Thirupernagar is the old name for Koviladi. Appakudathan Temple, Koviladi is one of the 108 Divya Desams.
It is one of the Pancha Rangams and ranks next to Adirangam at Srirangapattinam near Mysore, which is the first of the Pancha Rangams. The Pancharangams in order are
Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple at Srirangapattinam, near Mysore
Sri Appakudathan Temple, Koviladi near Trichy
Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple at Srirangam
Sarangapani Temple at Kumbakonam
Parimala Ranganatha Perumal Temple at Indalur, Mayiladuthurai
These five Ranganathan temples are situated on the banks of Cauvery. Koviladi, like Srirangam is situated between the rivers Kollidam (Coleroon) and Cauvery. Note that this temple ranks ahead of Srirangam and is said to be in existence even before Srirangam. Kovil means temple and Adi means old or first and hence the Koviladi. The Moolavar is Appakudathan and the Urchavar is Appala Ranganathar. His Consort (Thayar) is known by the names Indira Devi and Kamalavalli. The sthala vriksham is Purasa tree or Vilva maram. The holy water or theertham is Indira Pushkarni or Mrityu Vinasini Theertham. Periazhwar, Tirumazhisai Azhwar and Tirumangai Azhwar have sung in praise of the Lord here.
The Legend connected to the temple goes thus. Upamanyu or Ubharisaravasu was a pious king and was once in deep meditation. At that time, Sage Durvasa known for his short temper and ego was passing by. Since the King was in meditation he did not take notice of the Sage. The Sage felt insulted and cursed the King to lose all his powers. The King immediately asked for his forgiveness and the Sage asked him to go to Thirupernagar which was then called Palasavanam because it was richly populated with Palasa maram, and feed one lakh people there. The King accordingly shifted his base to Thirupernagar and started the annadanam. One fine day, the Lord decided to test the resoluteness of the King, He appeared there as an old Brahmin and consumed all the food that was prepared for the day. However, the King remained calm and asked the old man reverently if he wanted anything else. The Lord who was in guise of the old man replied that He wanted at pot full of appam (a sweet preparation). The King organised the same at the earliest possible time and gave it to the old man. As soon as the Lord received the Kudam (pot) full of appam, the King was absolved of his curse and the Lord gave the King His darshan. Since the Lord asked the King for a kudam (pot) of appam, He is known as Appakudathan. The Lord can be seen holding on to a pot with His right hand in this temple. Appam is the offering made to the Lord at this temple.
Sage Markandeya was saved from death by Lord Shiva at Thirukadaiyur. His fear of death however remained and haunted him. Lord is said to have driven out the fear of death from Sage Markandeya at Koviladi. The theertham here is therefore known as Mrityu Vinasini theertham.
This temple is believed to be built more than a 1000 years ago and has inscriptions attributed to Chola, Pallava, Pandya and Vijayanagara dynasties. This goes to suggest that the temple has been built and rebuilt over various times.
Ther thiruvizha or the car festival on the Uthiram star day of the Tamil month of Panguni, Vaikunda Ekadasi around December/January, the Uriadi festivals are the important festivals in this temple.
Worship benefit at Appakudathan Temple, Koviladi includes progeny, absolution of sins, removal of all obstacles in attaining your desires, relief from malefic effects of adverse planetary positions, and development of a pleasant and humble personality.
Temple Location: Koviladi is located on the Thiruvaiyar Kallanai Road. It is about 9 Kms from Thirukattupalli, 7.5 kms from Grand Anicut or Kallanai, about 24 Kms from Srirangam and about 35 Kms from Tanjore. Grand Anicut is a very scenic spot where you can plan to spend some time if you are going to this temple as you have to pass through it if you are going from Trichy/Srirangam. Grand Anicut is one of the engineering marvels and is probably one of the oldest dams in the world built by Karikala Cholan around the First Century AD. This whole stretch between Kallanai and Thiruvaiyar is really beautiful and enjoy riding on this stretch a lot. The lush green fields on either side of the road is very scenic. This stretch is very fertile land as it lies between the two rivers Cauvery and Kollidam. Anyone will fall in love with this stretch.
Other temples nearby:
Agneeswarar Koil, Thirukattupalli
Erumbeeswarar Temple in Thiruverumbur
Temple Timings : 8.30 a.m. and 12.00 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. and 8.00 p.m
Sri Appakudathan Temple,
Koviladi – 613 105,
Phone Numbers: +91- 4362 – 281 488, 281 460, 281 304