Aippasi Thiruvizha at Thiruvattaru Sri Adikesava Perumal Temple commenced on November 1, 2013 with Kodi Yetram. The 10-day utsavam will carry on till November 10, 2013. On the last two days of the utsavam, Pallivettai and Thiru Aaraattu will take place.
Located about 30km from Nagercoil off Marthandam near the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border and one of the 13 Malai Nadu Divya Desams is the Sri Adikesava Perumal Koil. This is one of the oldest temples in this region. Though this Divya Desam is located in Tamil Nadu, there are no big temple towers that are typical of Divya Desams in Tamil Nadu. The temple has been built in Kerala style on a 3 acre land. All poojas are in Kerala style – Thaanthrika Vidhi and the priest is from Kerala as well.
Asuras Kesan and Kesi tried to disrupt the Yagam of Brahmma and troubled the Devas, who requested Lord Vishnu to help them destroy the asuras. Vishnu came here, killed Kesan and kicked down and slept on Kesi displaying his Sayana Kolam. Kesi’s wife invoked the blessings of Goddess Ganga, who along with Tamaraibarani, came with great velocity to cause floods here. Seeing this and as per the instructions of the Lord,Bhoodevi created a mount to block the over flow. Realising the fault, Ganga and Tamaraibarani split into two and into a circular formation around the Lord in a symbolic gesture of garlanding the Lord.
As the Lord killed the Asura Kesan, he came to be called ‘Adi Kesavan’. This Divya Desam is surrounded and circled by rivers (River Parali) from all sides. Hence, this place came to called Thiru ‘Vatta-aaru’.
The moolavar and utsavar are both known as Adi Kesava Perumal in Bujanga Sayanam facing west. Thayar is Maragadavalli Thayar. Namazhwar has praised the Lord with 11 paasurams (3946-55). The key festivals include the 10-day utsavam in Panguni and Aippasi, Avani Thiruvonam and the 12-day Kalapa Pooja festival in Thai.
One has to climb 18 steps to reach the Adi Kesavan Sannidhi, where the 22 feet Lord, made out of 16008 Saligramams, is seen in a West facing Bhujanga Sayanam (seen sleeping in the opposite direction –Head in the South, Feet in the North). This Maaru Sayanam of Lord sleeping from right to left is also seen in Thiruvekka in Kanchipuram.
The temple is older than Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple in Trivandrum (about 50km from here). Adi Kesava Perumal is said to be the elder brother of Anantha Padmanabhan and hence, this place is referred to as Aadhi Ananthapuram. This temple is also known as Chera Nadu Srirangam.
Between the 3rd and 9th day of Puratasi and Panguni, during dusk, Sun’s rays directly falls on the Lord inside the sanctum, almost as a mark of respect from the Sun God to Adi Kesava Perumal. Parasuraman is said to have undertaken penance at this place and performed daily poojas for Adi Kesavan. Chaitanya Maha Prabhu visited the temple in 1510AD. Sage Vashista is said to have stayed here for several years.
There are close to 50 inscriptions inside the temple in the outer prakarams in both Tamil and Sanskrit including those relating to Kulothunga Chozha I and his contribution to this temple. In addition to the inscriptions, one also finds a number of stunning sculptures on the pillars similar to the ones in Krishnapuram and Sri Vaikuntam. Another remarkable feature is the mandapam outside the sanctum measuring 18ft width and 3 ft height that has been built on a single stone in the 12th Century AD. There is reference to Thiru Vattaru in the more than 2000 year old famous Sangha time Tamil literature ‘Pura Naanooru’. Hence, this temple can be said to belong to that time or before.
King Marthanda Varam is said to have visited the temple and sought Adi Kesavan’s blessing before he undertook the battle of Kolachal. It has been over 400 years since the last Kumbabhishekam at this temple. Initiatives are currently on for the Kumbabhishekam.
For detailed sthala puranam in Tamil, please visit Sthala Puranam – Thiruvattaru – Kerala Divya Desam Series
The following are a couple of photographs taken during Kodi Yetram followed by the related utsava pathrigai…