Friday, March 31, 2017

Sundararaja Perumal Temple, Veeravanallur, Thirunelveli

Sundararaja Perumal Temple, Veeravanallur, Thirunelveli
Sundararaja Perumal Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Vishnu located at Veeravanallur in Thirunelveli District of Tamilnadu. Veeravanallur is located at about 6 Kms west of Cheranmahadevi.

Lord Vishnu gave darshan to Sage Kaashyapa:
As per the legend Sage Kaashyapa, was on penance invoking Lord Kalazhagar of Thirumaliruncholai, for many decades. Pleased with his devotion, Lord Narayana, gave him darshan in full splendour decorated with ornaments studded with diamonds and precious stones. Stunned by the magnificent grace beauty of Lord Narayana, Sage Kaashyapa humbly requested the Lord to permanently stay in Veeravanallur with his consorts and protect the people. Lord accepted his request and has been gracing his devotees as Lord Sundararaja along with his consorts Sundaravalli and Sundaranayagi. True to his name the Lord at Veeravanallur is beauty personified.
Valour of Rabbit taking on Hunting Dog:
Once when the Pandiya King Veeramara Pandiyan, went on hunting he was taken aback by the sight of a small Rabbit taking on the ferocious Hunting Dog. Realizing the valour associated with the soil of the land, the King became the ardent devotee of the Lord Sundarajan. Subsequently the village was named after the King and hence the name Veeravanallur. Subsequently, many Pandya Kings paid their obeisance to the Lord and built the temple.
Different Names:
The old Tamil literature refers this village as Veerayumpathi, Veera Vala Nallur and Thava Vanam. Also it is called Kashyapa Shetram because of the penance of sage Kashyapa.
Also it is learnt that the famous Veera Pandiya Kattabomman, who bravely fought against the British, used to visit this temple along with his army of soldiers, seek the blessings of Lord Sundarajan and take an oath of valour before every war. Because of his practice, the village came to be known as Veera Magan Nallur and Veeram Niraintha Nallur, which later became Veeravanallur.

The Temple
Lord is seen in a grand standing posture along with Sri and Bhoo Devi. The presence of an agraharam is a pleasant sight in the village. The temple has a separate sannidhi for Lord Navaneetha Krishnan, all the Alwars, Sri Ramanujar, Sri Vedaantha Desikar and Sri Senai Mudali. A beautiful pond with the magnificent mandapam in the centre adds beauty to the temple.

The pond used to get copious water from the Manimuthar dam built across the river Tamirabarani through a canal. The Perumal temple came much later after the construction of the Shiva Temple. The temple has a Maha Mandapa, Artha Mandapa and Mani Mandapa. There is a separate Sannidhi for Vedanta Desikar, whose Avathara Utsavam used to be celebrated in a grand manner over 10 days. 

Till the first half of the last century, a 10 day Poosam Festival was celebrated in Thai with the Chariot Festival on the 9th day. There was also a 10 day Sri Jayanthi festival, a 7 day Pavitrotsavam and an Oonjal Utsavam in Aippasi. The 21 day festival in Margazhi was also a popular festival at this temple including the recital of Divya Prabhandham. The presence of all the vahanas including Garuda Vahana and Hanumantha Vahana also indicate to the conduct of the annual Brahmotsavam with the Lord going out on street processions providing darshan to the devotees on different vahanas. And the place had been abuzz with devotional activity through the year. 
However, over the last few decades, the temple had remained in an unattended condition with no permanent priest to take care of the daily pooja. In recent times, a priest has been roped in from Central India along with a Parijarakar to take care of the sacred offering to the Lord. The temple also wears a new look now and it is hoped that the festivals that were once an integral part of this village would be revived again in its old grandeur.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open between 6.30 am and 11am and 4.30 pm – 8.30 pm.
Sundararaja Perumal Temple,
Veeravanallur, Thirunelveli District
Mobile: +91 94601 79551 / 97892 70435 / 98848 30141.
Veeravanallur is located at about 6 Kms west of Cheranmahadevi, 37 Kms from Thirunelveli, 12 Kms from Ambasamudram, 21 Kms from Papanasam, 195 Kms from Madurai and 150 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Nearest Railway Station is located at Ambasamudram & Veeravanallur and Nearest Airport is located at Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram.

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