Thiruvattar Sree Adikesava Perumal Temple

In pasurams, Nammalvar refers Thiruvattar as 'Valamikka vattaru'. Mahavishnu is refered as Adikesava Perumal and Thayar (Mahalakshmi) as Maragadhavalli Naachiyaar.


Thiruvattar Sree Adikesava Perumal Temple is situated 6 km north-east of Marthandam and 30 km north-west of Nagercoil (in Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu). The temple is surrounded on three sides by rivers (Kothai,Parali and Thamirabarani). Paraliyar takes a turn in this place and it is called vattaru and when the temple of Adikeasav Perumal was created it came to be known as Thriuvattaru.

This Temple is older than Padmanabha Swamy Temple at Thiruvananthapuram. Its structure is similar to that of Padmanabha Swamy Temple. The style and the architechture of this temple is taken as the sample to construct the Padmanabha Swamy Temple. The idol of Adikesava and Sree Padmanabha are installed in such a way that they face each other. The lord is lying on his snake couch and has to be viewed through three doors. We could see Lord Shiva near the Lord Adikesava Perumal inside the sannidhi.


Lord Brahma performed a Yaga without Saraswathi Devi and as a result of Saraswathi's angry, two asuras by name Kesan and Kesi emerged out of the Yagagni (sacrificial fire). They were troubling the three worlds. The Devas approached Vishnu and requested him to find a solution. Lord Mahavishnu in the form of Kesava Perumal fought with Kesan. Perumal threw Kesan who fell on top of Mahendragiri and Perumal blew His conch.Instantaneously, Adisesha wound himself around Kesan thus disabling the asura to move and immediately Perumal laid on Adisesha thus putting His weight. When the asura tried to get out of Adisesha's coils, Perumal made 12 Shivalingams to stand as guard around the asura and Perumal. These famous Shiva Temples are Thirumala, Thikkurussi, Thrupparappu, Thirunandhikkara, Ponmana, Pannippakam, Kalkkulam, Melankodu, Thiruvidaikkodu, Thiruvithamkode, Thiruppanrikkode and Thirunattalam. Even today, the worship to Lord Shiva on Sivarathiri day - The famous Shivalaya ottam - is said to be complete only when the devotee after visiting the 12 Shiva shrines ends his trip in the Perumal Temple.


Kesi who saw her brother defeated wanted to avenge and hence she along with her friend, Kothai took the form of rivers and encircled the temple with the intention of submerging the temple. At that time, it is believed that Bhoomi devi raised the temple . Hence, the temple is situated at a height of 55 feet from the ground level. The image of the Gopuram clearly indicates this. The rivers joined with Arabian Sea at a place known as Moovaatru mukham. The rivers were cursed by Perumal and they repented for their action. Perumal forgave them and had a dip in Moovaatru mukham. Even today, during Painguni utsavam, Perumal comes on golden Garuda and has dip in the river thus enacting the saapa vimochana incident.


In 1740 the men of the Nawab of Arcot looted this temple and the golden idol (ulsava vigraham). It was so heavy. He kept the idol along with rubbish in a lumber room. Every day, the idol would come on top and in spite of being tied down with ropes, the idol would come to the top. At that time, the Nawab's wife developed serious illness which could not be cured by anyone. Perumal appeared in the dream of the temple priest and ordered him to go to Nawab's palace and inform the Nawab that if the idol was returned, his wife would be cured of illness. The Nawab acted accordingly and his wife was cured. The Nawab gifted a silver plate and a cap to Perumal and this is used at the time of Sheeveli everyday.He also provided the fund for conducting annual puja -Thiru Alla Pooja. When the priest who was bringing back the idol halted in a place for completing his evening rituals, the idol got stuck to the ground. Later under the supervision of the King, suddhi kalasam was performed and this is carried out every year during the last day of the utsavam in the month of Tulam. The idol is taken from Thiruvattaru to River Parali on the golden Garuda.


This temple is noted for its beautiful sculptures in stone and wood. The Ottakkal Mandapam (single stone hall) made of single stone 3 feet thick is a marvel. The inscriptions in the Balikkal mandapam belongs to the period of Rajendra Chozhan I (A.D 1013-1045). It refers the deity as the 'thiruvattaru pallikondu arulkindra perumal'. Udaya marthanda mandapam has exquisite wood carvings and the highlight is the wedding procession of Lord Ganapathi. The corridor has 222 salabhanjikas (feminine forms holding a lamp), and are unique. There is also a small shrine for Lord Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy near the river and opposite to the Adikesava Perumal Temple.


Visit www.sriadikesava.org for more details.


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