Saneeswara Temple is located at Thirunallar, just 5 km from Karaikal
, in Pondicherry
. The sanctum sanctorum of the temple holds Sri Dharabaranyeswara (Lord Shiva
) as the main deity. However, the presiding deity here is Lord Saneeswara (Yama
It is here King Nala had overwhelmed the hardships and miseries to which Sani subjected him. This makes the place one of the most famous Saturn temples in India.
A popular belief among the devotees is that they can get rid of the curses and spells of bad luck if they pray in this temple. Pilgrims take a dip in the Nala Teertham and offer worship at the temple. Worship includes lighting holy lamps with till (gingili) seeds and oil. After prayers, balls of cooked rice are offered to the Crow, the mount of Saneeswara.
The temple hosts a mammoth festival, Sani Peyarchi, once in two and a half years, which attracts thousands of pilgrims from far and near. On this day, Saturn moves from one sign of the Zodiac to another.
Saneeswara Temple can be reached by bus from Karaikal Bus Station.