Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Ksheerapthi Sayana Narayana Perumal||Ambal / Thayar:||Ksheera Nayaki|
|Timing:||7 to 11 & 4 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Tiruloki||District:||Thanjavur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Mayiladuthurai (19 km)||Kumbakonam (22 km)|
|Tiruvarur (46 km)||Ariyalur (57 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
Of the 108 Divya Desams in Vaishnavite bhakti lore, 106 are said to be on Bhulokam, while the other two – Tiruparkadal (sea of milk) and Vaikuntam – are beyond this world. This temple located near Kumbakonam and Tiruvelliyangudi, is regarded as the earthly representation of Vishnu in Tiruparkadal.
Once, Lord Vishnu came to Bhulokam at short notice, for His devotees, leaving Lakshmi alone. The Goddess could not bear this separation, and performed penance to as to not be away from Her Lord at any time. She consulted Sage Markandeyar, who had been blessed with divine vision after having worshipped Siva and Parvati as Rishabharoodar at the nearby Sundareswarar temple (which contains a depiction of this form of Siva), and was able to advise Her that this – Tiruloki – would be the apt place for Her to commenced austerities. Lakshmi, with the aid of Garudazhvar, located this place and, after creating a Teertham (called the Lakshmi Teertham today), performed her penance using the only leaves she could find here – vilvam. Vishnu, overcome by Lakshmi’s prayers, accommodated Her on His chest, thereby ensuring He never left Her. For this reason, this temple is a prarthana sthalam for resolving problems among married couples.
The temple’s sthala vriksham is the vilvam, and an interesting custom here is that that archana to the Lord is performed with vilvam leaves. Any neivedyam involving milk, performed for Perumal here, is said to be special. Garudazhvar – who helped Lakshmi with Her search for Vishnu – is offered kozhukattai as a special neivedyam.
Earlier, this place used to be called Trailokya Mahadeviyar Chaturvedi Mangalam – Trailokya Mahadevi was one of the queens of Raja Raja Chola I, and she herself was an ardent devotee of Siva and Vishnu, having made several contributions to temples, and in particular, funding copper-based utsava murtis of Kalyanasundarar.
The core shrine is believed to be over 5000 years old. The original structural temple here is from the Pallava period, and subsequently improved upon and maintained by the Cholas – specifically Rajendra Chola I (inscriptions here support this). Narasimhar is seen on the vimanam above the garbhagriham – this is regarded as a representation of the Pallava involvement here, since that dynasty held Narasimhar as one of their chief deities (and some of their kings were also named after Narasimhar).
Perumal is present as He is in Tiruparkadal (which is also what Ksheerapthi means – ksheera is milk in Sanskrit), and is seen with four arms, in sayana kolam with His head to the south and feet to the north, and resting on the 5-hooded Adiseshan. Sridevi and Bhudevi are seated at His head and feet respectively, and Brahma is seen emerging from His navel. The murti does not receive tirumanjanam (abhishekam); instead, only special oils are used for anointment of the moolavar. There are separate shrines for Ksheera Nayaki Thayar, and for Abhaya Varadar (nindra kolam). Interestingly, there is a separate shrine for Vishnu Durga as well, facing south, who is regarded as extremely powerful.
Other information for your visit
Phone: 0435 – 2456432; 0431-2730392, 94425 30392 (both Trichy numbers)