Thirunallar lies 40 Kms from Vaitheeswaran Koil and is very important of the Navagraha temples in the area. The main deity of the temple is Sri Darbharanyeshwarar because the temple was primarily located in middle of the forest of Darbha grass. There are two other forms of Siva which are unique to this temple which is Thyagarajar and Somaskandar. Though this is a Siva temple, the deity which pulls the maximum crowd is Sri Saneeswarar, the most feared of all the Navagrahas who has a separate sannidhi outside Siva and Amman Sannidhis. Sanee is the only Navagraha to have the suffix Eeswar attached to him which explains how important Sanee is.
The importance of Shani at this temple is related to the legend of King Nala. The righteous and handsome king, under the influence of Saturn, lost not only his kingdom, but was separated from his wife and children, lost his health and good looks, and had to wander around like a beggar. Finally, when the 7 ½ years of Shani’s influence was almost over, he came to Thirunallar, where he bathed in the tank and prayed to Shaneeshwara and was finally relieved of the troubles that had dogged him. He eventually was reunited with his wife and children and won his kingdom back. Even today, it is considered auspicious to cover oneself with sesame oil and have a bath in the Nala Teertham before going to have darshan of Shaneeswarar.
It is said to be auspicious to take bath in Nala Teertham for three consecutive Saturdays and pray to Saneeswarar which will cure all the bad effects of Sani in the horoscope. That too Purattasi month new moon and full moon day are very auspicious for the deity. The God Sani, even though has the vehicle of an eagle, the country sees his vehicle as the crow. And in most of the places in India, the crow is even worshiped as a form of God Sani. His favorites flowers are Vanni flower and Black Kuvalai flower. His favorite color is black and he likes the bitter taste. He is called Ayushkaran in Tamil horoscopes, which means whoever is a devotee of God Sani will have a long and fruitful life.
Even though God Sani is widely feared because of the adverse effects he gives during his visit in one’s horoscope like poverty, disease, imprisonment and general restlessness, he also gives a lot of good things if he is appeased in regular intervals. It is said that there are 13 ponds in Thirunallar but right now, Nala Teertham, Brahma Teertham, Saraswathi Teertham, Agasthiyar Teertham are the ones which survived.
In the Thyagaraja sannidhi, there is an emerald shiva linga which gets abhisheka four times a day. It is a divine experience to have darshan during the Deeparadhanai after the abishegam.
The temple is open from morning 5 to afternoon 12 and from evening 4 to 9 PM. The temple is extremely crowded on Saturdays and the waiting time for darshan may run up to hours. People can also talk to the priest and collect Til rice from the temple kitchen and feed the crows which throng the Praharam. It is very auspicious to light oil lamps around the praharam too.
Thirunallar lies just 40 Kms from Sadhabishegam Hotel in Vaitheeswaran Koil. It is just a one hour drive through the scenic route.