Friday, August 17, 2018

Anantha Narayana Perumal Aabaranadhari

The only temple where the Moolavar Lord sports ornaments from Head to Toe
The 21 Feet Lord is seen atop the 7 Hooded Serpent and with a beautiful smile

Inscriptions dating back to the 12th Century refer to this location as Aabaranadhari Chaturvedi Mangalam 
Located 3 kms East of Thiru Kannangudi Divya Desam is the Ananatha Narayana Perumal Temple in Abaranadhari where the Lord is seen in a sleeping posture sporting a beautiful smile. This is one of the five temples dedicated to Lord Narayana in the ‘Pancha Narayana’ Kshetram. Anantha Narayana Perumal is an Abhimana Lord for the Thiru Kannangudi Divya Desam.

The 21 feet Anantha Narayana Perumal seen in a Sayana Kolam atop the seven hooded serpent is one of the longest among the Perumal temples. This is possibly the only Perumal temple where the Moolavar Lord in a sleeping posture is seen with ornaments from head to toe. As the Moolavar Lord sports ornaments across his body, he came to be referred to as ‘Aabarana’ Dhari, one who adorns Aabaranam.

Vedic Recital
Inscriptions inside the temple dating back to the period of Raja Raja Chozhan refer to this place as Aabaranadhari Chaturvedi Mangalam indicating that vedic recital was integral to this location. 
During the rule of Dippaya Deva Raya, a couple of centuries later, this place was referred to as Aabaranadhari Uthira Ananthapuram ‘Palli Konda’ Perumal temple, giving an indication about the physical features of the Lord and his posture.

Location of the temple
Also, as per the ancient inscription, the location of the Aabaranadhari temple was recorded as being South of Sikkal, home to the famous Murugan temple. 

Large Gifts to the temple
Inscriptions refer to the donation of several tracts of land towards the maintenance of the temple. As with the Damodara Narayana Perumal temple in Thiru Kannangudi Divya Desam, despite the existence of several acres of land, income has not accrued to the temple from these lands for several years. And thus the salary of the priests have remained in three digits for decades and the other support personnel have long gone in search of greener pastures, leaving the single Bhattar to manage the entire activity.

The Moolavar Lord
Sri Devi Thayar and Brigu Rishi are seen invoking the Lord’s blessings near the Lord’s head while Bhoo Devi Thayar is seen pressing the feet of the Lord. Vyasa Rishi is also seen at the Lord’s feet. All the other deities except Garuda are also seen sporting ornaments.

The Ornaments
A unique feature of this temple is that the Moolavar Lord is seen with ornaments from head to toe. As one sets his eyes on the Lord from the top, one finds ornaments such as Dhandam, Dharanam, Shireshanam, and Ghatakam, Kanganam on his arm, Beautiful long ear rings, Vaira Jada Mudi, Kavacham across the chest, Uddiyanam on his hip and Yagnjopavitham across the body. Down to his legs, the Lord is seen sporting anklets. A ring is seen on each of the fingers of his hands and the toes of his legs.

Alankara Valli Thayar, who too is seen with a beautiful smile, is in a separate Sannidhi. 

Raja Gopuram destroyed by the Cyclone
There was a Raja Gopuram at the Eastern Entrance till the 1950s. This was destroyed in the devastating cyclone of 1952. A Samprokshanam was performed in 1957 and another one almost 50 years later in 2005. The authorities are planning to reconstruct the Raja Gopuram before the next Samprokshanam. 

Utsava Deity in Tiruvarur
As is the trend in so many of the remote temples administered by the HR & CE, the utsava idol has been moved to Tiruvarur for security reasons. And thus, the processional deity is seen only on a couple of occasions every year during the big utsavams in Maasi and Margazhi. In the centuries gone by, Utsavams were celebrated in a grand manner every month but a lot of this has come to pass.

Currently, a 4 day Pavitrotsavam, Thailakappu in Vaikasi, Thirumanjanam in Aani and Thayar Abhishekam in Aadi is performed.

Pancha Narayana Kshtrem
The other Narayana Temples in the region are Damodara Narayanan in Thiru Kannangudi (http://prtraveller.blogspot.com/2008/06/thiru-kannangudi.html), Deva Narayanan in Thevur, Yadava Narayanan in Kizhvelur and Varada Narayanan in Vadakalathur. Historically there was a Pancha Garuda Sevai at Thiru Kannangudi Divya Desam with the Lords from the other four temples congregating and providing a Garuda Sevai darshan around the big Mada Streets of Thiru Kannangudi.
With the traditionalists moving away from this ancient and historical location, the utsavam had to be done away with. The locals are keen to revive the Pancha Garuda Sevai. Time will tell if this indeed can be revived.

The temple is open between 8am-12noon and 5pm-8pm. Contact: S Kumar Bhattar @ 82203 18842

How to reach
The temple is about 5kms South of Sikkal. An auto from Sikkal bus stop will cost Rs. 100. Contact auto @ 97898 76911. Buses ply once 3 hours on the Sikkal- Aabarandhari route.

When here also visit Damodara Narayana Perumal Divya Desam in Thiru Kannangudi (http://prtraveller.blogspot.com/2015/11/thiru-kannangudi-dilapidated-state.html) and Soundararaja Perumal Divya Desam in Thiru Nagai (https://prtraveller.blogspot.com/2017/04/thiru-nagai-divya-desam-bhattars.html).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice story on Aabharana-dhari and Alankaravalli!