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Srivilliputhur
Srivilliputhur
Andal
Andal
temple (also called Srivilliputtur Divya Desam) in Srivilliputhur, a town in Virudhunagar
Virudhunagar
district in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. It is located 80 km from Madurai. 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
Divyadesam
dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Vadapathrasayi and his consort Lakshmi
Lakshmi
as Andal. It is believed to be the birthplace of two of the Azhwars, namely Periazhwar
Periazhwar
and his foster daughter Andal.[1] The temple is associated with the life of Andal, who was found under a Tulsi plant in the garden inside the temple by Periazhwar. She is believed to have worn the garland before dedicating it to the presiding deity of the temple. Periazhwar, who later found it, was highly upset and stopped the practise. It is believed Vishnu
Vishnu
appeared in his dream and asked him to dedicate the garland worn by Andal
Andal
to him daily, which is a practise followed during the modern times. It is also believed that Ranganatha
Ranganatha
of Srirangam
Srirangam
Ranganathaswamy temple married Andal, who later merged with him. The temple has two divisions - the one of Andal
Andal
located on the Southwest and the second one of Vadapathrasayi on the Northeast direction. A granite wall surrounds the temple, enclosing all its shrines, the garden where Andal
Andal
is believed to have been born and two of its three bodies of water. The Vijayanagar and Nayak kings commissioned paintings on the walls of the shrine of temple, some of which are still present. Samprokshanam of the Andal
Andal
temple was performed on 20 January 2016 by Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Government.[2] Vadapathrasayi is believed to have appeared to Andal, Periazhwar
Periazhwar
and sages Markandeya
Markandeya
and Bhrigu. The temple follows Thenkalai
Thenkalai
tradition of worship. Six daily rituals and three yearly festivals are held at the temple, of which the Aadipooram festival, the birthday of Andal, celebrated during the Tamil month of Adi (July - August), is the most prominent. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Legend 3 History 4 Architecture 5 Religious significance 6 Festivals and religious practises 7 Notes 8 References 9 External links

Etymology[edit] As per Hindu legend, the land around Srivilliputhur
Srivilliputhur
was under the rule of Queen Malli. The queen had two sons called Villi and Kandan. While the two were hunting in a forest, a tiger killed Kandan. Unaware of this, Villi searched for his brother, got tired and fell asleep. In his dream, divinity narrated to him what happened to his brother. By divine orders, Villi founded a city. The city is originally named after its founder, Villi forming the word Sri-Villi-Puthur.[3] Srivilliputtur is known by other names such as Varaha kshetram, Thenpuduvai, Vadeswarapuram, Vadamahadamapuram, Shenbagaranya kshetram, Vikrama chola chaturvedhi mangalam, and Sridhanvipuri.[4] Legend[edit]

The garden where Periazhwar
Periazhwar
is believed to have found the child Andal

As per mythological legend, the place was referred as Varaha Kshetra. It was a dense forest named Champaka where the sages Bhrgu
Bhrgu
and Markandeya
Markandeya
were doing penance and had their hermitages in the place. A demon named Kalanerai was troubling the sages and they prayed to Vishnu
Vishnu
to relieve them from the demon. Vishnu
Vishnu
was pleased by their devotion and appeared in the place to slay the demon. He is believed to have taken the abode in the forest reclining on Adisesha, his serpent bed, on the leaf of a banyan tree. The place thus came to be known as Vadaveshwarapuram.[4] Periazhwar
Periazhwar
(originally called Vishnuchittar) was an ardent devotee of Vishnu
Vishnu
and he used to string garland to Vishnu
Vishnu
every day. He was childless and he prayed to Vishnu
Vishnu
to save him from the longing. One day, he found a girl child under a Tulsi plant in a garden inside the temple. He and his wife named the child as Kothai, who grew up as a devotee of Krishan, an avatar of Vishnu. She is believed to have worn the garland before dedicating it to the presiding deity of the temple. Periazhwar, who later found it, was highly upset and remonstrated her. Vishnu
Vishnu
appeared in his dream and asked him to dedicate only the garland worn by Andal
Andal
to him. The girl Kothai was thus named Andal
Andal
and was referred as Chudikodutha Sudrakodi (lady who gave her garland to Vishnu). The practise is followed during modern times when the garland of Andal
Andal
is sent to Azhagar Koyil
Azhagar Koyil
on Garudostavam during the Tamil month of Puratasi (September - October) and Tirumala Venkateswara Temple during Chitra Pournami.[4] It is also believed that Ranganatha of Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple
Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple
married Andal, who later merged with the idol. Andal
Andal
was taken in a palanquin from Srivilliputhur
Srivilliputhur
to Srirangam
Srirangam
before the marriage.[5] Since Andal
Andal
married Ranganatha, who came as a king (called Raja), the presiding deity is called Rangamannar.[6] History[edit]

Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
State's Emblem

The history of Srivilliputhur
Srivilliputhur
centres around the Srivilliputhur
Srivilliputhur
Andal Temple, dedicated to Andal.[7] It is argued that the temple of Vadapathrasayee is present from the 8th century, but there are epigraphic records are available only from the 10th century. The view that the Andal
Andal
temple was built during the 14th century is highly debated.[6] The temple has inscriptions from Chola, Pandya
Pandya
and Nayak rulers, spanning across various centuries from the 10th to 16th centuries. As per some accounts, the original structure was constructed by Tribuvana Chakravarthy Konerinmai Kondan Kulasekaran and the Andal
Andal
temple by Barathi Rayar.[4] During the reign of Thirumalai Nayak
Thirumalai Nayak
(1623–1659) and Rani Mangammal (1689–1706), this city became very popular. Thirumalai Nayak renovated all the temples of this city. He installed choultaries, temple tanks, paintings and golden towers inside the temple. The sculptures in the hall leading to the shrine of Andal
Andal
were also built by him.[4] From 1751 to 1756 A.D., Then it fell into the hands of Mohammed Yousoof Khan. Until 1850, Sri Andal
Andal
temple was under the care of the king of Trivancore. The British ruled the country till India attained freedom in 1947. The temple's gateway tower, 192 ft (59 m) tall and it is believe that this is the official symbol of the Government of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
(Sri Vadapathrasayi Temple Tower).[8] But the artist who designed the emblem for the state of Tamil Nadu Thiru. Krishna
Krishna
Rao denied that it is not the temple of Srivilliputhur rather it is Madurai
Madurai
Meenatchi Temple's West Gopuram.[9] During the modern times, the temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu. Architecture[edit]

The vimana (ceiling) of Andal
Andal
shrine

The temple has two divisions - the one of Andal
Andal
located on the Southwest and the second one of Vadapathrasayi (Vishnu) on the Northeast direction. A granite wall surrounds the temple, enclosing all its shrines, the garden where Andal
Andal
was found and two of its three bodies of water. The rajagopuram, the temple's gateway tower, 192 ft (59 m) tall. The tower is originally believed to have been built by Periazhwar
Periazhwar
with the prize money he obtained from religious debates in the court of Vallaba Pandya
Pandya
in Madurai.[4] The Andal
Andal
shrine houses the image of Andal
Andal
and Rangamannar. Garuda, who brought Ranganathar, the divine bridegroom, from Srirangam
Srirangam
is also housed in the same shrine. The walls around the shrine has paintings of the life of Andal. The second hall from the entrance towards the sanctum, the Kalyana Mandapa, houses huge life-size sculptures of Mohini, Rama, Kamadeva, Rati
Rati
and many other deities.[4] The Vadapathrasayee division has two precincts. The sanctum in the second level approached through a flight of steps houses the image of Vadapathrasayee in a reclining posture and his consorts, Lakshmi (Sridevi) and Bhudevi, are shown attending to him at his feet. Sage Bhrigu
Bhrigu
stands near his head and sage Markandeya
Markandeya
is near his feet. The banyan tree whose leaf is known as Vatapatram, on which Vishnu
Vishnu
is said to rest in the form of a baby during deluge, is at his head, behind Bhrigu. Images of Panchamurtis - Tumburu, Narada, Sanatkumara, Kinnara Mithuna, the Sun and the Moon are shown all around Rangamannar as well as representations of Villi and Puttan are seen at his feet. The sanctum has three doorways from which the presiding deity can be seen. The hall leading to the sanctum, Bhopala villam, has a hall with detailed teak wood carvings depicting incidents from the Puranas
Puranas
and the ten avatars of Vishnu, the Dashavatara. There are a set of carvings that decorate the ceiling.[4] The temple houses some rare Vijayanagara sculptures similar to the ones present in Soundararajaperumal Temple, Thadikombu, Krishnapuram Venkatachalapathy temple, Alagar Koyil
Alagar Koyil
and Jalakandeswarar Temple, Vellore.[10] The composite columns of Virabhadra
Virabhadra
holding sword and horn are found be additions of the Vijayanayagara kings during the early 1500s. Similar columns of Virabhadra
Virabhadra
are found in Adikesava Perumal Temple at Thiruvattaru, Meenakshi Temple
Meenakshi Temple
at Madurai, Nellaiappar Temple
Nellaiappar Temple
at Tirunelveli, Kasi Viswanathar temple at Tenkasi, Krishnapuram Venkatachalapathy temple, Ramanathaswamy Temple
Ramanathaswamy Temple
at Rameswaram, Soundararajaperumal temple at Thadikombu, Srivaikuntanathan Permual temple
Srivaikuntanathan Permual temple
at Srivaikuntam, Avudayarkovil, Vaishnava Nambi and Thirukurungudivalli Nachiar temple
Vaishnava Nambi and Thirukurungudivalli Nachiar temple
at Thirukkurungudi.[11] Religious significance[edit]

Festival deity

Srivilliputtur finds mention in Brahmakaivatsapuranam and Varaha puranam. Varaha puranam foretells the existence of Srivilliputtur and the consequent visit of Vishnu
Vishnu
during the Varaha Avataram. Brahmakaivatsa puranam mentions the location of Vatapatrasayi Temple in Srivilliputtur. Srivilliputhur
Srivilliputhur
has a significant place in Vaishnava philosophy and worship practices. The Srivilliputtur divya desam has the unique distinction among all other divya desams of being the birthplace of two important azhwars among the twelve azhwars, sri periyazhwar, who became the father-in-law of the Ranganatha
Ranganatha
himself and Andal
Andal
who was the incaranation of Bhoomadevi and attained union with the Ranganathan at Srirangam.[6] Andal
Andal
is the only female Azhwar saint of the 12 Alvar saints of South India. She is credited with the Tamil works of Thirupavai and Nachiar Tirumozhi that are still recited by devotees during the Winter festival season of Margazhi. The town wakes up to the sounds of Thiruppavai is believed to lead to a sublime atmosphere throughout the day.[4] Andal
Andal
is known for her unwavering devotion to god Vishnu, the God of the Srivaishnavas. Adopted by her father, Periyalvar, Andal
Andal
avoided earthly marriage, the normal and expected path for women of her culture, to marry Vishnu. In many places in India, particularly in Tamil Nadu, Andal
Andal
is treated more than a saint and as a form of god herself and a shrine for Andal
Andal
is dedicated in most Vishnu temples.[12] Festivals and religious practises[edit]

Andal
Andal
temple car in 1960 (18 years kept idle)

Andal
Andal
temple car

The temple follows Thenkalai
Thenkalai
tradition of worship.[13] The temple priests perform the pooja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. Like other Vishnu
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 Vatapathrasayi and Andal. During the last step of worship, nagaswaram (pipe instrument) and tavil (percussion instrument) are played, religious instructions in the Vedas
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.[14] Thousands of people from the state participate in the "Aadi Pooram" festival celebrated in the Andal
Andal
Temple. After early morning special pujas, the presiding deities, Sri Rengamannar and Goddess Andal
Andal
are taken in decorated palanquins to the car.[15] The festival marks the adoption of presiding deity, Andal, by Periyazhwar after he found her near a Tulsi plant in the garden of Vadabadrasai Temple at Srivilliputhur
Srivilliputhur
on the eighth day of the Tamil month of Adi.[16][17] The temple car[18] was originally very heavy (40m tall and 650 tonnes) and it took days to take it back to the original position. Before 2000, the practise of drawing the temple car during the yearly festival was suspended. With the efforts of Vanamamalai Jeer, the head of a monastic institution, the temple car was modified with hydraulic wheels to ease the movement.[4] Kumbabishekam, the consecration of the Andal
Andal
temple happened on 20 January 2016. Golden filials were also installed for Andal
Andal
temple, good time to visit temple on Every Fridays & Saturdays.[2] Notes[edit]

^ Rajarajan, R.K.K. (2013) Historical sequence of the Vaiṣṇava Divyadeśas. Sacred venues of Viṣṇism. Acta Orientalia, Societates Orientales Danica Fennica Norvegia Svecia, Vol. 74, pp. 37-90. ISSN 0001-6438. https://www.academia.edu/12405403/Historical_sequence_of_the_Vai%E1%B9%A3%E1%B9%87ava_Divyade%C5%9Bas._Sacred_venues_of_Vi%E1%B9%A3%E1%B9%87ism Rajarajan, R.K.K. (2012) Antiquity of the Vaiṣṇava divyakśētras in Pāṇḍinādu. Acta Orientalia, Societates Orientales Danica Fennica Norvegia Svecia, Vol. 73, pp. 59-104. https://www.academia.edu/7529429/Antiquity_of_the_divyak%E1%B9%A3etras_in_P%C4%81%E1%B9%87%E1%B8%8Din%C4%81%E1%B8%8Du ^ a b "Consecration of Srivilliputhur
Srivilliputhur
temple" (PDF). Hindu Religious and Endowment Board, Government of Tamil Nadu. Retrieved 29 January 2017.  ^ Urban Infrastructure Report 2008, pp. 8-9 ^ a b c d e f g h i j Rao, A.V.Shankaranarayana (2012). Temples of Tamil Nadu. Vasan Publications. pp. 195–99. ISBN 978-81-8468-112-3.  ^ V., Meena. Temples in South India. Kanniyakumari: Harikumar Arts. p. 10.  ^ a b c Anantharaman, Ambujam (2006). Temples of South India. East West Books (Madras). pp. 177–181. ISBN 978-81-88661-42-8.  ^ Das, Sisir Kumar (2006). A history of Indian literature, 500-1399: from courtly to the popular. Sāhitya Akādemī. pp. 48–50. ISBN 9788126021710.  ^ "Places of interest". Srivilliputhur
Srivilliputhur
municipality. 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2015.  ^ "Which Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
temple is the state emblem?". Times of India. 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.  ^ S., Gopalakrishnan (December 1996). "The Raṅga-maṇḍapa of the Tāṭikkompu Temple A Study of an Iconographic Programme of the Vijayanagara Tradition". East and West. 46 (3/4): 415–431. JSTOR 29757285. (Subscription required (help)).  ^ Branfoot, Crispin (1 June 2008). "Imperial Frontiers: Building Sacred Space in Sixteenth-Century South India". The Art Bulletin. College Art Association. 90 (2): 186. Retrieved 15 August 2017 – via JSTOR. (Subscription required (help)).  ^ "Architectural grandeur". The Hindu. Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. 12 August 2005.  ^ " Thenkalai
Thenkalai
customs should prevail in Andal
Andal
temple". The Hindu. Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. 12 November 2011.  ^ "Sri Vadapathrasai, Andal
Andal
temple". Dinamalar. Retrieved 2013-08-08.  ^ Rajarajan, R.K.K. (2010) Some Rare Sculptures of the ‘Yester’ Śrīvillputtūr Tēr. In Rajarajan, R.K.K. and S. Ganeshram eds. Studies in Art History of India, Delhi: Sharada Publishing House,, pp. 101-105. ^ "Thousands of devotees likely to throng Srivilliputtur today". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 25 July 2009. Retrieved 19 February 2013.  ^ "Hundreds participate in Andal
Andal
Temple car festival". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 2006-07-30. Retrieved 2013-02-19.  ^ Parthiban, R.K.; Rajarajan, R.K.K. (2016). "Nāyaka Chef-d'œuvre. Sculptures of the Śrīvilliputtūr Tēr". Acta Orientalia, Societates Orientales Danica Fennica Norvegia Svecia. 77: 145–191. ISSN 0001-6438. 

References[edit]

Urban Infrastructure report (2008). Conversion of City Corporate Plan into Business Plan (PDF) (Report). Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Urban Infrastructure Financial Services Limited. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Srivilliputhur
Srivilliputhur
Divya Desam.

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