March 31, 2016

Sirupuliyur Kripa Samudra Perumal Temple

Site Name: Kripa Samudra Perumal Temple 
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location:  Sirupuliyur , 15 kms from Mayiladuthurai and 10 km from Karaikal, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: The sage Vyagrapatha (devotee of Lord Shiva) is found along with Vishnu in this temple; the smallest of the idols of Vishnu in the reclining posture
Nearest Railway Station: Karaikal
Nearest Airport: Trichy
How to reach: Well connected by road from Karaikal and Mayiladuthurai
Hotel: No good hotels nearby; better to stay in Karaikal or Mayiladuthurai
Restaurants: No good restaurants nearby; it is better to go to Mayiladuthurai or Karaikal 

Sirupuliyur  is a village near Mayiladuthurai town in Tamil Nadu state of India. The village has a prominent temple for Vishnu called as Kripa Samudra Perumal Temple. (What a beautiful and meaningful name this deity has.)  It is considered as the 24th Divya Desam located in the Chola region. Let us explore about this temple in this article.


Highlights:

  • Tirumangai Alwar has sung about this site in his verses.
  • It is considered as the 24th Divya Desam temple. It is located in Chola region.
  • Along with Vishnu, Kanva Rishi and Vyagrapada are found in the main shrine.
  • The smallest idol of Vishnu in the reclining posture is found in this temple.
  • The temple is named after the Utsav deity instead of the presiding stone deity.
  • God - Sthalasayana Perumal; Utsav deity - Kripa Samudra Perumal or Arul Maak Kadal Perumal
  • Goddess Tirumaa Magal; Utsav deity - Dayanayaki
  • Teerth (holy water) - Manasa Pushkarani 
  • Sthala Vruksha (holy tree) - Vilva
  • Vimana Nandiyavardhana Vimana

Legend:

As per the legend, there was an enmity between Garud and Adi Sesha. Both of them argued with each other on who was better. They both came to Vishnu in this site to conclude on who was correct. Vishnu favored Sesha as he thought Garud was very proud. Sesha feared that he might be attacked by Garud. As per the advice from Vishnu he coiled himself and had Vishnu lie on him. Garud was unhappy and he decided not to fly above this site forever.

Vyagra Pada was a devotee of Lord Shiva. He got tiger's legs from Shiva and hence he was called as Vyagra Pada. He prayed to Shiva for salvation. Shiva in Chidambaram advised him to go to Sri Rangam and pray to Vishnu for salvation. The old saint lost his way and reached Sirupuliyur. Due to his poor eye sight, he could not clearly get darshan of Lord Vishnu. Hence, Vishnu shrunk his body and thus became the smallest idol so that the sage could see him clearly and completely. He gave salvation to the saint in this saint. The site is named after this saint as Puliyur. (In Tamil language, Puli means tiger whereas in Sanskrity the Vyagra means tiger.)

It is believed that Tirumangai Alwar first disappointed to see very small image of Vishnu in this site. However, later he sang ten hymns on this deity. 

History:

The temple was  built by the Cholas.

Temple Layout:

The south facing temple is adorned with a five tiered Raja gopuram (tower). The tower looks very colorful with a lot of stucc images depicting various scenes from the epics and Vaishnaivite Puranas.  Inside the temple complex, there is one more tower. 

The sanctum is also facing the southern direction. It enshrines the small idol of Vishnu called as Sthalasayana Perumal reclining on Adi Sesha. Brahma is emerging out from his navel and is found with folded hands. Vishnu is accompanied by Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi. The sages Kanvar and Vyagra Pada are found near the feet of Perumal.

The utsav idols of Kripa Samudra Perumal along with Sri Devi, Bhoo Devi and Andal are also situated in the sanctum. 

A tall flag staff, bali peetha and Garud shrine are situated facing towards the sanctum.

In the Maha mandap, there is a sub-shrine where many utsav idols such as Vishnu with his consorts, Ram, Sita and Lakshman and many Alwars are found.

In the prakara, the Goddess of the temple, Tirumaa Magal is found in a separate east facing shrine. There is a sub-shrine for Alwars found in the prakara.

Near the flag staff, the sub-shrines of Andal and Hanuman are situated.

There is a separate shrine for Adi Sesha where he is depicted in human form with four arms. In the upper arms he holds conch and discus and his lower arms are folded. Above his head, his serpent form is also depicted.

Manavala Mamunigal is present in a separate shrine outside the Raja gopuram.

Happy travelling. 


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