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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Thiruper Nagar ~ Koviladi - Appakudathan Divyadesam

17th  Aug 2013 provided me an opportunity to visit a Divyadesam nearer Thiruvarangam  ~ the “Kovil” – for all Sri Vaishnavaites.

அப்பம் கலந்த சிற்றுண்டி அக்காரம் பாலில் கலந்து”   என பெரியாழ்வார் பெருமாளுக்கு இனியன அமுது செய்விக்கையில் சிறந்தது ஆக  உரைப்பது "அப்பம்" எனும் பிரசாதம்.

Appam [Neyyappam] is a delicacy -  it is a  rice pancakes fried in ghee. A batter of pouring consistency is made of rice flour and jaggery.  Cardamom and dried ginger are added for flavour.  There is a legend  associating the temple with this prasadam.  There are many ways of reaching this Divyadesam ~ from Thiruvaiyaru ~ from Thiru Anbil and from Srirangam via the famous Grand Anicut. The Chola King  Karikala has a rich legend and anecdotal significance in Sangam literature.  The Kallanai [literally one made of huge stones] ~ the Grand Anicut, is an ancient dam built on the Kaveri River. It is located about 20 km from Tiruchirapalli.  Reported to have been built around 2nd Century by the Chozha king, it stands as a proud exhibit as Chola engineering skills.  The purpose of the Kallanai was to divert the waters of the Kaveri across the fertile delta region for irrigation via canals.

In one way of grouping significant temples there is the ‘Pancharanga Kshetrams’  five sacred temples dedicated to Lord Ranganatha situate on the banks of the Kaveri River. The Srirangapatnam called the Adi Ranga [could be in the order of its location in the route of Kaveri and not to be the oldest or in antiquity];  the great Thiruvarangam;  Sri  Parimala Ranganatha Perumal Temple [Thiru Inthalur / Mayavaram / Mayiladuthurai] ; Sri Sarangapani temple at Kumbakonam and this one on the banks of kaveri variously known as ‘Koviladi / Appakudathan’ and in divyaprabantham denoted as “Thirupper Nagar”.

The Moolavar of this Sthalam is Appakkudathaan. He is also called as "Appalaa Ranganathan". Prathyaksham for Ubamannyu and Parasarar(Bhattar). Moolavar in Kidantha Kolam [reclining posture]  and in bhujanga sayanam facing west direction.  Thayar is “Kamalavalli Nachiyar” – the sannathi also situate on the elevated portion.. The temple itself  is built on an elevated structure and approached through a fleet of steps. The Rajagopuram (the main gateway) has three tiers and the temple has a precinct around the sanctum.  

From the times of the King fulfilling His wish and earning the blessing, the Lord here is offered ‘Nei appam’ everyday and popularly called “Appakudathan”…. The pot to contain the prasadam is near the hand of the Lord in reclining posture [and not being held in hand as described in some books].  It is stated that the temple has inscriptions from the 18th year of the regime of Aditya Chola.

The temple is  considered as the mukthi stalam [providing salvation].  Sri Periyazhwar, Thirumangai Azhwar, Thirumazhi alwar and Swami Nammalwar have sung praising the Lord at this divyadesam.  The Sanathana Krishnar idol here is believed as preceptor of boon to those who seek to have progeny.

In the words of Kaliyan,
கையிலங்காழி சங்கன் கருமுகில் திருநிறத்தன்,*
பொய்யிலன் மெய்யன் தந்தாள் அடைவரேலடிமையாக்கும்,*
செய்யலர் கமலமோங்கு செறிபொழில் தென்திருப்பேர்*
பையரவணையான் நாமம் பரவி நானுய்ந்த வாறே**

திருக்கையிலே  திருவாழி திருச்சங்கையுடையவனும்; காளமேகம்போன்ற திருநிறத்தை யுடையவனும்; பொய் என்பதே அறியாத மெய்யனும்; தனது திருவடிகளிலே பணிவர்களை,  நித்ய கைங்கரிய நிஷ்டராக ஆக்கிக் கொள்பவனும் ~ஆன பெருமான் திருவனந்தாழ்வானைப் படுக்கையாக கொண்டு உறையும் திவ்யதேசங்களில் முக்கியமானது திருவரங்கத்துக்கு அருகிலேயே உள்ள "கோவிலடி ~ அப்பக்குடத்தான் எனும் "திருப்பேர் நகர்" திவ்யதேசம்மலர்ந்த தாமரைகளை உடைய நீர்நிலையும் அடர்ந்த சோலைகளையும் உடைய திருப்பேர் நகரானது திவ்யநாமத்தை உச்சரிக்கும் நம் அனைவருக்கும் எல்லா வளங்களும் கிட்டும் என திருமங்கைமன்னன் அறுதி இட்டு உரைக்கிறார்.

PS :  Kallanai is around 15 km from Trichy and the temple is less than 5 km from the Grand Anicut.

Adiyen Srinivasadhasan.

Thiruper Nagar a photo taken in May 2008
The temple as seen now [below]

Sri Ranganathar Garudasevai [above] and in palanquin [below]

These 2 photos courtesy my friend : Madhusudhan Upplil.


  1. very neatly described.. good post - great photos : Charishma

  2. enjoyed reading this.. thanks Mridula