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DIVYA DESAMs - 51/108 - Thiruvekka

Name of the Divya Desam : Yathothgari Swamy temple
Location : Chinna Kanchipuram
Moolavar (Presiding Deity) : Sri Yathothgari Perumal/Sonna vannam seidha Perumal
Thayaar (Consort) : Komalavalli thayar
Thirukkolam (Posture) : Sayanam(Reclining)
Thirumugam (Facing) : West
Mangalasasanam (Hymns sung by) :
PoigaiAzhwar, Peyazhwar, Nammazhwar, Thirumangai Azhwar, Thirumazhisai Azhwar
Sthalapurana (Brief History) :
As per legend when Thirumizhisai Azhwar was living in Kanchipuram, a very old lady used to clean his house daily and did this as a small favour for him.
Azhwar acknowledged her favour by changing her appearance from an old lady to a beautiful woman. Later, wondering at the beauty, the king married the woman and she became the queen of the place. On hearing the secret of an old lady becoming a beautiful woman, he wanted to meet Thirumizhisai Azhwar.
Kani Kannan, who was an ardent follower of Thirumazhisai Azhwar, helped and followed him and his teachings. The king called up Kani Kannan and asked that Thirumizhisai Azhwar should come to his palace and should sing a poem praising him. On hearing this, Kani Kannan said that all the poems and songs that comes from the mouth of Thirumizhisai Azhwar belongs to Srivaikundanathan and it is impossible for him to come to the palace and sing a poem praising the king.
On hearing this, he showed lots of gold ornaments, silver items, Diamonds etc to Kani Kannan and asked atleast he could sing a poem praising the king. Kani Kannan refused to do so and said he will not sing any song praising human beings. The King got angry on hearing this and ordered him to get out of Kanchi at once.
Kani Kannan went to Thirumizhisai Azhwar and explained all about what had happened in the palace and prepared to get out from Kanchipuram. On seeing this, Thirumizhisai Azhwar also prepared to leave Kanchi along with Kani Kannan. While they were going, Azhwar sung a song on the Yadhothakari Perumal as 'Kani Kannan is leaving Kanchipuram, he is also going along with him and Perumal should get up from His Aadhisheshan, which is His bed, roll it and exit from Kanchi'.
Lord Perumal obliged and got out of Kanchipuram following the Azhwar and Kani Kannan. On hearing this, the king and all the people of Kanchi, begged Kani Kannan to return back to Kanchipuram.
Later, Kani Kannan along with Thirumizhisai Azhwar came back to Kanchipuram. While returning, Azhwar again sung a song at the Lord saying 'Kani Kannan and himself are returning back to Kanchi and he wants the Perumal to go and recline in His Aadhiseshan back in the temple'. On hearing this, Sriman Narayanan comes back to Thiruvekka temple and gives darshan in the Sayana posture . Since the Perumal obeyed the words of Thirumizhisai Azhwar and did what he said, he is called as "Sonna Vannam seitha Perumal". Sonna vannam seitha means obeying and doing as told.
About the temple:
As per another legend five temples in Chinna (Small) Kanchipuram have stories relating to Lord Brahma's Ashwamedha Yagna and Goddess Saraswathi’s anger at being ignored for the Yagna. To prove a point to Brahma that a yagna cannot be successful without her presence, Saraswathi tries many different ways to stop the yagna.
In the legend relating to ThiruVekka, she takes the form of a fast flowing river (Vegavathi) and tries to flood the place. Brahma looks up to Lord Vishnu to help him with the smooth and safe conduct of the Yagna.
Vishnu, this time, reclines across the river as a dam, thus stopping the flow of the river. With the river being blocked, Lord Vishnu, along with MahaLakshmi provides darshan to Brahma, who then continues his Yagna later joined by Saraswathi.
Hence the place is known as "Vekkanai" - 'Vek' refers to Vegavathi river and 'Anai' in Tamil means Dam. The name later became "Vekka". This is the birth place of * PoigaiAzhwar. * It is here Sri Manavala Maamunigal expalined his "Sri Bashyam" to the world.
Uniqueness of this temple is that it takes a little time for one to realize that Lord Vishnu, here at Thiru Vekka, is seen in a different reclining posture from right to left (Maaru Sayanam) with his head resting on the left hand.
Two reasons are stated for Lord’s opposite reclining posture. Since he left his residing place as per Azhwar's instructions and later returned, he is said to have been in the opposite direction as proof that he had left the place once. Legend also has it that, as Lord Vishnu came in a tearing hurry, on Brahma’s request, to block River Vegavathi ( Saraswathi), he is said to have slept in the opposite direction.
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DIVYA DESAMs - 52/108 - ThiruKaaragam

Name of the Divya Desam : Kaaragathu Perumal temple
Location : Kanchipuram
Moolavar (Presiding Deity) : Sri Karunakara Perumal
Thayaar (Consort) : Padmamani Nachiyar
Thirukkolam (Posture) : Veetrirundha (Sitting)
Thirumugam (Facing) : South
Mangalasasanam (Hymns sung by) :
Thirumangai Azhwar
Sthalapurana (Brief History) :
About the temple:
This temple is a small shrine within the Thiru Ooragam (Ulgalantha Perumal) temple. The Perumal here is sitting on Adisheshan and looking very dark as black as clouds, hence he is also known as Kaaragathu Perumal.
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DIVYA DESAMs - 53/108 - Thiru Kaarvaanam

Name of the Divya Desam : Kaarvaanar Perumal temple
Location : Kanchipuram
Moolavar (Presiding Deity) : Sri Kaarvaanar Perumal
Thayaar (Consort) : Kamalavalli Thayar
Thirukkolam (Posture) : Nindra (Standing)
Thirumugam (Facing) : West
Mangalasasanam (Hymns sung by) :
Thirumangai Azhwar
Sthalapurana (Brief History) :
Kaar means clouds and Vaanam means sky. The water in this world is the resemblence of him and the Kaar Vaanam (the black clouded sky which gives rain) to the world is also one of his reflections. Without water, the World cannot survive. So, he comes to the World as rain and make all the things to survive.
As the Lord is the black clouds which gives rain for the humans and all things to survive. Hence this Perumal is called as "Sri Kaar Vaanar". The legend is almost similar to that of the previous Divya desam Thiru Kaaragam.
About the temple:
There are four Divya Desam Temples which are located within Sri Ulagalandha Perumal temple premises. They are:
1. * Thirukkarvaanam *
2. Thirukaaragam
3. Thiruooragam
4. Thiruneeragam
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DIVYA DESAMs - 54/108 - Thiru Kalvanoor

Name of the Divya Desam : Kalvar Perumal temple
Location : Kanchipuram
Moolavar (Presiding Deity) : Sri Kalvar Perumal/Sri Adi Varaha Perumal
Thayaar (Consort) : Anjilaivalli Nachiyar
Thirukkolam (Posture) : Nindra (Standing)
Thirumugam (Facing) : West
Mangalasasanam (Hymns sung by) :
Thirumangai Azhwar
Sthalapurana (Brief History) :
As per legend Goddess Parvati meditated upon Lord Shiva, under a mango tree at Kanchipuram to be united with Him in marriage. She sought Lord Vishnu (Vamana), her brother's help in her endeavour and with His help her prayers were answered.
As per another legend Goddess Kamakshi and Sri Mahalakshmi had a conversation while bathing in Kama Koshta Theertham. Lord Vishnu hid behind the pillar and overheard their conversation. Goddess Kamakshi realized the presence of her brother Lord Vishnu; therefore She called Him ‘Kalvan’ (Thief) and as per her wish the Lord stayed here in this place, hence the place got its name ‘Thirukalvanoor’.
About the temple:
Lord Perumal is enshrined in a small shrine in the Kamakshi Amman temple. Lord Vishnu can also be seen in standing, sitting and reclining postures in the northern side of the temple tank, a special feature.
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DIVYA DESAMs - 55/108 - Thiru Pavalavannam

Name of the Divya Desam : Pavalavannan & Pachaivannan Perumal temple
Location : Kanchipuram
Moolavar (Presiding Deity) : Sri Pavalavannan, Sri Pachaivannan
Thayaar (Consort) : Pavalavalli Thayar, Marakathavalli Thayar
Thirukkolam (Posture) : Nindra (Standing), Veetrirundha (Sitting)
Thirumugam (Facing) : West
Mangalasasanam (Hymns sung by) :
Thirumangai Azhwar
Sthalapurana (Brief History) :
As per legend Saptarishis requested Sri Rama to give them darshan in god's form as they had seen him only in human form. Hence Lord Narayana took Rama's colour (Emerald Green) and appeared with shanku (conch) and chakra (discus) as Sri Pachaivannan Perumal in a sitting posture. Goddess Sita also came here to be alongwith Sri Rama as Marakathavalli Thayar with Sri Adisesha guarding her. Lord Perumal gave darshan to Marichi Maharishi.
As per another legend Pacchai vannar, who is also called as "Maragatha vannar" is the amsam ( a form) of Lord Shiva and Pavala Vannar as the amsam of Parvathi. It is beleived that by worshipping these two sthalams at the same time, we worship both Lord Shiva and Parvathi( or Parashakti).
Just opposite here, nearby is the Pavalavannan Perumal temple, (red as a coral) in standing posture. Though Mangalasaasanam (hymns) are sung on this temple only, both the temples together are considered as one Divya Desam.
About the temple:
Worshipping Perumals – Pachaivanna Nathar and Pavalavanna Nathar is a rare darshan opportunity for the devotees. Mother Mahalakshmi blesses the devotees from a separate shrine.
Generally Sri Chakra is installed in temples either opposite Mother’s shrine or nearby. Here, Sri Chakra is installed in the shrine itself. Mother blesses Her devotees in three forms, Sri Chakra Rupini, Mahalakshmi and Sita.
As Lord Vishnu helped Lord Brahma once as a form light, it is believed that the Lord placed the Jyothi on top of the Serpent king Adisesha. Hence Nagadeepam (Light emitting on the head of serpent) is considered the very form of Lord Vishnu and can be seen in the Thayar's shrine here.
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DIVYA DESAMs - 56/108 - Thiruparameshwara Vinnagaram

Name of the Divya Desam : Vaikundanatha Perumal temple
Location : Kanchipuram
Moolavar (Presiding Deity) : Sri Vaikunda Natha Perumal, Sri Paramapada Nathan
Thayaar (Consort) : Vaikundavalli Thayar
Thirukkolam (Posture) : Veetrirundha(Sitting)
Thirumugam (Facing) : West
Mangalasasanam (Hymns sung by) :
Thirumangai Azhwar
Sthalapurana (Brief History) :
As per legend, the region where the temple is located was called Vidarbha Desa and ruled by King Virocha. Due to his misdeeds in his previous birth, Virocha had no heir. He prayed in Kailasanathar Temple and Shiva, the presiding deity of the temple gave a boon that the Dvarapalakas (the gatekeepers) of the Vishnu temple will be born as sons to him. The princes who were born were devoted to Vishnu and conducted yagna for the welfare of the people of their kingdom. Vishnu was pleased with the worship and appeared as Vaikundanatha to the princes.
As per another legend, a Gandharva beauty tried to distract Baradwaja Rishi in his penance. A child was born to them and a perturbed Rishi prayed to Brahma regarding the child’s up bringing. Vishnu and Brahma came to his rescue and promised to take care of the child. During the same period, a Pallava king, who was childless, was undertaking penance. They presented this child to the Pallava King and named him Parameshwaran who was devoted to Lord Vishnu from his childhood. Pleased by his devotion Lord Perumal appeared before the devoted Parameshwara in His three postures.
About the temple:
Parameshwara Pallava built this 3 tier structure each having one posture of the Lord. On the first tier, Moolavar Vaikunda Perumal graces in His sitting posture facing west. On the second tier, Aranganadha Perumal places his head towards north and showers His grace in His reclining posture. On the third tier, Paramapadanadhar graces in His standing posture.
In his Mangalasasanam, Vaishnava Saint Thirumangai Azhwar mentions Parameshwara Varman as the builder of Parameshwara Vinnagaram – “Parameshwara Varman Panindha Parameshwara Vinnagaram Adhuve”. The place is also named after him. As Azhwar’s Mangalasasanam has the name of the King, the grace of Lord to him stands established.
The temple has beautiful old sculptures around the prakaram. It exhibits the Pallava Architecture and is believed to have been built by them on a single piece of rock. This sthala describes how the Vaishnavism and Saivism are treated equally.
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DIVYA DESAMs - 57/108 - Thiruputkuzhi

Name of the Divya Desam : Vijayaraghava Perumal temple
Location : Thiruputkuzhi, Kanchi Dist
Moolavar (Presiding Deity) : Sri Vijayaraghava Perumal
Thayaar (Consort) : Maragadhavalli Thayar
Thirukkolam (Posture) : Veetrirundha (Sitting)
Thirumugam (Facing) : East
Mangalasasanam (Hymns sung by) :
Thirumangai Azhwar
Sthalapurana (Brief History) :
As per legend Ravana abducts Sita Devi and takes her along with him to Lanka, Jatayu the divine bird stops Ravana and fights with him to release Sita. After giving a valiant fight Jatayu's wings gets cut by Ravana and the bird falls down to the earth.
When Rama and Lakshmana go there in search of Sita, they find Jatayu severely wounded in the forest. Jatayu tells them about Ravana and Sita, and then dies. Sri Rama performs the last rites for Jatayu. Jatayu belongs to the Pul (a separate family of eagle) family and was buried in a pit (Tamilkuzhi), hence this sthalam is called Thiruputkuzhi.
About the temple:
The presiding deity, Vijayaraghava Perumal is believed to have performed the last rites of Jataya at this place. As suggested by Jatayu, the Perumal here gives his seva in the form in which he performed the final funeral of Jatayu. The water body where Jatayu fell is called Jatayu Theertham.
Maragadhavalli Thayar is so merciful that even a fried pulse could germinate, believe the devotees. Those seeking child boon visit the temple, collect the fried pulse from the temple kitchen, soak in water for sometime, tie it in their sari end and sleep at night. If it had germinated during the sleep hours; the indication is that the devotee has the luck of having a child.
Sri Ramanuja’s Guru Yadavaprakasa lived in this place. There is stone horse here with limbs moving, a wonder in the sculpture art. The sculptor who made this horse determined not to make one such for others and died. In recognition of his artistic skill, on the 8th day of the temple festival, the deity visits the street where he lived.
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DIVYA DESAMs - 58/108 - Thiruninravur

Name of the Divya Desam : Bakthavatsala Perumal temple
Location : Thinnanur, Thiruvallur Dist
Moolavar (Presiding Deity) : Sri Bakthavatsala Perumal
Thayaar (Consort) : Sudhavalli Thayar/Ennai Petra Thayar
Thirukkolam (Posture) : Nindra (Standing)
Thirumugam (Facing) : East
Mangalasasanam (Hymns sung by) :
Thirumangai Azhwar
Sthalapurana (Brief History) :
As per legend, Lord Samudrarajan (King of the Ocean) was longing for a child and his desire was that Goddess Mahalakshmi should be born as his daughter. He prayed to her for many years after which the Goddess appeared before him and granted his wish. He found a beautiful girl child in the middle of a lotus flower in the ocean. Thanking the Goddess Lakshmi he exclaimed " Ennai Petra Thaaye" (Mother who gave birth to me ) naming the child as Ennai Petra Thaayar.
The little girl grew up into a beautiful young lady and it was time to get her married. But Samudrarajan was not willing to part with his daughter whom he had got after praying for so many years and so when Lord Narayanan came asking for her hand in marriage, he laid a condition that he should stay with them in their house for which the Lord agreed.
About the temple:
The Eleven feet Bakthavatsala Perumal in Kalyana Thirukolam (wedding attire), and with the words * "Maam Ekam Charanam Vraja" * (Take refuge in me alone) written on his right hand (only other place you can see this is in the hand of Sri Uppiliappa Perumal in Kumbakonam).
Once Thirumangai Azhwar had visited this temple and left to Thirukkadal Mallai (Mahabalipuram) without singing any Paasuram on the Lord. After he left, Sri Bhakthavatsala Perumal gave Dharshan to him again at Thirukkadal Mallai. It is believed that Thirumangai Azhwar after having God’s dharshan, had sung 2 Paasurams on the Lord, admiring the beauty and similarities of the deities in Thirukkadal Mallai, Thiruninravur and Thirukkanna Mangai.
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DIVYA DESAMs - 59/108 - Thiruevvul

Name of the Divya Desam : Veeraraghava Perumal temple
Location : Thiruvallur Nagar, Thiruvallur Dist
Moolavar (Presiding Deity) : Sri Veeraraghava Perumal
Thayaar (Consort) : Kanagavalli Thayar (Vasumathi Thayar)
Thirukkolam (Posture) : Sayanam (Reclining)
Thirumugam (Facing) : East
Mangalasasanam (Hymns sung by) :
Thirumazhisai Azhwar, Thirumangai Azhwar
Sthalapurana (Brief History) :
Markandeya Purana details the history of this temple. A sage named Salihotra had his hermitage in this place. He used to grind rice for a living and offered half of the flour to the seekers and used to consume the rest himself. He was an ardent devotee of Vishnu. To test his devotion, Vishnu appeared as a guest to him one day. He requested Salihotra to offer him food, which the sage did. The guest felt hungry and requested the sage to offer more food.
The sage offered the other half portion of the flour which he used to consume himself. The guest asked a place (Evvul-Where) to rest and the sage readily offered his hermitage. On arriving at the hermitage, the guest (Lord Perumal) revealed his true form and blessed the sage.
About the temple:
The presiding deity Veera Raghava Perumal blesses the devotees in Sayanam posture and his right hand is kept on the head of Salihotra Muni. As the Perumal here is capable of curing acute diseases so He is also known as "Vaithiya Veeraraghavan".
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DIVYA DESAMs - 60/108 - Thiruvallikeni

Name of the Divya Desam : Parthasarathy Perumal temple
Location : Thiruvallikeni, Chennai
Moolavar (Presiding Deity) : Sri Venkata Krishnan/Sri Parthsarathy Perumal
Thayaar (Consort) : Vedavalli Thayar
Thirukkolam (Posture) : Nindra (Standing)
Thirumugam (Facing) : East
Mangalasasanam (Hymns sung by) :
Peyazhwar, Thirumazhisai Azhwar, Thirumangai Azhwar
Sthalapurana (Brief History) :
As per legend Sage Brigu performed penance here to have the Lord as his son-in-law. He found a divine female child in the Alli (Lily) flower in the Pushkarini (temple tank) here. He took the child, named Her Vedavalli. When she attained the marriageable age, Lord Ranganatha came to this place and married Her. The word “alli-keni” literally means lily-pond hence this place is called Thiruvallikeni.
About the temple:
As per legend Lord Krishna-Parthasarathy received the arrows on Himself shot by Bhishma to protect Arjuna while managing his rath(chariot) in the Kurukshetra (battlefield). These scars are visible in Lord’s face even now. Hence Perumal is known as Parthasarathy – driver of Partha-Arjuna. The Ghee component in the nivedhana is more to cure these wounds, it is said. No spices are used in the nivedhanas to Lord.
Lord Krishna’s role in Mahabharatha is unique by itself, promoting family harmony. As Sri Venkatakrishna in the sanctum, He appears with Mother Rukmini nearby, Mother Mahalakshmi in chest, brother Balarama at His right and friend Satyaki at the left, son Padyumnan and grandson Aniruddha – with His whole family. Lord Rama grants darshan from a separate shrine with Mother Sita, Lakshmana, Bharatha, Shatrugna and Sri Anjaneya.
* Presiding deity Venkatakrishna is 9ft tall and appears most of the times with a moustache, a unique feature. * He is also praised as Meesai Perumal. Meesai in Tamil means moustache. During the Day 10 (Pagal Pathu in Tamil) utsav in connection with Vaikunda Ekadasi in December-January, Lord appears without moustache from day 6 to 10. During abishek on Fridays also he appears without moustache.
As the Lord vowed that He would support the Pandavas in the war but would not hold any weapon, * the Lord here appears without discus. * He holds only the conch to announce the war. Also, He is with two hands only as Krishna in human form.
Vedavalli Thayar does not come out in procession outside the temple but goes around the prakara only on Fridays and Uthiram star days. The temple is also known as 'Brindaranyam ' (Thulasivanam) as once this place was full of Thulasi ( Brinda ) plants.
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