July 6, 2016

Then Tirupperai

Site Name: Makara Nedunkuzhai Kathar Temple 
Site Type: Hindu ancient temple
Location:  5 kms from Alwar Tirunagari, in Tirunelveli-Tiruchendur route, 32 kms from Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: One of Nava Tirupati temples and a Divya Desam
Nearest Railway Station: Tirunelveli
Nearest Airport: Madurai
How to reach: Well connected by road from Tirunelveli, Tiruchendur and Tuticorin
Hotel: Few options in Alwar Tirunagari; for better options, go to Tirunelveli, Tiruchendur or Tuticorin - all of them are located within the range of 30-35 kms
Restaurants: Few options in Alwar Tirunagari; for better options, go to Tirunelveli, Tiruchendur or Tuticorin - all of them are located within the range of 30-35 kms

Then Tirupperai is a small village located near Tirunelveli city in Tamil Nadu state of India. The village has a prominent temple for Vishnu called as Makara Nedunkuzhai Kathar TempleIt is considered as the 97th Divya Desam located in the Pandya region. There are nine Vishnu temples on the banks of the river Tamrabharani, which are popularly called as Nava Tirupatis. This site is the Sixth 'Nava Tirupati' temple (one among nine important Vishnu temples in Tirunelveli-Tiruchendur route).  Let us explore about this temple in this article.

Highlights:

  • Nammalwar has sung Pasurams about this site in his verses.
  • It is considered as the 97th Divya Desam temple. It is located in Pandya region.
  • It is considered as the Sixth Nava Tirupati temple.
  • God Nedunkuzhaik Kathan
  • Goddess Kuzhaikkadu Valli Nachiar and Tirupperai Nachiar
  • Utsav - Nigaril Mukil Vannan
  • Teerth (holy water) - Shukra Pushkarani
  • Vimana Bhadra Vimana

Legend:

As per the advice by Durvasa Rishi, Bhoo Devi performed penance on Vishnu in this site. When she came out of the river Tamrabharani after her bath, she found two fish shaped ear rings. She offered them to Vishnu; hence, he is called as Nedunkuzhaik Kathan. She got the name Sri Perai and the place was called as Tirupperai thereafter. 

Varun performed penance on Vishnu in this site to cleanse his sin caused due to his disrespect towards his Guru Brihaspati. 


Temple Layout:


The temple is big in size, but the number of shrines are less. It has an east facing Gopura. In front of the gopura as well as after entering through the gopura, there are mandaps. 


The sanctum enshrines Nedunkuzhaik Kathan along with Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi. They are all found in the sitting postures. Bhrigu and Markandeya are also found in the sanctum.

The festival (utsav) idol is called as Nigaril Mukil Vannan; he along with his two consorts are also found in the sanctum.

In the prakara, the shrines for the presiding Goddesses Kuzhaikkadu Valli Nachiar and Tirup Perai Nachiar (Bhoo Devi) are found.

Interestingly, the presiding deity, his two consorts and the festival idol are all having very beautiful Tamil names.

Some of the other sub-shrines found in the temple include Garud, Alwars and Vishwaksena.

Happy travelling.



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