Tirukannapuram – Sowriraja Perumal

Name of the Temple

Sri Sowriraja Perumal Temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Neelamegha Perumal

Thayar: Kannapura Naayaki

Pushkarani: Nithiya Pushkarani.

Vimanam: Utpalaavataka Vimanam.

Mangalaashaasanam: Periyalwar , Aandal, Kulasekaralwar, Nammalwar, Thirumangaialwar.

Sthalapuranam:

There is a story related to the ‘savuri’. The temple priest presented a garland, as was the practice,  that had adorned the deity, to the Chola king who visited the temple. But the priest had actually given the garland to a dancer attached to the temple, who had arrived before the king. When the king arrived, the priest, who had no garland to give him, sent for the one he had given to the dancer. The king who received the garland noticed a strand of hair in the garland and became furious. To escape from his wrath, the priest told the king that the Lord had a tuft of hair and that strand of hair was from the tuft. To save the priest, the Lord too appeared with a black ‘savuri’ in front of the king. From that day on, He has been known as ‘Savuriraja Perumal’.

As Tirupati is famous for its ‘laddu’ and Srirangam is famous for ‘payasam’, Thirukannapuram is famous for ‘muniyodharan pongal’. There is a story behind this too. Collecting the tributes and handing it over to the Chola king was the job of Muniyodharar. Once, instead of giving the money to the king, Muniyodharar spent it on some temple work. This made the king angry and Muniyodharar was imprisoned. His wife was struck with grief and she approached the Lord and said if her husband was not getting released within five days, she would jump into the fire and die. The Lord appeared in the king’s dream and ordered him to release Muniyodharar. The king did so. Later, Muniyodhara, when his wife served him ‘pongal’, offered it to God and then ate the delicacy. The next day, the temple priests were surprised to see pongal rolling down with ghee on the body of the Lord. When they came to know about what had happened and why, they praised and thanked the Lord for his mercy and grace. From that day, it has become a tradition to offer ‘pongal’ to the lord at midnight in this temple.

Thirukkannamangai and Thirukannapuram Lord Krishna is in a standing posture and at Thirukovilur Lord Krishna gives “Ulakalantha sevai” (ie) he stands up to a great height. Long back, this temple was near the seashore. But now the sea has drifted back about 10 Kilometers.

Kanva Maharishi brought up Shakunthala, the daughter of Vishvamithra and Menaka. Later Shakunthala married king Dhushyanthan. But he forgot his love due to a eveil spell. In order to unite Bhakunthala with her husband a fish ate up her marriage ring and when the king saw the ring came running in search of Shakunthala and their son Bharatha.As the fisherman was the sole reason of unison of Shakunthala and Dhushyantha they are called as “Bharathavar”. In order to remaind this, Neela mega perumal married the princes “Padmavathi” of the fisherman crew. Utsavar sowriraaja perumal as in a posture of seeking hands of yearly once a special pooja is conducted to this perumal by all the fisherman of this area.

This is the temple where the Lord showed Vibheeshana, brother of Ravana, his walking beauty. After seeing the sleeping beauty of Vishnu as Lord Ranganatha at Srirangam, Vibheeshna wanted to see the walking beauty of the Lord, upon which he was directed by the Lord to his “Keezh(akku) Veedu’ (Eastern Gateway of the Lord). It is believed that Lord Vishnu displayed his ‘walking beauty’ to Vibheeshana here on the new moon day. To mark this event, on every Amavasya day at 12noon, Lord SowriRajan is carried out of the Sanctum and walks to the Vibheeshna Sannidhi.

There is no ‘Swarga Vasal’ for this temple as they say that one can reach ‘Vaikunta’ if they just step on this soil. It is believed that there is a ‘pulling power’ in the sanctum santorum of this temple and even to this day, one can feel and experience this effect.

Garuda was returning from the milk ocean carrying the nectar for his mother. He thought that he was too great to fly with the nectar not available to all. While flying on this place with a proud mind, he lost his power and fell on the ocean. Realizing that he had committed a sin, he performed penance here and begged the pardon of the Lord. The Lord graced him and took him as his vehicle. As the reminder of this event On every Masi Magam, the lord  of this place goes to the seashore and blesses all his devotees there. Hence the devotees greet the Lord calling him as Mappillai – son-in-law.

On the 7th day of Vaikasi, Lord Narayana provides darshan in all his 3 forms (TriMoorthy Swaroopam)- Maha Vishnu in the day, Brahmaa in the night at around 11pm and Lord Shiva early next morning

Route:

There are frequent bus services from Kumbakonam and Nagapattinam

Temple Timings:

7am –12noon and 5pm-830pm

Temple Telephone Number:

04366 270718,  95971 14670, 89034 70374

Temple Address:

Sri Sowriraja Perumal Temple,

Tirukannapuram,

Nagapattinam.

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