Monday, 7 October 2019

Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple,Tirunelveli (TN) - one of the oldest temples in South India


Sri Varadaraja Perumal TempleTirunelveli,TN trawell.in/tamilnadu
Located close to the Tirunelveli Railway junction - roughly one kilo meter  Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple is believed to be one of the oldest Hindu temples in South India.  A temple of great antiquity the presiding deity is  Lord Vishnu. The lord is known as  Veeraraghavan (moolavar) and the Ustava Moorthy is Sri Varadharaja Perumal, after whom the temple is named. This perumal temple has close link with Sri Vanamamalai Mutt, Nanguneri. The tradition has been that H.H. Vanamamalai Jeer swamigal gets the  first  honour and respect in this temple.

The legend has it  the ruler king Krishnavarma accidentally found an idol made of blue stone while bathing in Thamirabarani River. Being pious as he was upon consulting the elders and the Pandits, he had a temple built and enshrined the deity and named him Varadaraja Perumal.  Spending much of his time in prayer and meditation on Sri Rama, little did he realize that he had to face wars for which he did not prepare his army. He intensely prayed to the Lord to protect him, his subjects and his land from ensuing invasion by the enemies. Responding to the  king's sincere prayer and trust he had in him, the God  himself was on the battlefield in his divine form and drove the invading army helter skelter. The ruler had a divine vision and the lord appeared before him as Veeraraghava, a symbol of valor and bravery.  King Krishnavarma's joy knew no bounds that led him to  construct this temple for Lord Veeraraghavan to express his gratitude.
Tirunelvel, TN mapsofindia.com
Here the lord's consorts are goddesses Vedhavalli Thayar and Perundevi Thayar and they have separate shrines.  There are other shrines dedicated to  Yoga Narasimhar, Azhwars, Vikshwasenar, Garuda and  others. Here God Hanuman is facing  lord  Veeraraghavan in praying posture.

Among the temple festivals the10-day Chithirai festival during April-May is an interesting one and attracts lots of devotees. The other festivals are  annual Abishek festival in May - June, Adi festival, Krishna Jayanthi and Sri Ramanavami . Hanumath Jayanthi  is also celebrated for 10 days in the Tamil month of Marghazi (December- January).  Five days of Unjal utsavam starts with deepavali. In Karthigai month "Sokkapanai" festival is celebrated on the full moon day. Alwar thirunakhsatrams and related Uthsavams are celebrated regularly every year.
A new car (Ratham) was  offered in May 2015 (chitrai brahmosthavam) to Lord Varadharaja swamy by Sri Lakshmi Vallabha trust with  help  from the  public, The car/chariot  (ratham) is 32 feet  tall and 13 feet wide with as many as beautiful  350 teak wood carvings 52 chiming bells in it.
https://www.trawell.in/tamilnadu/tirunelveli/sri-varadaraja-perumal-temple

Sri_Varadharaja_Perumal_Kovilhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Varadharaja_Perumal_Kovil