Historical ''Prasanna Venkatesa'' Prumal temple, Thanjavur, built by Maratha Maharajah Pratap Singh

VP Kovil, Thanjavur.tamilnadu-favtourism.blogspot.com

Venkatesa Perumal temple, Thanjavur. indiancolumbus.blogspot.com

One among the lesser known Hindu temple dedicated to Sri Vishnu  is Sri Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal  kovil in the center of the city. Here, the famous temples are Sri Brahadishwara temple, 1000 plus year old UNESCO recognized  heritage temple dedicated to Sri Shiva  adjacent to Sivaganga Park and Sri Punnainallur Mariamman temple (dedicated to Shakti) at Marimman Kovil town, close to this city. Lots of people visit these temples in large number  and also the Martha palace complex. Many of them are not aware of other temples here.  This is due to poor publicity and the tourism department must give relevant information about  other temples  here and their historical background.

Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal Temple is a historical temple located in the center of the fort area of Thanjavur on V. P. Kovil street close to Kasukadai street.. It was built by the  Maratha ruler   Pratap Singh  of Thanjavur Maratha dynasty in  the 18th century. An interesting fact about this temple is its association with one of the Carnatic music trinity  ( Sangeetha Mummoorthikal in Tamil)- composer  Sri  Muthuswami Dikshitar  He wrote many songs on the glory of Sri Vishnu, the prime god of this temple. This is the reason why annually  Carnatic concert - Kutcheri will be held here  during the Tamil month of Aadi to honor him in the Nallukal Mantap right before  Sri Anjenayar shrine.  Countless stalwarts  in Carnatic music including popular singer Yesu Das used to participate  in the concert..  Sri Prasanna Venkatesa Bhajegam in praise of this Lord composed by Dikshitar is quite familiar with  many musicians. A 15-day Music festival beginning on Aadi Ammavasai day is an interesting one. The concert will be held in the evening.  Here, the main deity is referred o as Malai Yeriya Perumal.  This temple is being managed by the Aranmani (Palace) Devasthanam Trust under the able administration of the Maratha Prince. 

Legend has it the Lord Vishnu appeared in the dream and instructed king Pratap Singh to find his idol in the near-by temple tank and build a temple for him.. Accordingly, he built the temple in the fort area at a bit higher elevation. To reach the entrance of the temple one has to climb a series of steps. On the temple premises there are small shrines for 12 Azhwars,  Vaishnava Tamil saints (5th to 10th century CE) who composed Nalayera Divya Prabhandham in praise of Sri Vishnu and his  10 avatars. Here, the main deity -moolavar is in standing posture - east facing  with Sri Devi and Bhumi Devi on either  side. The stone images are  large and quite visible.  Thayyar (goddess) Alamelymanga Padmavathi Thayyar..There are many idols like Venu Gopalan, Rukmani, Satyabama, etc. There is a spacious prakara (Prathakshana patth)  around the garbagriha (sanctum)  inside the temple  On 23 March 2011 Kumhbabishekam (consecration) was held with fanfare, devotion  and elaborate temple rituals like Yagsasala, homa kundam etc.  to prepare the holy theertham to be poured on the pots (kumbam) atop the temple tower.

Location map. Thanjavur city. mapsofindia.com

This temple participates in the Garudasevai  - god riding the Garuda  Vahana (used to be called 18 garudasevai and, now there will be 24 participating temples in and around Thanjavyur) - an annual event that falls in the Tamil month of Panguni.. Vaikunta Ekadasi and Hanumath Jayanthi  are  celebrated with religious fervor. Particularly, Vaikunta Ekadasi festival is a famous one and  huge crowd will turn up  here during the ''Soorgavasal Thirappu''event - opening of the Heaven's Gate. The small shrine of  Anjaneyar  near-by is a popular one in this locality. Many passers.by referentially pray to Hanuman and then move on to carry on their mundane activities. 

On account of Covid-19 pandemic in the last two years many festivals  including the music concert were low key events with limited admission of people. The music concert and Vaikunta ekadasi will bring in lots of people. so these events were very much restricted to avoid spread of the pandemic.