Friday, March 31, 2017

Venkatachalapathy Temple, Mela Thiruvenkatanathapuram – The Temple

Venkatachalapathy Temple, Mela Thiruvenkatanathapuram – The Temple
The temple is revered as “Then Thirupathi” and visiting this temple is considered equivalent to visiting Thirupathi. The temple resembles Thirupathi in many ways – Lord Srinivasa is on a hill of white stones like Thirupathi; Like Akasha Ganga falls in Thirupathi, the River Thamirabarani falls here; Like Kalahasthi near Thirupathi, there is a Then Kalahasthi named Sangani Kailasanathar temple nearby. Srinivasa Gattam here has many sacred springs as Pushkarani with other such springs in Thirupathi. Tiruvengadanathapuram aka Tirunankovil is located at a distance of around 10 Kms from Thirunelveli city. 

The Mela Thiruvenkatanathapuram temple's sanctum has a Lord Srinivasa statue. The 12 steps leading to the sanctum sanctorum represent 12 Azhwars. Lord Srinivasa graces devotees with all assurance. Sri Anjaneya is on left front of the Lord as his Vahanam. Garuda in this temple graces with conch and discus. Presiding Deity is called as Venkatachalapathy with Sridevi and Bhoodevi. Utsavar is Srinivasa Perumal with Alarmel Mangai Thaayar, Sri and Bhoo Devi. It is an Abhimana Sthalam.

The current structure of Venkatachalapathy temple in this village can be dated back to 700 years old. The temple is located on top of a hillock. The village is a serene and peaceful place located on the banks of the river Tamirabarani. The temple faces the east direction. The main shrine houses the main deity Vengadachalapthy along with his two consorts, Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi. All are found in the standing posture. Venkatachalapathy is found with four arms holding conch and discus. 

The Utsava metal idols of Srinivasa, Sri Devi, Bhoo Devi and Andal are also located in the main shrine. In maha mandapa, the bronze idols of Garuda and Hanuman are found. Garuda is holding conch and discus which is a rare sight. In maha mandapa, the sub-shrine for Ramanujar, Senai Mudaliar and Vishwaksenar is located. The flag staff, Garuda idol and Bali peetha are found facing towards the main shrine.

The temple is built as a 'maada kovil' with the main shrine on the elevated platform. The front side mandapa of the temple is full of pillars with carvings. The temple has two praharams. The inner prakara has two shrines for the Goddesses - Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi. The outer prakara is located outside the temple wall. It is believed that Lord Venkatachalapathy of this temple blesses childless couples with children. Hence, it is a Prarthana Sthalam.

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