A temple dedicated to Guru
Lord Vishnu came here on a special chariot and provided darshan to Guru
Temple in its current structure built by Jadavarma Vallabha Pandya in the 12th Century AD
Located 30kms from Madurai and about 8kms west of Sholavandan in a beautiful remote scenic location on the Western Ghats is the historical Chitra Ratha Vallabha Perumal temple in Kuruvi Thurai, a temple dedicated to Guru (Jupiter).
The Moolavar Deity Vallabha Perumal is almost a 10feet sandalwood idol seen in a majestic standing posture along with Sri and Bhoo devi.
Guru Iruntha Thurai ( Kuruvi Thurai)
Devas’ Guru, Brihaspathi assigned his son Kacha to secure the secret Sanjeevini mantra from Sukracharya, the preceptor of the Asuras that would help bring the dead back to life. While Devayani the daughter of Sukracharya fell in love with Kacha, the suspicious asuras killed him and mixed his ashes in a glass of water and handed over to Sukracharya. Saddened by her lover’s absence, Devayani forced her father to bring him back. Understanding the real mission behind Kacha’s visit, Sukracharya initiated the secret mantra to Kacha who came out of Sukracharya’s stomach. Kacha in turn chanted the mantra and brought back Sukracharya’s life.
Having accomplished his mission, Kacha justified to Devayani that she was his sister as he had come out of her father’s stomach and decided to leave the Asura kingdom. Angered at Kacha deserting her, Devayani prevented his departure to the Deva Kingdom.
Worried at the inordinate delay, Guru Bhagwan (Jupiter) undertook penance here invoking the blessings of Lord Narayana to save his son from the Asuras and to bring him safe to the Deva Kingdom. Hence, this place came to be called Guru- Iruntha-Thurai (later Kuruvi Thurai).
Pleased with the prayers, Lord Narayana used his discus (Chakrath Azhwar) to save Kacha from the Asuras.
The Lord’s Name
Lord came here on a special chariot and provided darshan to Guru on the Chitra star day in the Tamil Calendar month of Chitrai. Hence the Lord here is referred to as ‘Chitra Ratha’ Vallabha Perumal.
Those who visit this temple and offer sincere prayers to Vallabha Perumal and Guru Bhagawan are said to be relieved from Guru Dosham and other problems in life. Thursdays are special prarthana and parikara days at this temple.
Guru Bhagwan Sannidhi is in front of the Eastern five Tier Raja Gopuram where he is seen in a west facing posture in the direction of Chitra Ratha Vallabha Perumal. Guru Bhagawan and ChakrathAzhwar are Swayambu idols.
The temple, which has a strong granite structure, has several inscriptions in the Northern and Southern walls of the Prakara dating back a 1000years. The temple in its current form and structure is believed to have been built in the early 12th century AD during the rule of Jadavarma Vallabha Pandya.
NamAzhwar’s Thiruvoimozhi verse
While this is not a Divya Desam, NamAzhwar in his Thiruvoimozhi verse sings praise referring to both the ‘chariot and the discus’ used to demolish the asuras leaving one to wonder if NamAzhwar had actually directed his praise at Chitra Ratha Vallabha Perumal here at Kuruvi Thurai.
‘சித்திரத் தேர் வளவ, திரு சக்கரத் தாய் அருளாய்
எத்தனை ஓர் உகமும் அவை ஆய், அவற்றுள் இயலும்
ஒத்த ஒன பல் பொருள்கள் உலப்பு இல்லன ஆய், வியவு ஆய்
வித்தகத்தாய் நிற்றி நீ இவை, என்ன விடமங்களே’
When here, also visit the ancient Janaka Narayana Perumal temple at Sholavandan.
Guru Peyarchi is special at this temple
On Vaikunta Ekadesi day, Vallabha Perumal goes on a procession in a Garuda Vahana and makes his way back from the Kuruvi Thurai Village on a Horse Vahana
Moolavar : Chitra Ratha Vallabha Perumal in a standing posture with Sri and Bhoo Devi
Goddess : Shenbagavalli Thaayar
Temple Time : 830am-1230pm and 330pm-530pm
Contact : Raghurama Bhattar @ 91592 36762
How to reach
Take Bus No. 68 from Periyar Bus Stand in Madurai to reach Kuruvi Thurai in an hour
Several buses between Madurai and Sholavandan
From Sholavandan Janaka Narayana Perumal temple, one can take an auto about Rs. 75-100
Auto from Madurai Junction to Kuruvi Thurai and back will cost Rs.400-500
Chennai - Tirunelveli Nellai Express stops at Sholavandan (4.45am)
From Sholavandan Railway station, one can reach Kuruvi Thurai within 30minutes