The rich legacy of religious prominence in Srivilliputhur radiates divine vibrations in Srivilliputhur Andal Temple. Nesting in Virudhunagar district in Tamil Nadu, it’s one among the leading Andal temples of all times. The principal deity is Lord Vishnu with his consort Andal, worshipped as Lakshmi.
The temple holds a remarkable place in Hindu Mythology as one of 108 Divya D
The Mythological Legend
The story begins with the belief that this place, referred to as Varaha Kshetra, was a dense forest named Champaka. Sages Bhrgu and Markandeya were meditating. A demon, Kalanerai troubled them constantly. So, they offered prayers to Vishnu for relief. Following which, Vishnu appeared to slay the demon.
Another legend is that Periyalvar, a staunch devotee of Vishnu, was childless and saw a small girl under a Tulasi plant. So, he and his wife decide to take care of her and bring her up. Periyalvar had the habit of offering garlands to Vishnu daily. There is a belief that one day the girl wore a garland that was worn by the Lord before. This upset Periyalvar and he was angry with the girl. But Vishnu appeared in his dreams and requested him to give the garland to the girl. And this is why the girl was later called Chudikodutha Sudrakodi.
The History Of Srivilliputhur Temple
Srivilliputhur Andal Temple History dates back to the 14th century. However, it’s highly debatable. It also has traces from Chola, Pandya, and Nayak dynasties. This period spans from the 8th to the 16th century. The place and the temple became popular during the reign of Thirumalai Nayak and Rani Mangammal. The sculptures in the hall lead to Andal’s shrine. There is a belief that the temple’s gateway tower is the official symbol of the Tamil Nadu Government.
The construction of Srivilliputhur Temple is made completely in the Dravidian Style, chiefly with two divisions. You can find Andal in the Southwest region and the Vatapatrasayi (Vishnu) towards the Northeast. A granite wall surrounding the temple encloses the shrines. The temple premises also features the garden, where Andal was present, and three water bodies.
The 192-feet Rajagopuram, that happens to be the temple’s gateway tower, is a masterpiece. Periyalvar is believed to have built the Srivilliputhur Temple’s Gopuram.
Srivilliputhur Temple’s Structure
On entering the Vatapatrasayi side of Srivilliputhur Temple, you will find two precincts. You can reach the sanctum through steps depicting Vatapatrasayi in a reclining posture. It also features his consorts, Lakshmi and Bhudevi attending to him. Besides, the image also has Sage Bhrigu, standing near his head, and the banyan tree.
The images of Panchamurtis running across Rangamannar are
Srivilliputhur Temple is an important South Indian pilgrimage spot. In fact, it finds mention in Brahmakaivatsapuranam and Varaha Puranam. Hence, the temple holds an influential place in Vaishnava philosophy. It’s the birthplace of two main azhwars among others. Among the twelve azhwars, Andal is the only female azhwar. She has the credit of Tamil works like Thirupavai and Nachiar Tirumozhi. Srivilliputhur Town wakes up to Thiruppavai daily so that the day begins with peace.
Considering the birth and the devotion of Andal to Vishnu, a shrine for her features in most Vishnu temples worshipping her as a god.
Srivilliputhur Andal Temple Festivals
Thenkalai tradition follows the daily poojas and the tradition of worship. Besides, special poojas take place during festivals. The priests here belong to the Vaishnavaite community, a Brahmin sub-caste, and perform six rituals daily. Every ritual includes the following three steps:
- Alangaram (decoration)
- Neivethanam (food offering)
- Deepa aradanai (waving of lamps)
The ritual ends with the music of nagaswaram and tavil with the recitation of the Vedas. The priests also perform weekly and monthly rituals, including fortnightly practices.
Aadi Pooram is a major festival of this temple, and the priests decorate the palanquins to take deities in a car. It’s a festival to mark the adoption of Andal by Periyazhwar.
The blissful experience and the festivals at this temple will have a lasting impression on devotees and tourists. Srivilliputhur Andal Temple Photos are worth preserving to bring back fond memories. It’s not only a fascinating piece of history but also a profound one among Hindus.