Thirukkarugavur is a small town near Papanasam in Thanjavur District of Tamil Nadu. The town is famous for the temple.
This town is situated on the Thanjavur - Kumbakonam road. Those who come from Madurai, Tiruchy, Coimbatore, Salem etc should get down at Thanjavur and take a local bus to Kumbakonam / taxi. Those who come from Chennai should get down at Kumbakonam and take a local bus. The temple is situated on the banks of the river Vettaru, a tributary of river Kaveri, 20 km east of Thanjavur and at 20 km south-west of Kumbakonam. Eashwar Lodge is a well maintained inn where you can take rest and have good shower before you proceed to temple.
This is a small village and from here you can visit thitai, a guru stalam. In thitai, you also should visit anjaneyar temple.
Legend of the Temple
The legend has it that, in the ancient past, two Sages (Rishies) by name Gowthama and Gargeya did penance here, called Mullai Vanam (Jasmine Forest) A couple by name "Nidhruva" and "Vedikai" lived in the same Ashramam, and they had no children. They were advised by the Sages to worship the God and then their prayers were answered. Vedhikai conceived. Once during her pregnancy, a Rishi (Sage) named Urdhvapada came and asked for food. As Vedhikai was unconscious that time, she couldn't hear him. Enraged by this, the Sage cursed her. Her foetus disintegrated and came out (abortion). She prayed to the Goddess who then protected the foetus till it developed into a male child, Naidhruvan.
Vedhikai then prayed to the Goddess that She (the Goddess) should remain in that place and help all women and their foetus. Hence the Goddess is called Garbha Rakshambikai (The Benevolent One Who Protects the Fetus).
Vedhikai had no breast milk to feed the child and the Goddess sent Kamadhenu (the Celestial Cow) to this place to feed the child. Kamadhenu scratched the earth with her hoof and milk fetched out in plenty and formed a milk tank. This tank exists even today and is called Ksheerakundam.
The Lord is called Mullaivana Nathar and is a swayambu (self-manifested) The Linga is made up of anthill mud.
Women whose marriages are delayed, or those who don't have any children flock this temple in their thousands and pray to the Garbha Rakshambikai amman and their prayers are answered. Those who are pregnant also come here and pray for easy and safe delivery.
Those who don't have children come here and offer a bottle of ghee which is placed at the feet of the Amman. Charged with manthras, this ghee should be eaten by the couple daily for 48 days. They will be blessed with child.
The pregnant women should offer a bottle of castor oil which will be placed at the feet of the Amman. This special oil when smeared on their abdomen to have easy and safe delivery.
The temple is very ancient but is beautiful and neatly maintained. The timings are 5-00AM to 12 Noon and again from 4PM to 8PM. The best time to visit the temple is between 5 am and 6 am.
The darshan should be over in two hours and you can proceed further as you desire.