Category Archives: 108 Divya Desams

Srivilliputhur Andal Kovil – Vatapatrasayee and Andal,Rangamannar Temple – 108 Divya Desams

Sairam friends,

Srivilliputhur Andal Kovil is one of the most famous Temples in Tamilnadu. I had gone to this temple during my childhood but don’t really remember what I saw there. So I will be happy if any of you share your Travel experiences and the Divinity of Goddess Andal in Srivilliputhur Andal Kovil.

Srivilliputhur is a semi-urban town and a municipality in Virudhunagar district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Srivilliputtur andal temple gopuram

Srivilliputtur andal temple gopuram photo in 1940 – wikipedia

About Srivilliputhur:

Srivilliputhur (srivilliputtur or thiruvilliputtur) is located in the Viruthunagar district of Tamuilnadu and is one of the temple towns in Tamilnadu.

Srivilliputtur is one of the old historical town in Tamilnadu, India for the following aspects

1. A 1000-year-old temple,

2. 200-year-old Hindu School,

3. 135-year-old Pennington Public Library

4. Thiruppavai, one of the important constituent of devotional Tamil literature period was from this temple town.

Srivilliputhur Andal Kovil

Srivilliputhur Andal Kovil become one of the Temple that i really wish to visit in future. This is because of few incidents which happened. When I was going through a painful situation in life, I got a friend who was really kind to me and the next day I went to work, the girl besides me brought a Parrot made of leaf from Srivilliputhur. During that time, I was worshipping Goddess Raja Matangi

Since Matangi also holds a Green Parrot, I believed Andal has blessed me for my devotion and shows positive signs that my life will be good. From that day, I keep requesting the girl beside me to bring me the Green Parrot made of leaf from Srivilliputhur as that’s her native place.

More about Srivilliputhur Temple courtesy of Wikipedia Authors:

Thiruvilliputhoor Divya Desam is a popular 2000-year-old Hindu temple and one of the 108 Divya Desams, the most important abodes of Lord Vishnu. It is the birthplace of two of the most important alvars (saints) in the Vaishnavite tradition: Periyazhvar and Andal.

I shall present few words from the article in The Hindu by Mr. T.A.Srinivasan describing the Twin Temples of Srivilliputhur

“Srivilliputhur, with its twin temples, dedicated to the deities Vatapatrasayee and Andal-Rangamannar, is a place of high religious importance.

The tall towers, massive car, huge tank, sculpted pillars, ancient Ramayana frescoes and modern wall paintings depicting the Lords of 108 Divyadesams, numerous inscriptions dating back to the rule of Pandya kings, fine rectangular hall with a wooden roof and above all its unique “Thiruppavai Vimanam” speak volumes of their rich architectural heritage. ”

Tamilnadu Government Symbol:

The Temple Tower – Gopuram is so divine and beautiful that it is being used as the Symbol of Tamilnadu Government in its Logo.

See the Beautiful Photography of Srivilliputhur Temple Tower courtesy of Wikipedia user – Gauthaman

srivilliputhur andal temple tower

Srivilliputhur Andal Temple Tower

Goddess Andal:

My Mom told me about the story that Goddess Andal was discovered as a child near the Thulasi plant in Srivilliputhur. She became a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu and as she grew up desired to marry him. I wish a good devotee explains the story of Andal in sweet words.

Birth and Early life of Andal

Andal is believed to have been discovered under a Tulsi(Basil) plant in the temple garden of Srivilliputtur, by a person named Vishnucitta who later became one of the most revered saints in Hinduism, Periyalvar.

The child was named Kodhai. This is popularly thought to mean “a beautiful garland” in Tamil. The name Kodhai is often Sanskritized as Goda. She has been accepted as a reincarnation of Bhumi Devi (the Earth Goddess).

She is considered to be bhooma devi avatar just after that of Sita (wife of Lord Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu, as described in the epic Ramayana).The series of Bhumi Devi’s incarnations start from the Varaha Puranam – In Hindu mythology, Vedavati is speculated to have been the spirit of Sita Devi, the wife of Lord Rama in the epic Ramayana. She was another avatar of Devi Lakshmi. Vedavati is the daughter of Brahmarshi Kusadhvaja, who is the son of Brihaspati, Lord-Guru of the Devas, the Gods.

Having spent his life chanting and studying the sacred Vedas, he names his daughter Vedavati, or Embodiment of the Vedas, born as the fruit of his bhakti and tapasya.

Sri Andal

Sri Andal

Andal’s devotion on Lord Vishnu

Kodhai was brought up by Vishnucitta. Kodhai grew up in an atmosphere of love and devotion. Vishnucitta doted on her in every respect, singing songs to her about Lord Vishnu; teaching her all the stories and philosophy he knew; and sharing with her his love for Tamil poetry.

As Kodhai grew into a beautiful maiden, her love and devotion for the Lord grew to the extent that she decided to marry none but the Lord Himself only. As days progressed, her resolve strengthened and she started to live in a dream world with her beloved Lord and was constantly fantasizing about marrying Him.

A Very beautiful Story of Andal offering Garland made for Vishnu to herself and then giving it to to offer the Lord

Vishnucitta had the responsibility of delivering flower garlands to the Lord’s temple, everyday. Kodhai made these garlands and sent it to her beloved Lord through her father. Eventually she started acting unusual by wearing the flower garland which was meant to be offered to the Lord. This is generally considered sacrilege in Hinduism because the scriptures teach the devotees not to offer to the Lord, a thing that has already been used by a human being.

However, Kodhai felt she should test to see how the garland suited her and only if it did, she should offer it to the Lord.

One day, she was caught red-handed by her father in this strange act, and as an orthodox devotee he was extremely upset. He rebuked her and told her not to repeat the sacrilegious act in the future. Frightened and apologetic, Kodhai made a new garland for the offering that day.

Legend says that that very night the Lord appeared to Vishnucitta in his dream and asked him why he had discarded Kodhai’s garland instead of offering it to Him. The Lord is believed to have told Vishnucitta that He had whole-heartedly accepted Kodhai’s offering all this time.

Soodi kodutha Sudarkodi which means “The bright creeper-like woman who gave her garlands after wearing them”.

This moved Vishnucitta so much even as he started to realize the Divine Love that existed between the Lord and his daughter. From this day on, Kodhai is believed to have been respected by the devotees and came to be known as “Andal”, the girl who “ruled” over the Lord. She is also known by a phrase Soodi kodutha Sudarkodi which means “The bright creeper-like woman who gave her garlands after wearing them”.

Goddess Andal Marrying the Lord

As Andal blossomed into a fifteen-year-old beautiful young woman of marriageable age (girls were married at a much younger age in those days), her father prepared to get her married to a suitable groom.

Andal, however, was stubborn and insisted that she would marry only the Lord Vishnu. This perplexed and worried her father. However, the Lord appeared in Vishnuchitta’s dream and informed him that He would marry Andal at Srirangam; the Lord simultaneously commanded the priests at Srirangam, in their dreams, to prepare for the wedding.

Andal who was anxious to reach Srirangam was unable to control herself in her urgency to meet her beloved Lord. She ran into the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord Ranganatha and is believed to have merged with Him completely at that point.

Friends, I really love this Story of Andal as it speaks about pure Devotion and we must learn to be devotion on any God/Goddess we love like Andal.

Thanks to the wikipedia author for beautiful description.

My Father’s memory of Srivilliputhur Temple:

While posting this Article, My Father came into the Pooja room and was doing Abishekam. Though he is settled in coimbatore decades back, his Father was a Teacher in Virudhunaga. I asked my Father if he has gone to Srivilliputhur Andal Kovil during his childhood.

He told me, His friend’s mother used to make Agarbathi sticks and he used to ride in cycle with his friend to sell the Agarbathi during holidays. I had tears in eyes thinking how much my Father has done in his life to earn a living even during his childhood but he never tells about it. It was a family of 5 Brothers and 3 sisters and hence my Dad has taken responsibility to help his parents for many years and until the last days of his parents my Father took care of them. This is one of the reason, I created a section called – StarSai Mom and Dad

Show Love to your Mom & Dad when they need you most – Caring for Parents

I wish anyone who has good experiences in Srivilliputhur Andal Kovil write as comment to this article.May Goddess Andal and Rangamannar Bless us all with peace, good health, happiness and harmony.

Love,

Venkat