Vanamamalai Perumal Temple / Sri Thothadrinathar Temple
Totadri Naadhan (Lord Vishnu) :
The postures of the Lord Vishnu in His108 abodes (Divya Desams)which are known as Nindraan (One Who stands), Irundhaan, (One Who sits) Kidandhaan (One Who lies) and Nadandhaan (One Who walks). The Lord is seated on the throne, with one leg folded and placed on the seat and the other feet on the floor, Below the canopy of divine thousand-hooded snake Sri Aadhi Sesha, duly accompanied with His consorts Sri Devi and Bhu Devi, as he is seated in Vaikuntham and hence this temple is known as the Bhooloka Vaikuntham with His spouse as Siree-varamangait-taayaar.
Presiding Deity is called as Deivanathan / Vanamamalai / Thothadri Nathan, His Mother is called as Varamangai Thayaar. Sthala Vriksham is Mango Tree. Teertham is Setru Thamarai. While traditionally temples have only one Swayambu murthy (Idol), whereas this temple depicts 11 Swayambumurthy – Lord Thothadri Nathan in the sanctum sanctorum, Mother Sridevi and Bhudevi, Sun, Moon, Maharishis Bhrigu and Markandeya, dancers of the Lord Indira Loka namely - Urvashi and Thilothame
This temple has many inscriptions, the earliest of which is dated 1236 CE. Also other inscription is from the period of King Sundara Pandya I indicates as a gift from him on the occasion of Adi Puram. One More inscription from 1275 from King Kulashekara I which indicates the details of tax collected in the region. The inscription on the Eastern Gopuram from the period of King Sundara Pandya II in 1284 AD indicates gift of land to the temple. This gift of King Vikrama Pandya III is inscribed on the northern wall in 1299A D. Gift of funds for sculpture of the image of King Sadagopan in 1305 A D, is found in the Eastern wall in the second precinct. From the Vijayanagara rulers this temple came under the administration of kings of Travancore. A sanyasi named Pushpanjali was entrusted with the donations from the kings. During 1447, the temple came under the administration of Vanamamalai Mutt. The first pontiff of the temple arranged for the installation of the idol of the consort of Vanamamalai from Tirupathi. The Namboodris were also replaced by the priests from Tirupathi during this period. During the 17th century, the then pontiff sought the help of the ruling Naik king to resolve local disputes. During 1794, the Nawab of Carnatic, Abdul Umra, endowed extensive lands to the Mutt.
The presiding deity is called Devapiran, is believed to have married Varamangai, the daughter of the pontiff of Vanamamalai Mutt. In view currently this temple is maintained and administered by the pontiff in modern times.
The temple has large five-tiered Gopuram (gateway tower) and has very large temple compound having two Prakarams (closed precincts of this temple).There are various pillared halls in the temple. The presiding deity, Vanamamalai Perumal is seen seated on the Adisesha the serpent deity. Sridevi and Bhudevi, the two consorts of Perumal are seen on either sides of the presiding deity. The Temple of the presiding deity is located axial to the gateway tower and approached only through Ardhamandapam and Maha Mandapam and pillared halls. There are three precincts in this temple, with Temple of Thayaar located in the second precinct. There is festival hall in the second precinct in the temple facing south which has sculpted pillars indicating various legends of the Puranas. The most notable fact is the legend of Mahabharata where Bhīma who attacked lion legged creature with his club. The second precinct has pillared halls which has smaller sculpted representation indicating various avatars of Vishnu.
The temple is considered one of the eight Sywayambu Kshetras of Vishnu where presiding deity is believed to have manifested on its own. Seven other temples in the line are Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple, Bhu Varaha Swamy temple, and Tirumala Venkateswara Temple in South India and Saligrama, Naimisaranya, Pushkar and Badrinath Temple in North India.
Out of the 108 divyadesams,it lies in the 81th place. The Oil found in the well located in the temple is believed to cure the diseases.
The temple is revered in Nalayira Divya Prabandham, the 7th–9th century Vaishnava canon, by Nammazhwar in ten hymns. As per the accounts of the Jeeyar, the head of the Vanamamalai Mutt, Janakapuri in Nepal, where Rama (an avatar of Vishnu) got married to Sita also has a place called Nanguneri, similar to the Vanamamalai temple.
The details about the presiding deity find mention in Brhamananda Purana, Skanda Purana and Narasimha Purana. Sage Narada obtained complete narration about salient features of Thothadri and Sargunamangai from Lord Shiva. As Hindu legend Lakshmi the wife of Vishnu is believed to have been born at this place as Srivaramangai (meaning lady) and hence this place originated to be known as Varangunamangai. Further in another legend (Serpent) Adisesha performed penance at this place to seek the blessings of Lord Vishnu to rest on him. Lord Vishnu was immensely pleased by his devotion and decided to rest on the Adisesha. Vahana of Lord Vishnu Garuda (eagle) also performed penance and was granted a wish to be protecting Vaikunta, Official residence of Lord Vishnu.As per local legend, childless king named Kaarya worshiped Vishnu at this place. Vishnu directed him to Nanguneri under the earth. The king dug up the earth to see blood oozing from this place. To stop the blood oozing, king was asked to perform ablution on the presiding deity with Gingelly oil every day. After completion of this task he was blessed with children hence The King Kaarya constructed this temple.
Indira teertham, Setru Thamarai Theertha. Since this Pushkarini is without water and found only oil and mud and clay, the Pushkarini is called "Setry Thamarai teertham". And since, Indira took bath in this to get out of the diseases; the Pushkarini is called Indira Theertha.
The gingelly oil abhishekam is performed to the God throughout the year. This oil is stored in well inside the temple. People who suffer from skin diseases apply this pil on their skin and be cured of Skin dieases .
* Photos are strictly Prohibited.
To complete their wishes to be fulfilled, devotees come here and buy the gingelly oil which is sold here and then offer abhishekam to the God after the Abhishekam this oil is offered to devotees as Prasadam , This oil is supposed to have medicinal properties and offers cure to skin dieases.
Sri Thothadrinathar Temple,
SH 89, Kamaraj Nagar, Nanguneri,Tirunelveli district,
Tamil Nadu. PINCODE: 627108
Buses every 10minutes between Tirunelveli and Nagercoil
(Nanguneri can be reached within 45 minutes from Tirunelveli bus stand)
Kanyakumari Exp and Ananthapuri Express from Chennai stop at Nanguneri station.
By Road :
The State Express Transport Corporation has intercity service to Bangalore, Chennai, Kanyakumari and other cities
By Rail :
The nearest railway station is Tirunelveli Junction railway station. The city is connected to major cities in all four directions: Madurai and Sankarankovil to the north, Nagercoil to the south, Sengottai and Kollam to the west and Tiruchendur to the east.
By Air :
The nearest airport to Tirunelveli is Tuticorin Airport. The nearest international airports are Madurai Airport and Thiruvananthapuram International Airport.
Chithirai Brahmmotsavam in April-May being held during second week of Panguni (March-April) which are important two festivals conducted in this temples besides other festival rituals related to Lord Vishnu.