TIRUKKANNANKUDI – TIRUVARUR,
One of the 108 Temples and Celestial Abodes of Vishnu revered by Tamil Hymns of the Alwars of the 1st millennium CE
LOCATION: Tirukkannangudi near Nagappattinam (Sikkal) (Chola Naadu)
VISHNU: Lokanathan (Syamalameni Perumal) in a standing posture facing east
THAYAAR: Lokanayaki, Aravindavalli
THEERTHAM: Sravana Pushkarini
VIMAANAM: Utpala Vimanam
TRAVEL BASE: Tiruvarur
DESCRIPTION: This Divyadesam is located near Nagappattinam, between the towns Keevalur and Sikkal both enshrining Shivastalams glorified by the Tevaram hymns. This shrine is revered as one of the five Krishnaranya kshetrams Tiruvazhundur, Tirukkannankudi, Kapistalam, Kannapuram and Kannamangai.
DEITIES: The Moolavar here is Lokanathan or Syamalameni Perumaal in a standing posture facing east while the Utsavar is Damodara Narayanan depicated with his left hand placed on his hip. Taayaar here is Aravindavalli, and the Utsava Taayaar is Lokanayaki.
THE TEMPLE: A five tiered rajagopuram adorns the entrance to this east facing temple with two prakarams. The theertham here is known as Sravana pushkarini and within it are believed to be eight sources of water. There are shrines to Garudan, Rama, Hanuman and the Alwars. The annual festival is celebrated in the tamil month of Chittirai here.
LEGENDS: Has it that Bhrigu Muni , Gowtama rishi and Bhrama worshipped Vishnu here. Legend also has it that Vashishtar created an image of Krishna of butter and meditated upon it. It is believed that Krishna appeared in front of Vasishtar, who reached out to him; a group of rishis engaged in meditation under the Magizha trees held Krishna, with their devotion, which served as the 'Paasa Kayiru'. Hence the name Tirukkannankudi.
Interestingly Vasishtar is believed to have meditated upon a Shivalingam which he fashioned out of butter, at Sikkal nearby. Legends associated with this temple are referenced in the Garuda Puranam.
Tirumangai Alwar is believed to have hidden a golden image of Buddha – here at Tirukkannankudi which he had brought from a vihara at Nagappattinam for the purpose of building the walls of the Srirangam temple. Several legends are associated with the encounters that Tirumangai Alwar had with the residents of this town during his visit to the shrine here.
The magizha tree located behind the sanctum is said to date back to the time of the saint, and is referred to as 'kaayaamagizh' – or the tree that would not dry up and perish.
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