1. Sri Vaikundam , Srivaikuntanathan Permual Temple
Sri Vaikundam Temple is located 29 Kms from Tirunelveli towards Tiruchendur.
Moolavar is named Vaikunthanathan in standing posture Thayar as Vaikuntavalli and Nammalwar has sung praising this Lord.
As per legends Lord Brahma worshipped His creator Lord Vishnu . Somukasura a demon, defeated Brahma , the Hindu god of creation and stole the four Vedas (sacred texts) from him . Brahma was helpless and he did severe penance in the banks of River Tamiraparani seeking favour from Lord Vishnu in the form of Vaikuntanathan. Pleased by the penance, Vishnu appeared to Brahma and promised to retrieved the Vedas. Taking form of a celestial ‘Matsya’ Lord Vishnu killed the demon Somuka and restored the Vedas to Brahma. He also wished to set his abode as Srivakuntam and resided there as Vaikuntanatha .
As per another legend , the image of Vaikunatha , over the period of several ages , had no patrons and was left submerged under the earth . A cow from a herd of the king , which used to graze at the place , did ablution at the place with its where Vaikuntanatha lay buried. The king was displeased to see that a particular cow alone was not yielding milk and thought it might have been the trick of the herdsman. He deployed his men to monitor the cow, who reported the events to the king. The king realised that the cow would lead him to divinity and he dug up the region around the place . He reinstated the image of Vaikuntanathar and expanded the temple . Since Vaikuntanathar was revealed by the cow, the presiding deity got the name Pal Pandian (pal in Tamil indicates milk) .
Kaladushana was a head of robbers in the region .The ruling Pandya king wanted to arrest him , but his attempts were futile. During one of the encounters , he could arrest everyone except Kaladushana . Kaladushana prayed to Srivaikuntanathar to save him and his troop from the king . Vaikuntanathar appeared as Kaldushana and surrendered before the king . Later , he appeared in the dreams of the king to narrate the events and also informed him that he wanted the king and the people to learn that large accumulation of ill-gotten wealth would be stolen and would reach the right hands .The king was enlightened and he released Kaladushana and his troop. Since Vaikuntanathar appeared for thieves (called kalla in Tamil) , he came to be known as Kallapiran .
The vedic practice is Pancharathram and Tradition followed is Thenkalai. The Urchavar sculpture should be observed carefully. The Lord has a pinch mark in his cheek ! The legend is that the sculptor broke the mould while working on the sculpture . As his heart leaped the Lord got a pinch mark . Remarkable murals are depicted in the corridors of the temple. This temple is considered as Suryan sthalam .
Time : 7 am – 12 pm, 5 – 8 pm
2. Thiruvaragunamangai temple, Vijayaasana Perumal Temple, Natham.
Thiruvaragunamangai temple is located 3 KMs east of Sri Vaikundam.
Moolavar is Vijayasana Perumal in sitting posture Thayar Varaguna mangai and Nammalwar has sung praising this Lord .
At this temple Vishnu appeared to Rishi called ‘Romesa’ who cured Brahma of his arrogance . He appeared to ‘Savitri’ who retrieved her husband alive with her truth and also to Lord Agni (fire) who would incinerate Adharma and atrocities . Vijayaasana here graces everyone as Lord Satya Narayana, sitting under the umbrella borne by Aadhiseshan . According to Romesa Rishi somebody dies at this temple won’t have birth again and attain the ultimate eternity of liberation.
Another story goes that a fisherman, who had cast a net at this Theertham, was bitten by a snake and immediately attained moksham thus reaching the abode of the Lord. Romasa rishi narrated to his son the story of the fisherman attaining moksham referring to his previous life as a king, who had performed harsh acts and hence had to lead the current life as a fisherman . But sincerity in performing all his duties in this life led him to attaining the Lord’s feet . As he attained moksham here , the theertham at this temple is said to be sacred .
The vedic practice is Vaigasanam and tradition is Thenkalai. The gopuram is very majestic and has 9 tiers. Recently a spring was discovered around the temple which has been renovated now .This temple is considered as Chandran sthalam .
Time : 8 am – 12 pm, 1 – 6 pm .
3. Thirupulinkudi, ThiruPulingudi Perumal Temple
Thirupulinkudi Temple is just half a KM towards east of Thiruvaragunamangai temple . Moolavar is named kaisinaventhan is sleeping posture Thayar is named poomagal nachiyar . Nammalwar has sung praising this Lord .
Once Vishnu spent the time with Lakshmi on the bank of river , Bhoomadevi became angry as she felt that the Lord disregarded her after his arrival to the earth . So she left the earth and went down to the underworld . As Bhoomadevi went to the Underworld , the earth became dark and dry . The devas went to Vishnu and prayed for restoration of light and life on the earth . Lord Vishnu accompanied by Lakshmi went to the underworld and pacified Bhoomadevi and appeared to everyone with both of the consorts . As the Lord saved the earth(Bhoomi)pacifying Bhoomadevi , He was called Bhoomi balagar.
Once at the Himalayas, a Rishi and his consort were playing in the guise of deer. Indra (deva chieftain), who came there killed the male deer with his Vajrayudha without knowing that the deer are actually a Sage and his wife. As he killed the Rishi he got into ‘Brahmahaththi Dosha’ . As per the advice of Jupiter (one of the navagrahas), Indira came here and prayed to Bhoomibalan and bathed in the Holy water here . He was relieved of the Brahmahaththi dosha . The elated Indira performed a big Pooja . Vishnu appeared and relieved the curse of Yagnasharma who was cursed to become a demon because he had not only failed to respect Vashishtar and his daughter but also used harsh words against them . Here Vishnu lies to twelve feet Aadhiseshan (Aadhiseshan – King of serpents where Lord Vishnu sits). The holy feet of Vishnu can be seen through a window while circumambulating the Moolasthanam . From the navel of Vishnu the lotus vine reaches the lotus on the wall Where Brahma is seated. For anointing Vishnu with oil , 250 liters of oil is used everyday. Lakshmi and Bhoomadevi sit at the feet in their bigger posture. Childless couples offers their prayers to this Lord .
The vedic practice is Vaikaasanam and tradition followed is Thenkalai . This temple is considered as Puthan sthalam .
Time : 8 am – 12 pm, 1 – 6 pm
4. Thirukulanthai, Srinivasa Perumal Temple,
Thirukulanthai Temple is located 5 KMs towards East of Thirupuliyankudi . Moolavar is Sri Soranatha Perumal or Srinivasa Perumal in standing posture Thayar Alarmel mangai .Nammalwar has sung praising this Lord . Urtsavar is Mayapiran . Lord Garudan is placed next to urtsavar in this place .
Legend has it that many years ago , The Lord had married a girl called Kamalavathy, daughter of Vedhasaran and Kumuthavalli. One day a demon named Achmasaran abducted Kumuthavalli while she was having a bath and hid her in the Himalayas. The Lord mounted Garuda and went to the Himalayas and rescued the lady. Unique feature about Thirukulanthai Temple Since the Lord went to Himalayas mounted on Garuda, it is Garuda who is the processional deity in this temple The vedic practice adopted in this divya desam temple is Vaigasanam while the tradition followed is Thenkalai . In NavaThitupathi this temple is considered as Sani sthalam .
Time : 7:30 am – 12:30 pm, 4:30 – 7:30 pm
5. North & South Temple of Errattai Tirupathi , Aravindalochanar temple, Tholavillimangalam
The Erratai Tirupathi temples can be reached from Thirukulanthai temple via Mangalakurich .
The shrines are in a forest along a channel called Vadakaal .
The vedic practice is Vaikaasanam and tradition followed is Thenkalai.
The puranic lore around South Temple is that a rishi called Athreyasubrabar selected this area for his Yagna. While cleaning the spot, he found a bow and a balance. As soon as he touched them the bow and balance became a man and a woman. They had been cursed into that existence by Kuber . Henceforth the place became known as Thoolaivillimangalam .
Lord Vishnu is named as Devapiran in kethu sthalam.
The highlight of North Temple is that Nammalvar has performed mangaalasasanam for the Thayar at this temple with the Lord . This temples are together known as erattai Thirupathi and are considered as Raghu , Kethu sthalams .
Time : 8 am – 1 pm, 2 – 6 pm
6. Thenthiruperai , Makara Nedunkuzhal Kathar Temple
Thenthiruperi temple is located 35 KMs away from Tirunelveli on the Tirunelveli- Triuchendur road, besides the southern banks of Thamirabharani river. Once Goddess Bhumidevi was cursed by Durvasa Maharishi and lost her beauty and became dark complexioned , when asked for remedy She was adviced to pray Lord Vishnu in a place called Haripadham . As per adviced She took bath daily and worshipped Lord Vishnu . One day while bathing She got a makara kundalam which She offered to Lord Vishnu and prayed to Lord asking him to wear those makara kundalam . Answering Her prayers the Lord Vishnu wore those earrings and relieved her from the curse and retained the beauty . Hence the Moolavar is named as Makara Nedunkukuzhal Kathar in sitting posture Thayar is named as kuzhaikathuvalli . Nammalwar has sung praising this Lord. The dwajasthambam of this temple is not straight to the Lord temple it is placed aside as this Lord loves to see the children playing outside .
King Sundara Pandiyan had brought 108 Jaimuni Samaveda Thalavakara from Cholas to perform a prayer in this temple . He was blessed with a child soon afterwards . The Vedic practice followed here is Pancharaathiram while the tradition is Thenkalai . This temple is considered to be Sukran sthalam .
Time : 7 am – 12 pm, 5 – 8:30 pm
7. Thirukolur, Vaithamanidhi Perumal Temple
Thirukolur is located 5 kms away from Thenthiruperi on the way towards Alwarthirunagari. This is the birth place of Madhurakavi Alvar. Moolavar is Vaithamanidhi Perumal in sleeping posture , Thayar is kollur valli . Nammalwar has sung praising this Lord . Though Madurakavi alwar is considered as a alwar he has sung only about Nammalwar . There is a legend once the wife of the King of wealth Sri Kuberan was cursed by Goddess Parvathi . She came to this place and prayed to this Lord and regained the lost wealth . It is said that anyone who has lost wealth can come here and pray with devotion. The Lord always returns the wealth of those who pray with devotion . The Vedic practice followed here is Vaikaasanam while the tradition is Thenkalai . Devotees having sevvai doshams come to offer their prayers to get rid of the negativities in their horoscope . As this place is considered as Angaarakan sthalam .
There is a famous phrase said regarding this temple when a lady who was leaving this place was asked by Sri Ramanujar “why are you leaving this place ” she gave 81 sentences which is famously known as “Thirukolur Penpillai rahasyam “.
Time : 7:30 am – 12 pm, 1 – 8 pm
8. Thirugurukoor, AlwarThirunagari Temple
Thirugurukoor is located in the famous village of Alwarthitunagari . As per legends Lord Brahma worshipped His creator Lord Vishnu , Lord Vishnu appeared before him and gave upadesam as a Guru so this place is called as Thirugurugoor . Moolavar is Aadhi Nathan in standing posture . Thayar name is Gurukoor valli . Nammalwar has sung praising this Lord .
Tamarind tree is the Sthala vritcham it is said the leaves dint sleep at night and the tamarind dint ripe in to frit here . Here Nammalvar was born to the royal couple Kaarimaaran and Vudaiya Nangiayaar . He didnot speak for 16 years. The worried parents took the child to this temple and cradled it to the tamarind tree near the shrine. Nammalvar spoke only when Madhurakavi Alwar met him during his wanderings under the tamarind tree. This tamarind tree is 5000 years old and can still be seen at the temple. It is here at Alwarthirunagari that Nadamuni wrote Divyaprabhandam. Nadamuni sought the Kanni Nunsiruthaambu from descendents of Madhurakavi Alwars. Pleased with his dedication Nammalvar appeared before Nadamuni and helped him with the Divyaprabhandam. The presiding deity of Nammalvar was sculpted by Madurakavi Alwar by a special formulation of boiled water from the River Thamirabharani . This place is considered as Gurus sthalam .
Time : 6 am – 12 pm, 5 – 8:45 pm