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Ulagalantha Perumal Temple, Tirukoyilur

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Ulagalantha Perumal Temple is a popular Vishnu shrine. It is also known as the Trivikrama temple and is located in the Tamil Nadu district of Kallakurichi, in the town of Thirukkovilur. This is also a highly respected Divya Desam, a particularly holy Vishnu home that the Azhwar saints honoured in their Divyaprabhandham compositions.

Ulagalantha Perumal Temple, also known as Trivikrama, and his spouse, Poongothai Nachiyar, are revered here. This is also considered one of the Krishnaranya or Panchakanna Kshetrams, the five shrines dedicated to Krishna, Vishnu’s famed incarnation. This temple, also known as Thirukkovilur Divya Desam, is associated with Vishnu’s Vamana-Trivikrama incarnation. It is also revered as the hallowed location where the three great Vaishnava Saints Poigaiazhwar, Bhoothathazhwar, and Peyazhwar obtained salvation.

Story/Legend of the Ulagalantha Perumal Temple

According to the Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu descended in the Vamana avatar to restore Indra’s authority over the sky, which had been usurped by Mahabali, a beneficent asura King. Prahlada’s grandson was Bali. King Mahabali was generous, participated in great austerities and penance, and garnered the world’s admiration. With the acclaim of his courtiers and others, he considered himself to be the world’s all-powerful ruler.

Vamana went before the king disguised as a short Brahmin holding a wooden umbrella, requesting three paces of land. Despite the warnings of his mentor, Sukracharya, Mahabali agreed. Vamana then exposed his true identity and grew to huge sizes in order to stroll across the three planets. He took the first step from heaven to earth and the second from earth to the netherworld. King Mahabali, unable to keep his pledge, offered his head in exchange for the third. Vamana then placed His Foot on the king and granted him immortality for his humility.

Ulagalantha Perumal Temple, Tirukoyilur

He resigned rule over Pátála, the netherworld, by worshipping Mahabali and his ancestor Prahláda. According to certain accounts, Vamana did not enter the netherworld and instead entrusted its dominion to Bali. Vamana is known as Trivikrama in its enormous form. The narrative is linked to the Thrikkakara Temple in Kerala, as well as this temple and the Ulagalantha Perumal Temple in Kanchipuram. 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 Ulagalantha Perumal Temple

It was originally ruled by Malayaman Malayarayan chieftains, but then passed to Miladudaiyar and then reverted to Malayaman Malayarayan chieftains. Miladudaiyars and Malayaman Malayarayan chieftains had direct relationships with the Mediaeval Cholas, with Sembian Mahadevi, daughter of Malavarayar, marrying Gandaraditya and Vanavan Mahadevi marrying Sundara Chola and giving birth to Rajaraja I, the legendary Chola ruler. The temple contains numerous inscriptions from the Chola, Pandya, and Vijayanagara Empires confirming gifts to the temple. According to an inscription from Rajendra Chola II, the temple was known as Thiruvidaikali Alvar temple.

Ulagalantha Perumal Temple, Tirukoyilur

As the original brick building cracked, a chieftain named Ranakesari Raman rebuilt the entire sanctum with granite. He also erected the veranda and the hall in front of it, as well as five pinnacles. Another inscription from the reign of Rajadhiraja Chola in 1171 CE mentions a lady donating seven kalanju (a measure used in ancient times) for the celebration of the Vaikasi and Aippasi festivals, as well as the recitation of Tiruvaymoli sung by Nammmalvar at the temple.

Ulagalantha Perumal Temple, Tirukoyilur

The Ulagalantha Perumal Temple was originally built of bricks, but a granite structure was developed during the reign of Virarajendra Chola (1063-70). The other shrines were likewise built in granite by Narasimha Varma. According to the inscriptions in the temple, the temple received benevolent contributions from most later Chola rulers such as Rajadhiraja Chola (1018-1054), Rajendra Chola II (1051-1063), and other rulers of the region such as Vikramapandiya, Koperujinga, and Vijayanagara rulers such as Saluva Narasimha Deva Raya (1485-1491) and Sadasiva Raya (1542-1570).

During the reign of the Vijayanagar kings and Nayaks, the temple was extended. During the Carnatic wars, the British used the shrine as a stronghold. During the reign of Hyder Ali, it was also assaulted.

The architecture of Ulagalantha Perumal Temple

The Ulagalantha Perumal Temple includes an eleven-tiered raja gopuram that stands 192 feet (59 metres) tall, making it the third tallest temple tower in Tamil Nadu after Srirangam Ranganathaswamy Temple and Thiruvannamalai Annamalaiyar Temple. The temple is 5 acres (20,000 m2) in size and contains residential buildings in the precincts surrounding the temple tower. Ulagalantha Perumal, the presiding god, has an imposing figure carved of Tharu wood with his foot uplifted.

The images of Alvars are kept in the hall that leads up to the sanctum. The temple contains two gopurams (gateway towers), the tallest of which is at the main entrance. Behind the sanctum is a picture of Vamana.

Ulagalantha Perumal Temple, Tirukoyilur

Around the sanctum, there are shrines for Lakshmi Narayana, Lakshmi Narasimha, Varadaraja, Rama, Andal, Chakratalvar, Vishvaksena, Manavala Mamuni, and Ramanuja. The wooden image of Ulagalantha Perumal is kept in the sanctuary. In contrast to other Vishnu temples, Perumal wears Sankha in his right hand and Chakra in his left. To the right of the presiding god were images of Mahalakshmi, Prahalad, and Mahabali, and to his left were images of Sukracharya, sage Mrikandu, and the three mudhal Alvars (Pey, Bhoothath, and Poigai Alvar). The sanctum houses the festival deities, and metal images of Koovalan and Poongodhai Thayar.

Ulagalantha Perumal Temple, Tirukoyilur

Durga, which is normally found solely in Shiva temples, is a unique aspect of the temple. Krishna’s image is crafted of saligrama stone and is housed in a separate shrine. In the first precinct, temples are dedicated to Venugopala, Lakshmi Narayana, Lakshmi Raghava, Lakshmi Narasimha, Rama, Veera Anjaneya, Andal, and Shukracharya, the asura guru. Vishnudurga is kept in the temple’s sanctum sanctorum, which is one of the temple’s distinguishing features.

Ulagalantha Perumal Temple, Tirukoyilur

The temple has sixteen temple tanks, the most important of which is Chakra Theertham, which is located outside the temple. Chakra Theertha is said to have come from the waters used by Brahma to bathe Vamana’s feet. The water is thought to be the source of the Pennar River, which flows alongside the temple.  Chank Theertha, located in the east, Akasha Ganga, Varava Theertha and Kalava Theertha are the various other temple tanks in the temple.

Facts about Ulagalantha Perumal Temple

  • Ulagalantha Perumal Temple lies in Thirukkovilur town, in the Kallakurichi district of Tamil Nadu.
  • The temple is believed to have been built by the Medieval Cholas, with later contributions from Vijayanagara kings and Madurai Nayaks.
  • The Ulagalantha Perumal Temple is classified as a Divya Desam, one of the 108 Vishnu temples that are mentioned in the book.
  • According to Hindu legends, Vamana, a Brahmin dwarf avatar of Vishnu, appeared here to quell the pride of the asura king Bali
  • The Ulagalantha Perumal Temple is thought to be the location where the first three Alvars, the Vaishnava Saints Poigai Alvar, Bhoothathalvar, and Peyalvar, obtained salvation.
  • The temple is one of the five Panchakanna (Krishnaranya) Kshetrams, or sacred temples linked with Krishna, a Vishnu incarnation.
  • King Mahabali and the Alvars are said to have seen Ulagalantha Perumal.
  • The Ulagalantha Perumal Temple has an eleven-tiered raja gopuram with a height of 192 ft (59 m), the third tallest temple tower in Tamil Nadu, after the one in Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple and Thiruvannamalai Annamalaiyar Temple.
  • The temple is revered in the Naalayira Divya Prabandham, the 7th–9th century Vaishnava canon, by Tirumalisai Alvar in one hymn.
  • This temple is one of the Panchakanna (Krishnaranya) Kshetrams. Kannan refers to Krishna, the avatar of Vishnu, while pancha means five and Kshetrams refers to holy places.
  • The Ulagalantha Perumal Temple is significant in Sri Vaishnavism because it is where the first three Alvars sang the first three Thiruvandadhis compiled in the Vaishnava canon, Naalayira Divya Prabandam.
  • The temple finds mention in Sangam literature in Tamil from the 3rd BC to the 3rd century CE. Agananuru, Purananuru, Natrinai and Kurunthogai have mentioned the temple.

Famous Festivals In Ulagalantha Perumal Temple

  • Brahmmotsavam is the major festival celebrated in the temple.
  • Chitra Poornima is also a major 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.
  •  Navaratri, Srirama Navami

How to reach Ulagalantha Perumal Temple

Ulagalantha Perumal Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu located in Tirukkoyilur, Tamil Nadu, India.

By Air: The nearest airport is Pondicherry, about 75 kilometres from the temple, while the Chennai airport is about 180 kilometres away.

By Railway: While there is a railway station nearby, the temple can be reached comfortably from Villupuram junction, by road.

By Roadways: People can travel to Thirukkovilur by buses and private transport, available in plenty.

Also Read – Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram

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Sunday 6 AM - 8 PM
Saturday 6 AM - 8 PM
Monday 6 AM - 8 PM
Tuesday 6 AM - 8 PM
Wednesday 6 AM - 8 PM
Thursday 6 AM - 8 PM
Friday 6 AM - 8 PM
Address: Shri Ulagalantha Perumal Temple, Tirukoilur - Asanur Road, Thirukoilure, Tamil Nadu, India
Phone: 04153252552Call Now
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Open Now

Sunday 6 AM - 8 PM
Saturday 6 AM - 8 PM
Monday 6 AM - 8 PM
Tuesday 6 AM - 8 PM
Wednesday 6 AM - 8 PM
Thursday 6 AM - 8 PM
Friday 6 AM - 8 PM
Address: Shri Ulagalantha Perumal Temple, Tirukoilur - Asanur Road, Thirukoilure, Tamil Nadu, India
Phone: 04153252552Call Now