The three-day annual Thirupavithrotsavam at Sri Ulagalanda Perumal Thirukkoil at Singanallur, Coimbatore concluded today (July 29, 2013). The utsavam commenced on Saturday (July 27, 2013). Two bhattars from Srirangam conducted the utsavam in a grand and elaborate manner.
The following are some of the photographs taken during the three-day utsavam…
About the temple:
Ulagalanda Perumal – means the Perumal/Lord who measured the universe. The entire bhoomi and pathalam was measured by one step and the sky was measured in another step. And for third step there was no place as promised by Mahabali to the Lord Vishnu in the guise of Vamana. So to fulfill his promise, Mahabali sat on the ground and requested the Lord to keep the 3rd step on his head. Lord Vishnu gave darsanam to Mahabali and kept his foot on the head of Mahabali and pushed him to the Patala Loka and made Mahabali the ruler of Patala. Since he measured the world, he is known as Ulagu Alantha Perumal (Lord who measured the universe) and gave darsanam to the devotees as Ulagalanda Perumal. The measuring of the world was supposed to have been done at Vedhapuri. The name Vedhapuri was later changed to Singanallur. It is said that this place was called as Vedhapuri originally as Vedas were chanted and taught here at ancient times.
The vigraham in the sanctum sanctorum is believed originally to be in the Ulagalanda Perumal temple of Kanchipuram of the Pallavas. It is said that the vigraham was looted by Tippu Sultan and the vigraham somehow changed hands and was later brought to the Vedhapuri and was kept in a temple built there. Another belief is that this bronze vigraham belongs to the Pandya period. This was brought to Vellalur and later from there it was brought to Singanallur for safety of the vigraham from the invasion of Kanchipuram.
The vigraham worshiped here is a beautiful panchaloha one. This is supposed to be the oldest panchaloha vigraham in India. Some experts have expressed the opinion that the vigraham belongs to the 8th century as they feel that the vigraham was made in the fashion of that period. The Moolavar is Thrivikrama (Lord Vishnu as Vamana in the posture of measuring the entire universe). The left leg of the lord is in the raised posture measuring the sky with 8 hands with holding weapons in each. There is another Panchaloha vigraham (Sri Varadaraja Perumal) in the temple for festival purposes. This is the utsava murthy. There are Pancha Loha vigrahams of Ramanujachariar, Chakrthazhvar, Andal and Anjaneya outside the sanctum on the left side when we face the Perumal in the temple.
The temple of the Perumal is a very old one in the Singanallur suburb of Coimbatore City. Earlier, it was an independent Agraharam village. The temple is several hundred years old. In fact, the main road of Singanallur is known as the Koil (temple) street. The temple is at the South West end of the Agraharam and at the West end of the Koil Road. The Road branching from the Coimbatore – Trichy Highway goes by the side of the Singanallur Police Station towards Vellalur. The temple stands abutting this Road. The temple is a small one.
The original village people migrated to other places for jobs or other purposes. Except for few original dwellers, others are later settlers here. There is a granite stone with inscription of the names of the priests as the hereditary trustees have been fixed to the wall of the sanctum sanctorum. There seems to be a note of 1835 from the then Dy collector of Coimbatore to the effect that the Singanallur area was given as Inam Zamin (free land) by Karaikal Cholan. Incidentally, it is the same Cholan who built the famous Pattiswarar Koil in Perur. That means that the Singanallur temple was in existence much earlier to 1835 so as to warrant the gift from the Cholan.
During the year 2000 the temple was renovated. In 2005 the present 7 storey Raja Gopuram was constructed and Kumbahishekam was performed.
Visit by Sri Ahobila Mutt Pontiffs
Many Azhagiyasingars have visited and stayed at Singanallur Ulagalanda Perumal Temple. HH Srimath Injimedu Azhagiyasingar has visited the Singanallur. HH 45th and 46th Pattam Srimath Azhagiyasingars visited the temple immediately after HH 46th Azhagiyasingar took sanyasashramam in 2009.
Brahmotsavam is conducted every year in the month of Avani (around September of English calendar). The festival starts with the hoisting of the temple flag and is celebrated for 10 days. On the day of Vamana avathara which is on the Thiru Onam (Sravana star) day of Avani month, car festival (chariot procession) is taken out through the street. It is believed that this is the day Vamana in the form of Ulagalanda Perumal sent Mahabali to the Patala loka. Another day of grand celebration is on the Vaikunta Ekadasi day. On that day all the Vaishnav temples will specially decorate the main entrance to the inner praharam as Swarga Vaasal (door to heaven). There is a belief among the devotees that those who walk through this Swarga Vaasal on Ekadasi day will be taken to Vaikunta (Swarga – heaven) as and when the devotee dies. Another yearly festival is during the Navarathri (Dussera) days. Most of the day, in the evenings Sahasranama Parayanam (recital of Sahasranamam – 1000 names f the Lord) takes place and every Sundays Bhajans are done by the devotees during 6 to 7.30 pm. The daily rituals of the temple are taken care by the priest Sri Rajagopala Iyengar (0422 2595281). According to him, he is the 7th generation priest of the temple from his family.
The temple and the sanctum santorum are facing the North. It is guarded by Garudalvar and Anjaneya. The temple opens at 6 am. Everyday there is special poojas at 7 am and at 9 am. At 11 am the temple is closed for the morning session. Again in the evening at 4.30 pm the temple opens for evening pooja. At 6 pm evening pooja is performed.
Everyday Vishnu Sahasranama is chanted from 5 to 6 pm. Similarly, the songs of Thiruppanazhwar – Alamarathin elaimel Balaganai (the child on the peepal tree leaf), Thondan Vannanai are sung.
The goddess of the temple in an adjacent shrine is Goddess Mahalakshmi and this vigraham is also facing north. The vigraham of the goddess is also made of panchaloham.
Location and Accessibility
There is a big lake in Singanallur on the side of the Highway going from Coimbatore to Trichy. Singanallur is a suburb of Coimbatore city is 9 km. Buses are available from all parts of Coimbatore. Near to Railway station, Bus route 1-c goes via Singanallur. There are many other routes from all parts of Coimbatore. One needs to get down at Police Station bus stop. Cross the highway and go to the Agraharam Koil (temple) about half km.
The address for the temple is Ulagalanda Perumal Koil Agraharam, Koil Street, Singanallur, Coimbatore – 641 005 Tel No. 0422 2595281