One of the destination that was part of the agenda of my visit to Chennai was Thirunallar, most noted for the shrine of Lord Shani in the temple dedicated to lord Darbaresvara, a form of Lord Shiva. This is the only temple that is dedicated to Lord Shani (Lord of Saturn). Devotees visit in millions during the transit of the planet Saturn between zodiac signs, but Saturdays are as important as well..
Since it was decided that we would pay visit on Saturday our plan was to start from Chennai on Friday late night and reach Thirunallar early morning and take the sacred dip in the Nala theerth, by bathing here, it is believed that one is washed off all kinds of misfortune and afflictions. (This theerth is said to have relieved the affliction of king Nala). We reached the Nala Theerth around 4.30 am and took the ritualistic bath as per which post bath devotees leave the cloth worn during bath in the theerth and wear new ones.. visit the nearby vinai theertha Pillaiyar and offer prayers and coconut. One visits the Shani temple directly after the bathing and pray lord shani.
Its believed that this is the only place on earth where Lord Shani is an “Anugraha murthy” contrary to the fiery lord who only punishes he is in a prassanna mood and granter of Boons and so is the importance of the Shaneeswar Temple in Thirunallar.
Visiting Thirunallar temple and praying the lord Shani relieves of all the Dosham and we return back with the feeling of being relieved of lot of a burden.