Thirukoilur Perumal Temple

Vishnu

 

History

Ulagalantha Perumal Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu located in Tirukkoyilur, Tamil Nadu, India.

Ulagalantha Perumal Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu located in Tirukkoyilur, Tamil Nadu, India. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, the early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th–9th centuries AD. It is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Ulagalantha Perumal and his consort Lakshmi as Poongothai. The temple is believed to have been built by the Medieval Cholas, with later contributions from Vijayanagar kings and Madurai Nayaks. The temple covers an area of 5 acres (20,000 m2) and has a temple tower that is the third tallest in Tamil Nadu, measuring 192 ft (59 m) in height.

As per Hindu legend, Vamana, a dwarf and an avatar of Vishnu, appeared here to quell the pride of Asura king Bali. The temple is believed to be the place where the first three Azhwars, the Vaishnava saints, namely, Poigai Alvar, Bhoothathalvar and Peyalvar attained salvation. The temple is one of the Panchakanna (Krishnaranya) Kshetrams, the five holy temples associated with Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu.

Ulagalantha Perumal is believed to have appeared to king Mahabali and the Azhwars. Six daily rituals and a dozen yearly festivals are held at the temple, oinf which the chariot festival, celebrated during the Tamil month of Chittirai (March–April), is the most prominent. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

The Bhagavata Purana describes that Vishnu descended as the Vamana avatar to restore the authority of Indra over the heavens, as it had been taken by Mahabali, a benevolent Asura King. Bali was the grandson of Prahlada. King Mahabali was generous, and engaged in severe austerities and penance and won the praise of the world. With the praise from his courtiers and others, he regarded himself as the all powerful in the world. Vamana, in the guise of a short Brahmin carrying a wooden umbrella, went to the king to request three paces of land. Mahabali consented, against the warning of his guru, Sukracharya. Vamana then revealed his identity and enlarged to gigantic proportions to stride over the three worlds. He stepped from heaven to earth with the first step, from earth to the netherworld with the second. King Mahabali, unable to fulfill his promise, offered his head for the third. Vamana then placed His Foot and gave the king immortality for his humility. In worshiping Mahabali and his ancestor Prahláda, he conceded sovereignty of Pátála, the netherworld. Some texts also report that Vamana did not step into the netherworld, and instead gave its rule to Bali. In giant form, Vamana is known as Trivikrama. The legend is associated with Thrikkakara Temple in Kerala, but also with this temple and Ulagalantha Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram.

It was originally under the rule of[citation needed]Malayalayam chieftains and later switched hands to Miladudaiyar and again went back to Malayalayam chieftains. The Miladudaiyar had direct relationship with the Medieval Cholas, with their princess Vana Mahadevi marrying Sundara Chola and gave birth to Rajaraja I, the illustrious Chola king. There are multiple inscriptions in the temple from Chola, Pandya and Vijayanagara Empire indicating donations to the temple. An inscription from Rajendra Chola II indicates that the temple was called Thiruvidaikazhi Azhwar temple. A chieftain by name Ranakesari Raman reconstructed the whole sanctum with granite as the old structure built of bricks developed cracks. He also built five pinnacles, the veranda and the hall in front of it. Another inscription during the regime of Rajadhiraja Chola in 1171 CE indicates the donation of seven kalanju (a measure used in olden times) by a lady for the conduct of festivals of Vaikasi and Aippasi and also for the recitation of Thiruvaimozhi sung by Nammazhwar in the temple.

The temple was originally made of bricks, but during the period of Virarajendra Chola (1063–70), a granite structure was developed. Narasimha Varma constructed the other shrines also in granite. The temple received benevolent contributions from most of the later Chola rulers like Rajadhiraja Chola (1018–1054), Rajendra Chola II (1051–1063) and other rulers of the region like Vikramapandiya, Koperujinga and Vijayanagara rulers like Saluva Narasimha Deva Raya (1485–1491) and Sadasiva Raya (1542–1570) as seen from the inscriptions in the temple. The temple was expanded during the rule of the Vijayanagar kings and Nayaks. The temple was the fortress to the British during the Carnatic wars. It was also attacked during the days of the period of Hyder Ali.

Festivals :

The temple priests perform the pooja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. As at other Vishnu temples of Tamil Nadu, the priests belong to the Vaishnavaite community, a Brahmin sub-caste. The temple rituals are performed six times a day: Ushathkalam at 7 a.m., Kalasanthi at 8:00 a.m., Uchikalam at 12:00 p.m., Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m., Irandamkalam at 7:00 p.m. and Ardha Jamam at 10:00 p.m. Each ritual has three steps: alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Ulagalantha Perumal and Poongothai. During the last step of worship, nagaswaram (pipe instrument) and tavil (percussion instrument) are played, religious instructions in the Vedas (sacred text) are recited by priests, and worshippers prostrate themselves in front of the temple mast. There are weekly, monthly and fortnightly rituals performed in the temple.

Various festivals are celebrated in the temple, with the 15-day Panguni Brahmmotsavam in March–April with Sri Pushpavalli Thayar Oonjal, being the most prominent one. During the Masi Magam festival celebrated in February–March, the festive deity is carried on the shoulders of devotees to Cuddalore. Other festivals are Purattasi Pavithra Utsavavm, Navarathri, Srirama Navami, Sri Ramanuja Jayanthi, Vasanth Utsavam in April–May, Vaikasi Visaka Garuda Seva, Nammazhwar Sattrumurai in May–June, Aani Periazhwar Sattrumurai in June–July, Aadi Thiruvadipooram, Andal Utsavam in July–August, Avani Sri Jayanthi, Uriyadi utsavam in August–September, Aipasi Mudalazwar Sattrumurai, Sri Manavala Mamunigal utsav in October–November, Karthikai Kaisika Ekadasi, Tirukarthikai in November–December, Margazhi Rapathu, Pagal Pathu and Vaikunta Ekadashi in December–January.

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Thirukoilure, Tamil Nadu
Thirukoilure 605757
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Temple TimingsAll Days : 6:30 AM to 12:00 PM 4:00 PM to 8:30 PM

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