It is estimated that the number of Hindu temples in India is more than two million. Out of which the Pundarikashan Perumal temple is believed to be established some 15 lakh years ago. Every temple has its own significance and importance among their devotees. The age of this temple makes it an interesting place to visit.
The Pundarikakshan Perumal temple is located in the state of Tamil Nadu, in a village called Thiruvellarai. This village is located near the city of Trichy.
About the temple: It is said that in Treta Yug, the Ayodhya king Sibi Chakravarthy built this temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. There are different legendary stories associated with the establishment of this temple. One is about the King Sibi Chakravarthy. It is said that while King Sibi was passing through the area he encountered a wild boar who when chased, hid in a hole. On solicitation with Rishi Markendaya, the king poured milk on the hole to bring the boar outside. But instead, Lord Vishnu appeared. Rishi Markendaya adviced king to bring 3700 vishnuvites and build a temple. When one Vaishnavite passed away on transit, the King became worried about establishing the temple. Lord Vishnu appeared as a Vaishnavite, Pundarikakshan and requested to be included in his team of Vaishnavites to complete the task.
Another story is about a great Vishnu devotee Pundarikan, who made tulsi garden on the hilltop and worshipped Lord Vishnu with the Tulasi leaves grown in that garden. Lord Vishnu became very pleased and appeared in front of his devotee, and henceforth Vishnu dev came to be known as Pundarikakshan over here.
The temple reflects a Dravidian architectural style. It has different sections made up of rocks and stones and various different deities are worshipped in the complex. Some of these deities are estimated to have been added later by other kings. A water tank in Swastik shape is present outside the temple complex. There are 22 steps to enter the temple which are said to be the representation of 18 chapters from holy Bhagwat Gita and the four Vedas. The temple is considered as Divyadesam, one of 108 sacred places of Lord Vishnu which are mentioned in the Tamilian holy book Nallayiran Divya Prabandham.
The puja and arati are done at specific times, 6 times a day.
Best time to visit:
The famous chariot festival is held around March-April and one may visit the temple at that time. Otherwise, any time of the year is also fine.
How to reach:
Pundarikashan Perumal temple is 27 km from Trichy and about 13 km from the bus stop. You may hire cars and easily reach the temple via roadways.
Featured Photo by Nagarjun