Sunday, 21 October 2012

Sri Vatapatrasäyi Temple/Sri Andal Temple, Srivilliputtur


Çré Vaöapatrasäyé Temple/ Çré Aëòal Temple, Srivilliputtur

Çré Vaöapatrasäyé Temple, popularly known as Çré Aëòal Temple is in Srivilliputtur. It is one of the sacred Vaiñëava shrines.

Temple architecture/style/specialty
The majestic Räjagopuram of the Temple is part of the official symbol of Tamil Nadu Government. At 192 feet (59 metres), this 11 or 12-tiered gopuram is now the 4th tallest Gopuram, and is the primary landmark of Srivilliputtur. The Government of Tamil Nadu uses this Gopuram - Temple Tower as part of its symbol (Like Mukteçwara Temple Toraëa is for Government of Odisha).


Famous Gopurams*
Place
Tier
Height
Builder
1
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
Trichy
13-tiered
240 feet
1980
2
Arunachaleswara Temple
Tiruvannamalai

217 feet

3
Ekambareswara Temple
Kanchipuram

194 feet

4
Sri Andal Temple
Srivilliputtur
11-tier
192 feet

5
Southern Rajagopuram of Minakshi
Madurai
9-tier
-1511 sculptures
160
feet
Sevvanti Murty Chettiar in 1559 CE
6
Eastern Rajagopuram of Minakshi
Madurai

153 feet
Maravarman
Sundara Pandyan
7
Sarangapani Temple
Kumbakonam
12-tier
146 feet

8
Suchindram
Kanyakumari

134 feet

9
Rameswaram
Rameswaram

126 feet

*Why do I give this Table every time. So that each write-up is independent, and one can visualise immediately.
   
Srivilliputtur Gopuram
(Source - Wiki)

                 Srivilliputtur Gopuram  
                 (another perspective)

The Temple has a shrine for Çré Aëòal and a double-storied sanctum of Çré Vaöapatrasäyé or Çré Raìganätha. The Tulasivanam (basil garden), where Periya Äÿwär found baby Aëòal lies between the sanctum and the Aëòal shrine. Çré Vaöapatrasäyé is in the reclining posture (säyé), with Çré Devé and Bhü Devé at His feet. He is named so, since He is resting His head on the leaf of a Banyan Tree. This was the favourite temple of Tirumalä Näyaka (1623-1659 CE) (who built the Madurai temple) and his sister. They were instrumental in the massive reconstruction of the Temple in 17th century.

There is a well outside the sanctum, which was used by Aëòal as a mirror to look at herself with the garland on. The Aëòal shrine was a later addition. It is said to have been built by Periya Äÿwär (Periyaazhvar), with a purse of gold that he won in debates held in the palace of Pandyan King Vallabhadeva.

Deity
The presiding deity in Srivilliputtur is Çré Vaöapatrasäyé or Çré Raìganätha. Garuda Äÿwär is enshrined by the side of Çré Raìganätha. 

Sri Andal has the parrot on her left hand

Sri Minakshi has the parrot on her right hand



I found that the only way to distinguish Çré Aëòal from Çré Ménäkñé is by the way they hold the parrot. Çré Ménäkñé holds the parrot on her right hand, whereas Çré Aëòal holds it on her left.  

History & Legend
Srivilliputtur is situated 80 km from Madurai. This is the birthplace of Çré Aëòal, one of the twelve Äÿwär, and the author of the revered Tiruppavai hymns. The divine child was brought up by Viñëu Chittar (Periya Äÿwär). The girl, by her insatiable love and true devotion to Lord Raìganätha, decided that she would marry only the Lord. At the bidding of Lord Raìganätha, Aëòal was taken to Sri Rangam in a palanquin in bridal pomp and glory. She was led to the sanctum, where she merged with the Lord. She was fourteen then.

Çré Aëòal’s devotional Tamil songs, known as Tiruppavai, are as popular as Mira bhajans. They are sung every morning in Vaiñëava temples, during Tamil month of Märgaçéra (December-January). There are a collection of thirty poems, recounting her mystic experiences.

Festival
The fifth day of Äòi festival (during monsoon/July-Aug) and the sixth day of Märgaçéra festival (Dec-Jan) attract thousands of pilgrims.
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Work in progress
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