Tuesday 29th of November 2022

Thirukoshtiyur Sowmya Narayana Perumal Temple History

Thirukoshtiyur Temple History

Lord Vishnu is considered as the preserver and protector of the Universe. The Lord Vishnu returns to the Earth during the troubled times and restore the balance of good and evil. The Hindu Mythology says that he has been incarnated nine times and it is also believed that he will also reincarnate for the one last time close to the end of the world, which is called by the Hindus as Kalki Avatar. Here, we are going to see in detail about the history of Thirukoshtiyur Sowmya Narayana Perumal Temple.

Sowmiya Narayana Perumal Temple, Thirukoshtiyur

Thirukoshtiyur is a village near Thirupathur in Tamil Nadu. The village is located at a distance of 8 km from Thirupathur. The village is famous for its large temple which is one among the 108 Divine Lands, a holy place for Vaishnavism. It comes under the Pandya National Amendments. Alwar Ramanuja have visited this temple and worshiped the Lord Vishnu. The name of the deity of this temple is Sowmiya Narayana Perumal. The majestic statue of this Sowmiya Narayana Perumal is seen with a five-headed serpent. It has the pride of being the divine land where Thirumanthiram came from.

thirukoshtiyur temple perumal under 5 head snake

The demon Iranyan, who was blessed by Brahma, continued to persecute the Gods and the Sages. The troubled deities appealed to the Lord Vishnu and requested him to protect them. He called on the Gods to consult on the execution of the demon Iranyan. But the frightened sages said that they should consult where there was no presence of the demon Iranyan. The Lord Vishnu also accepted their request.

Meanwhile, the Sage Kadhamba Maharishi repented towards the Lord Vishnu for his blessings. The Kadhamba Maharishi has received a boon that his place of repentance, must have no trouble. Hence, the Lord Vishnu chose that place for the discussion. Then the Lord Vishnu said that he would take the incarnation of Narasimha and destroy the demon Iranyan.

The Sages and the Gods were happy on hearing this and they wanted the Lord Vishnu to show them the avatar he is going to take. The Lord also showed them his Narasimha form. The Gods and the Sages requested him to show the other forms too. The Lord Vishnu not only showed them the other forms but also stood right up there in this place. This place is called as Thirukoshtiyur as the Lord Vishnu drove away the sufferings of the Gods and the Sages.

Usually the idols in the temples are set up by Panchaloka. But here is the idol made of pure silver. It is said that this was given by the Lord Indra. The Deity here is called as “Sowmiya Narayana Perumal” as he was very handsome.

This is the place where the five Alwars Periyalwar, Thirumangaiyalwar, Thirumalisaiyalwar, Poothathalwar and Peyalwar performed Mangalasasana.

thirukoshtiyur temple deity thirumamagal

The Temple Structure

The northern part of the temple was built by a demon carpenter named Mayan, while the southern part of the temple was built by a sage carpenter named Vishwakarma. The aircraft of the temple is located on three platforms, meaning the three words ‘Om’, ‘Namo’ and ‘Narayanaya’. The Lord Vishnu is seen in four positions in this temple namely Narthana Krishna (Puloga Perumal) on the lower floor, Savumya narayanar (Thirupaarkadal Perumal) on the first floor, Upendra Narayanar (Devaloka Perumal) on the second floor, and Paramapathanathar (Vaikunda Perumal) on the third floor. The main Goddess of the temple has a separate sanctuary. She is also known as Thirumamagal, Nilamamagal and Kulamamagal.

The Narasimha is located to the north side of the temple plane. The presence of Rahu and Kedhu near him is different from other temples of the Lord Vishnu. In the Corridor, a statue of Narasimha who is on the verge of killing the demon Iranyan can be seen. There is also a Suyambu Linga (self-made Linga) in front of the temple.

The main deity Sowmiya Narayana Perumal is accompanied by not only Sridevi and Bhudevi but also Madhu, Kaidabar, Indra, Parrupa Chakravarti, Kadamba Maharishi, Brahma, Saraswati and Savitri. There is also a statue of the Lord Krishna inside the cradle and he is called as Santhana Krishna. For those who suffer from infertility it is believed that if they light a lamp and worship him, they will be blessed.

thirukoshtiyur temple sowmya narayanan

As we enter the temple, we see the altar and the pillar, and when we see Nandi (the holy bull) behind them, we cannot help but be amazed. Yes, there is a separate shrine for the Lord Shiva here. We can witness the involvement of the Lord Shiva in plotting the massacre of the demon Iranyan at this site. The Lord Shiva in this temple is referred to as the Sarabheswara Lingam. Nandi is seated in front of the separate shrine as seen by the Lord Shiva and the lingam is found in a small form inside the shrine. In front of him, there are idols of Lord Murugan, Sana Khadi sages and Nagar statues were also found inside the shrine.

Upon entering the temple, on the left, Sri Ramanuja and the Thirukoshtiyur Nambi (along with his Thiruvarathana idol Sri Rama – Seetha – Lakshmana – Hanuman) are seen in separate shrines.

Next, the Chakratalwar here gives a vision of grace, whereas Rukmai – Satyabhama alongside Narthana Krishnan on the other side shows the beauty. These forms of the Lord Krishna and many more beautiful looks of the Lord Krishna, will delight anyone who visits this temple. At that time Madurai was ruled by a king named Srimaran Srivallapan. His guru was Selvanambi and Selvanambi was a native of Thirukkosthiyur. He used to celebrate the incarnation of Lord Krishna in this town every year without fail and he once invited Periyalwar to come and see the festival. Periyalwar came and he was astonished in amazement. To him Thirukoshtiyur looked like Ayarpadi. In Tamil, Ayarpadi means shepherd village, the place where Lord Krishna grew up.

Going up a few steps above, the Lord Vishnu gives an amazing vision in the Sayana Kolam. The Gods have filled his sanctorum here. As usual Sridevi-Bhudevi play the main element, Brahma has taken place as usual. Brahma is accompanied by his three daughters Savitri, Gayatri and Saraswati. The three of them were entertaining the Lord Vishnu by playing the Veenakanam. Kadamba Maharishi, who was responsible for the Lord Vishnu to stay at this site is also present here.

Next, on the second floor, Perumal serves as Narayanan, standing alongside Sridevi-Bhudevi. There are narrow ascending steps to get to the site to worship the third Paramapatha Nathan. At one point, the upper canopy can knock our head and hence we should slightly bent and narrow our body to proceed further.

It was from this top of the temple tower that Ramanuja publicly proclaimed the Ashtakshara Mantra, its meaning and its effect to all the ascendants. A statue of him has been erected overlooking the town. If we look from the top of the tower, we can see the area where the Thirukoshtiyur Nambi and Ramanuja lived were located. Nambi’s descendants still live in this town.

Ramanuja, a Vaishnava priest, came to Thirukoshtiyur Nambi, who lived in this town, to receive his divine teachings. He went to Nambi’s house and called him from outside. On hearing him, Nambi questioned him as who? Ramanuja answered that it was Ramanuja. Nambi asked him to come after he is dead. Confused Ramanuja returned back and visited Nambi again.

Thus when Ramanuja came 17 times in a row, Nambi gave him the same answer. Ramanuja, who went next time, said, ‘Adiyan have come.’ Nambi called him inside and preached Ramanuja  the mantra ‘Om Namo Narayanaya. Also, he said not to say the mantra outside and if he violates it he will get hell.

However, Ramanuja preached the mantra to the people so that the world could know the Narayana mantra. Angered Nambi scolded Ramanuja. Ramanuja politely told him that even if he gets hell, people will live well, even then! Delighted Nambi hugged him and said that Ramanuja is greater than him. This temple has separate sanctums for both Thirukoshtiyur Nambi and Ramanuja.

thirukoshtiyur sowmya narayana perumal sayana kolam

Thirukoshtiyur Temple Festivals

  • Boat Festival (Theppam) in the Tamil Month Maasi (Mid – February)
  • Vaikunta Ekadasi
  • Navaratri

Thirukoshtiyur Temple Timings

Morning: 06:00 am to 12:00 pm
Evening: 04:00 pm to 08:00 pm

Thirukoshtiyur Perumal Temple Address

Thiruppatur road, National Highway 226, Tirukostiyur, Tamil Nadu 630210

Thirukoshtiyur Temple Contact Number: +914575241233


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