January 9, 2011

Tiruninravur Bhaktavatsala Perumal Temple

Tiruninravur (Thiruninravur) is a small locality located at a distance of 35 km from Chennai, the gateway to South India. Tiruninravur has two famous and old temples - one for Lord Shiva and another for Lord Vishnu. This article talks about the temple of Lord Vishnu - Bhaktavatsala Perumal temple in Tiruninravur.

Bhaktavatsala Perumal temple, which was built by Pallava kings, is one of the 108 Divya Desam temples (108 most important temples of Lord Vishnu sung by Alwars). The temple is located well at the heart of the town, next to the Shiva temple in Tiruninravur. As per the belief, Samudra Raja (the father of Lakshmi and the ocean king) worshipped the Lord here. There is also a belief that the Lord gave darshan to Varuna (the god for rain) here.

In Tamil language, the language spoken in this town, the word 'Tiruninravur' means the place where the Goddess Lakshmi stayed. It seems Lord Vishnu followed the Goddess Lakshmi and stayed in this town. As per the legend, Tirumazhisai Alwar, one of the twelve Alwars, visited this temple and also left without singing about this God. After he reached Mamallapuram, he sang about this Lord from there.

Bhaktavatsala Perumal Temple has a beautiful tower (Rajagopuram). Once you enter into the east facing temple, you can find the flag staff (dhwajastambha) opposite to the main shrine. The main shrine has the big idols of Lord Vishnu, called as Bhaktavatsala in this temple, in the standing posture, along with his consorts Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi on either sides. The utsav (procession) idols of Lord Bhaktavatsala along with his two consorts are also placed in the main shrine. Opposite to the main shrine, as usual there is a small shrine for Garuda.

The temple has one corridor (prakara surrounding the main shrine), which has various small shrines. There is a separate shrine for the Goddess named as 'Ennai Petra Thayar' a beautiful Tamil word meaning 'My mother'. There are also shrines for Anadals, Chakrathalwar, Adi Sesha, and Mudaliyandan in the corridor. Inside the main shrine, near the sanctum for Bhakthavatsala Perumal, there is a small shrine for Yoga Narasimha. A pillar containing the figure of Narasimha has also been made like a small shrine. Outside the temple, Lord Hanuman is available in a separate shrine facing the main temple.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Bhaktavatsala Perumal Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location: Tiruninravur, Near Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: One of 108 Divya Desam temples
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai - well connected from the cities/towns all over India
Nearest Airport: Chennai has both national and international airports
How to reach: Easily reachable by road, train, and flight
Hotel: Many star hotels, luxury hotels/resorts, and budget hotels are available in Chennai
Restaurants: All options - vegetarian, non-vegetarian, Chinese, South Indian, Gujarati, North Indian, Punjabi,....- you can find everything in Chennai city

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