Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Soumya Narayana Perumal||Ambal / Thayar:||Mahalakshmi, Tirumamagal|
|Vriksham:||Teertham:||Deva Pushkarini, Tiruparkadal, Mahamaha Teertham|
|Timing:||6 to 12 & 4 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Divya Desam||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Tiru Koshtiyur||District:||Sivaganga|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Karaikudi (30 km)||Pudukkottai (54 km)|
|Madurai (64 km)||Sivaganga (69 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
Tirukoshtiyur is the Tamil name of the Sanskrit Goshtipuram, which derives from the following puranam.
As instructed by Periya Nambi, Ramanujar walked 17 times from Srirangam to Tirukoshtiyur to receive Tiru Mandiram and Charama Slokam upadesam from Tirukoshtiyur Nambi. But he was deined upadesam each time, as he announced his arrival saying “Naan Ramanujan vandurikken” (I, Ramanujam, have arrived).
The 18th time, he was informed by Tirukoshtiyur Nambi through a messenger, to come to Tirukoshtiyur with his dandam and pavitram (staff and pennant). Ramanujar arrived with Dasarathi and Koorathazhvan (who he considered his dandam and pavitram), and announced his arrival saying “Adiyen Dasan Ramanujan vandurikken ” (Ramanujan, disciple and student, has arrived). Because he let go of the “Naan” (I, representing ego), Tirukoshtiyur Nambi considered him fit to receive upadesam.
The upadesam was given by Tirukoshtiyur Nambi in secret, with a condition that Ramanujar should not reveal it to anyone without testing them at least as many times Ramanujar had been tested. But Ramanujar had a change of heart as he left. He headed to the third level of the temple, from where he immediately broadcast the upadesam to everyone who was interested, from under the Ashtanga Vimanam of the temple.
A shocked Tirukoshtiyur Nambi told Ramanujar that disobeying the guru’s orders results in narakam (hell). Ramanujar responded that he gladly accepted that, if it meant several people could get upliftment and Vaikuntam, which pleased Tirukoshtiyur Nambi so much, that he gave Ramanujar the title “Emperumanaar”.
Armed with a boon from Brahma, Hiranyakashipu terrorized everyone in his kingdom, as well as the Devas. In order to put a stop to this, the Devas asked Vishnu for a solution. He told them to look for a place where His name was continuously chanted, and he would meet them there. The Devas, together with Siva and Brahma, found the ashram of Sage Kadambar who was chanting the ashtakshara mantram continuously, and Vishnu met them there. Together, they agreed on the future course of action, and so, Vishnu took the Narasimha avataram to destroy Hiranyakashipu. It is believed that before leaving to fight the asura, Vishnu showed his Narasimha rupam to those present, but they could not get enough of this divine sight. So they requested Him to show them the Narasimha form, two more times. Therefore, the temple has Perumal on 3 levels. A group of people is called Goshti (or koshti), and since the group of Gods and Devas met here, the place is called Tiru-Koshti-ur.
Pururava the son of Budhan (Mercury) was travelling here during the Masi Mahamaham festival at Kumbakonam. He wanted to bathe in the river Ganga on that day, but as he was unable to do so, he prayed to Lord Vishnu for a solution. Immediately, water from the Ganga sprang up from the temple tank. This is the reason the temple tank is also called the Mahamaham Teertham.
Perhaps the most famous story of Tirukoshtiyur is about Ramanujar receiving mantra upadesam from Tirukoshtiyur Nambi (see box).
Once Hiranyakashipu was destroyed, Brahma asked Vishwakarma to build a temple with a three-tiered tower, with Narasimhar depicted in the act of slaying Hiranyakashipu on the southern side. Brahma also gifted Sage Kadamba a murti of Soumya Narayana Perumal, which the sage installed here.
The temple is built on three levels, in addition to the ground level where there are shrines for Siva, Brahma, Tirukoshtiyur Nambi and Ramanujar. On the first level is the moolavar deity – Soumya Nayarana Perumal, in sayana kolam (resting / lying on Adiseshan). On the second level is Devaloka Perumal in nindra kolam (standing), and Vaikunta Perumal on the third level in amarndha kolam.
The utsava murti at this temple is made of silver. This temple being associated with the Narasimha avataram, there are two Narasimhar shrines – in the north and the south – called Vadakkazhvan and Therkkazhvan.
Other information for your visit
Madhvan Swamy: 9443341163