108 Divya Desams of Lord Vishnu: Part I
Divya Desams are temples where Azhwars worshipped Lord Vishnu, as the presiding deity. Their divine hymns are popularly known as Naalayira Divya Prabantham. The Divya Prabantham is in the form of adoration of the deities of 108 temples (Divya Desams).
These Divya desams are classified according to the regions they are located.
CHOLA NAATU THIRUPATHIKAL
Srirangam is the first and foremost among the 108 Divya desams. It is one of the most famous temples in South India. This temple is also called as Bhoologa Vaikuntam.
The presiding deity in this temple is Lord Renganatha in a reclining posture. The “Thaayar” or consort is Ranganayaki. This is the only temple in which all Azhwars except Madura Kavi Azhwar have worshipped and sung pasurams about Lord Renganatha. The name of the Theertham in this temple is Chandra pushkarini and the name of Vimanam is Pranavaakriti Vimanam.
Srirangam temple is located at the distance nearly 11kms from Trichy.
THIRUKKOZHI - URAIYUR
This is the second temple of the 108 Divyadesams.
Azhagiya Manavaalan is the name of the God in this temple. Here the god is seen in a standing posture carrying a Counch or Sanku and Chakra in his hands. Consort in this temple is Komalavalli Thaayar carrying a lotus on her hands. The theertham of this temple is Kalyaana Theertham and the Vimanam is called as Kalyaana Vimanam. This temple was praised by Kulasekara Azhwar and Tirumangai Azhwar.
According to the legends, this place is also called as Thirukkozhi because in this place once an elephant was beaten by a valiant hen. In Tamil Kozhi means Hen. This temple is located at a distance of nearly 3kms from Trichy.
THIRUKKARAMBANUR – Uthamar Kovil
Uthamar Kovil Divya Desam is a temple for worshipping Guru. The name of the presiding deity in this temple is Purushothaman and Thaayar Poornavalli also called Poorva Devi. This temple is also known as Bhikshatanar kovil. This temple is one of the unique temples because in this temple all the three gods Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma can be worshipped.
The name of the Theertham in this temple is Karamba Theertham and the Vimanam is called as Udyoga Vimanam. Tirumangai Azhwar have praised and sung pasurams about this God.
This temple is located at a distance of 8kms from Trichy and 3.5kms from Srirangam.
Thiruvellarai is one of the 108 Divyadesams. This place is called as Thiruvellarai because this temple is located at a height100ft in a small mountain. Vellarai means White rock.
The presiding deity in this temple is Pundareekakshan in a standing posture. Consorts in this temple are Chenbagavalli Thaayar. There are two entrances in this temple namely Utharayana vasal and Dakshanaya vasal. The Theertham is Divya Pushkarini and the Vimanam is Vimalakriti Vimanam. This temple is also called Aadi Vellarai, as it is believed that this temple pre-dated Srirangam temple.
This temple is located at a distance of 13kms from Trichy between Trichy-Uraiyur road.
This is one of the 108 Divya Desams.
Lord Brahma and saint Valmiki are good examples for creating good things and dedicating that to this world. Based on the character and shape of Lord Vishnu they created good things. Behind this good creation is the love for god means anbu in Tamil. Hence this place is called as Anbil.
The presiding deity is Vadivazhagiya Nambi in a reclining posture and the Thaayar is Azhagiyavalli. The name of the Theertham is Mandookapushkarini and the name of Vimanam is Tharaka Vimanam. The Utsavar is called Sundararajan. This temple is also called Tirumaalayanthurai, Mandookapuri and Bhramhapuri.
This temple is located on the north shore of Kollidam river.
THIRUPPER NAGAR - Koviladi Appakkudathaan
This place got the name Thiruppernagar because the Lord in this temple says that he will not go out from the heart of his devotees. Peyarthal means moving out in tamil.
The name of God in this temple is Appakkudathaan in a reclining posture holding a pot in one hand and the Thaayar Indra Devi, also called Kamalavalli. The Theertham is Indra theertham and the Vimanam Indra Vimanam.
Periyazhwar, Thirumangai Azhwar, Thirumazhisai Azhwar and Nammaazhwar have sung pasurams in this temple.
It is believed that Nammaazhwar attained moksham at this place and his last compositions were at this place. This temple together with Srirangapatnam in Karnataka, Srirangam, Kumbakonam and Mayiladuthurai along the course of river Kaveri is called Pancharanga temples. This temple is located at a distance of 16kms from Trichy.
Thirukkandiyur is the place where Lord Shiva got relieved of his dhosham. This place is also considered to be one of the Saptastanams of the Panchanadiswarar temples at Tiruvaiyaru.
The presiding deity in this temple is Hara Saaba Vimochana Perumal also known as Brigunathar, in a standing posture. Thaayar is Kamalavalli. The Utsavar is known as Kamalanathar. The Theertham in this temple is Kapalamoksha puskarani, and the Vimanam is Kamalaakrithi Vimanam. Tirumangai Azhwar has sung pasurams about lord in this temple.
This temple is located at a distance of nearly 16kms from Thanjavur.
THIRUKKOODALOOR - Aaduthurai Perumal Kovil
This place is called as Thirukkoodaloor because it was said that in this place all the devars were given prathyaksham of Lord Vishnu. Koodal means gather.
The presiding deity in this temple is Vaiyamkaatha Perumal or Jagatrakshakan in a standing posture. The Consort is Padmasani also called Pushpavalli. The Theertham is Chakra Theertham and the Vimanam is Sutha satva Vimanam. Tirumangai Azhwar has sung pasurams in this temple.
This temple is located in Thanjavur district, at a distance of 10kms from Kumbakonam.
Kapisthalam is the place which is believed that an elephant named Gajendra got saved by lord Vishnu and attained Moksha.
The presiding deity in this temple is Gajendra Varadan also called as “Aatrangarai Kannan”is in a reclining posture and the Thaayar is Ramaamanivalli also called Potraamaraiyaal. The Theertham is Gajendra pushkarini and the Vimanam is Gaganakruthi Vimanam. Thirumangai Azhwar has sung pasurams here.
This temple is located in Thanjavur district.
Lord Rama after performing funeral to Jadayu takes rest in this place. Jadayu, the eagle belongs to the pull family. Kudi in tamil means living place. Hence this place got the name Thirupullamboothangudi.
The presiding deity in this temple is Valvil Raman is in a reclining posture, called Bhujanga Sayanam and Cosort is Hemambujavalli Thaayar. The Theertham is Jatayu Theertham and the Vimanam Sobana Vimanam. As per sthala puranam the temple is located at the spot where Lord Rama has rested after offering moksham to Jatayu. Thirumangai Azhwar has sung Pasurams in this temple.
This place has a unique sthala puranam. Kamadhenu, a divine cow gives all sorts of wealth. It was gifted to God Indhira. Here Aadhanoor can be splitted as Aa+dhan+oor. Aa means cow. dhan denotes Indira and oor means place. Hence this place got the name Aadhanoor.
The presiding deity is Aandalakkumaiyan also called Aadanoorai Aandu Alakkum Aiyan in a reclining form. The Lord is seen with a Marakkal (measuring jar) as a pillow. On the left hand is an Olai (palm leaf) and Ezhutthani (a writing implement). Figures of Tirumangai Azhwar and Kamadhenu are seen at the feet of the deity. The Thaayar is Ranganayaki. The Theertham is Surya Theertham and the Vimanam Pranava Vimanam. The sthala vriksham is Patali tree.
This temple is located in Kumbakonam.
THIRU KUDANTHAI - Kumbakonam
A unique beauty between this temple from other Divyadesams is that this temple is in the form of a chariot.
The presiding deity in this temple is Sri Saarangapani. Lord is in the reclining posture, called Udhana Sayanam. It is believed that he got up at the request of Tirumazhisai Azhwar. The Thayar is Komalavalli. The Theertham is called Hema pushkarini and the Vimanam Vaideeka Vimanam. This Vimanam is considered to be the offshoot of the Srirangam Pranava Vimanam. This temple is given the third place next to Srirangam and Tirupati. Many Azhwars like Periazhwar, Thirumazhisai Azhwar, Boothathazhwar, Nammazhwar, Thirumangai Azhwar sung pasurams in this temple.
This temple is located at a distance of 1.5kms from Kumbakonam.
THIRUVINNAGAR - Uppili Appan Kovil
Once Lord Vishnu takes food from one of his devotee’s daughter without salt in the food. So he is called as Uppili Appan or uppu illatha Appan means lord without salt.
The presiding deity Oppiliappan or Uppiliappan is in the standing posture resembling Venkatachalapathi of Tirupati. The Thaayar is Bhooma Devi .The Theertham is Ahoratra pushkarini and the Vimanam Vishnu Vimanam.
The name Oppiliappan refers to the presiding deity who is considered comparable to none. Nammaazhwar refers to Him as Ponnappan, Maniappan, Muttappan, Ennappan, and Tiruvinnagarappan. Peyaazhwar, Nammaazhwar, Thirumangaiazhwar have sung pasurams in this temple.
This temple is located at Thirunageeswaram of Thanjavur district.
THIRUNARAIYUR (Nachiyaar Kovil)
As Madurai stands in the name of goddess Meenakshi,wife of Lord Shiva. Similarly Nachiyaar kovil stands in the name of Lord Vishnu’s wife.
The presiding deity here in this temple is Tirunaraiyur Nambi also known as Vasudevar depicted in the Kalyana kolam with Vanjulavalli Thaayar in the sanctum. The Theertham is Manimuktha pushkarini and the Vimanam Srinivasa Hema Vimanam. This temple was praised by Thirumangai Azhwar.
This temple is located at a distance of nearly 10kms from Kumbakonam.
Thirucherai is one of the oldest temples and was believed that it exists from dwabara yuga.
The presiding deity in this temple is Saranathan in a standing posture and the Thaayar is known as Saranayaki. The Theertham is Sarapushkarni and the Vimanam Saravimanam. Thirumangai Azhwar have sung pasurams in this temple.
This temple is located at a distance of nearly 12kms from Thanjavur.