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Thirunallar Shani Temple in Karaikal

One of the most popular Shani Temples in India is located at Thirunallar near Karaikal a part of Union Territory Pondicherry. There is a misconception that this Shani Shrine, or Saturn temple, is located in Tamil Nadu. The greatness of the Thirunallur temple is attributed to the unique idol of Lord Shani as he stands blessing the devotee – abhayahastham. This is a very rare phenomenon and therefore thousands of devotees who believe they are badly affected by Shani visit the shrine to get his blessings.

Shani, or Sani, is one among the navagrahas and is believed to create problems in the life of people, especially by those people who keep close track of their horoscope and believe in astrology.

The exact name of the Shani Temple at Thirunallar is Sri Dharbaraneswara Swamy Devasthanam and it is also referred as Saneeswara Bhagavan Temple. The main temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. But the Shani Shrine has become more popular than the main temple primarily due to belief of devotees that by praying at the shrine will make Shani happy and thereby all the miseries and hardship are removed.

Legend has it that Lord Nala mentioned in the Epics and Puranas was relieved of all sufferings after praying at this shrine.

Believed to have been built in the 7th century, the temple also has small shrines dedicated to other gods including Lord Ganesha.

Thirunallaru Shani Temple is located about 5 km west of Karaikal in Pondicherry. The temple lies on the Karaikal – Mayiladuthurai and Karaikal – Kumbakonam road. There are direct buses from Chennai to Thirunallar. The easiest route is from Chennai to Thirunallar is via Tindivanam, Pondicherry, Chidambaram, Tranquebar, Karaikal.

Nearest Railway Station to Thirunallar Shani Temple is the Mayiladuthurai Railway Station.

It must be noted here that Karaikal is part of Pondicherry Union Territory but is surrounded by Tamil Nadu on three sides and on the east by Bay of Bengal.

Contact info – Phone office – 04368 236530
Fax - 04368 236504
E-mail – sds.kkl@nic.in