My next stop was this temple which I could see from the shiva temple. Tirukoilur is a small place and I could find the temple easily . The whole town seems to be around this temple and the outer walls have been severely encroached upon by shops so much so the outer praharam is non existant the gopuram leads to a blocked passage overflowing with shops!! as you can see below the view from outside
and the view of the same gopuram from inside!!
(Below a view of the Rajagopuram)
Legends of the temple;
This temple was oringinally a brick and mortar structure in the period of Parantaka Chola I (early 10th century); it was patronized by the great Chola rulers Raja Raja Chola I and Raja Raja II. Rajendra Deva in the 11th century rebuilt it of granite.
The temple has a large number of inscriptions. The most important is the record if the 6th year of Rajendaradeva II. One of his governers for this area, Narasimhavarman, pulled down the old bricks which were cracking and rebuilt the central shrine entirely of fine black granite. He also built the enclosing verandah and the front mandapa. He also presented the central deity a canopy of pearls. After the construction, he engraved the walls with true copies of records found on the walls of the earlier structure.
There are plenty of other inscriptions that record many gifts from various kings such as Kulottunga I, Vikrama Pandya, Kulottunga III, Rajendra Chola I, Saluva Deva Narasinga Maharaja, Chakravartin Rajarajadeva, Rajaraja Chediyarayan, Immadi Narasa Nayak, to name a few
. The story is about the vamana avatara
click here for elaborate link to Vamana avatara
This divya desam is held sacred by all Vaishnavites as it is here that the Divya prabandham was composed. The first three azhwars met here and sang the glories of Lord Vishnu here. On one stormy night, Poigai azhwar sought shelter at a dehali (known as Rezhi in tamil). Soon, another passer by, Bhuthath azhwar sought shelter at the same dehali. The shelter was very small and both could sit. Some time later, a third passer by, Pey azhwar requested shelter at the same place. They all decided that they could stand in the small area. suddenly they felt another presence in their midst. Since it was dark and there was no light, both Poigai azhwar and Bhuthath azhwar sang a song praising Vishnu and when the song was over, the third visitor Pey azhwar had the vision of the Lord. He described what he saw and all three azhwars enjoyed the vision. The three then started to sing the glory of Lord in 100 verses each. They form the part of Iyarpa, a portion of the Divya Prabandham. Thus the Divya Prabandham was born at Tirukkoilur on a stormy night.
Click here for a detailed description of the temple's speciality
The temple proper:
As you enter the main gopuram you are in the outer praharam.a short staircase leads you to the main praharam after you cross the kodimaram.
The main sannidhi has a huge 17 feet Ulaganda perumal with his right foot raised. You can see brahma worshipping the right foot and lakshmi sitting below this foot. The left foot is being worshipped by Bali’s grand son namunchi. In front of the lord are Prahaladha and Bali chakravarthy on one side and several rishis Mirukandu rishi, Brahma, Sounaka rishi, Kashyapa rishi, kavala rishi,on the other side. Today was the purattasi sunday so the lord was in the Muthangi (Pearl studded dress). The unique feature here is the chakra is in the lords left hand and the conch is in his right hand a reversal signifying his happy mood!!
As you exit from the main sannidhi you see a unique sannidhi for Vishnu Durga which is rare in Vishnu temples. She is the Maya devi who is born as the eight child before Sri krishna.
The outer prahara has seperate sannidhis for thayar Poonkoval Nachiyaar(Pushpavalli), Vamana,Lakshmi narayana, Lakshmi hayagreeva,Lakshmi Narasimha,,Andal, Udayavar, Senai Mudaliyar, Manavala Mamuni, Chakrattalwar, Varadarajar and Venugopalar here. There is also a Ramar temple behind the Taayar shrine.
The place is one of the Pancha krishna kshetrams
The five panchakrishna kshetrams are Tirukkovilur, Tirukkannankudi, Kapistalam, Kannapuram and Kannamangai.
The Temple is under control of the emperumanar Jeeyar mutt
I visited the temple again today 27/4/2013 here are a few more snaps
|View from the Main east facing gopuram|
|view of the Rajagopuram from inside|
|Lakshmi narasimhar sannidhi|
I learnt today that the rajagopuram is the third tallest in Tamilnadu behind Srirangam and Srivilliputhur