Monday, November 23, 2015

Kalyana Venkataramana Swamy Temple (Thanthondri Perumal Temple), Karur

Kalyana Venkataramana Swamy Temple (Thanthondri Perumal Temple), Karur
Temples are the symbols of Tamil Culture. The Vaishnava temples have always had a significant place among the holy places in Tamil Nadu. One of the most sacred and sanctified of them is the Arulmigu Kalyana Venkataramanaswamy temple in Thanthondrimalai. This temple is located 4 kms south of Karur on the Karur – Dindigul state highways via Gujiliamparai.

Kalyana Venkataramana Swamy Temple, popularly known as Then (South) Tirupati is in Thanthoni, 5 kms from Karur. The rock-cave temple is on an outcrop of a hillock and is one of the famous temples in this area. Kalyana Venkataramana Swamy (Vishnu or Srinivasa) is the main deity with Goddesses Sridevi and Bhoomidevi with him.

Lord Thirupathy Venkatachalapathi himself has his abode in this holy place. He blesses and offers his devotees whatever they wish for Thanthondrimalai. The legend Sculpturist Danganachari and the poor Soma Sharma had their wishes fulfilled in this holy domicile when they surrendered themselves before Lord Venkataramanaswamy. Consecrated and sacred books like ‘Thanthondrimalai Mahathmiyam’, ‘Vishnu Dharmodhram’, and Venkatesha Parakramam’ are some of the sacred books that speak volumes of the glory of this divine Lord. 

This blissful temple is also praised as ‘Swayam Viyaktha Venkatagiri’. Thousands of people throng this temple on the Saturdays of the Tamil month Puratasi to seek the blessings of this glorious god.  

Legends & History
According to the puranics Danganachari and the poor Soma Sharma had their wishes fulfilled in this holy domicile when they surrendered themselves before Lord Venkataramanaswamy. Devoted and sacred books like ‘Thanthondrimalai Mahathmiyam’, ‘Vishnu Dharmodhram’, and Venkatesha Parakramam’ are some of the sacred books that speak volumes of the glory of this divine Lord. This blissful temple is also praised as ‘Swayam Viyaktha Venkatagiri’. Thousands of people throng this temple on the Saturdays of the Tamil month Puratasi to seek the blessings of this glorious God.
Legend of Somasharma:
The lore and legend of the place tells the story of a childless person called Somasharma was proceeding to Tirupathi with his wife seeking child boon and stayed on the banks of Cauvery for a break.  Sage Naradha appeared in his dream and directed him to go to a place called Tirumakudalur where some would receive him.  When Somasharma reached the place, some sculptors received him and took him to this place. 
There appeared a bright light on a rock.  The rock split and Perumal appeared from the gap and granted the boon sought by the devotee and chose to stay here for the benefit of devotees.  It is also said that this is the place where a bit of Tiruvengadam hill fell during a contest between Vayu and Adisesha.     
After the temple was constructed, a divine voice ordered Somasharma to come and worship here along with his wife. Somasharma returned with his wife and worshipped Kalyana Venkataramanaswamy who appeared in the form of Tirupati Venkateshwara (Balaji) and blessed them with a child.
Somasharma requested the lord to bless devotees in this temple on par with the benefits received by them in Tirupati. That is why Kalyana Venkataramana Swamy Temple is known as 'Then Tirupati'. As the presiding deity appeared in front of devotees on his own volition, this region is called Thanthondrimalai.
Similar to Thanjai Maa Mani Narasimha Sanctum:
Inside the sanctum, that reminds one of Thanjai Maa Mani Narasimha Divya Desam both in terms of the huge size of the Moolavar Lord as well as the big sized Sanctum, there are 16 specially carved sculptures each of whom is seen playing a musical instrument.
Legend of pieces of Rock falls at Thanthoni Malai:
When a fight broke out between the Serpent King Adisesha and the Wind God Vayu as who was more stronger and who played a more important role, Lord Vishnu asked Adisesha to hold on to the Tirumala Hills and Vayu to try and remove the hills from the clutches of the Serpant Lord.
An angry Vayu who could not remove from Adhisesha’s hold turned into a cyclone. Pieces of the rock from the hills fell in different places. One such piece is the rock we find here at Thanthoni Malai in Karur where Venkatachalapathi provides darshan as Kalyana Venkatramana perumal.
Construction Legend:
Chola King Muchukunda, a Saivite devotee, was cursed to have the face of a monkey.  To liberate himself from the curse, he built several Vishnu temples including the two perumal temples of Karur- this one at Thanthonimalai and the Abhaya Pradhana Ranganatha temple in the city of Karur.
Later on, Thirumalai Nayak of Madurai contributed to the temple.
Historical Cave Temple:
The Cave Temple here at Thanthoni Malai was excavated in the 8thCentury AD. There is a similarity of this rock and the cave structure with the architecture seen at the Narasimha temple at Namakkal about 45kms from here though the Thanthoni Malai rock cave is a little bigger than the one at the Narasimha temple in Namakkal.
Prarthana Sthalam – Donation of One slipper:
A Unique feature at this temple is that Lord Kalyana Venkatramana Perumal is believed to appear in the dreams of devotees and suggest a particular size of one foot wear relating to one leg to be donated to the temple. And the same size of another leg to another devotee.
Hence, one finds that different devotees come here and donate one slipper relating to different legs but the pair of slippers works out perfect.
Those who offer their sincere prayers and present this slipper as suggested by Kalyana Venkatramana Perumal have their wedding wishes fulfilled.
Thiru Kalyana Utsavam is another special feature at this temple. On Shravanam Star every month, there is a special Abhisheka performed for childless couples. There is a daily Thirumanjanam at this temple every day at 1130am for the Moolavar deity.
Purananuru Legend:
There are many theories and stories on the name ‘Thanthondri’. It is believed that this hillock has formed itself as a ‘Suyambu’ and some others say that it was found by the most adherent devotees of the Lord. There was a king named ‘Thaamaan Thondrikon’ who ruled over this region with his residence at this hillock. This is evident from the legendary poem ‘Purananuru’ (Purananuru 399:30-34). A few say that this place would have been named after him.
Nilai Maalai Legend:
Once upon a time, there was an Archagar who performed the pujas regularly. Once his relative passed away and he sent his son who was a small boy to perform the puja. There is a custom that the Lord is decorated with the life size garland (Nilai malai). On that day a devotee came there with the Nilai malai. That small boy is so short that he could not decorate the Lord with that garland. So he cried and prayed the Lord to bend a little (Venkataramana Devudu, please bend a little). Lord Perumal also bent for his convenience. Then the Archaga’s son happily decorated the Lord with the garland. Thus Lord Perumal has always lends his ears to the prayers offered by his devotees. Only because of this the number of devotees has been improving day by day.
Appearance of the Temple
In general, temples in Tamil Nadu will be facing the Eastern direction. But this Thanthondriperumal Temple is facing the west. The hillock Thanthondri is spread from East to West. The western part of the hillock is elevated that the eastern part. This west facing temple is a cave temple. The Sanctum Sanctorum when the daily Perumal is presented is in the eastern part of the ‘Artha Mandapam’.

Only the Sanctum Sanctorum is the cave. ‘Artha Mandapam and the entrance hall were constructed later. There is a big stage with two pillars in the Sanctum Sanctorum. Three sides of the stage were deepened. In the eastern part of the stage along with the rock, Arulmigu Kalyanavenkataramana Perumal poses with Goddess Lakshmi in His Chest facing the western direction. Lord Perumal who stands and blesses the devotees with four hands has been praised as ‘Bhaktha Pratheenan’.

The Temple
Kalyana Venkataramana Swamy Temple’s deity is a Swayambu (self-manifested) and the shrine is on top of a hill. A flight of 70 odd steps up the hillock leads to the entrance of the temple.
The deity is accepted today in general by the locals as Lord Vishnu in the form of Kalyana Venkatramana Swamy.  Of the four arms of the deity, the two upper arms hold the conch and discus. The lower right arm shows the Varada Hasta (boon giving) gesture and the lower left arm is in the Katyavalambita pose (palm resting on the hip). If you look carefully, the deity’s head is slightly lowered.

On the left of the sanctum is the shrine of Garudalwar, Vishnu’s vehicle. To the right is a huge mandapam (hall) which is used for the performance of Radha Kalyanam and Sita Kalyanam. This shrine is popular as a wedding destination.
Kalyana Venkataramana Swamy Temple has been under a religious dispute. The main deity in the sanctum may be Lord Shiva as the ceiling at the entrance has Bootha Ganas, his soldiers, depicted on it. The style of the depiction of these characters is typically seen only in Shiva Temples. Sadashiva Brahmendrar of Nerur, an enlightened saint who lived about 350 years ago, considered the deity in this temple to be Lord Muruga (Karthikeya – Lord Shiva’s son whose shrines are mostly on hilltops) and performed dedicated rituals to that deity. Some say that it was a Jain temple.

Devotees perform abishek and Sandal Alankara to Lord. They celebrate wedding festival. Offer butter, sandal, vastras light lamps, Tulsi garlands. Arrange preparation of nivedhanas to Perumal and distribute it to devotees and arrange feeding-Annadhanam.
Devotees pray to Perumal for cure from pimples and scars in the body by placing salt, pepper and jaggery in the temple.  They also pray for wedding and child boons.  Lord responds without fail to prayers of the devotees regarding their health problems.
Pooja Timings
Pooja Timings
6.00 a.m. to 6.30 a.m
Kaala Shanthi Pooja
8.00 a.m. to 8.30 a.m.
11.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m
Uchchi Kaala Pooja
12.00 noon to 12.30 p.m
6.00 p.m. to 6.30p.m
Everyday Pooja:
An amount of Rs.1500/- should be deposited for performing Daily Nithyapadi Puja. Daily Nithyapadi Puja will be conducted on the day specified by the devotee with the interest amount that is obtained by the deposit
1.    Kalyana Urchavam
2.    Mahabishekam
3.    Sandhanakaapu
4.    Thankakavacham
5.    Velikavacham
6.    Vasithiram
7.    Thulaparam
8.    Muti kanikai
9.    Thomalai Sevai
Poojas Fee Structure
Perumal Gold Kavasam
Perumal Silver Kavasam
Hanumar Gold Kavasam
Hanumar Silver Kavasam
Garudazhwar  Silver Kavasam
Puspa Ticket 
Ear Boring
Patham Ticket
Thaligai Ticket
Sevai Ticket  
Special Sevai
Special Dharsan
Speed Dharsan
Marriage Registration fee
Video  fee      
Thirumana Mandapa Rent 
Nithya padi pooja
Thirukalyana Utsavam
Pavithrotsava Donation
Erumudi fee  
Annathiruppavadai fee
Facilities for the Devotees:
Rent for Marriage hall and vessels: Rs. 2625.00
To perform the Ubaya Kalyana Utsavam: Rs. 1500.00
Those who would like to perform Thirukalyana Utsavam should register at least Three days before. Thirukalyana Utsavam will not be performed on all Saturdays, Ammavasai days and other than in Tamil Months Purattasi, Masi and Chithirai.
Pavithra Utsavam:
In Vishnu Temple all festivals are special. Particularly “Pavithra Utsavam” penitential as well as propitiatory and its main objective are to get rid of the evil that might have been caused due to omissions and commissions in the performance of various rituals throughout the year. This festival is also known as purification festival. It takes three days to complete. In Kalyana Venkataramana Swamy Temple every year Pavithra Utsavam held on ‘Aavani’ month, thiruvonam nakshatra. All three days special Abhishekam will be done for perumal. At last Pavithra Utsavam ends by Anna pavadai Utsavam.
Purattasi Utsavam:
Purattasi festival was celebrated grandly for 22 days. Every day perumal goes on purappadu on different vahanam. Such as Annapakshi vahanam, Simha vahanam, Hanumatha vahanam, silver garuda vahanam, Yanai vahanam, Puspa vahanam. In this Utsavam, thiru ther Utsavam was celebrated on Purattasi thiruvonam nakshatra.
Every Saturdays of Purattasi, the darshan starts 2.00am, additionally special thirumanjam and pooja will take place. Lots of devotees are satisfied by darshan till 9.00 pm especially on third Saturday. The darshan starts on1.00 AM with thiru manjam. A belief was there that Nerur Sadasiva Brahmendra will attend this pooja on this day.
Maasi Magam & Teppani Utsavam:
20 days Maasi festival was celebrated in grand manner. This Utsavam includes Hamsa vahanam, Sliver garuda Seva; thiru theer on Magam Nakshatra on the third day after Maasi Nakshatra theppotsavam is celebrated.
Additionally Tamil puthandu in Chithirai month , Telugu puthandu, 18 th day of Aadi month, Krishna Janmashtami and uriyadi, Bharani, Karthigai, Pongal on that month , on these days Kalyana Venkatramana swamy goes on purappadu.
Annadhanam Scheme

One day Annadhanam for 100 persons
Permanent endowment for one day's Annadhanam Scheme (The Annadhanam will be done on the day of your choice every year )
Assistant commissioner / Executive Officer
Arulmigu Kalyana Venkataramana Swamy Temple,
Thanthondrimalai – 639 005
Karur District 
Phone: 04324 – 257531
By Road: Buses are available to reach Shree Thanthondrimalai Shree Kalyana Venkataramanaswamy temple in Karur from major places in Tamil Nadu.
By Railways: Nearest railway station to reach Shree Thanthondrimalai Shree Kalyana Venkataramanaswamy temple is Karur Railway Junction.

By Flight: The nearest airport is Tiruchirapalli International Airport located at a distance of 77 km from the town. After reaching Tiruchirapalli travel up to Karur. Buses and Taxis are available to reach this temple.