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| Last Updated:: 02/01/2016

Thiruvellarai

 

 

 

Pundarikakshan Perumal Temple in Thiruvellarai, a village in the outskirts of Tiruchirappalli in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, the early medieval Tamil canon of the  Alwar saints from the 6th–9th centuries AD. It is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Pundarikakshan and his consort Lakshmi as Pankajavalli.

 
The temple is believed to have been built by the Pallavas of the late 8th century AD, with later contributions from Medieval Cholas, later PandyasVijayanagar kings and Madurai Nayaks. The temple has three inscriptions in its two rock-cut caves, two dating from the period of Nandivarman II (732–796 AD) and the other to that of Dantivarman (796–847). It also has Pallava sculptural depictions of Narasimha and Varaha, two of the ten avatars of Vishnu.

A granite wall surrounds the temple, enclosing all its shrines and six of its seven bodies of water. The rajagopuram, the temple's gateway tower, is unfinished. A swastika shaped temple tank built in 800 AD by Kamban Araiyan during the reign of Dantivarman is outside the temple complex. The Vijayanagar and Nayak kings commissioned paintings on the walls of the shrine of Pudarikakshan, some of which are still present.
Pundarikakshan is believed to have appeared to Garuda (the sacred eagle bird of Vishnu), Sibi Chakravarthy, Sage Markandeya and Hindu gods Bhoomadevi, Brahma and Shiva. Six daily rituals and three yearly festivals are held at the temple, of which the chariot festival, celebrated during the Tamil month of Chittirai (March–April), is the most prominent. The festival is unique in the state as a community feast is offered, a custom stretching back many centuries. 

 

 

Source:

http://www.cyclopaedia.es/wiki/Thiruvellarai