Sunday, July 3, 2016

Aravindalochanar Perumal Temple (Irattai Tirupati Temple), Tholavillimangalam, Thoothukudi

Aravindalochanar Perumal Temple (Irattai Tirupati Temple), Tholavillimangalam, Thoothukudi
Aravindalochanar Perumal Temple in Tholavillimangalam, a village in Thoothukudi district in the South Indian state of Tamilnadu, is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. It is located 22 km from Tirunelveli. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, the early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th–9th centuries AD.

It is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Aravindalochanar and his consort Lakshmi as Karunthadankanni. The temple is also classified as a Navathiruppathi, the nine temples revered by Nammazhwar located in the banks of Tamirabarani River. Along with the Devapiran temple located 100 yards away, the temple is referred as Irattai Tirupathi (meaning twin Tirupathis).

A granite wall surrounds the temple, enclosing the main shrine and pillared halls. Unlike other South Indian temples, the temple does not have a Rajagopuram, the temple's gateway tower and has a flat gateway. The Vijayanagar and Nayak kings commissioned pillared halls and major shrines of the temple during the 16th century.

The temple follows Thenkalai tradition of worship. Four daily rituals and three yearly festivals are held at the temple, of which the ten day annual Vaikunta Ekadasi during the Tamil month of Margazhi (December - January) and the Nammazhwar birth celebrations with Garudasevai with all nine temple of Navathiruppathi, being the most prominent. In modern times, the temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

There are nine sacred shrines in this Pandya region equal to those in the Chola region attributed to nine planets. As Lord Vishnu himself is acting as the nine planets in these places, there are no separate shrines for the Navagrahas the nine planets. Those facing any adverse aspect of a planet are advised to visit the Nava – nine Tirupathis for relief.

It would be difficult to catch buses for each such place causing more days to complete this pilgrimage. A cab can be hired to visit the places for completing the tour in a day. Those in Chennai can avail the services of Tamilnadu Tourism Development Corporation which is arranging the trip twice a month on the first and third Friday of the month. They can return by Wednesday morning. The Nava Tirupathis are related with the nine planets as Perumal himself is the planet of the particular place.

The List of Nava Tirupathi Temples and its related Grahas (Planets) are:
·        Sri Vaikuntanathan Perumal Temple – Surya (Sun)
·        Thiru Varagunamangai Perumal Temple – Chandra (Moon)
·        Thirupulinkudi Perumal Temple — Budha (Mercury)
·        Irattai Tirupathi Perumal Temple – Rahu (North node)
·        Irattai Tirupathi Perumal Temple – Ketu (South node)
·        Thirukuzhandhai (Perungulam) Perumal Temple – Sani (Saturn)
·        Thenthiruperai Perumal Temple – Shukra – (Venus)
·        Thirukkolur Perumal Temple – Mangala (Mars)
·        Alwarthirunagari Perumal Temple – Guru (Jupiter)
Sage Nammaalvar had sung 11 Pasurams (verses) on the glory of this place. It is advised that devotees go to the temple after ascertaining the time of the presence of the priest of the temple. This is attributed to Shadow Planets (Chaya Grahas) Rahu and Ketu.

Devotees believed that this Lord will cure their Raghu and Ketu doshas. Devotees worship him for marriage, prosperity and child boon. Devotees perform Thirumanjanam and gift clothes to the lord as their thanks giving. Aravindalochanar Temple in Tuticorin is located at 8°36'33.8"N 77°58'22.5"E or 8.609374, 77.972915.

This Temple is located 100 yards North of Devapiran temple is the Aravinda Lochanar temple. Pleased with Sage Suprabar’s devotion of offering Lotus flowers every day without fail. Lord provided darshan in a standing posture. As he adorned himself with the Lotus flowers, he is referred to as Aravinda Lochanar. Belief is that those who offer sincere prayers here with Lotus flowers will be relieved from their sins.

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The exact history of the temple is not known, but it is understood from the neighbouring inscriptions, the temple has been a part of a series of temples built by Pandyas and expanded by Madurai Nayaks. The temple is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, the early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th-9th centuries AD.

The Temple
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Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m.
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Religious Significance
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People pray for successful marriage alliances and progress in education. Devotees perform Thirumanjanam and offer Vastras to Lord and Mother.
Sri Aravindalochanar Temple,
Tirutholaivillimangalam, Nava Tirupati,
Thoothukudi district - 628614
Phone: +91 4639 273 607
Mobile: +91 94435 54570
Tirutholaivillimangalam is about 39 kms from Tirunelveli. Of the sacred places dedicated to the planets, this is the one most difficult to reach. We have to go to Mangalakurichi which is about 2 kms from Perungulam, walk on the canal bank for about 3 kms. Cross the canal and reach the place or walk about 3 kms from Alwar Thirunagari and crossing river Thamiraparani, we can reach this village. Adequate bus-services are available from Tirunelveli / Thiruchendur.
Mangalakurichi is situated 2 miles from Tirukullandai. Devotees can access the temple through Thirunagari, which is 3 kms from the station.

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