Become Invisible In Pond Thiruvellarai Oldest Vishnu Temple
There are a few places in India which are reported to be quiet ancient, some of them to Billion years!
And these have been dated scientifically.
For example Thiruvannamalai 3.94 billion years, Thirupati 2100 million years.
Please read my posts on these places and more places similar to them.
And now there is an addition to this list.
The Temple for Vishnu at Srirangam ,is reported to be built by Rama,though many state that it was built earlier.
This period belongs to Treta Yuga, some 4,32,000 ago according to Indian Texts.
Historical dating of Lord Rama is around 5114 BC.
We may safely state that Srirangam belongs to 5114 BC, if not earlier.
References are found in Indian Texts that there is another temple which was built earlier by Lord Rama’s ancestor, King Sibi.
The same Sibi is mentioned as the one who parted with his Flesh to feed a Dove.
This has been mentioned in Tamil Sangam Literature, which is dated around 3000 BC.
But the date of Sangam literature is pushed back by at least by 20,000 subsequent finding of the ruins of Poompuhar,Tamil Nadu.
Poompuhar’s period was much later than Sangam period!
The Tamil Cholas are referred to as the descendants of Ikshvaku Clan,to which Lord Rama belonged.
So the refernce to a temple earlier to that of Srirangam gains credibility.
The Temple of Pundarikaksha(Vishnu) is mentioned in Sangam Classics and also referred to in King Rajaraja’s inscriptions.
Rajaraja built the Thanjavur Big Temple.
He belongs to 1039 AD.
The place where the temple is was called Thiruvellarai. Even now it is called so.
Thiruvellarai is about 19 km from Srirangam and bus facilities are available.
Nearest Airport. Thiruchirapalli.
Railway Station. Thiruchirapalli/Srirangam.
It is recorded in Srimad Bhagavadham that Rakshsas of the South,Rakshasa being a powerful race mostly settled in now sunk Lemuria, were inciting rebellion in the south of King Sibi’s Kingdom.
Sibi proceeded with his army to annihilate the Rakshasas but was thwarted by a wild Boar(Swetha Varaha, an Avatar of Lord Vishnu).
Sage Markandeya who was in meditation there advised Sibi that Sibi’s descendent (Rama)would take care of the Rakshasas and Sibi should build temple for Vishnu and have His darshan.
This Sibi did and this is the Thiruvellarai temple.
Temple timings. 6 to 12 noon. 4 pm to 8 pm.
Contact. SRI Kannan +91 8760732566
As the Bhattars in charge of pooja perform duties by turn I have provided the permanent staff number at the temple
The Main Deity is Pundaikakshan( Lotus eyed Vishnu).
‘ Goddess: Shenbagavalli, also called as Periya Piraattiyaar Lakshmi Devi. Seperate sannadhi for Thaayar. Utsavar thaayar is named as Pangajavalli.
Mangalasasanam: Periyalwar – 11, Thirumangai Alwar – 13, a total of 14 Paasurams. Perialwar – 71, 192 – 201, Thirumangaialwar – 1368-77, 1851, 2673, 2674
Prathyaksham for Periya Thiruvadi Garudan, Sibi chakravarthy, Bhoodevi (Bhoomi Piratti), Maarkandeya Maharishi, Lord Brahma, Rudhran (Lord Shiva).
Sri Pundarikakshan, Bhoomi Piratti, Periya piratti, Suriya and Chandiran and Aadisheshan are in human forms in the Moolavar Place.
Other shrines: Krishna, Vishwaksenar, Nammazhwar, Chakarathazhwar, Nadhamunigal, Kulasekara Azhwar, Thondarippodi Azhwar, Andal, Ramanuja and Manavala Mamunigal.
At the very entrance are the 18 steps reminding one of the 18 chapters of Bhagvat Gita given to us byPundareekakshan.
After this, one comes across 4 steps that are considered equal to the 4 Vedas to reach the Bali Peetam.
From here, one enters the Perumal sannidhi by ascending 5 steps representing the PanchaBhoothams (Fire, Water, Space, Air and Earth) and crossing theNaazhi Kettaan Vasal.
Here there are 2 gates Dakshinaayana Gate and Utharaayana Gate which are alternately used during the Dakshinayana/ Utharayana 6 month periods.
One climbs further 8 steps remind one of Ashtaaksharam
Thereafter one comes to the 24 steps reminding one of Gayathri Mantram to arrive at the sanctum sanctorum,where Senthaamarai Kannan (Pundareekaakshan) stands with His consort Pankayacchelvi Naacchiyaar.
Legend has it that all the Vaishnavas who perform daily poojas in temples in south are originally from Thiruvellarai.
The sanctum sanctorum has two entrances namely Utharayana Gate and the Dakshinayana Gate as in the Sarangapani temple at Kumbakonam. Utharayana Gate is open from the Tamil month of Thai (Capricorn) until the month of Aadi (Cancer), i.e., from Jan 15 to June 15 approximately and from then on, the Dakshinayana Gate is open.
In the human life, there are two separate entrances, one for entering into the life and the other for exiting out of it. We would be able to feel the presence of Paramaathma in both – while entering into the life and while exiting out of it. The two gates represnt this. The Utharayana Gate is the entrance through which all the Jeevathmas enter into the world as a human-being or as a non human-being and is the place of “Lord Guberan”, the God of wealth. The Dhakshinayana Gate is the entrance to the death and it is the place of Lord Yama, the king of Naragam. The Lord is ‘Suriya Narayanan’ during Utharayanam and is ‘Govindan’ during Dakshinayanam.
Apart from Utharayana and Dakshinayana Gates, the sanctum sanctorum has one more entrance called ‘Naazhi Kettaan Vaayil’ where it is believed that the Lord was intercepted and questioned by his consort, upon his returning home later, after his sojourn. Even today, during the festivals, after completing the trip outside, Perumal has to account for his time to his consort by informing the time he started, the places he visited etc., at this gate in order to gain entry into the temple.
A Temple tank Swastik Kulam (pond) or Maamiyaar -Maattu Penn (Mother in law – Daughter in law) 3, maintained by Archeological Survey of India (ASI) is outside the temple on the south-eastern side. The Swasthik shape of the tank makes it possible that people bathing at one ghat cannot view any other ghat. There are beautiful sculptures in the pillars above the steps.
In front of big pillar in this temple, when we make any sound, it replicates and echo around the temple in the inner prakaram. Because of this, some of the paasurams in Divyapprabhandhams are recited for 2-3 times.
There are two cave temples in the rocks, one of them belongs to the period of `Pallava Malla’ Nandivarman II and another belongs to the period of Rajaraja 1. There is another cave temple carved out of a rock known as Swedhagiri where Lord Siva, known as `Vada Jambunathar’ and Pundarikaksha are enshrined.
I have noticed that as one enters the Artha Mandapa,one can feel a cool breeze blowing ,though the temperature outside makes one sweat and there is no source for the cool air inside.
Citation and reference.