Thursday, December 15, 2016

Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal Temple, Thirumalai Vaiyaavoor – The Temple

Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal Temple, Thirumalai Vaiyaavoor – The Temple
The temple is beautifully located on the hill top. There are about 500 steps on the hill to reach the temple. There is a proper road also to reach the temple by vehicles. Though the main deity is Venkatesa Perumal the Aadhi Murthy here is Varaaha Perumal. One has to first visit Varaaha Perumal before visiting the main deity. Varaaha Perumal is seen with Lakshmi facing west. Also, when the temple is opened, Varaaha Perumal’s shrine is opened first and all the offerings are made to him first, before others. The main deity Srinivasa Perumal is seen facing west. The Lord is beautifully decorated with ornaments and gives Dharshan exactly as in Thirupathi.

Goddess Alarmel Mangai Thaayaar has a separate shrine here. There are separate shrines for Sri Aandaal and Sri Ramanuja too. The inner prakarams have lot of stone pillars and spread on a wide area. The pillars have some exquisite carvings on them. The Theertham for this temple is called Varaaha Theertham which is at the foot of this hill. The path to the Theertham is not Motorable but looks beautiful when seen from the hill top. Anjaneyar shrine is present facing the hill opposite to the stair way to the temple.

The temple has a vast outer prakaram with huge stone walls surrounding it. Garuda Bhagavan is seen on specific corners on the wall, guarding the Lord. It is also said that people visiting Thirupathi should also visit Thirumalai Vaiyaavoor and bathe in Varaaha Theertham and worship Prasanna Venkateswara Perumal here, only after which the pilgrimage gets complete. The place is also known as Dakshina Seshagiri.  Lord Perumal appears in the sanctum sanctorum in his royal posture holding the scepter. His two Mahalakshmis are on both sides of his broad chest. Divine serpent Adi Sesha is on the Thiruvasi the frame around the Lord in upside down U letter shape with all craftsmanship. Lord is wearing Ashtalakshmi-Sahasranama malas and Dasavatara Odyanam the belt around the waist. 

Lord grants Netra darshan (Darshan of eyes only) without any special Alankarams on Thursday mornings. The view of Lord falls on the devotees. Of the Dwarapalakas, Jayan is wearing the Simha design ear ring and Vijayan is wearing the Gaja –elephant designed ear rings. This is a different feature in this temple. Lord Lakshmi Varaha is in a separate shrine with his own Kodimaram-flag post.  He has his right leg on Adisesha’s tail and the left on head, holding Mother Mahalakshmi on his lap.  The first Deepa Aradhana is dedicated to him as he is the Pradhana murthi in the temple.  Even during festivals to Lord Prasanna Venkateswara, the flag hoisting is done in this shrine only. The temple belongs to Thiruvonam star.

There are two procession deities, Srinivasa and Kallarpiran. The former comes in car procession during the Purattasi festival and later in Chithirai festival. There are shrines for Chakarathzhwar, Venugopalar and Lord Rama in the temple. Sri Veera Anjaneya is at the foot of the temple in a flying posture. Devotees submit their prayers in writing to Sri Anjaneya; cover it in a yellow cloth along with an unstripped coconut. Lord Lakshmi Ganapathi shrine is nearby.

Prior to his Pancha Samskaram at Eri Kaatha Rama temple at Madurantakam, Ramanuja is believed to have stayed here in a Yogic Posture before making the trip south wards to Madurantakam. There are three entrances in the temple - the first one to Varahar and other Sannadhis, the second one for Srinivasa perumal, Thayar and Andal Sannadhis and the third one with a big gopuram for Chakrathaazhwar and Narasimhar and Sri Vedantha Desikar. 

It is situated on an 80-acre site and one has to climb 200 steps to reach it. There are two prakarams housing the shrines of Rama, Venugopalan, Anjaneyar, Sudarsana, the 12 Azhwars and Lakshmi Ganapathi. The idol of Sri Lakshmi Varaha Perumal with four arms is an enchanting piece of sculpture.

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