The Saturn or the Shanigraha is the most discussed among the Navgrahas. This is because everybody fears the ill effects of having an unfavorable Shani in one’s horoscope.
Actually, Shani does not deserve this much of fear. He is considered a cosmic task maker. Its domain is patience, stability and realism. Its influence is stern, restrictive, cold and severe.
He prepares a person, with Shanidosha, to face the realities of the life by tough experiments, delayed accomplishments, etc…
During this period, he tests one’s patience and mental strength. But, in the end, refines the person. He removes ignorance with tough punishment; he is a tough teacher.
But, if the Shani appears favorably in one’s horoscope that is the best thing one can have. Shani bestows all around success, happiness and fame to that person.
His color is black or dark blue. Associated metal is iron and the gemstone is blue Sapphire. His element is Air.
Very slow moving among the Navagrahas; so the hardships caused by Shani will take much time to heal.
Several mythological stories are associated with this temple. It is said that King Nala of Mahabharata was under the influence of Shani, i.e. Saturn for an extended period of time in his life. He went through several ordeals; obtained total relief only after worshipping Shiva at this shrine.
There is a tank called Nalatheertham. A holy dip in this theertham is said to ward off the ill effects of Shanidosham.
The vast temple, which dates back to the Chola period, is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a well- visited Saivaite center even otherwise.
The temple is five kilometers from Karaikkal and also very near to Nagpattinam. Karaikkal is in the State of Puducherry.