|Pavala Vanna Perumal, Kanchipuram akrawaman.wordpress.com|
According to some Vaishnava scholars, with some exceptions, many of the devotees visiting Kanchipuram are not aware that there is another Athivaradhar idol in Pavala Vanna Perumal temple. Just like the one at Sri Varadaraja Perumal temple, he is also made of Athi wood (fig tree) and almost concurrently on display at this temple for 48 days after retrieval of the idol from the water abode - water well close to the sanctum. Here, the lord at Pavala Vanna Perumal temple comes out of his water abode after 40 years and in the 3rd week of August he will be put back in the water well.
The reason for the lack of information about Ahivaradhar of this temple and his appearance after 40 years is the HR & CE and the Media failed to cover this small temple and the presence of a wooden idol made from Athi tree. The historic and big Varadaraja Perumal temple and Athivaradhar are hogging the limelight, hence devotees in thousand make a beeline to the big temple, sometimes creating a stampede like situation there. On the other hand, the small Pavala Vanna Perumal temple on the outskirts of the town does not get the least attention; this being due to ignorance of sthala purana - temple history. That not many people come to this temple to have darshan during this particular time is unfortunate and deplorable.
Yet another interesting feature of Athivaradhar at Pavala Vanna Perumal temple is here Vishnu is in a sitting posture on serpent Adhishesa. Be it Moolavr or Utchavar, at very few Vishnu temples you can see Perumal in sitting posture. Mostly you will see the lord either in standing posture as in Uppiliappan Kovil near Kumbakonam or in reclining posture (anandasayanam) as in Srirangam Ranganathar temple or Padmanabha temple, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Here at Pavala Vanna Perumal temple, the lord is facing west direction along with his conch (sangu) and chakra (divine discus) on the couch of five headed Adhiseshan by bending one foot at a right angle almost up to his waist with his Abyahastha Mudra (I will safeguard thee),
About the history of athivaradhar, in the early 1700s suspecting Muslim invasion (Many Muslim rulers centuries ago hated idolatry - idol worship and would break the Hindu or Buddha temple idols. The other reason is they expected some valuable treasures below the idol in the sanctum) the temple priests safely kept the Moolvar made of Athi tree in the well close to the sanctum. A few decades went by and the new priests and people wanted to put the moolavar back in his place. As they were not aware of the whereabouts of Moolavar, the priests and others felt compelled to have a new stone idol made to be consecrated as Moolavar. In the later years, when workers were cleaning and desilting the well, they accidentally discovered the wooden idol in good shape. This idol was found in the well at the same time when Athivaradhar was discovered in the temple tank at Varadaraja Perumal temple. Since then Athivaradhar has been retrieved from the well after every 40 years to give darshan for 48 days and after that he will be reverentially returned to the water abode in the well. This once-in 40-year ritual is very much similar to that of Varadaraja Perumal temple.
If you pray to Athivaradhar at Pavala Vanna Perumal temple, you will get the same benefits, peace of mind, good health and happiness as you get from Athivaradhar at the big temple.