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Sri Pundarikakshan Perumal Temple-Thiruvellarai ,Trichy

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  • Pundarikakshan Perumal Temple or Thiruvellarai is located near Tiruchirapalli (Trichy) in Tamil Nadu. It is situated on the way to Turaiyur, at a distance of 27 km from Trichy. This place contains Sri Pundarikasha Perumal Temple, one of the 108 desams of Divya. Here Lord Vishnu is worshipped as Pundarikakshan, and Lakshmi as Pankajavalli as his consort. Vellarai means Rock White. Since this sthalam is located 100 feet high at the top of the small white mountain this sthalam is called “Thiru Vellarai.” Here a great devotee of Lord Vishnu, Pundarikan, set up a garden here, worshipping the Lord with the leaves of Tulsi grown here. The Lord was satisfied with his worship and gave him darshan, and became known as Pundarikaksham. According to Hindu tradition, a white boar crossed his path when Sibi Chakravarthi was staying with his warriors there. He followed it, and the boar hid inside a pit. There Markandeya, a sage, was doing penance and the king told him about the incident. The sage asked the king to supply milk to fill the void. While doing so, Hindu god Vishnu appeared before them. The sage asked the king to bring from the north 3700 Vaishnavites, and to build a temple for Vishnu on the site. The king took 3700 Vaishnavites as requested, and began to construct the temple. While doing so, one of the Vaishnavites was killed in transit and the accident caused concern to the king. Vishnu appeared incognito as the Vaishnavite Pundarikakshan, and asked to be counted among the 3700.

Vishnu’s consort performed penance at the temple according to another legend Lakshmi, and Vishnu appeared before her as Sengamalakannan. The presiding deity has since been named “Thamarai Kannan,” that is to say the one with lotus-like eyes; his consort is named “Pankacha Valli” It is believed that the Hindu god Shiva in the form of Neelivaneswarar worshiped Pundarikakshan to absolve himself of the sin of possessing the severed head of Brahma. To both Shiva and Brahma Vishnu appeared, adhering to their prayers. This Sthalam’s Moolavar is Pundarikashan, standing eastwards facing place. For Garudan, Prathyaksham was renamed “Periya Thiruvadi,” Sibi chakravarthy, Bhoomi Piratti, Maarkandeya Maharishi, Lord Brahma and Rudhran. The temple is dedicated to Lord Varaha. So this temple is also called kshetharam as Swedha varaha. Goddess Shenbagavalli is the Sthalam Thayaar. Often named “Lakshmi Devi Peri Piraattiyaar.” Thayar obtains the first rights over Perumal here.

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