Of the nine planets in the Navagrahas, zodiac constellation Saturn or Sani is the most powerful.
Though there are a lot of temples dedicated to Sani, the one at Thirunallur is very famous as Thirunallar is identified with Saneeswaran.
Thirunallar is situated near Karaikal in the Union Territory of Puducherry, near Mayavaram.
A sleepy hamlet, it springs into prominence during the Sani Peyarchi when thousands flock to this temple to offer prayers to the Lord.
Though the presiding deity is Lord Shiva, called Dharbaranyeeswarar, yet people throng to this temple to worship Sani Bhagawan.
Presiding deity - Lord Dharbaranyeeswarar – swayambhu
Goddess - Pranambigai
There is a separate enclosure dedicated to Sani.
Holy tree - Dharbha
Holy water - Nala theertham.
There are two interpretations as to why it is called Thirunallar. Since King Nala was redeemed of the curse inflicted by Sani by worshipping the deities here it is called Thirunallar - Nala (king’s name ) and aru is the healing powers.
The town is sandwiched by the rivers Vanchalaru and Arasalaru.
The temple is believed to have been constructed in 7th century.
It is called Adipuri in Krita Yuga, Dharbaranyam in Treta Yuga, Vedapuri in Dwapara Yuga and Naleswaram in Kali Yuga. Thirunallar is one of the Sapta Vitanka Kshetras of Lord Thyagaraja.