Celebrating the Azhwars and the Divya Desams of Lord Sriman Narayana!

Monday, May 21, 2012

ThirumOkUr Divya Desam

A very beautiful and compact Divya Desam located near the city of Madurai in Tamilnadu, ThirumOkUr is famous for its ChakrathAzhwAr sannidhi. In fact, this is one Divya Desam where Sri Sudarsana AzhwAr is more famous than PerumAL himself.

Location and Access:

ThirumOkUr is located 12 km from Madurai city. There are plenty of buses from Madurai. There are two other Divya Desams within/close to Madurai city – ThirumAlirumchOlai (kaLLazhagar koil) and ThirukkUdal (kUdal azhagar sannidhi). ThirumOkUr itself is not a big town. The best option would be to stay in Madurai. Madurai has an airport (code IXM) which is connected to Chennai and Hyderabad in South India.

The Temple:

The ThirumOkUr temple is not very big and all sannidhis can be covered comfortably in under an hour. Outside the temple, there is a beautiful lotus filled temple tank (pushkariNi) which is known as the ksheerAbdhi thIrtham. As we enter the temple, there is a stone mandapam with the dhwaja sthambam. On the right, there is a beautiful sannidhi for Ranganatha. There is also a separate sannidhi for the thAyAr – Sri mOhanavaLLi (aka mokUr vaLLi). There are no uthsavams (festivities) for the thAyAr, since it is believed that Sri PerumAL incarnated in a feminine form as Mohini. The thAyAr is a "padi thAndA pathini" i.e. she does not leave the precincts of the sannidhi. Once a year, on panguni uthiram day, Sri PerumAL visits thAyAr sannidhi.

The main perumAL sannidhi has the mUlavar Sri kALamEgha perumAL in standing posture. The utsavar goes by the name of ThirumOkUr Apthan (Apthan literally means “friend”) and has five weapons. The uthsavar is flanked by two thAyArs who are seated.

There is a separate sannidhi for Sri ChakrathAzhwAr with a mUlavar and uthsavar. This sannidhi is very famous and the uthsavar here is of resplendent beauty and majesty – as befits the principal weapon of the Lord.
Legends and History:

According to Wikipedia, the temple is more than 2000 years old and has been referred to in akanaūu, Padhitrupathu, maduraikanchi and also in one of the five great epics of Tamil literature, silappatikaram. Legend has it that, when the devAs and asurAs were churning the milky ocean, a drop of amrutam dropped into this temple tank.

AzhwAr mangaLAsAsanams:

Tirumangai AzhwAr 2673 (74)
nammAzhwAr 3667-77

[Note: The numbering convention for the pAsurams seems to differ in various Divya Prabandham books. In some Divya Prabandham books, the pAsurams by nammAzhwAr are found between numbers 3074-84]

A sample pAsuram:

மற்றிலம் அரண் வான்பெரும் பாழ் தனி முதலா
சுற்றும் நீர்படைத் ததன்வழித் தொல்முனி முதலா
முற்றும் தேவரோ டுலகுசெய் வாந்திரு மோகூர்
சுற்றி நாம்வலஞ் செய்ய நம் துயர்கெடும் கடிதே

In this pAsuram, nammAzhwAr, avers that if we circumambulate around the temple of ThirumOkUr, all our sorrows will be eliminated.

External references:


Sri mOhanavaLLi thAyAr samEtha Sri kALamEgha perumAL thiruvadigaLE saraNam