Saturday, April 18, 2009

Thiruvazhmarban in Thiruvanparisaram

NammAzhvaar was born after his mother undertook a 41 day penance here
Located 5kms North West of Nagercoil Junction and 2kms off the Tirunelveli highway is the Thiruvazhmarban Divya Desam in Thiruvanparisaram(Thirupathisaram). This is one of the two Divya Desams around Nagercoil. Lord Thiru Vazh Marban (ThiruKuralappan) is seen in a Easting Facing Sitting posture with four hands, a conch and chakra.

There are several interesting stories relating to this Divya Desam.

1. Lord Vishnu appears as Rama providing darshan to New Lankan King

Vibheeshana, after attending the Ramar Pattabhishekam in Ayodhya, came to Srirangam where he had to let go the idol of Lord Ranganatha on the Cauvery river banks. On his way back to Lanka from Srirangam, with his thoughts centred around Rama, he is said have visited this place and offered his prayers here.

When the Lord appeared before him and asked for a wish, Vibheeshana wanted to see Rama once again. It is believed that Lord Vishnu provided darshan to Vibheeshana as Rama. Hence, one finds Rama, Sita and Lakshmana to the right of the moolavar deity here.

2. Birth place of NammAzhvaar’s mother

Thiruvanparisaram is the birth place of Udaya Nangai. She was married to a man from Kurugur. Being childless, she undertook a 41 day penance here as instructed the Thirukurungudi Lord Nambi. As a result of this penance, NammAzhvaar was born to them. However, immediately after his birth, he sat under the Tamarind tree in (Azhvaar)Tirunagari and remained speechless for several years.

3. Rishis directed to Parisaram
Wanting the darshan of Lord Vishnu, Saptha Rishis undertook penance near Suchindram. They were re-directed to undertake further penance about 10kms North West of Suchindram. It is believed that Lord Vishnu provided darshan to these seven rishis at Thiruvanparisaram.

4. The Name- Thiruvazhmarban
After the killing of Asura Hiranyan, Lord Narasimha was in an angry mood. Lakshmi is said to have undertaken penance here to cool down the Lord. As per the request of Prahalad, Lord came here searching for Lakshmi. Happy to find her Lord again and in a cool form as a Shantha Swaroopi, Lakshmi is said to have requested the Lord to provide her a place in his heart which the Lord readily accepted.

As Lakshmi resides in the chest of the Lord at this temple, he came to be called Thiru Vazh Marban.

Presentation of Ramayana
Acceding to the request of Anjaneya, Sage Agasthya is said to have presented the entire story of Ramayana at this place for the benefit of the devotees. In memory of this event, one sees Anjaneya with folded hands addressing Sage Agasthya, who is in a seated posture opposite him. Also, seen in this sannidhi are Lankan King Vibheeshana and Kulasekara Azhvaar.

NammAzhvaar as a child
NammAzhvaar, who was born after the 41 day penance of his mother at this place, is seen as a small child at this temple, to the left of Thiruvazhmarban. This is a special feature at this Divya Desam.

NammAzhvaar in his single paasuram(3699) says:

Varuvar Selvar VanParisarathu Iruntha En
ThirVazhMarvarku En Thiram Sollaar, Seivathu En
Uru Aar Sakkaram Sangu Sumanthu Ingu Ummodu
Orupaadu Uzhalvaan, Or Adiyaanum Ulan Enrey

Kulasekara Azhvaar’s contribution
Kulasekara Azhvaar is said to have renovated the temple and built walls and provided Vahanam for the Lord for his procession on special festive occasions.

Quick Facts

Moolavar : ThiruKuralappan(ThiruVazh Marban) with Kamalavalli Thaayar residing in his chest
Paasuram: NammAzhvaar- 1 Paasuram
Temple time: 4am-1030am and 530pm-730pm
Contact : V. Vasudeva Pothy (no telephone or cell phone!!!!)

Festivals
Chitrai Festival
Puratasi- Saturdays is special at this temple
Avani Thiruvonam
Vaikunta Ekadesi

How to reach the temple
Local town buses from Nagercoil (Anna) bus stand to Thirupathisaram

Auto from Nagercoil bus stand / Railway Station will cost about Rs.50/- Rs75 one way

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thiruvattaru Adi Kesava Perumal Koil

Huge 22 feet Adi Kesavan seen in a Bhujanga Sayanam
Sun’s rays fall directly on the Lord for a week in the month of Puratasi and Panguni

Located about 30kms from Nagercoil off Marthandam near the Kerala - Tamil Nadu border and one of the 13 Malai Naatu Divya Desams is the Adi Kesava Perumal Koil. This is one of the oldest temples in this region.

Though this Divya Desam is located in Tamil Nadu, there are no big temple towers that are typical of Divya Desams in Tamil Nadu. The temple has been built in typical Kerala style on a 3 acre land. All poojas are in Kerala style - Thaanthriga Vithi and the priest is from Kerala as well.

The story

Asuras Kesan and Kesi tried to disrupt the Yaagam of Brahmma and troubled the Devas, who requested Lord Vishnu to help them destroy the asuras. Vishnu came here, killed Kesan and kicked down and slept on Kesi displaying his Sayana Kolam. Kesi’s wife invoked the blessings of Goddess Ganga, who along with Tamaraibarani, came with great velocity to cause floods here. Seeing this and as per the instructions of the Lord,Bhoodevi created a mount to block the over flow. Realising the fault, Ganga and Tamaraibarani split into two and into a circular formation around the Lord in a symbolic gesture of garlanding the Lord.

As the Lord killed the Asura Kesan, he came to be called ‘Adi Kesavan’. This Divya Desam is surrounded and circled by rivers (River Parali) from all sides. Hence, this place came to called Thiru ‘Vatta-aaru’.

Lord seen sleeping in opposite direction
One has to climb 18 steps to reach the Adi Kesavan Sannidhi, where the 22 feet Lord, made out of 16008 Saligramams, is seen in a West facing Bhujanga Sayanam (seen sleeping in the opposite direction –Head in the South, Feet in the North).

This Maaru Sayanam of Lord sleeping from right to left is also seen in Thiruvekka in Kanchipuram.
http://prtraveller.blogspot.com/2007/10/108-divya-desam-kanchipuram-thiruvekka.html
Adi Ananthapuram
The temple is older than Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple in Trivandrum (about 50kms from here). Adi Kesava Perumal is said to be the elder brother of Anantha Padmanabhan and hence, this place is referred to as Aadhi Ananthapuram. This temple is also known as Chera Naatu Srirangam.

A Unique Occurrence

Between the 3rd and 9th day of Puratasi and Panguni, during dusk, Sun’s rays directly falls on the Lord inside the sanctum, almost as a mark of respect from the Sun God to Adi Kesava Perumal.

Other Interesting Events relating to Thiru Vattaru

Parasuraman is said to have undertaken penance at this place and performed daily poojas for Adi Kesavan

Chaitanya Maha Prabhu visited the temple in 1510AD

Sage Vashista is said to have stayed here for several years

Inscriptions and Sculptures

There are close to 50 inscriptions inside the temple in the outer prakarams in both Tamil and Sanskrit including those relating to Kulothunga Chozha I and his contribution to this temple. In addition to the inscriptions, one also finds a number of stunning sculptures on the pillars similar to the ones in Krishnapuram and Sri Vaikuntam.

Another remarkable feature is the mandapam outside the sanctum measuring 18ft width and 3 ft height that has been built on a single stone in the 12th Century AD.

There is reference to Thiru Vattaru in the more than 2000 year old famous Sangha time Tamil literature ‘Pura Naanooru’. Hence, this temple can be said to belong to that time or before.

Battle of Kolachal
King Marthanda Varam is said to have visited the temple and sought Adi Kesavan’s blessing before he undertook the battle of Kolachal.

Kumbabhisshekam
It has been over 400 years since the last Kumbabhishekam at this temple. Initiatives are currently on for the Kumbabhishekam.

Azhvaar Praise
NammAzhvaar has sung 10 verses of praise of Adi Kesavan of ThiruVattaru.
வாற்றாடான் அடி வணங்கி மா ஞாலப்பிரப்பு அறுப்பான் 
கேட்டாயே மட நெஞ்சே  கேசவன்  எம்பெருமானைப் 
பாட்டாய் பல பாடி பலவினைகள் பற்று அறுத்து 
நாட்டாரோடு இயல்வு ஒழிந்து 
நாரணனை  நன்னினமே' - Tiruvoimozhi

Singing praise of Kesavan and worshipping Him provides salvation from rebirth and takes one away from worldly attachments.

Quick Facts

Moolavar    : Adi Kesava Perumal, West Facing Bujanga Sayanam
Thaayar      : Maragada Valli Thaayar
Utsavar       : Adi Kesavan
Azhvaar     : NammAzhvaar has praised the Lord with 11 paasurams
Time          : 5am-12noon , 5pm-8pm
Contact      : Kesavan Namboodari @ 043651 283320 or 93455 48039
                    Mohan Kumar -Manager @ 94425 77047

Address : Adi Kesava Perumal Koil, Thiruvattaru PO 629 177 Kanyakumari District

Festival:
Panguni, Aipasi 10 day festival
Avani Thiruvonam
12 day Kalapa Pooja festival in Thai

How to reach the temple

Chennai -Nagercoil Train- Kanyakumari Express or Ananthapuri Express
Take bus from Nagercoil to Marthandam on the Trivandrum Highway ( 30kms - will take about 45minutes)

Bus No. 89 to Thiruvattaru from Marthandam about 6kms (on the way to Kulasekaram)
Temple is about 2minutes walk from the bus stop.

By car, one can reach Thiruvattaru in half hour from Nagercoil (about 30kms)- by taking a right just after Padmanabhapuram at Azhagiya Mandapam (23kms).

Nearest Railway Station: Kulithurai (Marthandam) – Ananthapuri Express stops here.

Other places to visit
Pechiparai Dam
Thiruparappu Falls
The Hanging Mathoor Bridge

Madurai Junction Retiring Rooms

New Modern look to Retiring Rooms and Dormitories at Madurai Junction

About 15 retiring rooms at the Madurai Junction have received a face lift with the completion of the renovation work that had been going on through a major part of 2008.

Well lit rooms, good wash facilities with modern tiles, neat beds and cup boards make it a convenient place for passengers to stay.

Non AC Dormitories
For short trips, there are about 6 Non AC dormitories with cabinet separators. However, there is no locker facility at the dormitories.

While the retiring rooms and dormitories at the Madurai Junction don’t match the standards of Tiruchirapalli Junction, it is still good enough to stay, considering the central location and a price point that matches the convenience offered.

Retiring Room Rates

Single room: Rs. 250/-

Non AC double room : Rs. 400 plus

AC double room : Rs. 600 plus

Non AC dormitories : Rs. 75


Waiting Hall Facilities- Unsatisfactory

However, the waiting hall on platform 1 leaves a lot to be desired. It has had the same look and feel for years now with no upgradation/improvement in facilities. It does not give one a sense of cleanliness. Also, it always wears a congested look including passengers sitting and sleeping all over the place. While Madurai Junction, a few years ago, made breakthrough steps in customer service, it has made disappointingly slow progress in the last 12months or so. Trichy Junction has overtaken Madurai Junction in customer friendly initiatives.

Madurai Junction should consider the AC Lounge kind of facilities that Trichy Junction launched last year. The waiting hall too can be upgraded to offer better seating and bath facilities for passengers.

Madurai Junction would also do well to improve the facilities and the quality of the food at the restaurant on the southern side of platform 1.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lakshmi Narasimha temple in Narasingapuram

A 1400 year old temple dating back to the early Pallava Period where Lord Narasimha is seen as a ‘Shaantha Swaroopi’
Several Inscriptions dating back to the 11th and 12th Century to the rule of Kulotunga I

Prarthana Sthalam for liberation from Naga Dosham, bad debts and all kinds of illness/diseases

In a serene location amidst lush green fields and away from pollution and traffic is the smiling Lakshmi Narasimha temple at Narasingapuram, about 55kms from Chennai off the Chennai- Bangalore highway near Sriperumbudur.

Normally the one with an angry exterior, Narasimha here is one with a smiling face and is referred to as Shaantha Moorthy.

Another speciality at this temple is the posture of MahaLakshmi, who is seen facing the devotees. In typical Narasimha temples, Thaayar is seen pacifying and cooling the angry Lord(Ugraha Moorthy) and hence her face is turned towards the Lord. Since the Lord is seen here as a ‘Shaantha Swaroopi’, Thaayar has taken the opportunity to turn her attention to the devotees.

Unlike in other Narasimha Kshetrams, Thaayar is seen directly facing the devotees and blessing them.

Paraspara Alinganam- Posture of Narasimha and Thaayar

Mahalakshmi Thaayar and Lord Narasimha are seen embracing each other, referred to as ’Paraspara Alinganam’, unlike in other Narasimha Kshetram where it is just the Thaayar in the alinganam posture. Hence, the Lord is referred to as Kalyana Lakshmi Narasimhar.

Garuda-Liberation from Naga Dosham
Garuda is seen here with 16 kinds of snakes around him. Hence this is said to be a place for liberation from Naga Dosham.

Anjaneya Sannidhi
Opposite the Lakshmi Narasimha temple is the west facing Anjaneya Sannidhi. The speciality of this Anjaneya is his tail is twirled back on to his head.

Historical Inscriptions


There are several inscriptions seen on the outer walls of the main Prakaram. From this as well as the stone structure(Karungal used for the base construction of the temple) and looking at thOn the Northern wall of the Nachiyar Shrine, a 1104AD inscription relating to Kulotunga I records a gift of land by inhabitants to God, Goddesses and Lakshmana. On the South wall an inscription in Tamil dating 1105AD and to the same ruler records consecration of a shrine and a gift of oil for two lamps.

Another inscription dating to the same year and ruler provides for offerings and lamps.

An inscription on the Northern wall of the Nachiyar shrine dates back to 1070AD and to the rule of Kulotunga I.

An inscription on the Northern Wall dating to 1125AD and to Vikrama Chola Deva records the sale of land for registration and one on the Western wall in Tamil records the sale of a land for the temple.

The original idol of the utsava deity, the Lakshmi Narasimha temple at Narasingapuram can be said to date back to the early Pallava period(6th-8th century AD) and to be at least 1400 years old.

The historical importance of the temple can be seen from the fact that ASI (Archaeological Survey of India), the premier organization for the archaeological researches and protection of the cultural heritage and maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites has taken note of the inscriptions found in the temple for an in- depth study and analysis relating to the period of the temple.



Prarthna Sthalam

It is believed that offering sincere prayers to Lakshmi Narasimha at Narasingapuram will keep away devotees from bad debts, enemies and illness/diseases.


Festivals
Narasimha Jayanthi in Chitrai( falls on May 8 this year- 2009)
Adi Poora
Rama Navami

Quick Facts
Moolavar : East Facing Lakshmi Narasimhar with Thaayar on his left lap
Thaayar : Maragadavalli Thaayar
Temple Time: 730am-12noon and 430pm-8pm
Priest : Sampath Bhattar @ 94871 94649


How to reach

1. Chennai-Poonamallee- Thandalam-Narasingapuram(55kms)

2. Sriperumbudur-Narasingapuram(21kms)

3.Tiruvallur- Perambakkam-Narasingapuram(21kms)

4. Arakkonam- Narasingapuram(15kms)

By Train
Take Chennai-Arakkonam suburban train:
Get down at Kadambattur railway station

Share autos/autos from the Southern side of the station to Perambakkam- Narasingapuram (6kms)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Panguni Uthiram Kona Vaiyaali Serthi 2009

Namperumal on Horse Vaahanam

Tuesday 7th April 2009- On the eve of Panguni Uthiram 2009, Lord Namperumal of Srirangam takes an hour long trip on his Horse Vaahanam starting from Elakkarai on the Coloroon river banks at 6pm and a procession through North Srirangam to reach East chithirai Street at 730pm.


Kona Vaiyaali
With a huge crowd waiting on the East Chithirai Street, Lord Namperumal does a 100meter dash thrice at the Northern end of the East Chithirai Street before performing the Kona Vayyali - a Zig Zag gymnastic performance measuring the entire width of the road- first to the eastern side, then a round about before moving off in a flash to the western side- all in a matter of a few seconds.

It is said that Lord Namperumal is testing out the capability and the width of the Chithirai Veethi for the upcoming strenuous Go-Ratham- the huge chariot that makes its trip across the four streets the day after Panguni Uthiram
(9th April 2009).

After enthralling the devotees with his zig zag performance, Lord Namperumal entered the Southern entrance of the temple at 830pm amidst loud chanting of the Naalayira Divya Prabandham by the priests.

Lord Namperumal had returned the previous day(Monday 6th April) from his secret trip to Uraiyur to meet his beloved Kamalavalli Nachiyar incurring the wrath of Ranganayaki Thaayar at the Srirangam temple, leading to a series of events(that will take place tomorrow on the Panguni Uthiram day).

As he enters the Garudan Sannidhi, the Lord listens to the praise of the Azhvaars- a a few verses of the Prabandham- one final time for the evening before making his way back into the Arya Bhattal entrance reaching his Sannidhi at 9pm.

It has been a tiring start to the week for Namperumal, but more is in store for him in the coming days including a 'face time' with Ranganayaki Thaayar tomorrow morning to explain the purpose of his last week's trip to Uraiyur.


Serthi- Namperumal and Ranganayaki Thaayar
The heated debate between Namperumal and Ranganayaki Thayar and way it ends, with Goddess accepting Lord NamPerumal again, showcases to the world the beautiful relationship between a husband and a wife, the differences of opinion, the fights and the adjustments one has to make in a relationship for it to succeed.

This event also showcases the regard one must have for elders and the role they play in our lives. This can be seen from the fact that despite being angry and upset at Lord Ranganatha’s behaviour, Goddess Ranganayaki listens to the words of NammAzhvaar and the respect she has for him makes her forgive the Lord and accept him once again. This event is a great lesson for one to follow in this fast paced world where ego seems to play a part in relationships among family members and friends.

With the settlement arrived, Lord NamPerumal entered the Thaayar Sannidhi at 11.30am and went into the ‘Serthi Mandapam’ and for the only time in the year was seen together with Ranganaayaki Thaayar
At the Serthi Mandapam- One day in a year

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Kattu Mannar Koil

Avathara Sthalam of Nathamuni and his grandson Alavanthan


About 15kms from Gangai Konda Cholapuram amidst greenery of the paddy fields is Kattu Mannar Koil, the Avathara Sthalam of the Vaishnavite Savant Natha Muni, who was responsible for bringing back the Naalayira Divya Prabandham that had been previously lost to the world.

Veera Narayana Perumal, the presiding deity at Kattu Mannar Koil, is the Lord who asked Nathamuni to collect and spread the sacred verses of the Azhvaars.

Direction to the temple
In centuries gone by, the direction to Kattu Mannar Koil was given as being North of Cauvery/Coloroon, West of Veda Pushkarani and South of Vedanarayana (Veeranam) lake.

CauveriYaacha Uthareytheerey SarasaPachimeythade
VeeranarayanoPaathi Vimaaney Punya Naamakey


Answering Jhirumbana Raja Maharishi’s prayers, Goddess Mahalakshmi herself was born here as his child.  Once she grew up in to a beautiful young girl, there was a svayamvaram organised to find a match for her to attend which Lord Narayana came here in his Garuda Vahanam in the guise of a king (Mannan). Having won over her hand, he took her away to the wrath of the other kings who attacked him. Displaying his Vishwaroopam, he defeated all the kings. Having shown his valour here, the Lord came to be called ‘Veera’ Narayanan.

Another story goes that Mathanga Rishi committed an error while uttering the Vedic chant at the Aswamedha Yaaga organised by Brahmma at Kanchipuram. To liberate himself from Brahmmas curse, he was directed to Sri Mushnam, where the Lord appeared before him and redirected him to Manyu Kshetram, South East of Sri Mushnam to undertake penance near the Veda Pushkarani.

After undertaking penance here for several years, Lord Narayana in his Chathurbhuja form appeared before the rishi and provided darshan to him and agreed to stay here as per the wishes of the rishi.

The 4000 sacred verses of the Azhvaars
Nathamuni, who mastered himself in Vedas at a young age, was very attached to Veera Narayana Perumal and spent most of his time performing daily poojas for the Lord here. One day, while he was performing his daily poojas, he heard a set of devotees who had come here from Thiru Narayanapuram in Melkote chanting the Aaravamuthey song (Nam Azhvaar’s Tiruvoimozhi verse praise the Lord of Kumbakonam).These devotees ended with the words ‘these 10 out of the 1000’.

Nathamuni was drawn to these songs and asked them to sing the rest of the 990 verses. However, they knew only these 10 songs.

Nathamuni goes to Thiru Kurugur
A restless Nathamuni went to Kumbakonam, where Lord Aaravamudhan asked him to go to Thiru Kurugur. Unable to get his answers at Kurugur, he went to  Thiru Kolur, a place about 4kms East.

There he got initiated with Madura Kavi Azhvaars verses of Kannin Siruthambinaal. He came back to Thiru Kurugur and sitting under the Tamarind tree, he recited these verses 12000 times, on completion of which NammAzhvaar is said to have appeared before him and shared the entire 4000 songs- Naalaayira Divya Prabandham.

Veera Narayana Perumal then called Nathamuni back to Kattu Mannar Koil where the Vaishnavite Savant chanted and shared the Naalayira Divya Prabandham. Thus, Nathamuni of Kattu Mannar Koil, was instrumental in bringing back to the world the 4000 verses of the Azhvaars. He also initiated the Vaishnava Sampradayam from here.

The name - ‘Kattum Mannan-Aanaar’ koil

As Lord Narayana came here as ‘Mannan’ to take the hand of Mahalakshmi (as seen in the story above) and later asked Nathamuni to share the Divya Prabandham and the Vaishnava Sampradayam to the world at large, he was referred to as ‘ Kattum’ ‘Mannan- Aanaar’ (the Lord who came as a king and later presented the entire prabandham through Nathamuni). In course of time, Kattum Mannan-Aanaar became Kattu Mannar.

Creation of Araiyar Sevai
Along with his nephews, KeezhaiyagathAzhvaar and MelaiagathAzhvaar (the Araiyars are descendents of these two), Nathamuni gave the Naalayira Divya Prabandham a musical (creating Raagam and Thaalam) and dance form and presenting it in a form that the world could experience and enjoy . To him goes the credit of creating the Araiyar Sevai, a visual song and dance enactment of the ‘Paasurams’ through Abhinayam.

He went to Srirangam and performed the Araiyar Sevai, of the Thiruvaai Mozhi verses, with his two Nephews, and once again started the Adhyayana Utsavam at Srirangam which had been discontinued after the time of Thirumangai Azhvaar.

Some of Nathamuni’s disciples include Uyyakondan, Thiru Kannamangaiaandan and Deivanayagaandan.

Aalavanthan- The grandson of Nathamuni

Nathamuni’s grandson was named as ‘Yamunai Thuraivan’(Alavanthan) as per his wishes. Born in Kattu Mannar Koil, Aalavanthan would travel to Srirangam often and spread the message of Vaishnavism. He is also said to have nominated Ramanuja as the ’to be’ acharya after his death. Aalavanthan’s disciples include Periya Nambi, ThiruKoshtiyur Nambi, Thiru Kachi Nambi and Srirangam Araiyar.

Structure of Kattu Mannar Koil

The temple is perfectly built as per KoorathAzhvaar's sacred verse:
"Lakshmi Naatha Samaarambaan Natha Yamuna Mathyamaam
Asmath Aacharya Pariyantham Vanthey Guru Parampara"

Lord Veera Narayanan in the middle, Natha Muni Sannidhi(facing South) to his left, Alavanthan Sannidhi (facing North) to his right (exactly opposite to Nathamuni Sannidhi) and with Maragathavalli Thaayar Sannidhi to his right between the Nathamuni and Alavanthan Sannidhi

In the Nathamuni Sannidhi, one finds his disciples at their Acharya’s feet ready to serve him.

Veera Narayana Yeri ( Now Veeranam Lake)
About 6kms North West of the temple is the Veera Narayana Lake (now referred to as Veeranam Yeri), which is said to have been built by Paranthaka Chozha I in the 10th Century AD.

Inscriptions relating to Kattu Mannar Koil
There are several inscriptions relating to Kattu Mannar Koil and its history that can be found both inside this temple as well as in other temples in this region that goes back in time to different periods and rulers.

Inscriptions relating to Chozha period refer to this place as Veera Narayanan Vinnagaram, while during the times of Sundarapandyan this was called Mannanar. Krishna Deva Raya, who was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu, referred to the Lord as Azhagiya Mannanar.

At the Kattu Mannar Koil, one can find inscriptions, on the temple walls, relating to the time of Kulothunga Chozha I. During his rule, this place was referred to as Veera Narayana Puram.

Sadayavarma Sundarapandyan who ruled between 1250 and 1274 is said to have undertaken extensive renovation of the Kattu Mannar Koil giving the temple some of what we see today. Chozhas, Rayar and Nayakars have also contributed to this temple.

This place has also been referred to as Veera Narayanan Chaturveda Mangalam and Thuvarapathi Mannan Thiru Koil.

There are 5 wells inside the temple and an expansive garden, which Nathamuni for his daily poojas for Veera Narayana Perumal.

Festivals
10 day Brahmotsavam in Chitrai
10 day NammAzhvaar Avatara Utsavam in Aani and Alavandar Avathara Utsavam in Aadi
Theerthavari Utsavam in Maasi on the Coloroon river banks

Quick Facts
Moolavar: Veera Narayanan East Facing Standing Posture
Thaayar: Maragatha Valli Thaayar (Separate Sannidhi)

Utsavar: 1. Rajagopalan with Rukmini and Satyabhama
2. NithyaUtsava Perumal- Sundara Gopalan
3. Prarthana Perumal- Shenbagamannan with Sridevi and Bhoodevi

Utsava Thaayar; Shengamala Valli

Temple time : 730am-12noon and 430pm-9pm

Contact details : Annan Srinivasan Bhattar @ 99522 76110
Srinivasa Swami(hereditary Theerthakar) @ 04144 262257 /96299 79779

How to reach Kattu Mannar Koil
1. By Train /Bus

Take Chennai - Mayavaram Train ( Chozhan/Uzhavan/Mannai /Karaikal Exp) and get down at Chidambaram. From Chidambaram buses every half hour to Kattu Mannar Koil ( about 45minutes)

2. By bus:

a. Chennai- Chidambaram -Kattu Mannar Koil

b. Chennai-Sethiya Thope (on Kumbakonam highway) and Sethiya Thope-Kattu Mannar Koil
(18kms) along side the Veeranam lake

c. Chennai- Meensuriti (on Kumbakonam highway) and Meensuriti-Kattu Mannar Koil (8kms)- Jayamkondan/Trichy -Chidambaram buses

By Car

Chennai- Vikravandi- Panruti-Vadalur-Sethiya Thope- Kattu Mannar Koil or Chennai-Chidambaram- Kattu Mannar Koil- 235kms


Near by Tourist Places

1. Pichavaram - 40kms North East of Kattu Mannar Koil-2-3-5 hour boat rides through ManGroves

2. GangaiKonda Cholapuram-20kms South West

3. JayamKonda Cholapuram- 30kms South West

4. SriMushnam- Artistic Temple- 20Kms West of Kattu Mannar Koil

5. Coloroon Bridge at Meensuruti- 10kms South