The Lord of South Maasi Street receives special honours on the occasion of KalAzhagar’s procession to the Vaigai during the Chitrai Festival
Located half a kilometer East of Koodal Azhagar Divya Desam in Madurai is the Veera Raghava Perumal Koil in South Maasi Street.
Priest saves KalAzhagar at Shozhavandan
Centuries ago, Lord KalAzhagar of Thiru Maliruncholai (Azhagar Koil) used to reside at Thenoor Mandapam in Shozhavandan Village during the Chitrai Festival.
With the makeshift construction comprising of leaves, the mandapam caught fire. Despite the best efforts of the villagers, the fire could not be put off. It was then that the priest of Veera Raghava Perumal Koil of Maasi Street displayed his love and devotion for Lord KalAzhagar.
He jumped into the raging fire, caught hold of KalAzhagar, hugged him tight and brought him out of the mandapam.
Priest’s final wish
Thirumalai Nayakar, who ruled Madurai in the 17th Century AD and was responsible for making the Chitrai Festival the biggest festival of the city, sent out the villagers in search of Lord Kallazhagar. Finally, he managed to locate the priest of Veera Raghava Perumal fighting for his life on the banks of the Vaigai.
The priest revealed that KalAzhagar was safe and that he had buried him on the banks of the river. Delighted that a priest had achieved what his entire team could not, Thirumalai Nayakar decided to relinquish his first honours reserved for him during the Chitrai Festival and offered it to the priest.
However, the priest suggested that he was a simple Brahmin and did not possess the profile for such an important respect from Lord KalAzhagar. On further insistence from the King, the Bhattar enquired if his favourite pooja idol, Lord Veera Raghava Perumal of South Maasi Street, could get the first honour from KalAzhagar himself.
Thirumalai Nayakar agreed to this and to this day one sees South Maasi Street Veera Raghava Perumal entering the Vaigai before KalAzhagar.
Having arrived first on his silver horse Vahanam, Veera Raghava Perumal then welcomes KalAzhagar, on a Golden Horse Vahanam, into the Vaigai and performs a special Vaiyali going around KalAzhagar thrice in happiness of receiving him.
KalAzhagar then offers his Garland and Parivattam to Veera Raghava Perumal and first theertham (sacred water) is given to the priest of Veera Raghava Perumal temple.
Temple inside the Theppakulam
In decades gone by, this temple was surrounded by Theppakulam. In fact, Lord Veera Raghava Perumal was originally in the Theppakulam. However, with the current development, one is now witness to the residential and commercial building in this location.
Another interesting fact was that this entire area comprised of Brahmins, so much so that the street adjacent to this temple was called Paapa Kanaru Street.
In Chitrai, Veera Raghava Perumal goes on a procession on his Silver Horse Vahanam to Vaigai to receive KalAzhagar
During the entire month of Puratasi, there is a special Pushpa Alangara Sevai.
On the full moon day in Puratasi, 2 of the Lords from Veera Raghava Perumal Koil take part in the 5 Garuda Sevai.
Panguni Thiru Kalyana Utsavam
Every Friday between 8pm and 9pm, there is a ‘Sukra Horai’ (Horai= Hour= 2 ½ Nazhigai) for Sayana Kolam Ranganatha. White Lotus flower archanai is special on this occasion.
Moolavar : 3 Postures - Veera Raghava Perumal East Facing standing posture
Yoga Narasimha East Facing Sitting Posture
Ranganatha South Facing Sleeping Posture
Goddess : Kanakavalli Thayar
Time : 6am-1030am and 4pm-830pm
Contact : 0452 338542
Address : South Maasi Street (opposite Allahabad Bank) Madurai 2
How to reach:
Auto from Madurai Junction will cost Rs.30