The Tirunelveli Sthalapurana prescribes a tradition for the origin of the name Tirunelveli. The puranic version goes that one Vedasarma, a staunch devotee of Shiva, on his pilgrimage from the North to the South was invited by Lord Shiva in his dream to his abode on the banks of the sacred river Tamiraparani. The delighted devotee came to 'Sindupoondhurai on the banks of the river and stayed there with his family. Once there was a famine which forced Vedasarma to collect paddy by way of begging and continuing his daily prayers. One day he spread out the paddy to dry under the Sun before the Lord, and went for his ablutions in Tamiraparani. He prayed to the Lord for rain which he thought could be a remedy for the famine. His prayer was answered and when he was bathing, a thunder storm broke-out and it rained heavily. Vedasarma rushed to the place where he had spread the paddy. He witnessed a miracle. Despite rain around the area, the paddy that he had spread did not get even a single drop of rain and did not get soaked. Since then according to the purana the Town is called as “Tiru-nel-veli” (Sacred hedged paddy).
Origin Of the District
On acquisition from the Nawab of Arcot in1801, the British named it as Tinnevelly district though their headquarters was first located in Palayamkottai the adjacent town, where they had their military headquarters during their operations against the Palayakars. Two reasons may be attributed for naming it after Tirunelveli. One is because, it was and is the chief town of the district and the other is that it was already called as Tirunelveli Seemai under the Nayaks and Nawabs. Both Tirunelveli and Palayamkottai grew as the twin towns of the district.
About The Temple
Nava Tirupathi Temples is a set of nine Hindu Temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu located in Tamil Nadu on Tiruchendur-Tirunelveli route on the banks of Thamiraparani River. All these 9 temples form part of “Divya Desams” comprising 108 temples of Vishnu revered and sung in praise by 12 poet saints or Alwars. All nine Vaishnavite temples are in Tuticorin district, about 40 km from Tirunelveli and 25 km from Tiruchendur. They form a cluster around Sri Vaikundam and Alwar Tiru Nagari, which straddle the north and south banks respectively of the River Tambraparni.
The first in the series of these nine Tirupathi Temples are Sri Vaikuntanathan Perumal Temple located in between Tiruchendur-Tirunelveli route on the banks of Thamiraparani River is a famous temple dedicated to Lord Sri Maha Vishnu in the form of Vaikuntanathar and His consort Vaikuntavalli. Perumal is worshipped as sun in this temple.
This sthalaperumal, Sri Vaikundanathan is found alone in Nidra Kolam, as Aadhiseshan serving him as an umbrella. Once, a thief named, Kaala dooshakan, after stealing the precious things from the people had an agreement in his mind, that he will give half of the stolen things to this sthala perumal. As of its whenever he steels something, he dedicated half of the stolen things to Vaikunda nathan. Likewise, once he stole some precious ornaments and things from King's palace. But unfortunately, he was caught up by the palace authorities. They brought him to the palace and made to stand infront of the king. Without knowing what to do, he meditated on Sri Vaikundanathan, in his mind and heart. Since, the perumal got the things from the thief, he occupied entirely in the heart the minds of him. After this, he explained the Aathma Gnana followings to the king. The voice and the appearance belong to the thief, Kaaladooshan, but the explaination of the Gnana was told by Sri Vaikundanathan. After hearing this, the Emperumaan gave his dharshan to both, the king and the thief in Nindra Thirukkolam. As asked by the king, this perumal is named as "Kalla Piraan". Kalla – means thief. Since, he gave the seva through a thief, he is named as Kalla Piraan.Once, Somagan, who was a demon stole the vedas from Brahma devan and he seeked the help of Sriman Narayanan. Sri Vaikundanathan fought with the Arakkan (demon) to get back the vedas. This is one of the said story about this sthala perumal. Born as an ordinary human in Ayodhya, Brighu Chakravarthy in the next generation as a biggest emperor, he was given the prathyaksham of this sthala Emperumaan. Devendran, Indiran was also given the prathyaksham.
The utsavar – Kallabiraan with the Gadha, a weapon in his hand and along with the Sangu and Chakkaram along with Periya piratti and Bhoomi piratti along the two sides, he giving his seva as "Abayakara Varadhan" in Nindra Kolam. The Sculpturist, after finished doing the utsavar – Kallabiraan, was excited and forgot himself on the beauty of the perumal. As an excitement, he pinched Kallapiraan perumaal. Because of this, a small impression is found on the cheeks of this utsava perumal. That kind of beauty, this kallapiraan perumal is Moolavar, after fighting with the Somagasuran for the vedas of Brahma devan, in an hurry, he climbed up on Garudan leaving two pirattiyaar. Because of this only, the Moolavar is found alone in this sthalam in Nindra Kolam. This sthala perumal is also named as "Paal Pandiyan". The story behind is one of things that has to be explained.
Brahma devan did the tapas on the perumal and the perumal suddenly disappeared in to the earth. But the cows, which roamed along the place, automatically gave the milk, where the perumal disappeared. After digging the place, Brahma devan took out the perumal out of the place and after he raised this temple. Since, he was able to get out the perumal, because of the cow's milk, this perumal is also named as "Paal Pandiyan". "Paal means – milk". It is said that Sooriya perumal, worship this perumal twice a year. As that of it, 6 day of chittirai and 6 day of Iyppasi month, the rays of the sun cross the Gopura entrance and is found all along the Emperumaan as explaining that he is worshipped him. Two thaayars, Vaikunda valli and Sora Valli are found in separate sannadhis. Vaikunda valli is periya pirattiyaar and Sora valli is found after the Soranatha Naachiyaar's vaasal. The vaikunda vaasal is opened only during Vaikunda Ekadasi. Near the Vaikunda Vaasal, manavaala maamunigal sannadhi and Dasavatharam of Sri Vishnu is found. Opposite to this is a separate sannadhis for Yoga Narasimhar in south east direction. Every tuesday, special Poojas are done for Yoga Narasimhar. On the North side a separate sannadhi for Thiruvenkada Mudayaan, Sri Srinivasar in big mandapam is found.
Nammalwar – 2 Pasurams Total – 2 Manavala Maamunigal has also done the Mangalasasanam here.
Brighu Theertham, Tamirabarani Nadhi.
Chandira Vimaanam,The Gopuram is very big which is 110 feet in height and 500 feet in width, and 396 feet wide big walls which encloses the temple. Numerous sculpture are found in the 100 pillared mandapam which is found near Moolavar sannadhi.
About the Deity
The nine vaishnava shrines, hailed as Navatiruppathi are related to the â€˜Navagrahaasâ€™ or the nine planets or celestial bodies, and the deities in these temples are worshipped as the navagrahaas themselves.The Navatiruppathis in the Pandya region are recognized on par with the Navagrahaa temples in the Chola country (Surya Thirumangalakkudi, Chandra Thingaloor, Angaarakan - Putthirukku Velur, Budha Thiruvenkaadu, Guru Aalangudi, Sukra Kanjanoor, Shani â Thirunallaar, Raahuâ Thirunageswaram, Ketu Keezhperumpallam). In these Vishnu temples, the Prime Deities themselves are worshipped as the Navagrahaas and so there are no separate shrines for the Navagrahaas, as found in other temples. To offer worship to these deities alleviate the malignant influences of the Navagrahaas that come about during one’s lifetime. Generally, in the temples Lord Vishnu is seen reclining on Adisesha. But, in this temple Lord Vishnu is in the standing posture under the umbrella, Adisesha. This is the special significance of this place. Srivaikuntam temple is also called Kailasapuram and has in Nataraja shrine, 8 artistically carved pillars. The most famous is the Kallapiran, the festival deity and presiding deity is called Vaikuntanathar. On the 6th day of Tamil month Chittirai(April), the Sun rays fall on the main deity as a token of worship. The idol is most exquisitely carved with club in hand. Lions, Yalis and elephants are carved in the pillars of the mandapam. The temple served as a fort during the patriotic war of Kattabomman with the British. The temple has a 9-tier rajagopuram amidst lush vegetation around the temple.
In this temple, Lord Vaikuntanathan facing east in standing posture with Adisesha who serves as an umberlla. This is a big temple and to reach the main sanctum we have to cross several mandapams. In the ardha mandapam, Sri Kallappiran standing on a golden couch, with his lovely consorts, Sri Sridevi and Sri Bhoodevi.
Lord Brahma was keeping the pot containing the secret of his creations in his hand. This secret was stolen by a demon named Somukasuran. In order to rectify the mistake, Lord Brahma did penance towards Lord Vishnu and asked for help to recover the lost documents. Lord transformed into a Lady and went to the earth to select a place known as Srivaikundam. Brahma did his penance and Lord Vishnu appeared before him as Vaikuntanathan. Lord Vishnu recovered the secret documents and gave them to Brahma. Brahma prayed that Lord Vishnu should be present there forever in the same form in which he gave him darshan.Then Lord Brahma installed the Moola Vigraha there, used his kalasam to bring water from the river and performed abhishekam with it.
A robber by name Kala Dooshakan, used to pray the Lord, procced on his mission, loot whatever he could and offer half of it to the Lord. Once, when he was stealing things from a palace, the palace guards noticed it and he was about to be caught. He rushed to Vaikuntanathan temple and prayed to the Lord to save him. The Lord took the form Kala Dooshakan and presented himself before the king. When the king wanted to punish him, he transformed himself into Vaikuntanathan and gave darshan to the king. When the king asked the Lord why he saved the thief, the Lord said that he had ceased to be righteous and the real intention was to bring him back to the path of Dharma. From then onwards, the Utsavamoorthy came to be known as Kallapiran.
A unique feature of the temple is that every year on two days (in the period of April-May and October-November) Sun's rays falls directly on Lord Vaikuntanathan. It is believed that this temple was used as a fort in the fight between the legendary freedom fighter Veerapandiya Kattabomman and the British in the 1800s.
The temple gopuram which is 110 feet in height and 500 feet in width can be viewed from the Tamirabarani bridge. Several poojas are held in this temple and the most important among them is the pooja done by childless couples. It is believed that if the childless couple consume the ghee for 48 nights, that has been offered at the deity's feet, they will be blessed with children.
Legend and Stories
Two legends are associated with this temple. Once an asura by the name Somakan appropriated Lord Brahmaâ€™s Creation-secret and Lord Vishnu retrieved it from the demon. Since the Lord came direct from His abode Vaikuntam and agreed to remain here, this place came to be known as Srivaikuntam. Later, Kaaladhushakan, a robber, conducted his robbery after worshipping Vaikuntanathan, and surrendered to Him, half of what he had plundered. He was a Robinhood of those days, looted the rich and helped the poor.
Once his men, while engaged in ransacking the palace were caught by the King soldiers. They had to identify their leader; when Kaladhushakan came to know about it, he prayed to the Lord of Srivaikuntam, to save him. The Lord appeared before the King as Kaaladhushakan, revealed Himself to the King and counseled him to protect dharma. Having had this Beatific Vision, the King requested the Lord to remain in this place as Kallappiraan.
History of the Temple
Srivaikuntanathan Perumal Temple is famous as one of the famous Nava Tirupathi Temples. All these 9 temples are classified as Divya Desams, the 108 temples of Vishnu revered by the 12 poet saints or Alwars. Srivaikuntanathan Temple is also popularly called Kailasapuram. Srivaikuntanathan Perumal is famous for its Kallapiran, the festival deity; while the Moolavar Deity is Vaikuntanathar. The Idol is most exquisitely carved with club in hand. Lions, Yalis and elephants are magnificently carved on pillars of the Mandapam. The temple has a beautiful Nataraja Shrine and 8 artistically carved pillars. The temple has a 9-tier Rajagopuram amidst lush vegetation around the temple. The temple served as a fort during the patriotic war of Kattabomman with the British. On the 6th day of Tamil month Chittirai (April) the sunrays fall on the main deity as if is worshipping the Lord. These nine shrines in the Pandya region are as famous as the nine in Chola region. The temple tank here is known as Bhrigu Theertham.
The Garuda Sevai Utsavam in the month of Vaikasi (May-Jun) witnesses 9 Garudasevai, a spectacular event in which festival image idols from the Nava Tirupathi Shrines in the area are brought on Garuda Vahana. An idol of Nammalvar is also brought here on an Anna Vahanam and his paasurams dedicated to each of these 9 temples are recited. The Utsavar of Nammalvar is taken in a palanquin to each of the 9 temples through the paddy fields in the area. The paasurams dedicated to each of the 9 Divya Desams are chanted in the respective shrines. This is the most important of the festivals in this area and it draws thousands and thousands of visitors to this temple.
Issueless couples pray here for children and students and their parents pray for their academic excellence. Each planet in the following Nava Tirupati temples is worshipped accordingly. Here in this Srivaikuntanathan Perumal Temple Lord is worshipped as Sun in Srivaikundam.
Vishwaroopam Pooja - 7.30 AM
Kalasanthi Pooja - 9.00 AM
Theertham Viniyogam - 10.00 AM
Samba Thalikai - 12.00 PM
Sayarachai Pooja - 5.00 PM
Thiruvisagam Pooja - 8.30 PM
Prasad and Offering
Devotees can sponsor one day Annadhanam or Permanent endowment for one day's Annadhanam Scheme. The devotees perform tirumanjanam (sacred bath) to the Lord and offer new clothes.
Prayers can be offered to overcome the impediments in wedlock, to beget issues and for good education.
The devotees perform tirumanjanam (sacred bath) to the Lord and offer new clothes.
This is one of the 108 sacred places of Lord Vishnu and the 1st Navathiruppathi dedicated to 'Suriyan'.
Brahmanda Purana one of the eighteen sacred texts of Hinduism and written by Veda Vyasa contains a chapter called Navathirupathi Mahatmeeyam. The first part of the chapter refers to Srivaikuntam. Vaikunta Mahatmeeyam is another work in Sanskrit that glorifies the temple and is a part of Tamraparani Sthalapurana available only in palm manuscripts. The temple is revered in Nalayira Divya Prabandham, the 7th–9th century Vaishnava canon, by Nammazhwar. The temple is classified as a Divyadesam, one of the 108 Vishnu temples that are mentioned in the book. The temple is also classified as a Navatirupathi, the nine temples revered by Nammazhwar located in the banks of Tamiraparani river. The temple is next only to Alwarthirunagari Temple in terms of importance among the nine Navatirupathi temple. Nammazhwar makes a reference about the temple in his works in Thirvaimozhi. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the temple finds mention in several works like 108 Tirupathi Anthathi by Divya Kavi Pillai Perumal Aiyangar, Vaikuntha Pillai Tamil, Vaikuntanatha Thalattu, Vaikuntanatha Tiruppanimalai and Srivakiuntam Ammanai. Srivaikuntam temple is also called Kailasapuram and has a Nataraja shrine with eight artistically carved pillars. Sun rays fall directly on the image on two days of the year - once during uttarayana (April) and another during Dakshiyana (October), believed to be a token of worship. The roof over the sanctum is called Chandra vimana, where a stupa of gold is installed on the top. The temple also forms a series of Navagraha temples where each of the nine planetary deities of one of the temples of Navatirupathi. The temple is associated with the planet Surya, the Sun god.
One should worship the Ishta or Kula Deivam before starting for the Navathirupathi Tour. Bathe in the river before entering the temple, and wear clean clothes. One should concentrate on the temple deity of each Navathirupathi and observe absolute silence. One can also chant "Om Nomo Narayanaya" inside the temple. It is imperative that one makes the effort to respect ancient customs and usages while at temple and promote religious sentiments among co-pilgrims. If one may so choose, they should deposit their offerings in the hundy only. Keep temple premises clean and leave electronic gadgets like cell phones, calculator, camera and footwear etc before entering the temples.
Nearby Places to Visit
Aayirathu Enn Vinayaka
The nearest airport to the temple is Madurai Airport which is 164 km away from the temple.
The nearest Railway station is Srivaikundam.
The temple can be reached by buses plying between Tiruchendur-Tirunelveli routes. Bus services to this temple are available from Madurai, Tirunelveli, Tiruchendur and Thoothukudi through Srivaikuntam and to the temple.
Sri Vaikuntanathan Perumal Temple
Sri Vaikuntam – 628 601
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- To overcome obstacles in weddings
- To be blessed with childbirth
- For progress in education
- For general well-being of people born under Krittika/Karthikai
- Uttaraphalguni/Uttiram/Uttram star
Achutham Keyshavam Rama Narayanam Krishna Damodaram Vasudevam Harim Shridharam Madhavam Gopika Vallabham Janaki Nayakam Ramachandram Bhajey
Meaning -Oh Lord who cannot be perished, who also has names like Keshava, Rama, Damodara, Narayana, Sridhara, Madhava, Krishna, Ramachandra the beloved of Janaki, let me say your name regularly.
Vasudeva Sutham Devam Kamsa Chanoora Mardhanam Devaki Paramanandham Krishnam Vande Jagathgurum
Meaning -I bow to you O Krishna, the ultimate guru, Devaki and Vasudeva's son, and the destroyer of Kamsa and Chanur.
Adharam Madhuram Vadanam Madhuram Nayanam Madhuram Hasitam Madhuram Hridayam Madhuram Gamanam Madhuram Mathuraa Dhipate Rakhilam Madhuram
Meaning -Meaning - Sweet are Your lips, sweet is Your face, sweet are Your eyes, sweet is Your smile, sweet is Your heart, sweet is Your gait, O Lord of Mathura, everything about You is sweet.
Alokya Mathur Mukha Madarena Sthanyam Pibantham Saraseeruhaksham Sachinmayam Devam Anantha Roopam Balam Mukundam Manasa Smarami
Meaning -I think of this Balamukundan as the one who looks lovingly at his mother's face while taking milk from her, who has eyes similar to the red lotus, who is the embodiment of truth and intelligence and other forms.
7:30 AM to 12:00 PM and 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM