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108 Dhivya Desam - Thiruvaikuntham

Location :  Sreevaikuntham near Thirunelveli
Perumaal :  Vaikunthanathar
Thaayaar :  Vaikunthavalli, Bhudevi
Theertham : Bhrigu Theertham
Paasuram :  NammAzhwar
Vimaanam : Chandra Vimanam
Travel Base : Thirunelveli

Description: There are   two verses sung by NammAzhwar, glorifying this grand shrine to Vaikunthanathar at Sree Vaikuntham which constitutes the first of the nine Nava Thiruppatis in Thirunelveli district in the belt between Thirunelveli and the coastal shrine of Thiruchendur. One of these verses also refers to Thiruppulinkudi and Varagunamangai nearby.

Only NammAzhwar, who resided at Azhwar Thirunagari, has sung of these nine shrines Thiruvaikuntham, Varagunamangai, Pulinkudi, Tolaivillimangalam, Thirukkulandai, Thirukkolur, Thirupperai and Thirukkurugoor collectively referred to as Azhwar NavaThiruppati. Tolaivillimangalam referred to as Irattai Thirupati, counts as two in the scheme of Nava Thirupatis, but only as one of the 108 Dhivya Desams.

 

This temple witnessed the battle between the valiant Veerapandya Kattabomman and the British, where the British used this temple as a fortress. Battle marks are seen on the temple's door.

 

Also located in this village is the Kailasanathar temple considered to be one of the Navagraha Stalam temples in the Thirunelveli area, enshrining Saneeswaran, owing to which, this village is also referred to as Thirukkayilayam.

 

Deities: Sree Vaikunthanathan (Kallappiraan) in a standing posture facing East. The image of Perumaal, with Adi Seshan's hood spread over his head, is an imposing one. of Thaayaar here is Vaikunthavalli; there is also a shrine to Bhudevi.

 

Legend has it that a local thief, was in the habit of surrendering half of his spoils to the deity here; upon being caught stealing at the local ruler's palace, Perumaal assumed the form of a thief, and preached the truth to the king and revealed his self. Upon the king's request, Vaikunthanathan, assumed the name Kallappiraan.

 

The Temple: This temple has been designed such ahat on the 6th day of Chittirai (Apr 15-May14) and Aippasi (Oct 15-Nov14), the sun's rays illuminate the sanctum. Murals depicting the 108 Sri Vaishnava Dhivya desam shrines are seen in the temple corridor. The Thiruvenkatamudaiyan mandapam is lined with pillars carrying images of lions, yalis and elephants. . The 110 feet tall 9 tiered Rajagopuram is visible from a distance, across the river and the verdant vegetation here - amidst very lush surroundings. There are shrines to Krishna, Thaayaar Narasimha, Hanuman, Thiruvenkatamudaiyaan.

 

Festivals: Six worship services are carried out each day. The annual Bhramotsavam is celebrated in the month of Chittirai and the adhyana utsavam in Margazhi