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Sri Sowriraja Perumal Temple (Thirukannapuram), Thanjavur - Divya Desam 24

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Sri Sowriraja Perumal Temple (Thirukannapuram), Thanjavur - Divya Desam 24
Divya Desams refer to the 108 Vishnu temples that are mentioned in the works of the Tamil Azhvars (saints). Divya in the Tamil language indicates "premium" and Desam indicates "place" (temple). Of the 108 temples, 105 are located in India, one in Nepal and two outside of the Earthly realms. Most of the Divya Desams in Tamil Nadu follow the Thenkalai tradition. This includes the important temples of Srirangam and Triplicane.

The Divya Desams are revered by the 12 Azhvars in the Divya Prabandha, a collection of 4,000 Tamil verses. Lord Shiva, the other major deity in Hinduism, is similarly associated with the Paadal Petra Sthalams, 275 Shiva temples which are praised in the Tevaram canon by the 63 Nayanars.

Divya Desam 24 - Sri Sowriraja Perumal Temple:

Moolavar : Sowriraja Perumal
Urchavar : Sowriraja Perumal
Amman / Thayar : Kannapura Nayaki
Theertham : Nityapushkarani
Agamam / Pooja : Vaikanasam
Old year : 1000-2000 years old
Pushkarani : Nithiya Pushkarani
Vimanam : Utpalaavataka Vimanam
Historical Name : Krishnapuram
City : Tirukannapuram
District : Nagapattinam
State : Tamil Nadu

Sri Sowriraja Perumal Temple (Thirukannapuram), Thanjavur - Divya Desam 24
Thirukannapuram, near Thirupugalur, which lies between Nagapatinam, Nannilam and Kumbakonam, is one of the 108 Vaishnava sthalas (Divya Kshetrams). The moolavar’s name is Neelamegam and the utsavar is Savriraja Perumal.
The idol appears in an unusual posture here in this temple. Instead of blessing the devotees, he appears to be in a receiving posture, meaning that he is accepting the sorrows and difficulties of the devotees.
Located 20kms North West of Nagapatinam (20kms East of Tiruvarur, 30kms South of Kumbakonam and Mayavaram), this is one of the 5 Krishnaranya Kshetrams. Lord Narayana himself re-incarnated as Sowri Rajan at Kannapuram.

History & Legend With This Temple:

Walking Beauty of Lord: This is the temple where the Lord showed Vibheeshana, brother of Ravana, his walking beauty. After seeing the sleeping beauty of Vishnu as Lord Ranganatha at Srirangam, Vibheeshna wanted to see the walking beauty of the Lord, upon which he was directed by the Lord to his “Keezh(akku) Veedu’ (Eastern Gateway of the Lord). It is believed that Lord Vishnu displayed his ‘walking beauty’ to Vibheeshana here on the new moon day. To mark this event, on every Amavasya day at 12noon, Lord SowriRajan is carried out of the Sanctum and walks to the Vibheeshna Sannidhi.

Sri Sowriraja Perumal Temple (Thirukannapuram), Thanjavur - Divya Desam 24
Garuda humbled: Garuda was returning from the milk ocean carrying the nectar for his mother. He thought that he was too great to fly with the nectar not available to all. While flying on this place with a proud mind, he lost his power and fell on the ocean. Realizing that he had committed a sin, he performed penance here and begged the pardon of the Lord. The Lord graced him and took him as his vehicle. This festival is celebrated in the temple on Masi (February-March) Poornima – Full moon today. Devotees greet the Lord calling Him in chorus as Mappillai – son-in-law.

Sri Sowriraja Perumal Temple (Thirukannapuram), Thanjavur - Divya Desam 24
Munayadarayan Pongal (pudding): A chieftain, Munayadarayan by name, was ruling this region once. He used to have his food only after praying to Lord Vishnu and spent all his wealth in the service of the Lord and became poor. For defaulting tax payment to the king, he was arrested. The Lord appeared in the dream of the king and ordered him to release Munayadarayan immediately. When the chieftain returned from the custody at night, his wife served him a pudding prepared with rice, dal and salt. He offered it to the Lord as usual and then ate it.

Next day, when the priest opened the temple, he found the pudding on the lips of the Lord. The king also was surprised to see the Lord accepting the Pongal offered by the chieftain. Now, Pongal is offered to the Lord during the night puja and this is called Munayadarayan Pongal.

Sri Sowriraja Perumal Temple (Thirukannapuram), Thanjavur - Divya Desam 24
A king called Vasu had the power to fly in the sky and helped the Devas to win a battle against the Asuras. Vasu felt thirsty after the battle and in order to quench his thirst, he landed at this hallowed shrine. His solders who traveled along with him mistook the fragile and puny sages who were meditating in the pond to be uncut sheaves. The soldiers tried to shear them off. The sages were alarmed at this act and cried for help. The lord, on hearing them wailing, appeared as a 16-year-old lad and confronted Vasu. The lord wanted to save his devotees – the sages.

The king thought that if he was able to defeat the Asuras in no time, vanquishing the lad would not be difficult. So, he tried to defeat the lord by employing special techniques. All his efforts were futile and finally he fired the powerful Narayana asthram. The asthram circled and fell at the feet of the lord. Only then did the king come to know that the lad was none other than Narayana in disguise. He at once surrendered at the lord’s feet and asked for pardon. The lord, known for his benevolence, at once pardoned him.

Sri Sowriraja Perumal Temple (Thirukannapuram), Thanjavur - Divya Desam 24
Lord Narayana in 3 forms: On the 7th day of Vaikasi, Lord Narayana provides darshan in all his 3 forms (TriMoorthy Swaroopam)- Maha Vishnu in the day, Brahmaa in the night at around 11pm and Lord Shiva early next morning

Procession to the Sea Shore: Once a year, on the occasion of Maasi Magam, the Lord is taken on a procession to the sea shore near Karaikal, about 20 kms from here.

Sowriraja perumal is seen with prayoga chakkra in his hands. The place is considered as Bhoolokha vaikundam. There is no separate door/ entrance, in the temple as Swarga vassal and there is no vimana darshanam in the temple. It is believed that there is a ‘pulling power’ in the sanctum santorum of this temple and even to this day, one can feel and experience this effect.

Sri Sowriraja Perumal Temple (Thirukannapuram), Thanjavur - Divya Desam 24

Temple Timings:

The temple is open from 07:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. and 05:00 p.m. to 08:30 p.m.

How to reach here:

Bus : Buses every 10 minutes on the Kumbakonam/ Mayavaram-Nagapattinam route
Auto : Auto will charge Rs. 40/- for a one way drop from Pugalur bus stop
Place to Stay : Best to stay in Kumbakonam
This is on the Kumbakonam / Mayavaram-Nannilam-Nagapattinam route. One has to get down at Thiru Pugalur and take auto (2kms). The temple can also be reached directly from Thiruvarur.

Temple Contact Details:

Sri Sowriraja Perumal Temple, Tirukannapuram, Nagapattinam.
Phone: +91- 4366 - 270 718, 99426 - 56580.
Priest : S. Sowri Rajan Bhattar@ 04366 270718 / 95971 14670 or Raghava Bhattar @ 89034 70374


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