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SriVaishnavam - The Philosophy !
108 Dhivya Desam - Thirukkoviloor

Location: Thirukkovilur near Thiruvannamalai
Perumaal: Ulagalandha Perumal - Trivikrama
Thaayaar: Poonkoval Nachiyaar
Theertham: Pennaar, Krishna Theertham

Paasuram : ThirumangaiAzhwar, PoikaiAzhwar, BhootattAzhwar
Vimaanam: Sreekara Vimanam
Travel Base: Thiruvannamalai

Description: This Dhivyadesam is a vast temple located at Thirukkoviloor (near Thiruvannamalai), which is also home to the Thirukkovalur Veerattam, an ancient shrine glorified by the Thevaram hymns. This temple has a history of royal patronage. Thirukkoviloor is considered to be one of the Pancha Krishnaranya shrines. This shrine represents the physical meeting point of the first of the Azhwars PoikaiAzhwar, Bhutattalvar and PeyAzhwar. The Dhivya Desams enshrining Trivikrama are Thiru Oorakam (Kanchipuram) , Thirukkoviloor, Kaazhicheeraamavinnagaram and  Thiruneermalai.

The five panchakrishna kshetrams are Thirukkoviloor, Thirukkannankudi, Kapistalam, Kannapuram and Kannamangai.

 

Deities: The Moolavar is an imposing image of Ulagalanda Perumal or Trivikrama, with his foot raised, facing east. Thaayaar here is known as Poonkoval Nachiyaar in her own shrine. The Utsavar here is Aayanaar or Kovalan (Gopalan).

 

Legend has it that Perumaal took the form of Vamana, to subdue the demon king Mahabali; took on an enormous form and conquered the earth and the heavens and upon being offered Mahabali's head as the resting point for his foot, banished him to the netherworld. Legend has it that Mrikandu Maharishi worshipped Perumaal here as Trivikrama.

 

The Temple: This is a vast temple with an imposing Rajagopuram seen from a distance. Covering an area of 5 acres, it has three prakarams.There is a small shrine to Vamanar behind the image of Trivikrama. An Ardhamandapam, a Mahamandapam, and the Pandya Mandapam are seen in front of the sanctum. There are shrines to Lakshminarayanar, Lakshminarasimhar, Andal, Udayavar, Senai Mudaliyar, Manavala Mamuni, ChakratthAzhwar, Poonkoyil Naachiyaar (Pushpavalli), Varadarajar and Venugopalar here. There is also a Ramar temple behind the Taayar shrine. The rear gopuram in a comparative state of disrepair is not used.

 

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.

 

Legend has it that the three Azhwars (PoikaiAzhwar, BhutattAzhwar and PeyAzhwar) took shelter in the hermitage of Mrikandu munivar, in cramped quarters on a stormy night  when  they  felt the overwhelming person of the fourth person, who was none other than Perumaal, upon whom they composed a hundred verses in praise. This is where the first verses of the Azhwars came into being.

 

Festivals: Two worship services are offered each day here. The annual festival is observed in the month of Pankuni. Vaikuntha Ekadasi in Margazhi and Manavaala Mamuni Utsavam in the month of Aippasi are other festivals observed here.