Sundaravarada Perumal Temple in Uthiramerur, Tamil Nadu

Sundaravarada Perumal Temple in Uthiramerur

Above image: Sundaravarada Perumal TempleUthiramerurur, near Chennai, in Kanchipuram district, Tamil Nadu. Entrance gopuram. about 1200  year old. Rare.

Uttiramerur, Tamil nadu. Location

Sundaravarada Perumal Temple in Uthiramerur

Sundaravarada Perumal Temple in Uthiramerur town dedicated to Sri Vishnu is a popular temple in Uthiramerur, near Chennai and in Kanchipuram district; the other being Vaikuntha perumal temple.  Built in the  Dravidian style of  temple design  here the lord's consort is Lakshmi as Anandavalli. This historical temple is about  1,200 years old.

 Sundaravarada Perumal Temple,Uthiramerur

The origin of this temple goes back to the  Pallava dynasty and is  believed to have been constructed by Paramesa Vathan, an expert in Vasthu Sashtra under the guidance of Nandhi Varma Pallava.  Subsequent additions were made  by the  later dynasties - the Cholas, Pandyas, Sambuvarayas, Vijayanagara  Rayas and  also  the Nayaks. The temple, which is being managed by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board  (HR& CE) of the Government of Tamil Nadu, follows  Vadakalai samprathayam  and Vaikasana aagama.

Prakaram, Sundaravarada Perumal temple

Above image: Sundaravarada Perumal Temple, Uthiramerurur, near Chennai.  

Sundaravarada Perumal Temple, Uthiramerurur,Uthiramerurur,

Sundaravarada Perumal Temple,TN

Above images: Sundaravarada Perumal Temple, Uthiramerurur, near Chennai.  Vishnu temple with three garbagrihas - three sanctums in a two-tier structure....... 

Sundaravarada Perumal Temple,uttiramerur,

Sundaravarada Perumal Temple,uttiramerur, TN

What is special about this temple?

01.You will be surprised to know that  unlike other Hindu temples where there is only one garbagrihhere there are  three sanctums in a two-tier structure, each facing a cardinal direction in the lower level. 

02. The Dravidian style of design in the sanctum sanctorum called the Ashtanga Vimanam is  a rare feature.  On the roof of the sanctum  on the first floor there are fine 9 sculptural  depiction of Maha  Vishnu.  Here,  Ananada Padmanaba is  the main deity with his consorts.

03. Closely associated with Bhima, one of the 5 brothers of Pandava in the epic of Mahabharata, who once worshipped in this place, there are three Varadas (Perumals) in the three garbagrihas -   around the main sanctum in the ground floor namely 

04. They are Achyuta Varada, Anirudhha Varada and Kalyana Varada, who are believed to have given relief to Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva, the other three Pandava princes respectively. Each sanctum is accessed through a flight of steps. This 3 sanctum concept is linked the legend  that  Sundaravarada Perumal is believed to have appeared for Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva, the Pandava princes in Mahabharatha, while goddess Anandavalli for their wife Draupadi.

05. The idol of Chaturbhujanga Vishnu in standing posture  Nindra Thirukkolam’- is enshrined in the sanctum in the lower level and he has four arms, two holding  the conch and chakra, while the third with Abhaya hasta (mudra) and the fourth with kati hasta (resting on thigh). He is commonly called  the Sundaravarada Perumal  flanked by his consorts  Sridevi and Bhudevi on either sides . The festival (Utchavar) image of Sundaravarada is also in the same sanctum. 

06. On the sanctum walls are  the images of Achyutha Varada (facing South), Anirudda Varadha (facing West) and Kalyana Varada (facing North), who are believed to have offered relief to Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. 

07. The first tier has the idol  of Vaikunta varada in seated posture with Sridevi and Bhudevi on either of his sides. Here, the sanctum is not made of hard stone, but of wood -  Athri (Ficus Retusa moraceae) treated with herbs and oil giving it a stone look.  There are shrines of Arjuna, Krishna and Yoga Narasimha around the sanctum. 

08. The sanctum on the upper floor where  Ananda Padmanabha in reclining posture on the coiled  serpent bed of Adisesha with Sri Devi and Bhumi Devi along with sage Markendaya is enshrined is approachable through  steps. On the roof of the sanctum  is called Padma Kosthta Ashtanga Vimana.

09. As to the stone sculptures in the sanctums, they are so nicely and intricately carved and shaped they look like real images. Particularly, the sitting posture of main idol - moolavar and other gods stand apart. Realistic crafting and shaping is the hall mark of the images in the inner sanctuaries.  

10. The beautiful frescoes on the walls and side walls  belong the later period Nayaks.   

At all around the raised platforms there are many inscriptions and also awe-inspiring decorative  patterns, various mythological creatures.  There're are many shrines on the temple premises -   There are smaller shrines of Lakshmi Narasimha, Rama, Andal, Narasimha.  There is a separate sannidhi - shrine for Vedanta Desikar, the learned saint and philosopher who composed many devotional hymns in praise of Perumal and  Thayyar (goddess)  around the first prakara.

The sanctums and other shrines in the temple that covers about 2 acres of land  are in an enclosure surrounded by huge  granite walls all around. The gateway tower has five tiers and the temple tank -Vairamegha tataka  pushkarani is close to the temple out side it. 

Originally called Vellai Vishnugraham (place for the fair deity), the presiding deity is also  known as  Vellaimurthi Embiran, or Vellaimurthy Azhwar.  Among the temple festivals  the Brahmotsavam during the Tamil month of Chittirai (April - May) and  Pavitrotsava during Adi (July -  August) and Sri Jayanti in Avani (August — September) are the most prominent