Lord Vijaya Raaghavan on Horse Vaahanam is a special feature
Located 12kms west of Kanchipuram on the Madras -Bangalore Highway, near Balu Chetty Chattiram (about 80kms from Madras), the Vijaya Raaghava Perumal temple at ThiruPutkuzhi relates to the episode of Jataayu Moksham in the Raamaayana.
The Story - Jataayu Moksham??
Eagle King Jataayu, a friend of King Dasharatha, had fought a valiant battle trying to rescue Sita from the Lankan king Ravana. Finally, the bird’s wings were cut off and Jataayu is said to have found Moksham here.
Legend has it that Raama, who had not been able to perform the last rites for his father as he was away in the forest at that time, derived some consolation by performing his obsequies and giving moksham to the Bird. In the Raamayana, this episode is referred to as the death of the 2nd father.
There is a separate sannidhi for Jataayu opposite the temple tank. On all festive occasions, Lord first visits the Jataayu sannidhi during his street procession.
Raama is said to have sent an arrow that created a pit here to bring sacred water into this place (this is where the temple tank is currently).
Horse Vahana- A Special Feature
On certain festive occasions, Lord Vijaya Raaghavan goes on street processions mounted on his ‘Horse Vaahanam’. For a moment, one almost feels that this is a real Horse, with its jumping stride and movements. The man who created this horse specifically for Lord Vijaya Raaghava was asked to make another horse. He refused to recreate his magic for anyone other than the Lord.
To this day, when the Lord is taken on a street procession on the Horse Vaahanam, he visits the place where the horse maker lived to pay regards the creater.
Raamaanuja learnt his early lessons here
Raamaanuja learnt the advaitha lessons from Yaadava Prakaasar at this place. The mandapam where he learnt his lessons still exist here.
Sri Devi to the Left of the Lord- A unique feature
Vijaya Raghava Perumal is seen in a sitting posture, having the bird (Jataayu) on his thigh. Not able to bear the smell caused by the final rites and because of the flames that arose out of the cremation of Jaatayu, Sri Devi Thaayar is said to have moved to the other side of the Lord. At this temple, the Goddess is seen to the left of the Lord Vijayaraghava with her head slightly turned in the Lord’s direction (in all Divya Desams, Sri Devi Thaayar is seen to the right of the Lord). Also, the Thaayar Sannidhi is to the left of the Lord…In all Divya Desams, the Thaayar Sannidhi is always to the right of the Lord.
2 Divya Desams with the same story
While each Divya Desam has its own unique story, the Vijayaraaghava temple at Thruputkuzhi shares the same story as another.
As seen earlier in this Divya Desam series (in fact the first story in this series -(http://prtraveller.blogspot.com/2007/04/108-divya-desam-pulla-bhoothankudi.html), the Jataayu Moksham is a story that relates to Pulla Bhoothangkudi Divya Desam (about 10 kms West of Kumbakonam). The question arises as to how two Divya Desams can have the same event connected to it.
There are many reasons to believe that Pullabhoothangkudi is more likely to be connected with Jataayu Moksham and not ThiruPutkuzhi. ThirumangaiAzhvaar in his praise of the Lord at Pulla Bhoothangkudi refers specifically to Raama with a bow (called Valvil Rama) while in his praise of ThiruPutkuzhi Lord, Thirumangai does not refer directly to Raama.
Also, in several of his Paasurams relating to Pullabhoothangkudi, Thirumangai refers to the Raamaayana. Raama is said to have taken the Chola route to Thirupullani and then to Lanka and is unlikely to have passed through Kanchipuram.
Childless Couple and Unmarried girls
Sincere prayers to Maragadavalli Thaayar at this temple, on 'No Moon' day, by observing fast, is said to yield immediate results for childless couples and unmarried girls.
Thirumangai has praised the ThiruPutKuzhi Lord with 2 Paasurams.
அலங்கெழு தடக்கையாயன் வாயாம்பர் கழியுமாலேன்னுல்லாம்
மென்னும் புலங்கெழு பொருநீர் புட்குழி பாடும் போதுமோ
நீர் மலை கென்னும் குளம் கெழு கொல்லி கோமளவல்லி கொடியிடை
நெடுமழைக் கன்னி இலங்கு எழில் தோழிக்கு என் நினைந்து இருந்தாய் இட வேந்தை எந்தை பிரானே - Thirumangai Azhvaar
There is no direct reference to Raama or any Raamaayana episode in the above Pasuram. However, in ThirumangaiAzhvaar’s Periya Thirumadal, he says 'மரகதத்தை புட்குழியும் போறேதை …' referring to the Goddess, the location and the Lord. By ‘Porethai’, Thirumangai is possibly referring to 'Lord Rama before the war/going for the war (with Raavana)'
The temple management view is as under:
“Jataayu wanted darshan of Lord Vishnu as seen in ParamaPatham. Acceding to his prayers, the Lord is said to have appeared here as Paramapatha Nathan in a sitting posture. There must have been a definitive reason as to why the historians/our predecessors left behind this story for the ThiruPutKuzhi Divya Desam.”
The commonality to Pullabhoothangkudi and ThiruPutkuzhi Divya Desams does not stop with the story alone. The Bhattars in both the temples are quite ‘devotee friendly’ and explain the temple history in loud and clear voice, that sends positive vibrations to the devotees.
Management of the Temple and Temple Renovation
Sundara Pandyan, the Pandya King, was one of the earliest rulers to have renovated this temple. Raayas, known for their attachment to Vishnu temples, are also said to have contributed to the renovation of this temple.
While the temple currently comes under the endowment board, it is completely run by the Maragadavalli Trust (MSVRP Trust), which has done a commendable job in recent years. What one saw 10 years ago and what one sees now is a complete transformation. The Vijayaraghava temple wears a clean and neat look, with the Trust management cleaning the prakaram on a regular basis. The temple tank, which had worn a barren look several years ago (the Theppam fest had been stopped temporarily in 1974), is now brimming with water.
The Temple requires a Chariot
The one thing the temple lacks today is a Chariot. The trust, which has renovated the temple with devotees’ contribution, is hoping to get a Chariot for this temple over the next year or so.
Theppotsavam in Thai
10 day Brahmotsavam in Maasi
Deity : Vijayaraghavan, East facing sitting posture
Goddess : Maragadavalli
Azhvaar : Thirumangai Azhvaar –2 Paasurams
Timing : 7am-12noon, 4pm-7pm
Contact : V. Narayanan @ 2724 6501
Address : Vijayaraghava Perumal Koil, Thiruputkuzhi
Via Balu Chetty Chattiram
Kanchi District 631 551
How to reach ThiruPutkuzhi
Buses between Chennai and Vellore stop at Balu Chetty Chattiram. Several local buses available from Kanchipuram.