108 Divya Desams !! Thiruvinnagar Sri Oppiliappan Perumal Temple !!

Jai Sriman Narayana !!

Photo courtesy:subhavaastu.com

Thiruvinnagar Sri Oppiliappan Perumal Temple is one of 108 Divya Desams of Lord Vishnu located in Thirunageswaram which is 7km south of Kumbakonam in the district of Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.  This temple is also known as Markandeya Kshetram/ Tulasivanam.

Presiding deity – Moolavar Oppiliappan with his consort Bhoomidevi Nachiyar.  In this temple Sri Oppiliappan worshipped in his five forms as Ponnappan, Maniappan, Muthappan, Vinnagarappan and Ennappan.

Mangalasasanam – Peyalwar, Nammalwar, Thirumangai Alwar

Vimanam – Vishnu Vimanam, Sudhha Vimanam, Ananda Vimanam, Sudhha Satwa Vimanam

Pushkarani – Ahoratra Pushkarani, Saranga Pushkarani, Aarthi Pushkarani, Surya Theertham, Indra Theertham.  Holy dip in Ahoratra Pushkarani is capable to eradicate all the sins. 

Prathyaksham to – Sage Markandeya, Garudalwar, River Cauvery, Lord Yama, Nammalvar

Worshipped by – Goddess Tulsi, Sage Markandeya, Deva Sharma who was born in the clan of Sage Bharadhwaja

Festivals – Panguni Brahmostavam, Aippasi Kalyanostavam, Garudasevai, Sri Ramanavami, Float festival, Sravana festival,

Sthalavruksham – Tulsi

Sannidhis – Sri Desikan, Alwars, Lord Rama & Lakshman, Lord Anjaneya, Sri Ramanuja, Sri Maniappan,  Sri Ennappan, Garudalwar, Lord Krishna,

In Brahmandapuram Lord Brahma describes the grandeur of Markandeya Kshetram located in Thiruvinnagar to Maharishi Narada.

The legend has that while churning the milky ocean for the elixir of immortality by the deities and demons many precious things were emerged from the ocean including Halahala poison that was gracefully accepted by Lord Shiva.  The precious things came into sight were equally divided amongst the deities.  Sri Mahalakshmi was adorned by Lord Vishnu on his chest, seeing this sacred Tulsi prayed to Lord Vishnu to embellish her as well.  Lord Vishnu affirmed that Sri Mahalaskhmi underwent severe austerities to attain her place on his chest and instructed Tulsi to undertake strict austerities in this sacred land in order to attain a prime position in his heart.  Sri Tulsi appeared in this holy land near the hermitage of Sage Markandeya on the river banks of Cauvery at the divine instruction of Lord and she was blessed with the status equivalent to Sri Mahalakshmi.  Lord Vishnu pronounced that whoever worships him with the Tulsi leaves would attain prosperity all through their life; the worshipper would yield the merits of ‘Ashwamedha Yaga’ and remain in the Lotus feet of Sriman Narayana.  Hence this place has got its name ‘Tulsi Vanam’.

In the meantime, Sage Markandeya arrived on this sacred land and found enormous bliss at the peace and tranquility of this place.  He underwent severe austerities praying to Lord Vishnu to attain Sri Mahalakshmi as his daughter.  Lord was pleased at the devotion of the Sage Markandeya, Sri Mahalakshmi was born in this sacred land Tulsivanam at the will of Lord.  Sage Markandeya found this beautiful baby girl in the middle of the Tulsi shrubs; he affectionately carried in her in his arms and named her ‘Bhoodevi’ as she was originated on the very Earth.  He brought up this stunning baby girl with so much of love and fondness.  Years passed by, the beautiful girl child grown into a gorgeous young maiden.  Sage Markandeya was anxiously in search for a suitable bride groom for his loveliest daughter.  On the day of Sravan, an old man in his worn-out clothes and holding a walking stick with a weary look appeared before the Sage.  Sage Markandeya received his guest with due honor and respect, washed his feet and reverently enquired his purpose of visit.  The old man informed Sage Markandeya about his purpose of visit was asking his daughter - Sri Boodevi’s hands to marry.

Sage Markandeya was alarmed at the request of his guest.  He despondently informed about the tender age of his daughter, furthermore she was too young to marry an old man.  He diffidently tried to convince the old man about the difference of their age.  Sage Markandeya also explained his daughter’s inability to cook and serve him with the right food or she was too young to take care of an old man as her husband.  The old man cleverly answered that he was genuinely ready to accept whatever the meal was served as the most desired even though there where no salt content in it.

Sage Markandeya tried all means to discourage the old man from his very idea of marrying his daughter, but he was too adamant to heed his words.   Sage Markandeya was in a dilemma, sincerely prayed to Lord Sriman Narayana for an appropriate solution.  When Sage Markandeya opened his eyes, he was jubilant at the enthralling sight of Lord Sriman Narayana with Conch and wheel in front of him.  Sage Markandeya requested Lord for forgiveness for being inconsiderate and immediately offered his daughter’s hand to him.  In this temple bhog is offered to Lord without any salt content on it as a promise made by Lord to Sage Markandeya.  Moreover, no salt contents are allowed to take inside the shrine, it is treated the most sinful deed.  Thus, the deity has got his name ‘Lavana Varjitha Venkatesa Perumal’ in this temple.

This temple remains open from 6.00AM to 1.00PM in the morning and 4.00PM to 9.00PM in the evenings.

Jai Sriman Narayana !!

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