The Saranatha Perumal Temple in Thirucherai, a village in the outskirts of Kumbakonam in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is dedicated to the God Vishnu. It is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Saranathan and his consort Lakshmi as Saranayaki. The temple is unique where the presiding deity Vishnu has five consorts. It has also a shrine dedicated to river Cauvery, which is unique feature among all Vishnu temples.The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
There are many legends associated with Tirucherai Sri Saranathan Temple. According to one legend, Lord Brahma was worried for his tools and Vedas when the time to end the world or Yuga came near. Lord Brahma asked the help of Lord Vishnu. Vishnu ordered Brahma to put vedas and tools in a strong mud pot and after trying mud from all places Brahma finally made a pot out of the sand taken from Thirucherai and saved all Vedas and all necessary aids f...View more
r creation. Hence Brahma got the magical mud from this place, it is called as "Sara Shetram". Another legend is that River Kaveri once approached Lord Brahma and told him that she wished to be equal in the status to River Ganga. To acquire that status, Kaveri made serious penance. To test Kaveri's devotion, Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of a child in front of her. Realizing that the child was Vishnu, Kaveri treated the child with care and motherly devotion. Vishnu was pleased with her devotion and revealed all his ten avatars to her and asked her to visit Sara Kshetram and have a holy dip in the Sara Pushkarani. Hence, River Goddess Kaveri in this temple, found to be in a maternal posture with a child in her lap.This temple is part of the famous Kumbakonam Divyadesam Yatra.
Saranathan Temple is built in Dravidian Architecture style. The temple is believed to be of significant antiquity with contributions at different times from Medieval Cholas, Vijayanagar Empire and Madurai Nayaks. The temple is 380 ft (120 m) long and 380 ft (120 m) wide. A granite wall surrounds the temple, enclosing all its shrines and three of the four bodies of water. The rajagopuram, the temple's gateway tower has five tiers and raises to a h...View more
ight of 120 ft (37 m).
The nearest airport to Thiruvarur is Tiruchirapalli Airport located about 110 km from the town.
Thiruvarur railway junction is a four way junction connecting Thanjavur in the west, Mayiladuthurai in the north, Nagapattinam in the east and Thiruthuraipoondi in the south. There is a daily express train to Chennai via Mayiladuthurai and Ernakulam and trains available from Mannargudi to Tirupathi and Velankanni to Goa, operated three times a week that pass through Thiruvarur.
The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation operates close to 175 daily services connecting various cities to Thiruvarur. Most of the buses via Thiruvarur are operated by the corporation ply between Trichy and Velankanni.
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. Thirucherai is in the Kumbakonam taluk of Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu, India.
The temple rituals are performed six times a day:
Ushathkalam, Kalasanthi, Uchikalam, Sayarakshai, Irandamkalam and Ardha Jamam.
Each ritual has three steps: Alangaram (decoration), Neivethanam (food offering) and Deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Saranatha Perumal and Saranayagi. 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. There are weekly, monthly and fortnightly rituals performed in the temple.
Devotees perform Tirumanjanam to Perumal and offer vastras.
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