Temple

Sowriraja Perumal, Tirukannapuram, Nagapattinam

Divya Desam where Lord Vishnu kept up the word of his devotee, the temple priest

Basic information about the temple

Moolavar:Sowriraja PerumalAmbal / Thayar:Kannapura Nayaki, Padmini
Deity:PerumalHistorical name:Krishnapuram
Vriksham:Teertham:Nitya Pushkarini, Ananda Saras
Agamam:

Vaikhanasa

Age (years):

1000-2000

Timing:6 to 12 & 4.30 to 8Parikaram:

Temple group:Divya Desam
Sung by:

Temple set:

Krishna Aranya Kshetram

Navagraham:

Nakshatram:

City / town:TirukannapuramDistrict:Nagapattinam
Maps from (click): Current location Tiruvarur (17.2 km)Nagapattinam (24.3 km)

Mayiladuthurai (32.9 km)Kumbakonam (44.5 km)

Location

Tirukannapuram is located 22km from Tiruvarur on the Sannanallur-Nagore route.

Sthala puranam and temple information

The temple was attended to by a devoted priest – Ranga Bhattar – who would normally receive a garland from the palace, which would be given to the king, after the Lord’s worship. One day, the garland did not arrive on time, and so the priest took a garland made by his wife, used it for worship and gave it to the king. The king noticed a long human hair – belonging to a woman – on the garland and inquired of the priest, who said it belonged to the Lord Himself. The priest prayed to Vishnu to escape from the king’s wrath. When the king went to inspect the temple deity in the morning, he found human hair growing on the murti, thereby saving the priest. For this reason, the Lord here is called Sowriraja Perumal. It is said that the hairs can be seen on the procession idol during the pournami purappadu.

Vibheeshana is believed to have worshipped at this temple and received a vision of Rama here. The story goes, that Vibheeshana had seen the Lord’s glory in sayana kolam at Srirangam, and wanted to see the Lord in standing / walking posture, and so he prayed for this vision. The Lord asked him to go to Tirukannapuram (here), and blessed him with this on Amavasya day. To mark this, even today, every Amavasya day, the moolavar deity is taken out in procession to Vibheeshana outside.

Once, a staunch devotee of Vishnu called Muniyodaran, spent all his wealth serving the Lord and eventually became poor. Unable to pay his taxes, he was imprisoned. He prayed to the Lord to save him, and Vishnu appeared in the king’s dream, ordering Muniyodaran ‘s release. After his release, Muniyodaran was given some Pongal, which he placed as neivedyam to the Lord before consuming it. The following day, devotees visiting the temple saw bits of Pongal stuck to the mouth of the moolavar deity, and informed the king, who understood the power of Muniyodaran ‘s devotion. Even today, the nightly offering to the Lord is called Muniyodaran Pongal.

This place is called kizh-veedu, while Srirangam is called merku-veedu (and also, Tirupati is called Vadakk-veedu and Azhagar Koil near Madurai is Therku-veedu).

During the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May-June), on the 7th day of the temple festival, Vishnu takes up the forms of the trimurti – as Siva in the morning, Brahma in the afternoon and as Vishnu himself in the evening. Tirumanjanam (abhishekam) is performed for the utsava murti only once a year, with only pada-puja being done the rest of the year.

This is considered to be one of the places where Tirumangaiazhvar received upadesam of the ashtakshara mantram, directly from the Lord. This place is also regarded as Bhuloka Vaikuntam, so there is no Swarga vasal door at this temple.

The temple is also one of the Pancha Krishna Kshetrams (also called Krishna Aranya Kshetram or Krishna Mangala Kshetram), which are Tirukannamangai, Tirukannapuram, Kabisthalam, Tirukovilur and Tirukannangudi.

Other information for your visit

The following Paadal Petra Sthalam and Divya Desam temples (including this temple) are located close by and it is efficient to cover them in a single visit.

Tirupugalur: Agneeswarar (and Vartamaneswarar)
Tirukannapuram: Sowriraja Perumal; Ramanathaswami;
Tiruchengattankudi: UthiraPasupateeswarar;
Marugal: Ratnagireeswarar; and
Seeyathamangai: Ayavantheeswarar.

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