Arulmigu Sree Vanamamalai Totatri Perumal Temple


Vanamamalai Perumal Temple is a Hindu temple and one of the 108 Divya Desam Shrines dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple is one of the self manifested eight Swayambhu Kshetrams of Lord Vishnu. Vanamamalai is believed to have appeared to Adisesha and Garuda. The temple is in Vanamamalai near Tirunalveli of Tamil Nadu State on the banks of Thamiraparani River. The temple constructed in Dravidian Architecture and is glorified in the Divya Prabandha. Lord Vishnu worshipped here as Vanamalai Perumal with his consort Lakshmi as Varamanagai. The temple was built in the reign of Pandyas and later developed by Vijayanagar kings and Madurai Nayaks. The temple is in 5 ac with tower of five flours. We may find the details of the presiding deity in Brhamananda Purana, Skanda Purana and Narasimha Purana.                                                                          

Evening View of Arulmigu Sree Vanamamalai Totatri Perumal Temple, Nanguneri, Tamil Nadu

There are two legends on this temple. One is tht Lakshmi, wife of Vishnu born in this place as Srivaramangai and the place named with her name. The second is that Vanamamalai has appeared to Adisesha and Garuda. The serpent Adisesha performed penance for the grace of Vishnu and Vishnu pleased to his devotion resting on Adisesha. Garudha made penance and was blessed to guard Vaikunta, residence of Lord Vishnu. The local legend is that a king worshipped Vishnu here for children and dug up the earth and the Murthy in the earth got injury and found blood bleeding. He was asked to perform cleaning the deity with oil every day. The king blessed with children and constructed the temple. There is an inscription on the eastern wall in the   second precinct about the gift of money to establish the image of Sadagopar. The temple came under the administration of Travancore kings subsequently entrusted to Vanamamalai Mutt. The consort of Vanamamalai was brought from Tirupati. The priests Namboodris were also replaced by the priests from Tirupati.  

The presiding deity is called Devapiran and he is believed to get married with Varamangai, the daughter of the pontiff of Vanamamalai Mutt. The Jeeyar of the Vanamamalai Mutt states that there is also Nanguneri near Janakapuri in Nepal  where Rama (incarnation of Lord Vishnu) got married Sita is similar to the Vanamamalai Temple. Vishnu likes decoration (Alankara Priya) and Shiva prefers ablution (Abhisek Priya). But in Vanamamlai temple ablution will be performed to the deity every day with Milk, Curd, Ghee, Honey and Jaggery (now Sugar) called Panchamrutha in the morning. The Ghee used for ablution will be powered in the oil considered as sacred. The festival idols will be brought from Vanamamalai Mutt in the occasions. 

The rituals and festivals are held at the temple based on Vaiksana Agama. The Chariot festival, celebrated during March-April comes in the Tamil month of Chittirai, is the most important Festival. Vanamamalai Mutt is maintaining and administering the temple. Like-wise in other Vishnu temples in Tamil Nadu, the Priests are Vaishnavas, sub-caste of Brahmins. Ushathkalam, Kalasanthi, Uchikalam, Sayarakshai, Irandamkalam and Ardha Jamam are the rituals performed daily to the deity at specific times and each ritual comprising with Alangaram (Decoration), Neivethanam (Offering food) and Deepa Aradanai (Aradana with lamps) for both Vanamamalai Perumal and Thayar. While performed Ardha Jamam  in the night, Nagaswaram and Tavil are played as religious instructions in Veda. Priests and devotees prostrate in front of the temple pillar and chant Vedas. The 12days Brahmotshav will be celebrated during Tamil month Thai  falls in January-February.