Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dasavatharam Temple in Srirangam

Matsya and Koorma Moolavar deities are a special feature at this temple as is the Kalki Avataram on the horse

Located on the banks of Coloroon half a kilometer North West of Lord Ranganatha temple is the ancient over 1000 years old Dasavatharam Sannidhi in Srirangam. It was here that the last of the Azhvaars, Thirumangai Azhvaar, stayed to build the huge walls of the Ranganatha temple.

Display of Dasavatharam
The story goes that Lord Ranganatha was pleased with Thirumangai’s efforts in constructing the huge walls and is said to have granted his wish of displaying the 10 Avataarams all at one place. Accordingly, the Lord displayed all his 10 prominent Avatars including the Kalki Avataar.

Matysa, Koorma, Varaha and Narasimha Moolavar deities are seen with conch and chakra at this temple. Thirumangai had two other wishes - Lord to provide darshan to all the people who had helped him build the huge walls of Srirangam and for Lord Namperumal to come on special street processions via the Southern banks of Coloroon. Hence, this route is called Azhvaar Padi Thirai. All those who walk through this route are believed to be in line to attain Moksham.

Thirumangai Azhvaar’s favourite idol Lakshmi Narayana is the Utsava deity at this temple.Another special feature at this temple is the presence of multiple (10 of them here) Moolavar deities and just the one Utsava deity.

Historical reference
A reference to Lakshmi Narayanan can be in Mantra Mahodadhy slogam:

சகஸ்ர சந்திர ப்ரதிமா தயாள:
லக்ஷ்மீ முகா லோகன லோல நேத்ர:
தசவதாரைர் பரித பரீத:
ந்ருகேசரி மங்கள மாதளேது

Lakshmi Narayana is seen with his left hand around Thaayar. On the pedestal of the Utsava deity is Garuda who is surrounded by 8 different statues. Lord Krishna is seen as Navaneetha Natya Kannan holding butter in one hand. One of his legs is seen grounded while the other is up in a dance posture.

The walls of the Dasavatharam Sannidhi, the Prakarams and the structure of the tower are an indication of the history of this temple. The rectangular shaped Vimanam at the Dasavatharam temple is special. Also, there are 10 Kalasam for the 10 Dasavatharam Idols, another unique feature at this temple.

In the 2nd tier below the Vimanam, there is a sculpture of Lakshmi Narasimha as well as an Oonjal Chain- an indication that there may have been an Oonjal Utsavam at this temple.
Thirumangai’s Paasurams
While Thirumangai has sung 50 verses in praise of the Srirangam Lord, he has not let go the Dasavatharam lords and has praised them with a verse each in his Periya Thirmozhi(1408-17).


Beginning Kaisika Ekadasi, there are five festive days in the Karthigai month. On the Thiru Karthigai day, the Lord is taken on a procession around the 8 streets- 4 Chitra streets and 4 Uthara streets.

While the temple is East Facing, the adjacent Thirumangai Azhvaar’s Sannidhi is South Facing so he could have darshan of the Dasavatharam Lords as well as Lord Ranganatha. Thirumangai Azhvaar (Moolavar) himself is seen with his hands folded in a Saranagathi (Surrender) posture while the Utsava deity is seen in a King (Thirumangai Mannan) like majestic posture with Knife, Sword, Shield and Sickle. The Utsava idol of Thirumangai is said to have been created by Thirumangai himself.

Prarthana and Parikara Sthalam

The Vishnu Avatars are the incarnations of planets
Matsya-Kethu, Koorma- Saturn (Sani), Varaha- Rahu, Narasimha- Mars(Sevvai), Vamana-Jupiter (Guru), Parasurama- Venus (Sukra), Rama- Sun (Surya), Krishna- Moon (Chandra), Kalki- Budhan(Mercury).

Performing a relevant Avataram Archanai and an equivalent pooja at this temple is said to liberate one from the respective dosham and instantly activate positive energy in the devotees.

Dasavatharam Sannidhi is administered by the ahobila Mutt.

Thirumangai Azhvaar’s residence still exists at 26 North Chitra Street.

Quick Facts
Moolavar : Dasavatharam Deities in East Facing Standing Posture
Utsavar : lakshmi Narayana
Time : 7am-10am and 6pm-8pm
Contact : Lakshmi Narasimha(Kannan) Bhattar @ 0431 2435905
Kannan Bhattar, who has been performing service at this temple for over 2 decades, will also open this temple at short notice for outstation devotees.

1 comment:

Aalaya Darshanam said...

Thank you.
In my next trip to Sri rangam I will visit this temple with out fail.
Venkat. I J