Saturday, December 17, 2016

Nithyakalyana Perumal Temple, Thiruvidandai – The Temple

Nithyakalyana Perumal Temple, Thiruvidandai – The Temple
Nithyakalyana Perumal temple is located in Thiruvidandai, a village in Kanchipuram district on the Chennai - Mahabalipuram East Coast Road, 38 km (24 mi) from Chennai. The temple tank is located right opposite to the temple in the end of the street. The sanctum is approached through a sixteen pillared sculpted hall in front of the temple. The temple has two precincts approached through two flat towers. All the shrines in the temple are enclosed within granite walls. The second precinct has two temple masts, each of them located axial to the sanctum and the entrance.

The precinct also has a hall to house the temple chariot. The sanctum is approached through an assembly and prayer hall. The granite image of the main deity, Laxmi Varaha Perumal, the boar incarnation of Lord Vishnu is found facing east and holding the Shanku (conch) in one hand and his Chakra (discus) in the other hand. He can be seen in an unusual posture with one leg on the ground and the other placed on Adisheshan the five-headed snake. The lord’s spouse Akilavalli Thayaar (universal mother) can be seen seated on his left thigh.

The image is around 7 ft. (2.1 m) tall and is one of the rarest images of the deity. Garuda, the eagle vahana of Vishnu has a small shrine facing the sanctum. The shrine of Ranganathar is located in the first precinct, parallel to the sanctum. The North-West corner of the temple houses the shrine of Komalavalli. There are inscriptions on the walls around the assembly and the prayer hall. The main deity of Varaha Perumal in the Nithya Kalyana Perumal Temple in Thiruvidanthai is decorated with 108 saligramams (the black river stones) around his neck.

Legend has it that Harikesa Maharaj owned the garland originally. He was a staunch devotee of the Lord and presented it to Varahaswami. The Moolavar (main immovable deity) is worshipped as Sri Akhilavalli Sametha Adi Varahaperumal or Jnaanappiran, the embodiment of all wisdom and knowledge. The Utsava Moorthi is ‘Nithya Kalyana Swami’ and the image bears a small scar on the face. Goddess Lakshmi is in a separate shrine and is worshipped as Akhilavalli Thayaar. There are separate shrines for Andal, the poetess devotee of Vishnu, Lord Ranganatha and Ranganayaki.

The Vimana (dome) above the sanctum is called Kalyana Vimanam. Sage Markandeya, the sage blessed with eternal youth, is supposed to have worshipped Perumal (Vishnu) in this temple. Among the celebrated 108 Divya Desams of Lord Vishnu, this is the only temple where the Wedding Festival is celebrated on all days of the year. Nithya Kalyana Perumal of this temple is praised in the Mangalasasanam hymns of the saints Tirumangai Azhwar and Manavala Mamunigal. The sacred water bodies of the Thiruvidanthai Nithya Kalyana Perumal Temple are Kalyana Theertham and Varaha Theertham. 

Sri Aadhi Varaha Moorthy helped Sri Srinivasa Perumal in Tirupathi by giving the land. This is one of the small information said about this Perumal. As to explain this, we can find a white big pottu (bindhi) in the chin of Nithiya Kalyana Perumal and Thaayar as we can find in Tirupathi Perumal. This sacred shrine faces the sea on the east, and has, for its environs, tall trees and lush groves aplenty, giving the pilgrim sublime peace and equipoise. The Uthsavar (the one carried in celebrations) is called Nithya Kalyana Perumal.

The Uthsavar statuette is a bronze statue always and this one has a dot on the cheek which is a Dhrushti Pottu which is kept to ward off evil sights. The inner circumambulation passage has the shrines of Achudhan, Thumbikkai Aazhwar, and Vaishnavi. Also seen are the 12 Azhwars, Manavala Maamunigal.  The outer circumambulation passage has separate shrines for Komalavalli Thayar, Andal and Ranganayaki. The inscriptions found in the temple reveal that 12 fisherman families were dedicated to this temple during the 17th year of reign of Raja Raja 1.

It is also found that a 7 day annual festival was organized by Raja Raja 1 during the Thamizh month of Aavani. There is also information found that the installation of the Goddess was done by a merchant from Mayilaarppu (presently Mylapore). The inscriptions also reveal that the present deity Sri Nithya Kalyana Perumal was called as Sri Manavaala Perumal in those days. There is a separate shrine for Sri Anjaneyar near the end of the street, facing the temple. 

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