Sri Vaikuntanathan Perumal temple

Sri Vaikuntanathan Perumal temple is a Lord Vishnu temple situated at Srivaikuntam, in Thoothukudi district, Tamilnadu, India. Lord Vishnu in this temple is known as Vaikuntanathar. This temple is one among the 108 “Divyadesams”, dedicated to God Vishnu.

Sculpture inside Sri Vaikuntanathan Perumal temple

Sri Vaikuntanathan Perumal temple alias Srivaikuntam temple or Kallapiran temple is an example for Tamil style of architecture. Srivaikuntam temple finds it’s gracious reference in the “Naalayira Divya Prabhandham”, a collection of 4,000 Tamil verses. It was composed by the 12 ‘Vaishnava’ poet saints called ‘Alvars’ and compiled between 9th – 10th centuries, in the current form by Nathamuni.


Sculptures inside Sri Vaikuntanathan Perumal temple

Srivaikuntam temple is also known as a leading Navatirupathi temple; the nine temples revered by Nammazhwar (one of the twelve alwar poet saints of Tamil Nadu), located on the banks of river Tamiraparani. Kallapiran temple is one of the Navagraha temples in the Vaishnavism, a major Hindu denomination in India.

There is a granite wall around the temple, covering the temple shrines and two water bodies out of the total of three water bodies around the temple. There is a 110 feet or 34 meter  tall temple tower (rajagopuram) here. Many a life size sculptures made in  the 16th century can be sen in the Thiruvengadamudayan hall. The temple compound is having an area of around 5 acres.

The main deity in the Sri Vaikuntanathan Perumal temple is called Pal Pandian; Pal means milk in the south Indian languages. The legend is that  the deity has no patrons over long periods of time and hence got submerged. During the Pandyan era, a cow among the  herd cows of the Pandian king did ablution daily  at the place where the deity was submerged.   The king came to know that a particular cow alone was not yielding milk. He thought that it might be the trick of the herdsman and deployed his men to monitor the cow and the herdsman. They reported what is happening there (that the cow is doing ablution there). He dug up the area and found the deity, Vaikuntanathar. He then expanded the temple.


Sculptures inside Sri Vaikuntanathan Perumal temple

Kaladushana, the chief the thief during the reign of the Pandian king was evading arrest by the King, in spite of King’s army”s best efforts. Kaladushana  was praying to Vaikuntanathar to save him from the King.  Vaikuntanathar appeared as Kaldushana  and surrendered before the king. He also appeared int he Kign’s dream and narrated that his country’s wealth will be taken over by enemies and the thief was actually trying the protect the wealth. King then released Kaladushana and his troop. Hence the temple is also known as Kallapiran temple. (Theif is called kallan in southern Tamilnadu and Kerala states)

The main festival of the Srivaikuntam temple is the annual Brahmotsavam. It is held during the Tamil month of Chittirai (i.e. April – May).  Nammazhwar birth celebrations is another major festival of this temple, which is celebrated along with all eight other temples of Navatirupathi.

How Do I Go to Srivaikuntanathan Perumal Temple alias Srivaikuntam Temple or Kallapiran Temple?

Srivaikuntam Temple temple is at a distance of around 22 kilometers from Tirunelveli Town.

Thoothukudi town is at around 26 kilometers from Srivaikuntam temple.

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