Thursday, February 13, 2014

Purushottamar Temple Ambasamudram

Purushottamar, Alarmel Mangai Thaayar, Garuda and Adisesha are all carved out of a single stone
7 hooded Adisesha seen atop Purushottamar too has a conch and chakra
Located on the Northern Banks of Tamaraibarani in Ambasamudram is an over 1000years old one of its kind Vishnu temple dedicated to Lord Purushottamar, with unique features. Till a couple of centuries ago, the temple was in a prosperous state with grand festive celebrations being a regular feature round the year.

In centuries gone by, Rajagopalaswamy of Kulasekara Azhwar Temple in Mannar Koil (about 6kms North West) used to visit Purushottamar Temple every year on the occasion of Chitra Pournami for Theerthavari festival.

During the ten day festival culminating on the Chitra Pournami day, the festivities included daily processions on Garuda Vahana, Vedic and Prabhandham recitals. Floods in the Tamaraibaranai had the people of Ambasamudram moving North into the bustling town that exists now leaving the temple in the midst of a lot of greenery but  a little away from the heart of Ambai town and in a state of neglect. Thirupalli Yezhuchi took place early morning on all days of Margazhi but that too has been off now.

Unique Feature
The moolavar idol of Purushottamar is unique and the features seen here are not found in any other Vishnu temple in Tamil Nadu.

Armed with eight hands, Ashtabhuja Lord Purushottamar is in a sitting posture on the Padma Peedam with his right leg placed on the right shoulder of Garuda, thus providing a daily Garuda Sevai to devotees. Lord Purushottamar is seen with a conch, chakra, bow, arrow, kedayam with Alarmel Mangai Thaayar, who is seen holding a Lotus flower in her left hand, sitting on his left lap. Interestingly, the 7 hooded Adisesha seen atop Purushottamar, too has a conch and chakra. Adisesha too has a conch and chakra

 Purushottamar, Alarmel Mangai Thaayar, Garuda, Adisesha, Padma Peedam and Lotus Flower are all carved out of a single stone. The style of the necklace carving seen on Purushottamar’s chest indicates that this temple could be at least 1200years old.

 Another special feature at the temple is the three-tier Indira Vimana with Dasavathara carvings on the first, sculptures of Indira, Rudra, Brahmma and Hayagriva on the second and Kalasam on the third.

Sacred Water
The story goes that a rishi used to walk a long distance to bring water for the Lord. One day, with the rishi not being to travel due to ill health, Lord Purushottamar is believed to have created the Pongi Karai Theertham, South West of the temple, now seen on the other side of the railway line.

Quick Facts
Moolavar         : Ashtabhuja Purushottamar with 7hooded Adisesha atop him
Goddess            : Alarmel Mangai Thaayar seen on Lord’s left lap
Time                 : 7am-11am and 5pm-7pm
Contact             : Varadan Bhattar @ 94429 64728/ Purushottamar @ 95786 46287

 How to reach
The temple is located 2kms South of the Ambasamudram bus stand, 100yards North off the railway line. Auto from Ambai bus stand will cost Rs. 50. Direct trains to Ambasamudram from Tirunelveli. Buses ply every 15minutes from Tirunelveli.