Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Azhagiya Shantha Manavaalan Temple, Arjunapuram, Vathirairuppu (Watrap), Virudhunagar

Azhagiya Shantha Manavaalan Temple, Arjunapuram, Vathirairuppu (Watrap), Virudhunagar
Azhagiya Shantha Manavaalan Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Vishnu located at Arjunapuram Village 2 km far from Vathirairuppu (Watrap) town in Virudhunagar District of Tamilnadu. This Temple is almost 800 years Old and belongs to Tenkasi Pandyas. This Temple is located 11 Kms Northwest of Krishnan Kovil off the Madurai- Srivilliputhur highway. Presiding Deity is Lord Azhagiya Manavaalan is seen in a standing posture flanked by Sri and Bhoo Devi. The temple is open between 7am and 12noon and 4pm-6pm.


Legends
Story behind the name Arjunapuram:
Azhagiya Shantha Manavala Perumal Temple in Arjuna Puram near Vathirairuppu (Watrap), a temple whose legend dates back to the Mahabharata and one that is closely associated with Ninra Narayana Perumal Divya Desam in Thiruthangal. The story goes that on their way to Kerala (Malai Naatu Divya Desams), the Pandavas passed through this place. Arjuna brought relief to this drought-hit village by shooting his powerful arrow that pierced the earth, from where water gushed out. In memory of this event, this village is referred to as Arjuna Puram and the river Arjuna Poigai. As the Pandavas stayed here, the place has come to be referred to as Dharmaranya Kshetram.


Association with Thiruthangal Divya Desam:
A fight arose between the three Devis - Sri Devi, Bhoo Devi and Neela Devi - as to who was the senior most among them and also the favourite of the Lord. Sri Devi was guided by the Saptharishis here at Vathirairuppu to undertake penance at Thiru Thangal, around 30 kms from here. Pleased with her prayers, Lord Narayana appeared before her and acknowledged that she was indeed his favourite. The place where she was guided and shown the place to penance is called Vyaktra Puram which in course of time became Vathirairuppu.


The Temple
The handsome Azhagiya Manavaalan is seen in a standing posture flanked by Sri and Bhoo Devi. Presiding deity Lord Azhagiya Shanta Manavala Perumal graces facing east holding his discus and conch in the upper hands, the lower right assuring boons to devotees (Abhayahastha) and the left holding a club. There are two Garudas in the temple, one carrying the Lord and ready to fly and the other sitting in a worshipping form keeping two hands together.


Inscriptions at the temple, dating back to the rule of Tenkasi Pandyas, indicate the temple having artha mandapam, maha mandapam and mukha mandapam. There are several beautiful stone sculptures at the Vasantha Mandapam and Ekadesi Mandapam. There is a huge ancient well to the north of the temple complex. There are several beautiful stone sculptures in the Vasantha Mandapa and Ekadesi Mandapa.


Inscriptions
Inscriptions at the temple dating back to the rule of Tenkasi Pandyas indicate the temple having Artha Mandapa, Maha Mandapa and Mukha Mandapas. A 13th Century AD inscription on a Stone near the well refers to the rule of Kulasekara Pandya and names Nakkan Sokkan Villi as the digger of the well.

During the 15th Century AD, this place was referred to as Sendaneri. Consecration of the temple took place in the 2nd half of the 15th Century dating back to the rule of Venrumalayitta Vira Pandya Deva with a donation of 20ma of land being made towards rituals, repairs and renovation of the temple. Yet another inscription provides insights into the grant of a temple tank for pooja at noon and for daily food offering for the Lord.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 10.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Festivals
While Aadi Pooram in July - August is the main festival of the temple, presiding deity is taken in procession on Purattasi Saturdays in September - October.
Contact
Sri Azhagiya Shanta Manavala Perumal Temple,
Arjunapuram, Vathirairuppu – 626 132,
Virudhunagar District
Mobile: +91 – 96774 19184 / 94431 41884
Connectivity
The temple is in Arjunapuram 2 km far from Vathirairuppu. As there is no bus facility, only autos have to be hired. Arjuna Puram is just over 11 kms from Krishnan Kovil (Kalasalingam University) off the Madurai- Tenkasi Highway. Buses ply every half hour from Krishnan Kovil/Srivilliputhur to Watrap. From there, one can reach the temple by auto (2 kms).
The nearest railway station is Srivilliputtur. There are several passenger trains from Madurai to Srivilliputtur. The Pothigai Express is a daily train from Chennai Egmore to Senkottai that reaches Srivilliputtur at 6.13 in the morning. From Srivilliputtur you can take a local bus to Watrap.
Watrap Town is connected from NH 208 around 10 km (From Krishnan Kovil) and 17 km (from Alagapuri Village) and there are plenty of buses are operated to and from Madurai, Srivilliputhur, Virudhunagar, Kovilpatti, Sivakasi and Theni. The nearest Airport is Madurai (72 km) and there are plenty of Local Taxi Operators are operating the taxis to Madurai Airport for Pickup and Drop facility.

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