Mayakoothar, Perunkulam, Tirunelveli
Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Mayakoothar||Ambal / Thayar:||Alarmelmangai, Kamalavalli, Baligavalli Padmavathi|
|Timing:||7.30 to 12 & 5 to 7.30||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Divya Desam||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Perunkulam||District:||Tirunelveli|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Thoothukudi (31.5 km)||Tirunelveli (40.8 km)|
|Kanyakumari (97.5 km)||Nagercoil (98.7 km)|
Perunkulam is located 40km from Tirunelveli and 11km from Srivaikundam.
Sthala puranam and temple information
This the seventh of the Nava Tirupati sthalams and is dedicated to Sani.
Kamalavati, a young girl, was the daughter of the brahmin Vedasaran. She undertook penance here, to marry Lord Vishnu. Pleased with her devotion the Lord appeared, and also married her. As a young girl (balika) had undertaken penance here, this place is also called Balikavanam.
Vishnu fought with a demon called Asmasuran and killed him by dancing over him. Hence, he is referred to as Mayakoothar (koothu = dance in Tamil), at the behest of the Devas. As Vishnu went riding on Garudan to fight with Asmasuran, Garuda also gets to be with the Lord as utsava murti.
Goddess Kulandhaivalli Thayar and Alarmelmangai Thayar are seen with the lord in the sanctorum.
As the Lord himself depicts the planets, there are no Navagraha shrines in any of these temples. Devotees come and pray here for relief from navagraha dosham.
The Garuda Sevai utsavam in the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May-June) is a sight to be seen! The utsava murtis from all the 9 Nava Tirupati temples are brought on their respective Garuda vahanams. Nammazhvar also comes on an Anna Vahanam (swan shaped vehicle), and his pasurams for each of the nine temples are recited. Then the murti of Nammazhvar is taken through the paddy fields in the area surrounding the temple.
Other information for your visit
In the Tamil month of Margazhi (December-January), these temples open relatively early (some even at 5 or 5.30 am), and close by 11. Some others are open till 1 or 2 pm.
We visited temples in the following order, which enabled us to complete all these temples (plus 4 Nava Kailasam temples) between 5.30 am and 2 pm, in the month of Margazhi starting at Tirunelveli: Srivaikuntam, Alwartirunagari, Tirukolur, Thenthirupperai, Perunkulam, Tholaivillimangalam (2 temples), Tirupuliangudi and Natham (Tiruvaragunamangai). Our trip was not rushed at all, and we had ample time at each of these temples.
Budget and mid-range accommodation is available at Tirunelveli. If coming down on the East Coast Road, then some limited options may also be available at Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) and Tiruchendur.