Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Sundararaja Perumal||Ambal / Thayar:||Azhagiyavalli|
|Timing:||6.30 to 12 & 4.30 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Divya Desam||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Anbil||District:||Tiruchirappalli|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Tiruchirappalli (29 km)||Thanjavur (37 km)|
|Ariyalur (45 km)||Perambalur (51 km)|
Anbil is located east of Lalgudi, on the northern banks of the Kollidam river, and is about 30 km from Trichy / 22km from Srirangam.
Sthala puranam and temple information
Vishnu was angered by Brahma’s pride over his power of creation, and cursed the latter to be born on earth as a human. Realizing his mistake, Brahma prayed to Vishnu to be relieved of the curse. Vishnu appeared here as the most handsome creation Brahma had ever seen – dispelling his pride – for the sole purpose of indicating that external looks and beauty are never permanent and so, do not matter.
Sage Sutapa (also known as Sage Manduka) was doing penance under water, when sage Durvasa passed by. Since Sutapa did not come out to offer salutations, Durvasa cursed him to become a frog. When Sutapa pleaded, Durvasa told him to pray to Vishnu, since the curse was more a result of previous karmas. The frog came here and lived in the temple tank – now called Manduka Teertham (in Sanskrit, manduka = frog)– and worshipped Vishnu, after which the Lord relieved him of the curse.
Once there was an argument between Brahma and sage Valmiki, about where the glory and beauty of Vishnu in sayana kolam was the greatest. Perumal himself had to step in to say that He was most handsome at Anbil! Brahma and Valmiki were both arguing out of their love for the Lord, and hence the place came to be known as Anbil (in Tamil, anbu = love/affection). The name of this place in Sanskrit texts is Premapuri.
It is believed that this temple as well as the nearby Anbil Satyavakeeswarar temple (a Paadal Petra Sthalam) – about 500m away – were both so large at one time, that they shared the Manduka Teertham as a common temple tank.
In the story of Bhikshatanar, Siva obtained relief from hunger at Uttamar Koil, and was finally relieved of his brahmahathi dosham at Kandiyur. It is believed that on his way from Uttamar Koil to Kandiyur, Lord Siva visited this temple at Anbil.
The site of this temple is considered a Triveni sangamam, and it is believed that three rivers meet here – the Kaveri and two underground rivers, Savitri and Phalguni. For this reason, this place is considered equivalent to Gaya, and is also called Dakshina Gaya. Those who are unable to go to Gaya in the north can perform last rites for pitrs at this place.
It is said that the moolavar at this temple has been in existence since the time of the Pandavas in the Mahabharatam, since local legends refer to the Lord having blessed the Pandavas here at the request of Brahma and sage Valmiki.
Sundara Chola is said to have prayed here, laying out his sword in the garbhagriham, before going to one of his wars. Upon returning victorious, he is said to have given thanks by building this temple. Subsequent additions have been made by the Hoysalas and Vijayanagara dynasty. Sundara Chola’s prime minister, Aniruddha Brahmarayar, was from Anbil (these are also referenced in Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan). Interesting, that Sundara Chola was known for his handsomeness, something in common with Perumal at this temple!
Perumal is in sayana kolam here, but the two Ubaya Nachimar hold his feet in such a way that the Lord’s feet are not visible to devotees. Andal at this temple is seated, unlike in most other temples where She is standing. This temple is considered a prarthana sthalam for single women, and it is believed that praying to Andal here will help find them a suitable groom.
The Anbil Plates are a set of copper inscriptions which, along with others such as the Tiruvalangadu plates and the Leiden plates, are the only epigraphical records that give genealogical lists of the Chola kings.
Other information for your visit
Aravamudhan Bhattar or Varadaraja Bhattar: 90034 69591