Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Veda Narayana Perumal||Ambal / Thayar:||–|
|Timing:||10 to 10.30 & – to –||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Kodikulam||District:||Madurai|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Madurai (16 km)||Sivaganga (23 km)|
|Dindigul (60 km)||Virudhunagar (64 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
Kodikulam, located on the north-eastern side of the Yanai Malai hill just outside Othakadai in Madurai, is home to temples for Vinayakar and Veda Narayana Perumal, and a separate shrine for Pillai Lokacharyar.
The Veda Narayana Perumal temple is a small one, consisting of one shrine only, for Perumal. Thayar is not enshrined here.
Brahma was made responsible for creation, and for protecting the Vedas. But the demons Madhu and Kaitabha stole the Vedas from Brahma, and creation came to a sudden halt. At the request of the gods, Vishnu fought the demons and recovered the Vedas. As the entire series of events stemmed from Brahma’s carelessness, the Vedas were not given back to him. As penitence, Brahma took human form as a brahmin, and performed penance here. After this, Lord Vishnu appeared to him in the form of Hayagreeva, and the Vedas and the responsibility for creation were handed back to Brahma. Brahma is enshrined along with Veda Narayana Perumal, but with only one head instead of the usual four, depicting his human birth.
This rather nondescript temple is home to some very important events in Vaishnavite history, and closely connected with the Vaishnavite saint and philosopher, Pillai Lokacharyar. The saint also attained mukti here at Kodikulam, and has a separate shine which, in Vaishnavite tradition, is called a Tiruvarasu. Saints who have attained mukti are interred, and a peepul tree (arasa maram) is grown above the place, indicating spread of knowledge of the saint.
During the Mughal invasion of the south, and particularly the Pandya kingdom, in the early 14th century, Azhagiya Manavalar – the utsava murti of Srirangam temple – was taken to various places, one of which was here (another such place is the Azhagiya Manavala Perumal temple at Palayanallur). The deity was carefully protected by Pillai Lokacharyar and his devotees in a cave inside the Yanai Malai hill, and ensured that it was not taken away by the invaders. After the saint’s mukti and related ceremonies were completed, his disciples took the murti at an appropriate time, back to Srirangam.
The cave inside Yanai Malai, where the murti of Azhagiya Manavalar was hidden away from the Mughals, is represented today by the depiction of Perumal’s feet (Tiruvadi) on a pedestal. Every month, on the day of Revati nakshatram, bhagavatas congregate here to sing pasurams from the Divya Prabhandam, and distribute prasadam.
The simple shrine here is a brick construction, although the original shrine must be significantly older. Inscriptions at the Tirumohur temple refer to this place as Thungavana Kshetram. There is also some evidence to suggest that the temple had fallen out of care during the time of Maravarman Kulasekara Pandyan I, and was later revived by a local chieftain named Sundara Pandyan.
Connected with the sthala puranam, the Teertham opposite the temple is also called the Brahma Teertham. Given the sanctity of the place, it is not permitted for anyone to bathe, or wash their hands and feet in the waters of the Teertham. However, it is believed that mixing this water with normal bath water when taking a bath, cures skin diseases.
Other information for your visit
Due to its location and very few visitors, the temple is opened by the Bhattar for puja only for about 30 minutes in the morning. At other times, one needs to call the Bhattar in order to visit. However, the shrine is not walled, and the murtis can be seen through the door of the shrine.
Read and view more pictures here (external site).
Veera Raghava Bhattar: 94426 22181
Phone: 0452-2423444; 98420 24866