Friday, December 7, 2007

Thirucherai Saranathan Divya Desam

The Divya Desam where Lord Vishnu is seen with five Goddesses

Located about 3 kms South of Nachiyar Koil (about 15 kms from Kumbakonam on the Tiruvarur highway) is the Saranathan Perumal Divya Desam in Thiru Cherai. This is part of the Krishnaaranya Kshetram and is between Nachiyaar koil and Thiru Kannamangai Divya Desam.

Brahmma who wanted to save the Vedas tried to preserve its content in a mud pot. Every time, he tried making the pot, it broke down. He looked up to Vishnu for solution and was asked to go Thiru Cherai to collect the sand for the making of the pot.

Ganga the most sacred
Once Ganga, Cauvery and other big rivers (transforming themselves into young girls) were playing at the foot of the Vindhya Hills. A Gandharva, who was passing by, waited for a minute and saluted them. Curious to know who he looked at, they approached the Gandharva who answered that his salute was addressed at the senior most among them.

While the rest of them gave way, Ganga and Cauvery got into an argument as to who was senior among the two and went to Brahmma for the decision. Brahmma pronounced that the water he used for the special pooja of Lord Vishnu flowed down as the Ganges and hence she was the most sacred.

Dejected by this, Cauvery was eager to get herself a similar stature and undertook penance at Thiru Cherai invoking the blessings of Lord Vishnu.

Pleased with her penance, he appeared before her and fulfilling the promise to her chose to reside in Srirangam on the banks of Cauvery (

Renovation of the temple
Naayak King of Thanjavur, who was attached to Vishnu temples, sent construction materials to Mannargudi for the construction of the Rajagopalaswamy temple. A minister of the king decided to bring a few bricks on every trip to Thiru Cherai for the renovation of this temple.

Suspecting this, the king decided on a sudden inspection. A worried minister prayed to Rajagopalaswamy and to the surprise of the Nayak King, the Mannargudi Lord is said to have appeared before the king at Thirucherai, at the time of the inspection. A delighted king immediately allocated funds towards the construction and renovation of the Thirucherai temple.

In his Periya Thirumozhi, Thiru Mangai Azhvaar has praised the location as being amidst fragrant groves and water lilies filled lakes.

Big Chariot
The temple has a big chariot comparable in size to the chariot of Sarangapaani temple

Quick Facts

Moolavar   : Saaranathan -Standing Posture facing East
Thayar       : Saara Naayaki
Azhvaar     : Thirumangai Azhvaar (Periya Thirumozhi 7.4)
Temple time : 7am-12noon and 4pm-7pm

Priest : Ramudu Bhattar @ 94441 04374,0435-2468078, 0435 2468001

How to reach
Thiru Cherai is about 3 kms from Nachiyar Koil on the way to Thiru Kannamangai and just under 15kms from Kumbakonam on the Tiruvarur highway. Buses ply every 15 minutes from Kumbakonam. 

Place to Stay : Best to stay in Kumbakonam

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