Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Vijayasanar||Ambal / Thayar:||Varagunavalli, Varagunamangai|
|Vriksham:||Teertham:||Agni Teertham, Deva Pushkarini|
|Timing:||6 to 11 & 5 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Divya Desam||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Natham||District:||Thoothukudi|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Tirunelveli (34 km)||Thoothukudi (39.4 km)|
|Kanyakumari (90.4 km)||Nagercoil (90.8 km)|
Natham (Varagunamangai) is located 24km from Tirunelveli and 2km from Srivaikundam.
Sthala puranam and temple information
This is the second of the Nava Tirupati sthalams, and is dedicated to Chandran.
The alternate name of the place – Varagunamangai – is another name of Thayar Varagunavalli at this temple. The name Varagunamangai itself is referred to in one of Nammazhvar’s poems, but could also be derived from the name of the Pandya king Varaguna Pandyan.
Perumal had given his darshan to a devotee called Vedavit, here. Vedavit was undertaking penance near the river Reva. Pleased with his devotion, the Lord appeared to him as a brahmin and advised him to carry out his penance in Natham. As advised, Vedavit came here and carried on with his penance and attained the darshan of the Lord as present in Vaikuntam, and reached Paramapadam.
Sage Romaharshana was staying here with his disciples. One day, a greedy fisherman of this area who was hated by the locals, died because of snake bite. Sage Romaharshana’s disciple saw his soul in the form of a jyoti leaving for moksham. The disciple was surprised and checked with the sage. The guru told him that the fisherman was the king of vidharba and had done a lot of good for his people. The king had to be born as a fisherman because of the ills of his ancestors but was relieved of all that by being born here.
Nammazhvar had sung in the praise of the Lord here.
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 Toothukudi (Tuticorin) and Tiruchendur.