Gajendra Varadha Perumal Temple in Thirukkavithalam, a village in the outskirts of Papanasam in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is dedicated to the Hindu God Maha Vishnu. It is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Gajendra Varadha and his consort Lakshmi as Ramamanivalli. The temple is one of the five Pancha-Kannan temples, where Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu is given prominence over the presiding deity. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
According to the legends, King Indrajuman, who immersed himself in the worship of Lord Vishnu, failed to strengthen his army and lost his kingdom to enemies. One day while doing worship, Indrajuman did not notice the sage Durvasa who came to see Indrajuman. The sage got angry and cursed the king to be born as an elephant in his next birth. Upon apologizing, sage Durvasa took pity on Indrajuman and blessed Indrajuman that he would continue to be a...View more
Vishnu devotee as an elephant and Vishnu would relieve him of the curse and attain salvation. In his next birth, Indrajuman, who was born as the elephant Gajendra continued as a Vishnu devotee. One day while drinking water from the temple tank, his leg was grabbed by the crocodile Koohoo, who was a demon, who troubled all who took bath in the tank. Kohoo was cursed by a sage to be born as crocodile in his next birth. The elephant cried in pain, calling the name Aadhimoolame and Vishnu sent his discus to fend off the crocodile. Both the elephant and crocodile turned to their human form by the grace of Vishnu. Since Vishnu appeared to save the elephant Gajendra, he came to be known as Gajendra Varadar. According to another legend, Lord Hanuman also worshiped Vishnu at this place and hence the place came to be known as Kabisthalam (kabi in Tamil indicated monkey).This temple is part of the famous Kumbakonam Divyadesam Yatra.
Gajendra Varadha Perumal Temple is built in Dravidian architecture style. A brick wall surrounds the temple, enclosing all its shrines and bodies of water. The temple has a five-tier rajagopuram and a single precinct. The prime deity, Gajendra Varadhar is enshrined in the sanctum, in a reclining posture, called Bhujanga sayanam. The vimana (roof above the sactum) is called Ganganakrutha Vimanam which represents the architecture of medieval period...View more
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Male devotees have been advised to wear dhoti, shirt, pyjama or pant and shirt while women and girls should wear saris or churidhar or 'pavadai' with half-sari. Devotees wearing lungi, bermudas, jeans and tight-leggings would not be allowed.
Tamil Nadu is home to many natural resources, classical arts, classical music, classical literature, Hindu temples of Dravidian architecture, hill stations, beach resorts, multi-religious pilgrimage sites, and eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Kabisthalam is one of the most beautiful village in all over Tamilnadu.
The nearest international Airport is the Tiruchirapalli International Airport which is about 50 km from the city.
Thanjavur railway station is an important railway junction of Southern Railways. Thanjavur is connected by rail with most important cities and towns in India like Chennai, Bangalore, Mysore, Ernakulam, Trissur, Palakkad, Coimbatore, Erode, Tirupur, Tiruchirapalli, Salem, Karur, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Rameswaram, Tiruchendur, Karaikal, Dharmapuri and weekly trains to Vishakapatnam, Tirupati, Vijayawada, Goa, Vizianagaram, Nagpur, Jabalpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Bhubaneshwar and to all main cities.
Thanjavur is well-connected with Chennai, Coimbatore, Tiruchirapalli, Karaikal, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Kumbakonam, Pattukkottai, Bangalore, Ernakulam, Marthandam, Nagercoil, Tirupathi, Thiruvananthapuram, Ooty and Mysore through regular bus services.
The temple rituals are performed six times a day:
Ushathkalam at 7:00 AM,
Kalasanthi at 8:00 AM,
Uchikalam at 12:00 PM,
Sayarakshai at 6:00 PM,
Irandamkalam at 7:00 PM and
Ardha Jamam at 8:00 PM.
Each ritual has three steps: Alangaram (decoration), Neivethanam (food offering) and Deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Gajendra Varadhan and Ramanavalli. During the last step of worship, nagaswaram (pipe instrument) and tavil (percussion instrument) are played, religious instructions in the Vedas (sacred text) are recited by priests, and worshippers prostrate themselves in front of the temple mast.
Devotees perform Tirumanjanam to Perumal and offer vastras.