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Saranathan Temple

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The Saranathan Temple is devoted to the Hindu god Vishnu and is located on the outskirts of Kumbakonam in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Saranathan Temple is mentioned in the Nalayira Divya Prabandham, an early mediaeval Tamil canon of Alvar saints from the sixth to ninth centuries CE. It is one of the 108 Divya Desams devoted to Vishnu as Saranathan and his consort Lakshmi as Saranayaki. Saranathan is said to have arrived for Kaveri, the river goddess, who underwent penance here.

The Saranathan Temple is thought to be of substantial antiquity, with donations by Mediaeval Cholas, the Vijayanagara Empire, and Madurai Nayaks at various eras. The temple is surrounded by a granite wall, which encloses all of its shrines as well as three of the four bodies of water. The temple’s gateway tower, the rajagopuram, has five levels and rises to a height of 120 feet (37 metres). \

The Saranathan Temple is one of a kind since the presiding deity, Vishnu, has five consorts. It also features a shrine dedicated to the river Kaveri, which is unique among Vishnu temples. Saranathan is said to have appeared to the Hindu god Indra, the goddess Kaveri, and the scholar Markandeya.

Story/Legend of the Saranathan Temple

According to Hindu mythology, when the time came to destroy the earth and end the yuga, the creator deity, Brahma, was concerned. He begged Vishnu to show him how to safeguard the tools of Srishti (creation) and all the Vedas (scriptures). Vishnu told him to put them in a big mud pot.

Brahma finally built a container out of the sand gathered from Thirucherai and saved all Vedas and all necessary aids for creation after attempting mud from all areas. This area is known as “Sara Shetram” because of its position as a saviour for all living things following the Mahapralaya (dissolution).

Saranathan Temple

All the rivers came before Brahma to see who was the most superior among them. He claimed that during the Vamana avatar, Vishnu took on the form of a dwarf and thereafter became Trivikrama to King Mahabali. He planted his third foot on the demon king and purified the Ganga (Ganges) river by stepping into it. According to the story, Brahma said that Ganga was the holiest of all rivers. The goddess Kaveri desired equal status with Ganga and underwent terrible penance.

Saranathan Temple

Vishnu appeared in the guise of a child in front of her to test her devotion. Kaveri handled the child with care and motherly devotion despite his anonymity. Vishnu was happy with her dedication and revealed all ten of his forms to her before inviting her to Sara Kshetram and taking a holy plunge in the Sara Pushkarani. He also promised her the blessing that she would be deemed higher to Ganga during the Tula month (October – November).  This temple is considered one of the 108 Divya Desams.

What is Divya Desams– A Divya Desam or Vaishnava Divya Desam is one of the 108 Vishnu and Lakshmi temples recorded by the Alvars, the poet-saints of the Sri Vaishnava faith. 105 of the 108 temples are in India, one is in Nepal, and the final two are thought to be in space, in Tirupparkatal and Vaikuntham. They are distributed over the Indian states of Tamil Nadu (84), Kerala (11), Andhra Pradesh (2), Gujarat (1), Uttar Pradesh (4), and Uttarakhand (3). Muktinath, Saligramam is Nepal’s sole Divya Desam. The 12 Alvars respect the Divya Desams in the Naalayira Divya Prabandham, a collection of 4,000 Tamil hymns.

History of Saranathan Temple

The temple contains two inscriptions from the periods of Chola Parakesari Varman (906-946 AD) and Babasaheb of Madavipallam (1728-38) that indicate significant grants to the temple. The temple is thought to be of substantial antiquity, with donations by Mediaeval Cholas, the Vijayanagara Empire, and Madurai Nayaks at various eras.

The crowns of certain Chola period artworks demonstrate the influence of Buddhist tradition in the region. The metal depiction of Sita is thought to be a typical example of Chola Art from the ninth to the tenth century.

Saranathan Temple

After the fall of the Vijayanagar empire in Tanjore, Tanjore’s ruler, Alagiya Manavala Naicker, wanted to build a shrine for Rajagopala Swamy in Mannarkudi. He assigned this task to his minister, Narasa Boopalan. He was to collect Blackstones from every feasible source. This minister was a big fan of Thirucherai’s Saranatha Perumal and wanted to build a temple for him as well. As a result, he directed his troops to unload one stone from each cart that passed through Thirucherai.

A king’s spy discovered this and notified the monarch. The enraged king arrived for an inspection. But before that, Narasa Boopalan built this temple overnight and created a shrine for Rajagopal Swamy to appease the monarch. His strategy worked, and he was protected from the king’s wrath; the king then ordered that the temple be finished using his money.

The architecture of Saranathan Temple

The Saranathan Temple measures 380 feet (120 metres) long and 380 feet (120 metres) wide. The temple has a temple tank in front of it that is the same size as the temple. The five-tiered gopuram (temple tower) stands 120 feet (37 metres) high and pierces the huge compound wall that surrounds the temple.

A second three-story gopuram is positioned in the first precinct, encircling the sanctum. Samantha, the presiding god, is 12 feet (3.7 metres) tall in standing stance. The sanctum houses stone images of Kaveri and the sage Markandeya. Bhudevi, Sridevi, and Niladevi accompany the festival goddess. The sanctum also has a miniature idol of Santhanakrishna and Selvar.

Saranathan Temple

 

Next to the sanctum lies the shrine of Saranatha’s consort Saranayaki Thayar. Both the main idol and the festival image in the Thayar are shown in a seated position. In the second precinct, there is a Kalayana hall with a Rajagoplaswamy temple. Rukmini and Satyabhama’s images are also housed at the same temple. Thiruvenkatamudayam’s shrine is located in front of the shrine.

Saranathan Temple

In the Saranathan Temple, there are shrines dedicated to Rama, Narashima, Kaliyamardhana, Bala Saranatha, Senai Mudaliar, Ramanuja, Pillai Lokacharya, the Alvars, and Manavala Mamunigal. The Mudikondan River flows to the west of the temple, and the Kudamurutti River flows to the south.

From the west end of the temple tank, there is a shrine to Hanuman, and from the north-eastern side, there is a shrine to Vinayaka. The goddess Kaveri is depicted in a maternal pose, holding an infant on her lap. The temple is one of the few places where this deity has its shrine.

Facts about Saranathan Temple

  • Sri Saranatha Perumal Temple is a Hindu temple located in the village of Tirucherai near Kudavasal, Tiruvarur district.
  • The presiding deity is Vishnu, who is referred to as “Saranathan” in Tamil.
  • The Saranathan Temple is revered in the Nalayira Divya Prabandham, the 7th–9th century Sri Vaishnava canon, by Thirumangai Alvar in eleven hymns.
  • The Saranathan Temple is one of the 108 Divya Desams where Lord Vishnu is seen with five Goddesses: Sridevi, Boomidevi, Neela devi, Mahalakshmi, and Sara Naayagi, and where he bestows his loving blessings.
  • The length of the Sri Saranatha Perumal Temple, Tamil Nadu is 380 feet and the width is 234 feet.
  • There are shrines for Sage Agasthya, Lord Brahmma and Mother Cauvery on the western bank of Sara Pushkarini opposite the temple.
  • This is one of the sacred sites where the river Goddess Cauvery is honoured. Cauvery is reported to have undertaken rigorous penance, and the Lord is said to have appeared before her in respect to her wishes.
  • In this shrine, this Perumal is also supposed to have blessed Sage Markandeya and Lord Indra. Devotees from all across the state and country flock to this temple in big numbers.
  • The Saranathan Temple Brahmotsavam is observed during the Tamil month of Thai (January-February) when the chariot festival is also celebrated as part of it.

Famous Festivals In Saranathan Temple

  • Brahmmotsavam is the major festival celebrated in the temple.
  • The chariot festival is the most prominent festival of the temple, celebrated during the Tamil month of Chittirai.
  • Diwali – Diwali is one of the most admired and auspicious festivals in the town.
  • Chitra Poornima is also a significant occasion for celebration in the temple.
  • Vaikuntha Ekadashi – Vaikuntha Ekadashi celebrated during the Tamil month of Margazhi (December–January) is the major festival celebrated in the temple.

How to Reach Saranathan Temple

The Saranathan Temple  Is located in Thirucherai, a village on the outskirts of Kumbakonam in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, and is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu.

By Air: Trichy International Airport is about 90 kilometres away, from where one can take road transport to reach the temple.

By Railway: Kumbakonam town is well connected by numerous trains. The railway station is just 7 kilometres from the temple.

By Roadways: Buses, private taxis, and autos provide good road connectivity to the temple from Kumbakonam and other places.

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Address: அருள்மிகு சாரநாதப்பெருமாள் திருக்கோயில்- திருச்சேறை, Thirucherai, Tamil Nadu, India
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Open Now

Monday 6 AM - 9 PM
Saturday 6 AM - 9 PM
Sunday 6 AM - 9 PM
Tuesday 6 AM - 9 PM
Wednesday 6 AM - 9 PM
Thursday 6 AM - 9 PM
Friday 6 AM - 9 PM
Address: அருள்மிகு சாரநாதப்பெருமாள் திருக்கோயில்- திருச்சேறை, Thirucherai, Tamil Nadu, India
Phone: +919444104374Call Now