Sri Soundararaja Perumal, Nagapattinam, a rare Divyadesam shrine with Perumal in 3 postures, standing, sitting and sleeping!!

Sri Soundararaja Perumal, Nagapattinam

Sri Soundararaja Perumal, 

 Above image: In this place, Adhiseshan, king  of all snakes, prayed to  Perumal and  was blessed to serve him as the  coiled bed with his hooded head forming canopy over the lord's head. Hence the town is called nagapattinam.........

Located  (close to Nellu kadai Mariamman temple) in the middle of the coastal town of Nagapattinam TN, Sri Soundararaja Perumal,  is a 8th CE temple, Perumal's consort is  Soundaravalli Thayar.  This Vishnu temple is  believed to have been built by the Medieval Cholas.  In the later year  additions were made by Nayaks and Marathas of  Thanjavur, the latter made a solid contribution to the temple.   Pallavas and nagars also made contribution to the temple. Surrounded by a high boundary walls on all sides with wide roads for the temple chariot to move around and  a temple tank (Pushkarani) within he complex, it is a popular temple in this fishing town, During the Nayak period,a ardent devotee of Perumal, Jagul Nayakar, the lieutenant of a Nayak king during the 1650s, had the Rajagopuram  built. It  is said that on the request of the Dutch with whom nayas had good relation the gopuram  was temporarily used as a lighthouse to guide the ships.  

Nagapattinam TN

In this temple that follows Thenkalai Sampradayam, on the day of Masi Magham on the banks of the temple’s tank – Sara Pushkarini Vishnu is believed to have appeared with his skin shinning like gold. Hence the name Soundara Rajan or Nagai Azhagan.  The two dwarapalakas – Sumba and Nigumba who were eunuchs earlier  called  Kandan and Sukandan were blessed with natural look and body after taking a bath in the Sara Pushkarani.  

Nagapattinam perumal temple, idols

Panguni Uthiram festival  is a major event involving the celestial wedding of  Soundararaja Perumal and Soundaravalli Thayar (Moolavar);  goddess Urchavar: Gajalakshmi.  Every year this festival is celebrated with religious fervor. In the Tamil month of Aadi, an interesting festival takes place.  Lord is brought to the Vasantha mandapam in a procession with a view to listening to the chaste Tamil Pasurams and devotional hymns of  his special sevaga Thirumangai Azhwar who did Mangala Snanam here. The chariot festival is yet another  crowd pulling event  held in the Tamil month of Chithirai (March–April).

Garuda Azhwar(Periya Tiruvadi), unlike many Vishnu temples, is seen seated. Yet another ichnographic feature is that of Narasimhar with eight hands (Ashtabhuja Narasimhar).  Here he has dual forms -  Dushta Nigrama (destroying  evil forces ) and Sishta Paripalanam (taking care of the young). Here he  is blessing Prahaladan with one hand in Abhaya hastam, and destroying  demon king and father of Prahaladan Hiranyakashipu with the other arms. Also enshrined in the temple is Ashtabhuja Durga, a form of Kali. 

A rare feature of of this temple is the posture of god Vishnu who   is present in all three kolams/ posture - nindra kolam  (standing) as Soundara Raja Perumal or Neelamegha Perumal Moolavar), amarndha (sitting) kolam as Govinda Raja Perumal, and sayana kolam (sleeping) as Ranganatha Perumal) in the same temple premises........

The complex contains all the shrines and water bodies associated with it.,_Nagapattinam