Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Venkatachalapati||Ambal / Thayar:||Sridevi, Bhoodevi|
|Timing:||7 to 11 & 5 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Abhimana sthalam||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Mela Tiruvengadanathapuram||District:||Tirunelveli|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Tirunelveli (8 km)||Thoothukudi (68.5 km)|
|Nagercoil (77.1 km)||Kanyakumari (84.4 km)|
Mela Tiruvenkatanathapuram is located 14km from Tirunelveli, on the banks of the Tambraparani river.
Sthala puranam and temple information
In the olden days this plas was known as Vaibrajyam and was a dense forest area on the banks of river Tambraparani. Sage Vyasama’s disciple undertook penance here praying for Lord Srinivasa. As there was no temple or murti of Vishnu, he prayed with flowers thinking only about the Lord. On the seventh day of his prayers, all the flowers joined together and appeared as huge light in the sky. This jyoti turned out to be Lord Srinivasa with Thayar as Tambraparani at his feet. The devotee pleaded with the Lord to reside here as he had done in Tirupati and bless the devotees. Agreeing to his request, Lord Srinivasa settled here with Sridevi, Bhoodevi and Alarmelmangai Thayar.
King Venkatappa Naicker did not have any children and was praying to Lord Srinivasa. One day when he was bathing in the river Tambraparani, a heavenly voice advised him to feed 1000 children to fulfill his desire. The king immediately arranged to feed the children. As the feed was over his wife delivered a boy, who was named Srinivasa. The king built the temple and the surrounding town under the name Venkatanathapuram.
When Perumal had to go on war to protect Bhudevi, he handed over his conch and chakra to Garuda for safe keeping. In this temple we can see Garuda with conch and chakra in his hands. The twelve azhvars of Vaishnavism are displayed as twelve steps leading to the sanctum sanctorum.
This is considered a Swayam Vyakta Kshetram (but not part of the 8 such recognied kshetrams in Vaishnavite tradition), ie the Perumal is a swayambhu. Perumal at this temple is in nindra kolam. Devotees who visit this temple receive all the blessings they would get when they visit Lord Balaji and this temple is known as then Tirupati.
As in Tirupati, the lord blesses the devotees as Varadaraja Perumal in Keezh Venkatanath Puram and is surrounded by seven hills represented by Lord Kailasanathar (as Gotha Parameswarar at nearby Kunnathur, also known as Then Kalahasti).
Other information for your visit
This is one of three temples in the vicinity of each other: the Gotha Parameswarar temple at Kunnathur, Varadaraja Perumal temple at Keela Tirvenkatanatha Puram and the Venkatachalapati, Mela Tiruvenkatanathapuram (this temple). Together, these three temples are considered the equivalent of Kalahasti, Keezh Tirupati and Mel Tirupati, and it is customary to visit them together. The recommended order of visit is Gotha Parameswarar temple, Varadaraja Perumal temple and Venkatachalapathi temple. It is also believed that praying at this group of temples has the same, if not better, merit as praying at the corresponding three temples at Kalahasti and Tirupati. Furthermore, it is believed that any prayers in the form of venduthal for Tirupati can be fulfilled here, but not the reverse.
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.