October 27, 2014

Aaduthurai Perumal Temple

Site Name: Vaiyam Kaththa Perumal temple  
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location:  Vadakurangaduthurai, 5 kms from Tiruvaiyaru, near Tanjore city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: One of the most important Vaishnaivite temples; one of 108 Divya Desam temples
Nearest Railway Station: Tanjore
Nearest Airport: Trichy
How to reach: Well connected by road from Tanjore and Tiruvaiyaru; public transport is not dependable
Hotel: No good hotels nearby; better to stay in Tanjore
Restaurants: No good restaurants nearby; it is better to go to Tanjore

Vadakurangaduthurai is a village near Tanjore town in South India. The village is also called as Aaduthurai Perumal Koil. The village has two prominent temples - one for Vishnu and another for Shiva. In this article, the temple of Lord Vishnu - Vaiyam Kaththa Perumal is being explored. Although the temple is called as Tirukkoodalur or Vaiyam Kaththa Perumal temple, it is known to the local people as Aaduthurai Perumal Temple. It is considered as the 8th Divya Desam located in the Chola region north of Cauvery river.

Highlights:
  • Tirumangai Alwar has sung about this site in his verses.
  • It is considered as the 8th Divya Desam temple. It is located in Chola region.
  • It is considered as Ketu parihara sthalam, hence a Navagraha sthalam for Vaishnaivites
  • The conch symbol is seen naturally on the holy tree
  • God Vaiyam Kaththa Perumal; Utsava deity - Jagatrakshakan
  • Goddess Padmasini aka Padmasanavalli
  • Teerth (holy water) - Chakra Teerth
  • Sthala Vruksha (holy tree) - Jack fruit
  • Vimana - Sutha Satva Vimana
  • Built by the Cholas with later contributions from Vijayanagara Kings and Madurai Nayakas

Legend:

As per the legend, the Devas gathered along with Nandaka Rishi to worship Lord Vishnu in this site. Hence, this site is called as Koodaloor (meaning meeting place in Tamil language). 

As per another legend, the King Ambarisha was deeply praying to Lord Vishnu once and he did not notice the sage Durvasa. The sage who is famous for his short temper cursed the king. The king went to Lord Vishnu and sought his help. Vishnu released his discus which chased away the sage. Ultimately, the sage surrendered to Vishnu and begged for his pardon. It is believed that the king built this temple originally. Lord Vishnu is hence called as Ambarisha Varadar in this temple.  

It is said all the rivers come to Cauvery to cleanse themselves. Once, the river Cauvery wanted to cleanse herself and sought Lord Brahma's advise. As per his advice, she came to this site and worshiped Lord Vishnu; thus she got rid of her sins.

There is another interesting story associated with this site. There was a parrot lived in the temple complex; it used to pick a blackberry fruit everyday, place it under the feet of Lord Vishnu and chant his name. One day, it was shot down by a hunter. Before falling down, the parrot chanted the holy name of Lord Vishnu as usual. Lord Vishnu appeared to the parrot and reminded it of its previous birth. In its previous birth, the parrot was a scholar but a pedant; hence, it was cursed to be born as a parrot. Lord Vishnu got it rid of its sin. 

As per a legend, the demon Hiranyaksha took Bhoomi Devi and hid to the underground Patala Loka. Vishnu took the form of boar, Varaha Avatar. From this site, he entered into the earth. Then he killed the demon and came out along with Bhoomi Devi at Sri Mushnam. Lord Vishnu is called as Vaiyam Kaththa Perumal which means the one who protected the earth thanks to this incident.

History:

The temple was originally built by the Cholas; later it was renovated by the Vijayanagara Kings.

Once, the original deities of the temple were washed away in the river Kollidam. Rani Mangammal (Madurai Nayakas Queen) recovered the deities and renovated the temple after re-installing them. 


Temple Layout:

The east facing temple has five tiered Raja Gopuram (tower). 

The sanctum sanctorum has the main deity Vaiyam Kaththa Perumal in the standing posture along with his two consorts Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi. 

The utsava deity Jagatrakshaka Perumal is also found in the sanctum sanctorum.

Near the main shrine, there is a shrine dedicated to Lord Varadaraja along with his consorts Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi. He is found in the sitting posture.

In maha mandapa, the shrine of Sudarshana with Narsimha on his back side is found.

In the prakara, the shrine of Goddess Padmasini is found. Also, the shrine of Andal and the shrine of Ramanujas and Alwars are also found in the prakara.

Facing the main shrine, the flag staff, Garuda shrine and bali peetha are situated.

Outside the temple complex, on the road, the sub shrine of Hanuman facing towards the tower is found.

The holy tree, the jackfruit tree, has a conch installed on it naturally. Hence, it is called as Sangu Pathintha Palamaram.

Happy travelling.

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