Garuda with 4 hands - Conch and Chakra is a unique feature at this temple
Visiting ThiruVelliyankudi is equivalent to visiting all the 108 Divya Desams
Located about 25 kms North East of Kumbakonam off the Madras road is the Kola Villi Raama Divya Desam in Thiru Velliyankudi. A small 10 feet road leads one along the 6 km path from Sholapuram to ThiruVelliyankudi with complete greenery and swirling breeze welcoming one all the way to the Divya Desam.
The story - Sukracharya regains lost vision
Having understood the intent of the Vaamana Avataaram and fearing the possible demise of his disciple King Bali, Sukracharya took the form of an insect and hid himself inside the sacred bowl in an effort to prevent Bali from giving away the promises to the little Brahmin( Lord Vishnu in his tiny form). Seeing Sukran as the hurdle, Lord Vishnu inserts a stick into the sacred bowl thus blinding an eye of the Acharya.
Having visited several other Divya Desams, it is said that Sukran finally undertook penance here at Velliyankudi and regained the vision in his other eye. To this day, Sukran’s regained vision is said to be present inside this temple, burning in the form of a lamp called ‘ Netra Deepam’.
Regaining one’s vision
It is believed that a visit to this temple will cure devotees of their eye problems including helping regain lost vision. Kola Villi Raama is also said to immediately grant all of devotees’ wishes as can be seen from Thirumangai Azhvaar’s praise:
Lord Vishnu appears before Asura’s Sculptor
Saddened by the fact that Viswakarma, the sculptor of the Devas secured all the glory for the construction of the Divya Desams and that he was sidelined, Maayan, the Sculptor of the Asuras, undertook penance here at Thiru Velliyankudi. Pleased with his prayers, Lord Vishnu appeared before him and provided darshan in his full form with Conch and Chakra.
However, Maayan wanted to see the Lord in his Avataaram from the Raamayana. It is said that Lord Vishnu gave away his Conch and Chakra to Garuda and gave darshan to the Asura’s Sculptor as Raama, with his bow and arrow. Hence, this Lord came to be called Kola Villi Raama. Thirumangai Azhvaar also saw the Lord in the form of Kola Villi Raama. The moolavar Lord, Kola Villi Raama, is seen in the form of Varnakalameni.
This is the only Divya Desam where Garuda is seen with 4 hands with Conch and Chakra, handed to him by Lord Vishnu.
Birth Place of Periya Vaachaan Pillai
The great Vaishnavite Scholar Periyavaachan Pillai was born near ThiruVelliyankudi in a place called Shenganur.
ThiruVelliyankudi is a Sukra Sthalam. It is believed that visiting this Divya Desam is equivalent to visiting all the 108 Divya Desams.
Thirumangai Azhvaar in his Periya Thirumozhi verse refers to the name of the Lord - Kola Villi Rama
Moolavar : Sheeraabdhi Naathan/ Kolavilli Raama
Thaayar : Maragadavalli Thaayar
Utsavar : Srungaara Sundar
Azhvaar : Thirumangai Azhvaar 10 Paasurams (4.10)
Time : 8am-12.30pm and 5pm-7pm
Priest : S. Ramamoorthy Bhattachar @ 0435 2943152 or 94433 96212 / 93457 94354
How to reach ThiruVelliyankudi
One can reach this Divya Desam by taking Town Bus No. 2( low frequency) from Kumbakonam. However, it is better to take the Kumbakonam – Chennai bus and get down at Sholapuram (about 20kms from Kumbakonam). From Sholapuram, one can take an auto/car to the temple (6kms) and come back again by the same auto to Sholapuram.This will cost about Rs. 200 ( to and fro).