Tuesday, May 6, 2008

SriVaikuntam Vaikunta Nathan Divya Desam

Lord Vishnu disguises himself as a thief to rescue a devotee
The only Divya Desam where Adiseshan has his hood above the Standing Lord
There are 9 Divya Desams on either side of Tamaraibarani river near Tirunelveli. While Irattai Tirupathi features as two temples in the Nava Tirupathi list, it is counted as one divya desam only.

Nammazhvaar is the only one to have sung praise of the Lord at the Nava Tirupathi temples. The Azhvaar refers to certain temples in great detail, while some get only a passing mention.

புளிங்குடி கிடந்தது வரகுணமங்கை இருந்து
வைகுந்த்துள் நின்று
தெளிந்த என் சிந்தை அகங்கழியாதே
என்னையாள்வாய் எனக்கருளி  Thiruvoimozhi...

With extensive renovation work being undertaken by the TVS Group, these temples now have a mark of freshness about them. At each of these nine temples, one finds a display board with temple timings and route map, which makes it very convenient for devotees.

One can start the Nava Tirupathi trip from SriVaikuntam and end with Azhvaar Tirunagari. From SriVaikuntam, one can take an auto/taxi to go around the other 8 temples. This will cost around Rs. 450 and will take about 5 hours. One can also begin the Nava Tirupathi journey at Azhvaar Tirunagari and end with SriVaikuntam.

Vaikunta Nathan Divya Desam at Sri Vaikuntam is 30 kms East of Tirunelveli on the Tiruchendur highway on the Northern banks of Taamaraibarani. Buses ply every 10 minutes on this route from Tirunelveli’s new bus stand. There are also trains that ply on the Tirunelveli-Tiruchendur route. The temple has several exquisite sculptures.

The story
Brahmma is said to have undertaken penance on the banks of Taamaraibarani here at Sri Vaikuntam. Lord Vishnu appeared before him and helped him recover the book, containing the secrets relating to creation of the world. Having come from Vaikuntam to help Brahmma, this place came to be called ‘Sri Vaikuntam’. As a thanking gesture, it is believed Brahmma himself leads the festival for the Lord in the Tamil Calendar month of Chitrai.

Lord as a thief
A thief, Kaaladooshan, would pray before the Lord here before venturing out on his daily task. It was his practice at the end of each day to share half his earnings with the Lord. As had to happen, he was caught by the guards of the king during one of his outings and was to be brought before the king.

Coming to his rescue, Lord Vishnu, disguised as the thief, presented himself before the King to save the thief and pleaded that he had turned a thief to help share wealth with the people of the region, which the king had failed to do.

Realising his folly, the king thanked the ‘thief’ for opening his eyes and promised to distribute the wealth of his kingdom for the welfare of the people. Having disguised himself as a thief to help save the thief from punishment, the Lord here came to be called ‘KallaPiran’.

Adhiseshan above a Standing Lord
In Vishnu temples, Adiseshan, the Serpent God, is seen unfurling his hood over Vishnu in a reclining posture. This is the only Divya Desam where Adiseshan has his hood above the Standing Lord.

Sun’s rays on the Lord
Another unique feature of this Divya Desam is that the Sun’s rays falls directly on Lord Vaikuntanathan on two days, on the 6th day of Chitrai (April-May) and Aipasi (October-November) every year.

It is believed that this temple was used as a fort in the fight between the legendary freedom fighter Veerapandiya Kattabomman and the British in the 1800s.

Surprisingly though, Nammazhvar only makes a passing mention of this temple in his Paasurams.
எங்கள் கண் முகப்பே, உலகர்கள் எல்லாம்
இணை அடி தொழுது, எழுது, இறைஞ்சி
தங்கள் அன்பு ஆற, தமது சொல் வலத்தால்
தலைத்தலைச் சிறந்து பூசிப்ப
திரு வைகுந்ததுள்ளாய் தேவ

இங்கன் மா ஞாலத்து இதனுளும் ஒருநாள்
இருந்திடாய் வீற்று இடம்கொண்டே

For auto to Nava Tirupathi temples contact: Subramaniyan @ 9442370844

Quick Facts
Moolavar    : Vaikunta Nathan  East Facing Standing Posture
Thayar        : Vaikunta Valli
Utsavar      : Kallarpiran
Temple time: 7am-12noon and 5pm-8pm
Contact        : Ramesh Bhattar/ Srinivasa Bhattar / A.K. Vaikunta Natha Bhattar @ 98656 28681 / 99521 62359

How to reach Tirunelveli
From Madras, one can take Kanniyakumari Exp (445am arrival), Ananthapuri Exp(730am arrival) or Nellai Exp (8am arrival).

Where to Stay
The Railway Retiring room in Tirunelveli is a good and safe place to stay. Also, there are several budget and deluxe hotels within a km of the railway station.


Anonymous said...

Well written. Having been there myself, one has to visit and experience the divine presence. Also, marvel at the architecture, which can not be recreated even with the best of construction equipments available to the mankind now. -Acharya

PRabhu S said...

Dear Mr. Acharya,

Thanks for reading and the comments.


Anonymous said...

Are there facilties for one to stay in Srivaikuntam itself and see Navathirupathi temples at leisure over 2-3 days

Prabhu.S said...


Thanks for your mail.

Here are some thoughts:

1. It is best to stay in a hotel or retiring room in Tirunelveli (if you are conscious of clean rooms, good bed and food) and
make seperate trips on day 1 and day 2
and to visit 4 temples each day(i.e if you want to visit in a relaxed manner)

2. Another alternate is to stay in Tiruchendur, where there are plenty of lodges
and you can stay the night in Tiruchendur and come back the 2nd morning for a relaxed visit
of the balance temples which you did not visit on day 1

(Since there are several buses that ply along this route, it would not be too strenuous to go back to Tirunelveli or Tiruchendur and to come back the next morning.

The broad gauge line between Tirunelveli and Tiruchendur is complete and is likely to run once again beginning July. Hence, train is also a good option to take from Tirunelveli or Tiruchendur.
You can get down at Azhvaar Tirunagari or Sri Vaikuntam)

However, if you are looking to stay in Nava Tirupathi, here are 2 of the best options:

1. KAC Charities in South Car Street Azhvaar Tirunagari
There are 9 rooms available. No Cot /bed facilities. Homely food will be taken care of by Shri. Adhi, who is a good cook.
Stay here is more or less free....

2.Rooms in Uthirathi Mutt
This is another option. There are AC rooms available here.
Cost about Rs. 500 a day.

You can contact Shri. Appu Sadagopachari of Azhvaar Tirunagari on 04639 273984
(He is 70+ years but very helpful to devotees)

If you call him, he will help you with booking of the rooms and organising auto/car for travel within Nava Tirupathi

Do let know if you need any other information


Padma said...

I recently visited SriVaikuntam (on the 24th April). The phenomenon of the sun rays falling on the diety, is not observed apparently because the temple remains closed at that time. The priest said that the event is said to occur on Chitra Pournami and Ippasi Pournami. He had observed sun rays come near the garbha griha door. But not on the diety because the temple remains close at 6.00 in the morning when the phenomenon is supposed to happen. Events like this are unique and have to be revived. I wonder under whose authority the temple falls? We all could represent to make the event a real one rather than a reported one.

Prabhu.S said...


Thanks for your comments.

I think TVS Management is taking care of the Nava Tirupathi temples. They are the ones who undertook renovations a few years back and appointed folks to ensure proper running of the temple.

Will check it out and will revert.


Padma said...

TVS Management may have done the renovation. But the administration of the temple would come under some mutt. The Bhattar said something about being under Thiru kolur or then tirupperai. It is an operational issue of arranging security, keeping it open during the whole of the fortnight and see on which day the sun's ray is closest to GOd.

Similar phenomenons have been observed in very old solar worship cultures across the globe in Mexico, A national park in USA ( as observed in a Nat. Geo programme). The famous amongst them all is the Knowth Newgrange monuments in Ireland, where the sun hits the key stone ( similar to our grabha griha) on equinox days. The government runs a lottery scheme which allows fifty people to view it.

I was impressed by the structure at Srivaikuntam too, where the temple's garbha griha slopes down in a straight line to facilitate such a happening on precise calender dates.

I really prayed to God for the revival of such lighting of the Vaikundanathar by Sun God.

The links of Knowth structures are given below http://www.knowth.com/loughcrew-equinox.htm
In some of the knowth structures the sun no longer reaches the cornerstone due to change in alignment. Whereas in Srivaikuntam the straight alignment to the main door and the sky outside is still there. So hopefully it should be happening.

Krishna said...

Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth, fortune, power, luxury, beauty, fertility, and auspiciousness. She holds the promise of material fulfillment and contentment. She is described as restless, whimsical yet maternal, with her arms raised to bless and to grant her blessings.

Goddess Laxmi, Ganesha and Laxmi, Ganesha saraswati and laxmi, Laxmiji Photo, Laxmi Pooja, Laxmi Wallpaper