A 5000 year old temple that helps cure all kinds of diseases and rehabilitates mentally challenged people
Lord is said to protect devotees from evil forces and is believed to instil positive energy
Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal koil in Gunaseelam is located about 25kms North West of Srirangam on the Trichy- Namakkal- Salem highway on the Northern banks of Cauvery near the Upper Anaicut (Mukkombu).
The temple bears absolutely no resemblance to what it was a quarter of a century ago. With devotees’ contribution, the hereditary trustees have been able to transform the temple into a very impressive one. Currently, interesting paintings and photographs adorn the inside of the temple, nice solid flooring welcomes you leading to the handsome Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal seen in a Standing posture facing East. Being a parikara and prarthana sthalam has its obvious advantages in attracting devotees, yet the effort taken by the trustees in giving this temple a complete face lift is commendable.
In Bhavishyotra Puranam, one finds reference to the significance of this temple in Gunaseela Mahaatmiyam. Thaalpiya Maharishi along with his disciple Gunaseela Rishi once went to the Himalayas. On his way back, Gunaseela Rishi stayed back at Tirupathi and was so attracted to Lord Venkatachalapathy that he wanted the Lord to appear in Gunaseelam and bless the devotees.
He came back, bathed in the Cauvery and undertook severe penance here in his ashram in Gunaseelam. Impressed with his sincerity, the Lord appeared before him along with Goddess and promised to remain here till the end of Kali Yugam. Pleased with the darshan of Lord Prasanna Venkatesan, Gunaseela Maharishi continued to offer his daily poojas to the lord from his ashram here.
At the end of the Dwapara Yugam, the Gunaseela Maharishi’s Guru wanted him to go to Naimisaaranyam. Gunaseela Rishi designated his young disciple to continue the daily poojas. However, floods in the Cauvery and dangerous animals in the forest led the disciple to flee the place and thus the poojas came to an abrupt end. The Lord decided to hide himself in a pit.
King of Uraiyur builds the temple
Several years passed. Later Chola king Nyana Varma, who ruled this place with Uraiyur as the capital, used to visit Gunaseelam regularly. Every day, cowherds would milk the cows from near the pit and carry the milk all the way back to his court.
One day, to everyone’s shock, the milk that was filled to the brim of the pot vanished all of a sudden. An invisible voice wanted the king to dissolve the pit by pouring milk. The king brought in his army and used 1000s of litres of milk to complete this exercise. Once dissolved, Vaikunta Vasudevan is said to have appeared before the king as Prasanna Venkatesan. As per the king’s wishes, the Lord agreed to remain here till the end of Kali Yugam and help fulfil all the prayers of the devotees, who visit this temple.
Delighted at the darshan of Lord Prasanna Venkatesan, the King shifted from Uraiyur to Kallur, (this place was then called ‘Badra Chakra Pattinam’) near Gunaseelam and built the beautiful Gunaseelam temple and laid down the process of the daily poojas as directed by Prasanna Venkatesan. He also allocated a lot of land for the temple as well as funds to undertake the daily pooja formalities.
Curing of Diseases
One of the special features of the Gunaseelam temple is the power of Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal to cure people from all kinds of diseases. The Lord is also said to help childless couples, if they bathe in the Cauvery and offer prayers for 48 days at Gunaseelam. It is believed that the Lord protects devotees from evil forces and keeps away enemies with the stick he wields in his right hand. Belief also is that sincere prayers to Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal will help remove any negative energy in devotees who visit here.
Mental Health Rehabilitation Centre
In addition to the complete reconstruction of the Gunaseelam temple, the trustees have also set up a mental health rehabilitation centre that has the official stamp of the Tamil Nadu Government license. The centre is equipped with individual rooms and toilet facilities. A psychologist visits the centre once every week. There are volunteers who take care of these mentally challenged people on a daily basis.
The curing process
Sacred water is splashed on these mentally challenged people each day during Uchi Kaalam (noon) and Artha Jaamam (night) for 48 days. Belief is that one will get cured if they sincerely offer their prayers to the Lord and follow this process.
Since Tirupathi Lord himself appeared before Gunaseela Maharishi, it is believed that those who are not able to go to Tirupathi can visit Gunaseelam and all their wishes are said to be fulfilled here.
Visiting this temple on a Saturday is special. Lord Prasanna Venkatesan is said to have asked king Nyana Varma to visit the temple every Saturday and offer special poojas.
Puratasi 11 day Brahmotsavam including 9 day Chariot festival
Aavani 3 day Pavitrotsavam
Moolavar : Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal East Facing Standing posture with Goddess Lakshmi on his chest
Utsavar : Srinivasan with Sri devi and Bhoo devi
Temple Time : 830am-1pm, 4pm-830pm
Contact : KR Pichumani, Hereditary Executive Trustee
Telephone No. : 04326 275210/ 275310 or 94863 04251
How to reach Gunaseelam
1. Take Namakkal/Salem bus from Trichy (about 45mts)
2. Car from Srirangam will cost about Rs.400-500. One can also visit Thiruvellarai and Uthamar Koil Divya Desam while visiting Gunaseelam.