Only Divya Desam where both vehicles of Vishnu brought water for the thirsty Lord
Thirumangai Azhvaar refers to both the moolavar and utsavar deities in his Periya Thirumozhi verses
Located about 5kms West of Cuddalore Town on the way to Panruti is the Deiva Naayagan Divya Desam in Thiru Vahindrapuram. The Utsavar Murthy at this temple is called Moovaraagiya Oruvan, said to be a manifestation of Vishnu, Brahmma and Shiva.
In centuries gone by, the location of this divya desam was identified as being 6 yojanas North of Kumbakonam, South of Kanchipuram and West of the Ocean.
Arjuna is said to have undertaken penance at this temple and hence this divya desam pre dates the Mahabaratha. A few pieces from the Sanjeevani hill, carried by Anjaneya to Lanka fell on Oushada Giri ( the mountain here).
Defeated by the Asuras, the Devas looked up to Lord Narayana for help. Shiva who came to the rescue of the Asuras hurled his thunderbolt at Vishnu who intercepted it with ease. Vishnu then displayed his ‘Trimurthi’ form to Shiva and later returned Shiva’s weapon. On Shiva’s request, Vishnu stayed put at this place.
Thirsty Lord looks for water
Having undertaken the battle and helped the Devas win, Lord Narayana felt thirsty. While Garuda went around to bring water for the Lord, Adhiseshan swung his tail to blow open the earth, thus bringing water instantly and helping quench his Lord’s thirst. As a mark of this event, the sacred water here is called ‘ Sesha Theertham’.
Garuda is said to have gone all the way to Vaikuntam to bring water for the Lord from River Viraja.
Another story on this has it that Garuda who went around to bring water for the Lord came across a Rishi in mid air and finding water inside the Rishi’s sacred kettle, knocked it down, thus letting the water into this place. Angered at this act of Garuda, the rishi cursed turning the water into a dirty colour. Realising his folly, Garuda explained the reason for his hasty action and apologised. To this day, one finds the water in the river dirty but once in the hand, it seems pure and clear.
Garuda who came back late (after Adhiseshan had already helped quench the Lord’s thirst) requested the Lord to accept his water too as sacred. The Lord accepted the water on the Chariot Procession day. On this day, water from this river (Kedila) is brought and offered to the Lord.
This is the only Divya Desam where both vehicles of Vishnu brought water for the Lord.
Indira’s hiding at ThiruVahindapuram
Having gained dominating powers thanks to his sincere penance, a demon attacked Indira logam and drove out Indira, who is said to have gone into hiding here. The hassled Devas went up to Vishnu who asked them to perform a Yagam at Vahindapuram. On the completion of the Yaagam, Indira is believed to have come out of his hiding. Vishnu appeared before him and presented the Vajra Yudham with the help of which Indira defeated the demon and re conquered the Indira logam.
Thirumangai Azhvaar refers to Deiva Nayakan
In his Periya Thirumozhi verses, Thirumangai Azhvaar refers to Lord of Thiruvahindrapuram as Deiva Nayakan. In the very last verse, he refers to the Utsava deity of the temple - Moovar Aagiya Oruvan.
இருந்தண் மா நிலம் ஏனம் அது ஆய்
வளை மருப்பினில் அகத்து ஒடுக்கி
கருந்தண் மா கடல்கண் துயின்றவன் இடம்
அருந்தி இன் இசை முரன்றுஎழும் அளிகுலம்
பொதுளி அம போழிலூட
செருந்தி நாள்மலர் சென்று அணைந்து உழிதரு
Old Inscriptions referring to the Lord
11th century inscription at this temple shows that the ThiruVahindrapuram Lord was referred to as the Standing Vishnu. Legend has it that the Lord here is considered as the brother of Tirupathi Srinivasa.
Sri Desikar and the Ahindai connection
Nigamaantha Desigan is said to have lived here for 40 years and scripted the sampradayam for Vadakalai sect of Vaishnavites. Hence this temple is said to be the ‘Home to Vadakalai Sect’. Special significance is attached to the Desigan Sannidhi at this temple. Desigan who was devoted to this Lord, wrote great pieces of literature on DeivaNaayagan and Hayagriva.
Desigar got a sculpture(Thirumeni) of his done at this temple. A sculptor questioned the Desigar if he could give life to this art form. When the sculptor touched the Thirumeni to get a feel of it, there was a scratch seen on it and to his shock, he found blood flowing down. Realising his mistake, the sculptor is said to have apologized to Sri Desikan.
Lakshmi HayaGriva temple
There is a Hayagriva temple atop the hill opposite the Deiva Naayagan temple. The story goes that two demons had taken away the Vedic scriptures from Brahmma. Vishnu is said to have taken the Hayagriva form and brought back the Vedic scriptures from the demons. Being the place where Lord Vishnu, in Hayagriva form, brought back the educative scriptures, he is referred to as the God of Learning. He is said to fulfill one’s prayers relating to education and studies at this temple.
In this Divya Desam, milk is not poured into the snake pit. Instead it is poured into the ‘Sesha Theertham’.
Contributions to this temple
Pandya, Chozha, Chera, Sinhala and Raya rulers contributed to the development of the temple.
This is said to be a prarthana sthalam for ‘Good Education’ and to cure ‘speechless children’.
Bhattars at Ahinthai
The priests at this temple do a very sincere job, including the 76 year old Neela Megha Bhattar. One is truly moved by the courtesy extended by the Bhattar to all the devotees.
Moolavar : Deiva Nayakan East Facing Standing Posture
Goddess : Vaikunta Nayaki - Hemambhujavalli Thaayar
Utsavar : Moovaraagiya Oruvan (DevaNaathan)
Azhvaar : ThiruMangai Azhvaar- 10 Paasurams ( Periya Thirumozhi 3rd 100)
Time : 630am-12noon and 4pm-930pm
Contact : Neela Megha Bhattar (76 years old) / Narasimhan Bhattar@ 04142- 288999 or 287 277/ 94434 44778
How to reach the temple
Cuddalore is well connected by bus from all major towns and cities in Tamil Nadu. One can reach ThiruVahindrapuram in about 4 hours by bus from Madras. Daily Trains to Cuddalore on the Main Line from Madras. Chozhan Exp (Dep 820am), Karaikal Exp ( Dep 11.15pm) and Uzhavan Exp ( 11.30pm).
From Cuddalore, one can take a town bus ( route 16) to Vahindrapuram. From the bus stop (1/2 a km from the temple entrance), one may take an auto (Rs. 15) to reach the temple.
An auto from Cuddalore bus stand would cost about Rs. 60 (one way).
Contact cab number at Thiru Vahindrapuram : Venkatesan cabs @ 93676 14141