Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sundara Raja Perumal Koil in Azhagiya Manavalam

NamPerumal stayed here with his concerts during the Sultan invasion of Srirangam

Located about 15kms North West of Tiruchirapalli is the West facing Sundara Raja Perumal Koil in Azhagiya Manavalam Village near Manasanallur, where the Lord is seen in a grand standing posture with Sridevi and Bhoodevi.

The story of the Sundara Raja Perumal Koil in Azhagiya Manavalam Village dates back to the 14th Century AD to the time when Mohammed Bin Tughlag invaded the Srirangam temple and the threat to the idols of Lord Ranganatha loomed large.

Foreseeing this, the utsav deity (now called Nam Perumal) was taken out of Srirangam as a precautionary measure and was taken around to different places like Azhagar Hills, Azhvaar Tirunagari in Tamil Nadu, Tiruvananthapuram in Kerala and Melkote in Karnataka.

While the battle was going on with the Sultanate kings, Azhagiya Manavalan and his consorts resided here at the Sundara Raja Perumal temple in Azhagiya Manavalam village. A smart lady in Azhagiya Manavalam village used her guile and protected the idol of the utsav deity of Lord Ranganatha and also helped the forces outwit the Madurai Sultanate.

It was in 1371 AD that Azhagiya Manavalan and his consort left this temple to reside back at Srirangam.

The name NamPerumal to Srirangam Lord

It was that year that a delighted Launderer on seeing Utsava deity of Lord Ranganatha at the Azhagiya Manavalam village called out for the Srirangam Lord as ‘Nam Perumal’(Our Lord). Ever since, the Utsava deity of Lord Ranganatha at Srirangam has come to be known as Namperumal.

Since Namperumal resided here before making his trip back to Srirangam, the villagers dedicated the special harvest from the Azhagiya Manavalam village to NamPerumal of Srirangam. Every year in the Tamil Calendar month of Chitrai, the harvest is brought from Azhagiya Manavalam Village to the Srirangam temple and handed over to Namperumal. This event is called ‘Kathir Alankaaram’.

One can view the three well known temples of Trichy from inside the Sundara Raja Perumal temple- Srirangam Ranganaatha temple, Jambukeswarar temple at Thiruvanaikaval and Uchi Pillayar atop the rock.

Quick Facts

Moolavar: Sundara Raja Perumal
Temple Time: 7am-12noon and 4pm-6pm
Priest: Sundararaja Bhattar
Tel No. : 0431 6590591/088834 14337

How to reach the temple

Best option is to take the Thuraiyur bound Mofussil bus at Toll Gate. Get down at Manasanallur(about 6kms from Toll Gate)

There are mini buses from Manasanallur to the temple (about 3kms)
No autos available here.

One can also reach Manasanallur from Samayapuram (NH 45) - about 4kms.

10kms to the North of this temple is Thiruvellarai Divya Desam

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Srinivasa Perumal temple in Semmanacheri

Prarthana Sthalam for the 'unmarried' and 'childless couples'
Belief is that one can regain lost vision by offering sincere prayers at this temple

Located about 30kms South of Madras on the Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) just after Infosys campus and Sathyabhama University is an ancient East Facing Srinivasa Perumal temple, in Semmanacheri, that has been recently renovated and wears a new look.

Belief is that the temple may be over 1500 years old and may have been built by the Pallavas, who were also responsible for the construction of several Divya Desams in this region including Thiru Kadal Mallai at Mahabalipuram (Maamallapuram. Later on, renovation work at this temple is said to have been undertaken by Nayak Kings and Chettiars.

The experts from Archeological Survey of India (ASI) believe that the temple in its current form and structure may be about 500 years old.

The Story

The story goes that once upon a time, there was famine at this place and the Pallava king, Narasimha Pallava, invoked the blessings of Srinivasa Perumal to help relieve the pains of the people. Pleased with his prayers, Lord Srinivasa is said to have appeared before the king and brought rains to this region.

As a result, the belief is that the Lord fulfils the wishes of all devotes who come here and offer prayers, with sincerity, at this temple.

Prarthana Sthalam
The temple is said to be a prarthana sthalam for unmarried people and childless couples. There is a tank half a km east of the temple. Those (with eye problems) who take bath in the sacred tank and offer sincere prayers to Srinivasa Perumal are said to regain their (lost) eye sight.

Interesting Sculptures

One finds several interesting sculptures on the Western side of the temple including an a single stone sculptures of Shiva, Lingam, Mahalakshmi and Ganesha, said to be a 1000years old. This can now be found adjacent to the Thaayar Sannidhi.

Agni Devan, who is said to be present only in very ancient temples is seen here with 2 heads and 3 legs, on the Southern side of the tower above the Sanctum.

There is a separate sannidhi for Thaayar and for Kaalinga Narthanar on the western side of the temple.

Festivals: Aadi Friday, Aadi Pooram, Puratasi, Margazhi Utsavam and Krishna Jayanthi.

Quick Facts

Moolavar : Srinivasa Perumal East Facing Standing Posture with Sri and Bhoo Devi
Thaayar : Alar Mel Mangai Thaayar
Other Sannidhis: Kaalinga Narthanam, Andal, Anjaneya

Temple Time : 7am-11am and 4pm-8pm

Priest : Balaji Bhattar @ 97908 79760

Contact : T. Gnana Sundaram @ 98415 66481 (a local resident who takes care of the daily functioning at the temple)

How to reach:
Several buses from T.Nagar(119G), Saidapet(19G) and Tiruvanmiyur
Private taxi(to and fro) will charge about 400-500/-

One can combine a visit to this temple with Nithya Kalyana Perumal(Divya Desam) on ECR(East Coast Road) and Thiru Kadal Mallai(Maamallapuram Divya Desam)