Archive for the ‘Vaishnava Navagraha Temples’ Category

Nachiayar Kovil is on Kumbakonam Tiruvarur road about 10 kms from Kumbakonam. This temple built by Kochengat Cholan is one of the many Mada temples (built at an elevation to prevent elephants from entering them, read my post on Thiruvanaikaval to know more) that he built. As per the wishes of the Lord he built this temple after he had built 70 Sivan temples. The presiding deity Srinivasa is present with His Consort Vanjulavalli Thayaar. The Lord and His Consort are both present in the same sannadhi and are seen in Kalyana Kolam. Vanjulavalli Thayar or Nachiyar Thayar is given prominence in this temple. Even inside the sannadhi one can notice that Thayar is accorded importance. She is so placed that one can have Her darshan right from the entrance. This is one of the 108 Divya Desams. This is one of the Vaishnava Navagraha Parihara Sthalams and corresponds to Chevvai.

Kal Garudar. Nachiyar Kovil

Kal Garudar. Nachiyar Kovil

The legend goes that Sage Medhavi who lived in Nachiyar Kovil prayed to Lord Vishnu to have Mahalakshmi as his daughter. True to this prayer, the sage found a beautiful girl child under Vanjula tree and named her Vanjulavalli. The girl grew up and was of marriageable age. Lord Vishnu, one day manifested himself into five forms and arrived at the sage’s ashram as guests. They were accorded a warm welcome by the Sage’s disciples. Vanjulavalli also served them a delicious meal. After the meal as Vanjulavalli helped them by pouring water to wash their hands, Vasudeva suddenly held her hand and she cried for help. Sage Medhavi came there on hearing his daughter’s cries and saw that all the five forms of Vishnu became one and gave him the darshan as Mahavishnu. Mahavishnu asked the Sage for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Sage Medhavi agreed to this. He also sought the boon of eternal salvation from the Lord. All living beings at this place that gave the Lord his wife and food should also attain eternal salvation. Last but not the least, he asked for the boon that his daughter should always be given prominence. From then on, this temple has been known as Nachiyar Kovil and as per the wish of the Sage, the Goddess is given prominence over the Lord.

Nachiyar Kovil

Nachiyar Kovil

Sthala Perumai in Tamil, Nachiyar Kovil

Sthala Perumai in Tamil, Nachiyar Kovil

Vishnu’s Pancha Vyuha forms of Sankarshana, Pradyumna, Anirudha, Purushottama and Vasudeva are found in the sanctum sanctorum.

It is said that Garuda was the one to trace Mahalakshmi to this place and led Mahavishnu here. As a mark of gratitude, Lord Vishnu has blessed Garudan to receive equal status at this temple.

Kal Garudan is the vahanam of the Presiding Deity at this temple. The Garudan made of stone is seen just outside Perumal’s sannadhi. The Kal Garudan is very famous for a strange phenomenon. During the annual festivals in the Tamil months of Margazhi & Panguni, Kal Garudan is taken out in procession through the four mada streets. It is observed that as He is taken away from the temple, His weight increases exponentially with more number of people required to carry Him, increasing from 4 people to 8, 16, 32 and 64. As the procession approaches the temple again, the weight of Kal Garudan reduces and the number of people required to carry Him also reduces from 64 to 4. During these processions, the Lord is carried by Garudan and Thayar is on Her vehicle which is Swan. It is quite well known that Swan is a slow moving bird while Garudan or Eagle is a fast moving one. However, during these processions, Thayar on Annam or Swan moves faster than Lord on Kal Garudan. This is because people carrying the Kal Garudan are hampered by the weight and are not able to move fast. This seems to fulfill the Lord’s promise to Sage Medhavi that the Thayar will always be given prominence here.

It is said that as the sculptor was creating the Kal Garudan, the idol started flying just after he had sculpted the wings. The astonished sculptor is believed to have thrown a stone to bring the idol down again. Kal Garudan has since then made this His abode and bless all devotees.

Kal Garudan is the Vara Prasadhi at this temple and answers all the wishes of the devotees are fulfilled by praying to Him on nine consecutive Thursdays. He removes the naga doshams, blesses childless couples with progeny, removes obstacle in marriage etc.

Some interesting facts about this temple are

  • The Presiding Deity holds the Chakra and Conch in front of His face.

  • Idols of the Presiding Deities of all the 108 Divya Desams are presnt in this temple.

  • Brahma is believed to have worshipped Lord Vishnu here and can be seen in a standing posture inside the sanctum sanctorum

  • South facing Paramapada Vasal or Sorga Vasal

There is a tank by the side of the temple. It is called Mani Mutharu. There is an interesting story behind the name. Garuda was bringing a diamond ornament for the Lord from Thiruparkadal or the Celestial Ocean. A diamond or mani in tamil fell into the water of this tank causing a degradation in its value to that of a pearl or muthu. Hence the name Manimutharu.

Nachiyar Kovil is also famous for Brass Sculpting. Finely crafted Kuthivilakku or oil lamps are made here and in neighbouring villages. These artisans are heriditary sculptors who have been making utsava idols (idols taken out in procession during festivals) for many temples.

Temple timings: 6.30am –12.30pm and 4.30pm-8.30pm

Temple Location: This temple is 10 Kms from Kumbakonam on Kumbakonam Tiruvarur Road. All buses on this route stop at Nachiyar Kovil.

Other Temples Nearby:

Ramanathaswamy Temple, Thirunaraiyur

Padikkasunathar Temple, Alagaputhur

Thirucherai Saranatha Perumal Temple

Tirucherai Kadan Nivartheeswarar Temple

Uppiliappan Koil

Thirunageswaram Rahu Temple

Karukkakkum Nayaki Temple, Karuvalarcheri

Prathyangara Devi Temple – Ayyavadi

Temple Address:

The Executive Officer,

Arulmigu Srinivasa Perumal Kovil,

Nachiyar Kovil – 612602,

Tanjavur District.

Telephone Number 0435-2467167

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Jagannatha Perumal Temple at Nandhipura Vinnagaram is one of the 108 Divya Desams. This temple is more commonly known as Nathan Koil. As this temple resembles the Puri Jagannatha temple, it is also known as “Dakshina Jagannatham”. This place was once a forest of Shenbagam flowers and hence is known as Shenbagaranyam, meaning forest of Shenbagam. The moolavar or main deity of this temple is Srinivasan or Nathanathan.The utsavar (the deity taken out in processions) is known as Vinnagara Perumal or Jagannatha Perumal. His consort is Shenbagavalli Thayar. The Lord is present in a sitting posture, with sword, bow, chakram (discus), sangu (conch) and Dandam (stick) in his hand, under the Mandara Vimanam facing west. The holy water is Nandhi Theertham. This village was established by Chola King Nandhivarman. He also built this temple here.

Jagannatha Perumal Koil, Nandipura Vinnagaram

Jagannatha Perumal Koil, Nandipura Vinnagaram

Nandi – Lord Shiva’s vehicle – is associated with the legend connected to this temple. Nandi once wanted to have the darshan of Lord Vishnu and proceeded to Vaikuntam. At the entrance, he was stopped by the dwarapalakas (sentries) of Vishnu. An arrogant Nandhi tried to force his way in, because of which the dwarapalakas cursed him. As advised by Lord Shiva, Nandi went to Shenbagaranyam near Kudamuku (Kumbakonam) and performed penance to Lord Vishnu. The Lord appeared before him and absolved him of the sin. This is the reason for the place being called Nandhipura Vinnagaram. A niche of Nandi is seen on the outer wall of this temple.

The Lord here was originally facing east. Sibi Chakravarthy’s story is attributed to the reason for the Lord facing west. Sibi Chakravarthy was a righteous King who was known for his truthful and just ways. Once, Dharmaraja decided to test him. A pigeon that was being chased by an Eagle came to the King seeking asylum. The King promised to protect the pigeon. The Eagle that soon came there wanted the pigeon to satisfy his hunger. The King was faced with a dilemma because he had to save the life of the pigeon that had sought protection. At the same time, he could not deny the eagle of its right and let it stave. He offered his own flesh equivalent to the weight of the pigeon in lieu of the pigeon’s life. The eagle agreed. Any amount of flesh from his body would not suffice to equal the weight of the pigeon. The King finally offered his whole body to the eagle. Dharmaraja who was in the form of the eagle and Indran who was in the form of the pigeon were pleased with the King’s commitment to protect the weak. The Lord at Nathan Koil is supposed to have turned towards West to witness this event.

There is also yet another reason attributed to the Lord facing west. There was a misunderstanding between Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi because of which they were separated. Lakshmi wanted to win back a place in the Lord’s heart and was performing penance at Shenbaranyam facing east. Pleased with Her devotion the Lord gave her darshan. Since He was already facing East, He had to turn towards west for gicing Her the darshan. This happened on Ashtami (8th day from New moon or full moon) of Shuklapaksham (waxing period of the moon, period from new moon to full moon), which was a friday in the tamil month of Aipasi. Since the Lord and His consort were reunited at this place, praying at this temple can ease tensions in marital life. Praying here will reunite one with his/her separated spouse.

Sri Sooktha Homam is performed here on the shuklapaksha ashtami days. Performing this homam on eight consecutive shuklapaksha ashtamis will result in the devotee being blessed with prosperity, fulfillment of desires and overall happiness.

Nathan Koil is one of the Vaishnava Navagraha sthalams around Kumbakonam. It is associated with Chandran. Chandra dosha parihara pujas are performed at this temple on Mondays.

Location:

Click here for the map

Nandhipura Vinnagaram is about 9 kms from Kumbakonam. It is in the Keezha Pazhayarai area, which was the ancient capital of the Cholas. Patteswaram famous for it Durga temple is just about 3 Kms from here. This is a remote village. The buses to this place are not very frequent. Take a bus from Kumbakonam that goes towards Udalayur. Alight at Keezha Pazhayarai and the temple is about a kilometre from there.

Other temples nearby:

Patteeswaram Durga Temple or Dhenupureeswarar Temple.

Sakthivaneswarar Temple – Thiru Sakthi Mutram

Sargunalingeswarar Temple – Marudhanallur

Karuvalarkum Nayaki Temple, Karuvalarcheri

Airavatheeswara Temple, Darasuram.

Somanathar Temple, Pazhayarai.

Temple Timings:

6.30 am- 12noon and 4pm-8pm

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Jagannatha Perumal Koil,

Nathankoil,.

Pambai Padayur P.O.  – 612 703.

Tanjore District,

Tamil Nadu.

Phone : 91-435-2417575

Temple Priest: Sri Prabhakara Bhattacharya

Mobile : 91-98430-95904 / 91-94437-71400


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Thiru Adhanur near Kumbakonam is one of the 108 Divya Desams.dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Andalakkun ayyan temple here is one of the Vaishnava navagraha parihara sthalams around Kumbakonam. It is a Guru parihara sthalam. The main deity in this temple is Andalakkumayyan. He is present here facing East in Kidantha Kolam and Bujanga sayanam. He has been worshipped here by Brighu Maharishi, Kamadhenu, thirumangai Azhwar and Agni. His consort here is Ranganayaki Thayar also known as Kamalasini.The utsavar is Ranganathar. Adi pooram, Brahmotsavam in Vaikasi and Pavitrotsavam in Avani are some of the important festivals in this temple.

Andalakkum Ayyan Temple,  Thiru Adhanur

Andalakkum Ayyan Temple, Thiru Adhanur

The devas due to a curse lost all their strength, wealth & power. Soon, Asuras defeated the Devas and took control of the world. Indran then appealed to Brahma and Brahma said that he can regain all that he has lost by churning the celestial ocean to obtain Amrutham or the holy nectar.  Since this was an arduous task and could not be accomplished by the Devas, Vishnu suggested them to take the Asuras into confidence and enlist their participation also in this task.  Asuras agreed to the same on the condition that they would be also be given a portion of the Amrutham.

The Ocean was churned by using Mount Mandara as the pole and Vasuki – the king of serpents – as the rope.  The Devas held the tail end and the Asuras held the other end and started the churning.  However the Mount mandara started to sink and Vishnu in the avatar (incarnation) of Koorma or tortoise balanced the Mount Mandara on his back and prevented it from sinking.  As the Ocean was being churned, Vasuki started spitting deadly poison known as Ala kala Visham.  This poison was so deadly that it could destroy the whole world.  Shiva came to the rescue by consuming the poison.  Paarvati then held His throat and stopped the poison there.  Shiva’s throat became blue due to the poison and since then He has also been known as Neelakantan; Neela, meaning blue and kanta, meaning throat.

These hurdles they were facing, was worrying the Devas. Sage Narada told them that they were facing these obstacles because they had not prayed to Lord Vinayaka before they started the churning.  Lord Vinayaka must always be invoked before starting a new venture.  Hurriedly, the Devas and the Asuras made a small vigraham or idol of Vinayakar using the froth from the ocean.  They prayed to Vinayakar and resumed the churning.  Now they did not face any hurdle. This is the Vinayakar that is installed at Thiruvalanchuzhi.

Dhanvanthari then appeared from the Ocean with the Armrutham. With the help of Vishnu, the Devas consumed the same.  The Asuras were denied their share as they were tricked by Vishnu, who in His avatar as Mohini, undertook the task of distributing the Amrutham amongst the Devas and the Asuras.  Thus Indran got back his power and wealth.

Kamadhenu was one of the several precious treasures that surfaced during the churning of the Celestial Ocean. Kamadhenu is a cow that has powers to fulfill the desires of her owner. Kamadhenu was an ardent devotee of Vishnu and wanted to have darshan of the Lord. After visiting several temples, her wish was finally fulfilled here at Thiru Adhanur. Aa in Tamil means cow and hence the name Adhanur. An idol of Kamadhenu is in the Garbagraham. There are also idols of Brighu maharishi and Agni. Agni, who had tried to help Lord Shiva get rid of his brahmahathi dosham had himself contracted the dosham and did penance here at Thiru Adhanur to get absolved of the brahmahathi dosham. Read my posts on Thirupattur Brahmapureeswarar, Bithchandar Koil and Thirukandiyur to know how Lord Shiva contracted Brahmathi Dosham.

Another version is that Indran was absolved of his sin when Mahalakshmi, who had incarnated as Brighu Maharishi’s daughter married Lord Vishnu and gave darshan to Indran at Thiru Adhanur.

Another interesting story is about Thirumangai Azhwar’s experience at this place. Thiumangai Azhwar had undertaken the task of constructing the wall of the Srirangam temple and was on a trip to mobilize funds. At Thriu Adhanur, he met a person who claimed to be a messenger of the Lord. This stranger had a measuring bowl (marakkal) in his hand. He said that by reciting the name of the Lord and holding the empty measuring bowl he could get whatever he desired. Thirumangai Azhwar requested for payment of the wages for the labourers at Thiru Adhanur. The stranger laid a condition that he would measure sand with the empty measuring bowl and pay as wages. The sand would turn into gold for the sincere workers and for the others it would remain as sand. When the sand was measured and given to the labourers many of them found that it did not turn into gold and remained as sand. Thirumangai Azhwar was intrigued and started going after the stranger who had by now left the place. He soon found this man in the temple and was pleasantly surprised that it was the Lord himself who had come in guise of the stranger. The Lord gave him darshan with the marakkal (measuring bowl) in His right hand and an ezhuthani and olai (pen and palm leaf used as writing pad) in His left hand.

Location:

Click here for the map

Thiru Adhanur is just about a kilometer from another Divya Desam, Thirupullaboothangudi. It is 11 kms from Kumbakonam and 5.5 Kms from Swami Malai. There are buses that ply every half an hour from Swami Malai and Kumbakonam to Thiru Adhanur.

Other Temples nearby:

Thirupullamboothankudi

Swami Malai

Thiruvalanchuzhi

Kapisthalam Gajendra Varadhar Temple

Travel Base:

Kumbakonam

Temple timings: 7.30 AM to 12.30 PM & 5.30 PM to 8.30 PM

Temple Address:

Thiru Adhanur Divya Desam

Via Pullam Boothankudi, Papanasam taluk

612 301

Phone: 0435-2441025

Temple Priest:
Sri. Seshadri Bhattachariar

Thiruvelliangudi near Kumbakonam is one of the 108 Divya Desams. This place is very important for the vaishnavites and visiting Thiruvelliangudi Divya Desam is equivalent to visiting all the 108 Divya Desams. The Moolavar, Kolavilli Raman is present in a reclined posture and facing east. His Consort is Maragathavalli Thayar. The holy waters here are Sukra theertham, Brahma theertham, Parasurama theertham and Indra Theertham. This temple is believed to be four Eras (Yugas) old. In the Krita Yuga this place was known as Brahma Puthiram, Prasuram in the Treta Yuga, Chandra Nagara in the Dwapara Yuga and Bhargava Puram in the Kali Yuga. This temple is one of the Vaishnavite Navagraha Parihara sthalams around Kumbakonam. This is the Parahira sthalam for Sukran or Venus. Bhargava is another name of Sukran and hence the name Bhargavapuram. Sukran is known as Velli in Tamil and hence the name Velliangudi. But how is Sukran connected to this temple. The story goes thus.

 

Thiruvelliangudi Ramar Temple

Thiruvelliangudi Ramar Temple

Mahabali, the grandson of Prahalada was a righteous and generous demon king. He was respected by his subjects who were all happy under his rule, as there was no crime, poverty or diseases. He is believed to have ruled the present day Kerala. He became ambitious and was on a mission to conquer the whole world. He defeated Indra and captured the Deva Lokam. Indran approached Lord Vishnu and sought His help. Lord Vishnu took the Vaman Avatar and came down to the Earth. Now, Mahabali was a staunch devotee of Vishnu and was very generous. Like Karna of Mahabharatha, if someone asked him for something, he would always give. Mahabali had the habit of fulfilling the needs of a few Brahmins after his morning prayers. That fateful day, Vishnu as Vamana was amongst the Brahmins present. He asked Mahabali for 3 steps of land. Sukracharya, the Asura Guru, tried to dissuade Mahabali from granting the boon. Sukracharya did his best to stop the boon being granted. He took the form of a bee and blocked the mouth of the Kamandalam (a type of Jug, usually carried by rishis) from which Mahabali would pour water to signify the grant of the boon.  Vishnu used a dharba to clear the blockage in the Kamandalam and in the process blinded Sukracharya in one eye.  Vamana then took the Vishwaroopam and covered the whole universe in two steps.  The 3rd step was placed on Mahabali. Thus Mahabali was vanquished. Vishnu was please with Mahabali’s righteousness and granted him the boon of visitng his people once every year. This is the day that is celebrated as Onam by the people of Kerala.

Meanwhile, Sukracharya who had lost his vision in one eye prayed at a lot of Vishnu temples and asked for forgiveness. It is believed that it was here that he was given back his sight. Sukracharya also wished to the Lord that He should make this place as His permanent abode and bless all devotees who visit this temple with good eyesight and cure all eye ailments. Visiting this temple is equivalent to visiting all the 108 Divya Desams as per Vishnu’s boon to Sukracharya. Vishnu also married Sukracharya’s daughter Maragathavalli as per his wishes.

This temple was then built by the Asura architect, Mayan. He decided to build the most beautiful temple ever. He wanted it to be better than the Vaikunta built by the Deva architect Vishvakarma.  Vishnu was pleased with Mayan and gave him a darshan as a bow and arrow wielding Rama with his consorts Sri Devi and Bhu Devi. Interestingly, at that point in time, Ramavatar was yet to happen. As per the request of Mayan, the Lord is present in the same form. A unique feature of this temple is the sight of Garudazhwar with Sangu and Chakram. Vishnu is believed to have given them to him, while giving the darshan to Mayan. This is the only Divya Desam where Garudazhvar is seen with four hands. Garudazhavar with four hands is seen as though he is awaiting instructions from the Lord and is ready to hand over the Sangu and Chakram to Him. Prayer at this temple will result in career growth and employment for the unemployed. There is an oil lamp in the garba graham called Netra Deepam which burns eternally.

Location of the Temple:

Click here for the location of the temple.

Thiruvelliayangudi is located at a distance of about 16 Kms from Kumbakonam. It is very close to Thirupanandal. Direct bus service to the village is not frequent. Route No. 2 from Kumbakonam via Anaikudi goes to this village. Hiring an auto from Thirupanandal or Suryanar Koil is the preferred option.


Other Temples Nearby:

Suryanar Koil

Thirumangalakudi

Thirupanandal

Kanjanoor

Boarding & Lodging:

Have your travel base at Kumbakonam. There is nothing much available at this village except a petty shop.

Temple Timings:

8 AM to 12.30 PM & 5 PM to 7 PM

Temple address:

Sri Kolavilli Ramar Alayam,

Palakudi Post

Via Thirumangalakudi

Tanjore District

Thiruvelliangudi 612 102

Phone: 0435-2943152

Temple Priest: Sri. S Ramamurthy Battacharyar

Mobile: +91-9443396212, +91-9843470120

Valvil Ramar Kovil at Thiru Pullaboothangudi is one of the 108 Divya desams and one of the Vaishnava Navagraha Parihara kshetrams around Kumbakonam. The Moolavar is Valvilraman and the Utsavar is Raman at this temple. The thayar or the Lord’s consort at this temple is Hemambujavalli. The holy water is Jatayu theertham. The vimanam is Shobana Vimanam. He is facing East and present in Kidantha kolam or a lying posture.

Valvil Ramar Koil Thirupullaboothankudi

Valvil Ramar Koil Thirupullaboothankudi

The story of Jatayu Moksham is associated with this temple. When Rama was serving his time in the forest, Sita was abducted by Ravana. Jatayu, the King of Birds, saw this and immediately came to the rescue of Sita Devi. He fought a valiant but vain battle and sacrificed his life in the process. Rama and Lakshmana who came in search of Sita Devi saw Jatayu. Jatayu narrated the abduction of Sita Devi. A dying Jatayu requested Rama to perform his last rites. Normally, while performing such ceremonies the wife must be present with the husband. Since Sita Devi had been abducted, Boo Devi, another form of Sita Devi took her place and Rama performed the last rites of Jatayu. The same story is associated with another Divay Desam also, Thiru Putkuzhi which is 7 Kms from Kanchipuram on the Chennai Vellore route. As Jatayu belonged to Pul(tamil) family of birds and Rama rested (meaning kudi in Tamil) here after performing the last rites of Jatayu this place is known as Thiru Pullaboothankudi. Rama who could not perform the last rites of His father Dasaratha took solace from performing the last rites of Jatayu. The punnai tree inside the temple premises is believed to be the tree under which Rama rested.

Usually Rama is seen in a standing posture (Ninra Kolam) at all the temples. In this temple he is seen in a lying posture (Kidantha Kolam). Is this because he is believed to have rested here? Another interesting feature is that Rama is seen hold Sangu (Conch) and Chakram (discus), whereas He is usually seen holding bow and arrow.

This is the Budhan Parihara sthalam. This temple is considered to be a Pitru Kadan Nivarthi sthalam. Devotees believe that praying here will also remove marriage obstacle. Those looking for improvement in career or seeking employment can pray to Udyoga Narasimhar and Yoga Narasimhar at this temple for manifestation of their desires.

Location:


Click for the map

Thirupullamboothangudi is located at a distance of about 5.5 Kms from Swamimalai.

Other Temples Nearby:

Swaminatha Swamy Temple, Swamimalai

Andalakkum Aiyyan Temple, Thiru Adhanur

Vilvaneswarar Temple, Thiruvaikavur

Vellai Pillayar Temple, Thiruvalanchuzhi

Gajendra Varadhar Kovil, Kapisthalam

Vaiyam Kaththa Perumal Temple, Thirukoodalur

Boarding & Lodging:

Have your Travel Base at Kumbakonam which is around 12 Kms from here.

Temple Timings: 7.30 am to 12.00 pm & 4.30 pm to 07.30 pm

Temple Address :

Arulmigu Valvil Raman Thirukkovil
Thiruppullaboothangudi – 612301
Thanjavur District
Tamilnadu.
Priest: Shri Gopal Bhattar

Mobile: +91-94435 25365

Gajendra Varadhar Temple at Kapisthalam is one of the 108 Divya Desams. This ancient temple is believed to be more than 2000 years old. Lord Vishnu is present in Bujanga Sayana posture here. The holy water or theertham at this temple are Gajendra Pushkarni and Kapila theertham. There are separate shrines for Yoga Narasimhar, Sudharshana, Azhwars and Garudan. The moolavar, Gajendra Varadar is in bujanga sayana under the Kadhanakkruthi Vimanam. His Consort at this temple is Ramamani Thayar. She is also known as Shenbagavalli or Pottramarayal. She has a separate shrine to the right of the Lord’s shrine. Kapisthalam is one of the Pancha Krishna Kshethrams. The other four are, Thirukkannamangai, Thirukannapuram, Thirukovilur and Thirukannangudi.

 

Gajendra Varadhar Temple, Kapisthalam

Dwajasthambam

The legend of Gajendra Moksham from the Bhagawad Gita, is associated with this temple. Gajendra Moksham is believed to have happened at Kapisthalam. A Pandya King by name Indradyumnan was a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu. Once, the Great Sage Agastya and his disciples came to visit this King. The King was in his prayers and hence could not attend to his guests immediately. Agastya felt insulted and was very angry. He cursed the King to become an elephant. After Indrayumnan apologized, Sage Agastya also pronounced that he will be absolved of his sins by the Divine Grace of Mahavishnu. Accordingly, the King was born as an elephant.

Around the same time, Huhu, a Gandharva, playfully pulled the leg of Sage Devala while he was bathing. The angry Sage cursed him to be born as a crocodile. The Gandharva apologized and as in the case with Indrayumna, the Sage said that he would attain Moksha by Lord Vishnu’s discus.

Indrayumnan who was reborn as the elephant was very strong and ruled over the forest. As in his previous birth, he continued to be a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu. He used to go to a pond daily to pluck lotus and offer to the Lord. On the eventful day, Gajendra as usual went into the pond to fetch the flowers to offer to Mahavishnu. A short while after he got into the pond, Gajendra felt his leg being dragged from under the water. Gajendra tried to free himself but in vain. To his horror he found that a really huge crocodile had caught hold of his leg and was pulling him under water. However much he tried, Gajendra could not free himself from the vice-like grip of the crocodile. After a prolonged struggle and battle, Gajendra realized that it will be a futile effort. He then prayed to Lord Vishnu and surrendered to the Lord to save him. Lord Vishnu used His discus to cut off the head of the crocodile. Immediately, the crocodile turned into Huhu and Gajendra also attained Moksham. It is believed that those who fully surrender to the Lord just like Gajendra had done will be saved and protected by Him. He is known as Papa Vimochakan as He absolves His devotees of all their Sins.

The festival commemorating Gajendra Moksham is celebrated during the Tamil month of Panguni. Vaikunta Ekadesi, Rama Navami and Akshaya Tritiya are other festivals that are celebrated on a grand scale at this temple.

Mahavishnu is also believed to have given darshan to Gajendra as Kannan. Hence He is also known as Aatrankarai Kidakkum Kannan. Hanuman the monkey God is also believed to have worshiped the Lord here and was given darshan by the Lord in the form of Rama. Kapi means monkey and hence the name Kapisthalam. This is one of the nine vaishnava navagraha sthalam around Kumbakonam and is the Parihara Sthalam for Rahu.

Location:

Click here for the map

Kapisthalam is located 3 Kms across Cauvery from Papanasam in Tanjore District. It is located on Kumbakonam Tiruvaiyaru road and is about 16 Kms from Kumbakonam.

 

Other Temples Nearby:

Thirukoodalur (Aduthurai Perumal Kovil) 6 .5 Kms
Papanasam 108 Sivalingam 3 Kms
Swamimalai 8 Kms
Thirunallur Panchavarneswarar Temple – 7 Kms
Thiruvalanchuzhi – 9 Kms

Boarding & Lodging:

Have your Travel base at Kumbakonam which is 16 kms from here or at Tanjore which is at a distance of 28 kms.

Temple Timings: 7 AM to 12 Noon & 5 PM to 7.30 PM

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Gajendra Varadhar Koil
Kapisthalam 614 203
Tanjavur Dist
Phone: 04734-223434
Priest: Shri Seshadri Bhattacharya

Vaiyam Kaththa Perumal Temple at Thirukoodalur is one of the 108 Divya Desams. The name Thirukoodalur or Koodalur is not well known now.  If you want to ask for directions, ask for Aduthurai Perumal Koil.  this Aduthurai is not to be confused with the Aduthurai near Thiruvidaimarudhur.  There are a group of Vaishnava temples around Kumbakonam which are considered navagraha Parihara sthalams.  This did come as a surprise to me because the Vaishnavites do not believe in navagraha worship.  This is the Kethu parihara sthalam. There is a prominent board in this temple that authenticates this.  The Moolavar (Main Deity) is known as Vaiyam Kaththa Perumal and the Utsavar (Deity taken out in procession during festivals) is Jagatrakshakan.  His consort here is Padmasanavalli.  The sacred tree (Sthala Vruksham) is the Jackfruit tree.  The Palamaran (Jack fruit tree) at this temple is very unique as you can see a huge formation on the tree that resembles a sangu (conch).   This tree is known as sangu pathintha palamaram.

Sangu pathintha Palamaram

Sangu pathintha Palamaram

Sangu pathintha Palamaram

Sangu pathintha Palamaram

The Lord at Aduthurai Perumal Koil is seen with his discus ready to leave His hand.  He is known as Prayoga Chakradari.  A king by name Ambarishan was a devout Vaishnavite.  In his devotion to Lord Vishnu he neglected his kingdom.  As a result he lost his kingdom to the neighbouring king.  Undeterred, the king continued his service to Vishnu.  Once when he was in a deep state of meditation, Durvasa Maharishi came to meet him.  The king who was immersed in his prayers to Lord Vishnu did not notice the sage.  Durvasa Maharishi felt insulted by this act of King Ambarishan and cursed him.  A shaken Ambarishan prayed to Lord Vishnu seeking his help.  Mahavishnu was angry with Durvasa Maharrishi for punishing His devotee for no fault of his.  Mahavishnu used the discus intending to cut off the Sage’s head.  Before any damage could be done, the Sage realised his folly and apologised to the Lord.  As a mark of gratitude, Ambarishan built a temple at the same spot where the current Aduthurai Perumal Koil is located.  The Lord is also known as Ambarisha Varadar after King Ambarishan.  Devotees who pray at Aduthurai Perumal Koil are believed to be protected by the discus of Vishnu.

Bathing in the holy rivers, according to Hindu scriptures, washes away one’s sins.  These holy rivers that accumulate the sins washed away by the people purify themselves by having a dip in the Cauvery.   Cauvery who accumulated all the sins approached Brahma for a solution to the problem.  Brahma directed Cauvery to pray to Lord Vishnu at this sacred place and accordingly Cauvery was purified.  Praying at Aduthurai Perumal Koil is believed to absolve the devotees of all their sins and enable to attain Moksham or Salvation.

Offerings of Kalkandu (Rock Sugar – wonder if that is the correct translation) and butter are made to the Lord.  The benefits of making these offerings are abundant wealth and marital bliss.

Nandhaga Munivar came to this holy place accompanied by all the Devas.  Koodal in tamil means together.  Since they all came together this place came to be known as Thirukoodalur.

About the temple in Tamil

About the temple in Tamil

It is believed that this is the place where Mahavishnu incarnated as the Boar (Varaha Avatharam) and prevents the Earth from sinking into the ocean. Hiranyaksha, a demon was granted a  boon by that he shall neither be killed by a man nor beast nor God. Emboldened by this boon, Hiranyaksha embarks on a destruction spree and pushes the Earth into the sea. He does not spare even Brahma, his benefactor.  While Brahma is fast asleep he steals the Vedas from Him. The Devas plead to Mahavishnu to put an end to the cruelty.  Mahavishnu takes the Varaha Avtaram and lifts the Earth from the ocean with the help of his tusks. He then kills Hiranyaksha and salvages the Veda from him.  Since He saved the world from extinction, He is known as Vaiyam Kattha Perumal or Jagatrakshakan.

The original temple built by Ambarishan was washed away by floods.  Mahavishnu appeared in the dream of Rani Mangammal of Madurai and asked her to build a new temple for Him.  The present temple is the one built by her.  In one of the Pillars of the temple you can see the image of Rani Mangammal.

Rani Mangammal

Image of Rani Mangammal on a pillar

Temple Location:

Click here for the map

Aduthurai  Perumal Koil is located on Kallanai-Kumbakonam Road at a distance about 10 Kms from Thingalur and 12 Kms from Thiruvaiyaru.  Tanjore is at a distance of 25 Kms from here.

Boarding & Lodging

Have your travel base at either Tanjore which is at 25 Kms from here or Kumbakonam which is at 23 Kms from Aduthurai Perumal Koil.

Other Temples Nearby:

Kailasanathar Temple, Thingalur

Gajendra Varadha Perumal Koil, Kapisthalam

Ganapathy Agraham – Mahaganapathy Alayam

Kailasanathar kovil, Ayyampettai

Pashupathinathar Temple – Pashupathi Koil

Chakravageswarar Temple – Thiru Chakkarappalli

Hara Saba Vimochanar, Thirukandiyur

Brahmasira Kandeeswarar,  Thirukandiyur

Thyagarajaswamy Temple, Tiruvaiyaru

Pancha Nadheeswarar temple, Tiruvaiyaru

Temple Timings: 7.30 AM to 12.30 PM & 4 PM to 7.30 PM

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Vaiyam Kaththa Perumal Thirukoil

Thirukoodalur 614 202.

Tanjore District

Phone: +91-93452-67501, +91-93443-03803,