Pundarikaksha Perumal Temple – Tale of the Unfinished Temple
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Pundarikaksha temple located in Thiruvellarai. The main deity or Moolavar is called as Pundarikashan but also known as Thamaraikannan and Maayavan (at the end of Dakshinayan period) etc. He is also called as “Thai Maatha Naayagan” meaning the leader of the Tamil month Thai (Jam 15 to Feb 15). He is in standing position facing East direction. God Pundarikashan gives darshan to devotees along with his consort Thamarai Selvi.
The name of the temple as Thiruvellarai was due to the fact that it is on a hill at a height of about 100 feet of white stones. In Tamil, Thiru is a used as salutation to divine, royal or other leaders. Vellarai means Vella (white) arai (hill) or white hill. So the name of the temple is ‘temple on white hill’. There is a reason for calling the God here as Pundareekakshan. There was a yogi by name Pundareekan. He made a garden in this place and worshiped the Lord with the Tulsi leaves he had grown in the garden. The Lord was pleased with his Bhakti and gave darsanam to Pundareekan. From that time the Lord was known as Pundareekakshan.
The Rajagopuram of the Pundarikaksha Perumal temple is still unfinished. The Story behind the unfinished Rajagopuram is that it was being built by the Vijayanagar Kings; the work got halted after Vijayanagar kings lost the final battle at Talikota (Rakkasa Tangadi) against the Deccan Sultanate. Though at latter stages many attempts have been made to complete the Rajagopuram it hasn’t been completed.
The Temple has two doors, the Utharayana door is to symbolize the entrance of all living beings (Jeevathmas) into the world which supposed is to be the placed under Lord Kuberan (god of Wealth). The Dakshinayana door is to symbolize the entrance to the world after death which is the place of Lord Yama (the king of Swarga and Naraka. This temple is located in Thiruvellarai near Tiruchi.
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