Bhaktavatchala Perumal temple, Cheranmadevi, Tamil Nadu - an important old monument

Bhaktavatchala Perumal temple, Cheranmadevi,TN

Cheranmadevi,Tirunelveli dist. TN location map,

Particularly the central and southern parts of Tamil Nadu has countless old historical  Vishnu and Shiva Hindu temples which are either built by the Pandya dynasty or Chola dynasty. Interestingly, they left their record in the form of inscription on the stones on the temple precincts. One such a temple is Bhakatavatsala temple at Cheranmadevi in Tirunelveli district. 

Bhaktavatchala temple,Cheranmadevi, TN

Cheranmadevi or Cheran- Mahadevi   Bhaktavatchala temple,  architecturally a beautiful Hindu temple is little known to the people from other districts; this being due to lack of publicity.  Located close to the right bank of  the Tamraparni  river, this place of worship was built in the 12th century by the Pandya rules based in Madurai. The Chola rulers also made solid contribution to this temple which is about 22 km from the district capital Tirunel veli city.  There are stone inscriptions  of Pandya and Chola rulers in this temple. The place goes by the name of  Seramadevi Chaturvedi Mangalam and  the temple  is dedicated to  God Vishnu 

Bhaktavatchala temple, Cheranmadevi, TN.

 It is a centrally  protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India - ASI (since 1921) and  is one of the 108 Divyadesam shrines  glorified by the  Vaishnava Azhwar saints of 7th to 9th century  in their divine hymns.  It is a temple complex comprising two shrines, the small one is dedicated to Bala Krishna, a form of God Vishnu and the other one - large in size is dedicated to Bhaktavatchala Peumal. In the latter, the deity in the sanctum in standing posture is a tall one  with four arms  with a conch (changu), mystical disc (chakra), etc., as normally one will find in many Vishnu temples. An intereting feature is the God is standing alone without his consorts Sridevi and Bhoomidevi. This shrine has various halls (mantaps) such as Ardha mandapa, maha mandapa, and the outer  mandapa and they have richly carved ornate pillars that support the ceiling. In addition, there countless meticulously carved stone sculptures and bas-relief images.

Bhaktavatchala Perumal in the santum, Cheranmadevi, TN pinrest

 Both  deities in the shrines are carefully made and are charming and  graceful. Purattasi Saturday in this temple is an auspicious day and lots of devotees come here to get blessed by the god and to make a wish or two the almighty

Despite its antiquity,  the temple is not popular and the state government as well as the ASI come together and popularize the temple trough the media. Cheranmadevi railway station is about 3 km from the temple which is located in a see place in the midst of paddy fields. 

 Near-by attraction is   Sri Ammanatha Swamy temple,  dedicated to God Shiva. It is believed to be one of the most sought Lord Shiva temples in Tirunelveli district.