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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Tirucherai-Nachiarkoil-Uppiliappan

13 December 2017:We had completed visits to Mannargudi,  Vaduvur & Alangudi in the morning session. We returned to Kumbokonam for lunch and a well deserved rest. We left once again in the evening for yet another fascinating temple rendezvous. We visited Tirucherai-Nachiarkoil-Uppilappankoil-Tiru Nageswaran.

Tirucherai: The temple is one among the 108 Divya Desas of Lord Perumal. This is the only temple where Lord Saranatha Perumal Perumal graces the devotees with five consorts – Sridevi, Bhoodevi, Mahalakshmi, Saranayaki and Neeladevi. The soil of the place contains high properties (Saram), hence Lord is called Saranathar and the place Tiru Charam which later changed as Tirucherai. This place is also called as Panchasara kshetra sthalam: Saranatha Perumal, Saranayaki,Sara Pushkarni,Sara Vimanam, Sara Kshetram.
Saranatha Perumal flanked by Sridevi, Bhidevi & Neela Devi and Mahalakshmi on his chest
We also had a brief visit to the nearby Sara Parameswarar Temple which is considered on the 275 Padal Petra Sthalams since tirupani (renovation works) was in progress. We paid obeisance to the Lord and his consort Ambal Gnanavalli.
Nachiarkoil: One of the 108 Divya Desams believed to have been built by Kochenga Cholan. Srinivasa Perumal and Vanchulavalli Nachiyar both in Kalyana Kolam.Separate but important sanctum for Kal Garudan. The sanctum also houses the images of Brahma,Pradyumna,Aniruddha, Sankarshana and Purushothaman (Vishnu) and a set of gods, who are depicted attending the wedding. The festive idols of Srinivasa (Vishnu), Sridevi (Lakshmi), Vanjulavalli (Lakshmi) and Bhudevi are housed in the same shrine.
Garuda (Brahminy Kite)- Lord Vishnu's vehicle
Kal Garuda, an image of Vishnu's mount Garuda, is the most prominent feature of the temple.While only four people are needed to carry the idol of Garuda out of the shrine, it multiples to 8, 16, 32, 64 and 128 people when the image is taken outside the temple.
Oppiliappankoil: Oppilappan Perumal & his consort Bhumi Devi. Oppiliappan mean a force without equal. Also referred to as Uppiliappan. The Lord married the daughter of Margandeya Rishi.When the rishi countered that she was so young and immature Lord said he would eat even she cooked without salt. Hence even today all prasadams (offerrings) in the temple are prepared without uppu (salt). I have an endearing love for temple elephants and Bhumadevi is no exception. Here she is being lovingly being fed a mixture of rice and jaggery.
Our final visit for the evening was Tiru Nageswaram Temple.This is one of the 275 padal petra sthalams as well as a Rahu sthalam (part of the group of Nava Graha Sthalams around Kumbakonam), The main deities are Naganathaswamy and his consort Giri Gujambikai.
                                        
The colorful gopuram or entrance tower

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