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Friday, February 8, 2013

Thiruvarangam Thai Thiruther Thiruvizha 2013

Thiruvarangam Thai Thiruther Thiruvizha 2013

Azhwars went places and on their sojourn sang about Divyadesa Emperuman, the presiding deities at such places visited by them.  They extol the beauty of the Vigrahams, the Temples and the surroundings as seen by them at that time and that provides interesting details of the historical facts associated with these temples.

Can you imagine the Temple, which has been variously described by Nammalwar as “ சேல்கொள்தண் புனல்சூழ் திருவரங்கத்தாய்;  தண் புனல்சூழ் திருவரங்கத்துள்ளாய்!” ~  the Lord surrounded by beautiful ponds which had fishes in abundance; the Lord residing in the place which is surrounded by cool rivers.  Thondaradipodi Azhwar in his “Thirumalai” describes the place as that of a great orchard which has bumble bees humming melodious songs; grove where peacocks were always dancing; where cuckoos coo showing their love and affection; the place where the King of all Devas rests …………………..
“வண்டின முரலும் சோலை மயிலினம் ஆலும் சோலை*
கொண்டல் மீதணவும் சோலை குயிலினம் கூவும் சோலை*
அண்டர்கோனமரும் சோலை அணிதிருவரங்கம்…..”

no clues required ………… and no prize for guessing….. it is indeed the Great Thiruvarangam known as Srirangam, the most sacred place referred as “The Kovil” by the Srivaishnavaites ~ the coolest and most sacred of places, in fact a small island formed by river Kaveri and its tributary Kollidam (Coleroon).  It is here that Lord Ranganathar [Thiruvarangar / Arangar] rests in reclining form. The temple occupies an area of 156 acres (6,31,000 m²) with a perimeter of 1,116m (10,710 feet) making it the largest temple in India.

While it is a Great Temple for all of us, it in fact was a Kingdom with a civilization dating back thousands of years.  This temple was patronized by many Kings of different dynasties, Pandyas, Pallavas, Hoysalas and Cholas contributing significantly. The place was raided by mohammedans and thousands lost their lives to protect their Ultimate Emperor Thiruvarangar.

The present day Srirangam still looks a solid Fort with its imposing tall walls [மதில்கள்]; one can easily get lost within the Temple complex itself as it so big and complexing.  Lord Arangar was first worshipped by Brahma; handed over to King Ikshvahu, handed over to the generations of Sooriya; gotten by Vibishina who later placed Him here in the place surrounded by river Kaveri, which is considered more sacred than the sacred Ganges itself.  There exists the beautiful Temple where Lord Ranganathar in reclining posture provides all goodthings to his devotees.   ‘அணியினார் செம்பொனாய அருவரை அனைய கோயில்’ என்னும் நம்பெருமாள் இனிதுறையும் ‘பெரிய கோயில்’

This is a Temple sung by all Azhwars [excepting Madhurakavigal, who did not sing of any divyadesam]; our Greatest Acharyar Sri Bhagawath Ramanujar lived here, did yeoman service at this divyadesam and codified the religious rituals.  In this great place lived Great Acharyars including Periya Nambigal, Battar, Nampillai, Pillai Logachariyar and more…. It was at this Temple that Manavala Mamunigal rendered discourse on Thiruvaimozhi and Namperumal Himself concluded it with His Thaniyan.  There is also the most intricate hall of 1000 pillars [called Aayirankaal mandapam] which actually has 953 dating back to Vijayanagara era. 

As the Temple is a massive structure enclosed by seven prakarams [mathils / concentric walls], the Ther Thiruvizha [Car festival] occurs at different prakaram on different time.   In the tamil  month of ‘Thai’ – the Ther festival is held in Uthara veethi; the Chithirai Thiruther occurs in ‘chithirai veethi’.  On 19th Jan 2013, was fortunate to have darshan at Thiruvarangam.  As part of Thai Thiruther celebrations, Uthsavar Num Perumal is placed at different mantaps and on that day, He was at the mandapam before Lord Ranganayaki Thayar providing darshan to His devotees. 

Here are some photos of Lord Ranganathar; Thayar sannathi; 1000 pillar mantap, [all taken by me] Thai thiruther of last year sent by a friend of mine.

With regards – Srinivasan Sampathkumar.

 Thayar sannadhi where Nam Perumal gave darshan on that day
1000 pillar mantap [aayirngal mandapam]
 base of Thai Thiruther above  and the grand one on Celerbation day below 


  1. nice write up swamy. sweetly kindling srirangam memories.
    adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

  2. SWami, fantastic site with great photos of perumal - Prameela

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