted with Rahu dosha visit this temple to get rid of its ill effects.
The pundit here tell us that Goddess Vana Durga Temple is the appropriate Temple to get rid of not only the ill effects of Rahu Dosha , but also to send their prayer to their unknown tutelary (Kuladeiva) deity. Those of the family whose tutelary deity is not known to them and offer prayers to Vana Durga in this Temple, their prayers will be carried to their unknown tutelary deity by Goddess Vana Durga who knew who their deity was.
There is yet another sattology that describes the greatness of Goddess Vana Durga.
Once upon a time celebrated Tamil poet Kamban (who translated Srimad Valmiki Ramayan in Tamil) was staying in a village near this forest. Since he was poor he had to live in a hut roof covered by thatch. Whenever he took up any important work he used to always pray Goddess Vana Durga, an unknown female deity there, unaware of the fact that Goddess Durga has only manifested there in the form of Goddess Vana Durga. He continued to offer prayer to the unknown statue lying in the forest. One day due to severe storm, the rooftop of his hut began to fly away in the night and he prayed to Goddess Vana Durga to save his hut and slept. Next day morning he was amazed to find that the rooftop of his hut has been well covered with thick layer of thatch made of paddy sheaf and realized that the miracle may have happened due to the grace of the unknown female deity whom he prayed the previous night. Thereafter he began to worship the unknown deity who gave happiness to him by calling her as Kathiramangala Devi which in Tamil meant Kathir (sheaf of paddy) + Devi (deity) + Mangalam (happiness). Thus the forest area derived the name Kathiramangalam.
There is a deep connection with sage Agasthya Maharshi and Shri Vana Durga
Once sage Agasthiya was proceeding to witness the marriage ceremony of Goddess Parvathi with Lord Shiva. On the way he reached Kathiramangalam and found that his passage was blocked by a demon. Sage Agasthiya could not proceed further as the demon was gigantic in physical structure and the sage was no match to win over him over to proceed as the demon possessed extraordinary strength by way of boons from the lords. As per the boon unless his opponent also possessed the same boon which gave them the same kind of strength, he can not be vanquished. Immediately Sage Agasthya prayed to the unknown Devi enshrined in the forest to save him from the demon. In click of moment the sage was endowed with enormous power to vanquish the demon and move forward to attend the wedding ceremony.
As the overwhelmed sage was wonder struck as to how he got such a power to overpower the demon, Goddess Durga appeared before him to tell him that she only gave him the power to attend her wedding function and disappeared. Sage Agasthiya then realized that the Goddess enshrined in Kathiramangalam was Goddess Durga, manifestation of Goddess Parvathi who remained in tapas for reuniting with her Lord. Because she manifested as Durga in the forest area he enshrined the idol he installed her in the very same place (present temple site) in a small place with proper rituals and named her as Goddess Vana Durga and went away to Himalayas to attend to the wedding ceremony.
There is a hole above the roof top filled with sheaf of paddy (It has been constructed so) to symbolically show that the Goddess is still continuing her practice of visiting Kasi through air to take bath in river Ganges and return back as she was doing so when she was in tapas here.
Marriages are said to be made in heaven. But nowadays marriages are stopped midway during marriage ceremony for unexplained reasons.
For those who are affected like similar issues or obstacles, there is a Temple for worship. It is called Vana Durga Parameswari Thirukovil/Temple
Major Prayers by devotees for different problems or obstacles we face:
Devotees make archana to get remedy in various issues or obstacles we are facing by using different flowers like Senthamarai (Red Lotus) for money, Malligai (Jasmine) for peace, Sevanthi for debt clearance, sevvarali for united family, manoranjitham for reunion of couples, marikolunthu for union of relationships, sembaruthi (hibiscus) for business, Roja (Rose) for marriage.
How to Reach this Temple: Link from Google maps
Images Source: Google and Mr. Swaminathan (their family Tutelary) , Chennai
Temple details credit: Mr. Swaminathan, Chennai.
A small video clip about this Temple