Sri Gopala Krishna Perumal Temple, also named as ‘Thirukkavalampaadi’ is situated in Thirunangur, district of Nagapattinam in Tamilnadu. Sri Gopala Krishna Perumal Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and also one of the 108 Divya Desam Temples. The mythology says that Lord Shiva had a dance of destruction (Rudra Tandava) carrying half burnt body of Goddess Sati after Goddess Sati’s self-immolation. To stop the dance of destruction performed by Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu threw His Chakra (Sudharshan Chakra) on Goddess Sati’s body which dismembered Her body into 52 parts.
And it is said that each time the hair of Lord Shiva touches the earth, there appeared eleven other forms of Lord Shiva. Lord Vishnu appeared in eleven forms as Lord Shiva did and solaced Lord Shiva saying that His dance of destruction may result in the destruction of entire creations on the world. The eleven forms of Lord Vishnu which appeared at Thirunangur is said to be where the eleven temples of Lord Vishnu are situated. Hence, the eleven temples at Thirunangur are very closely associated to each other in one way or the other.
The other mythology was that Lord Krishna, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu have saved an elephant at this place. As Lord Vishnu saved an elephant at this place this place is also called as Thirukkavalampaadi, where kavalam refers to elephant and paadi refers to place.
The presiding deity of this Sri Gopala Krishna Perumal Temple is Lord Gopalakrishna Perumal (Lord Vishnu) also called as Lord Rajagopalan, made of granite, along with Goddess Rukmani and Goddess Sathya Bhama, the consorts of Lord Gopalakrishna Perumal. The idol of Goddess Sengamala Thayaar (Goddess Lakshmi) also called as Goddess Madavaral Mangai is found in the shrine. Sri Gopala Krishna Perumal Temple is glorified in Nalayira Divya Prabandham, the great canon and the hymns were sung by Thirumangai Azhwar.
During the Garudasevai festival which is celebrated on the month of January, the festival deities of all the eleven temples associated to Lord Vishnu at Thirunangur are brought on Garuda Vahanam (the vehicle of Lord Vishnu). The poetry or mantra which are dedicated to each of the eleven temples by the legends are chanted in the respective temples even today. The Vimanam (temple tower) of Sri Gopala Krishna Perumal Temple is called Swaymbu Vimanam (Self-manifested). The Pushkarani or Theertham (temple tank) of Sri Gopala Krishna Perumal Temple is called Tadamalarppoikai.
- Ushathkalam Pooja – 8 a.m.
- Kalasanthi Pooja – 10:00 a.m.
- Sayarakshai Pooja – 5:00 p.m.
- Ardha Jamam Pooja – 7:00 p.m.
- Thirumangai Azhwar Mangalasasana Utsavam and Garudasevai – January or February
- Vaikasi Brahmmotsavam – May or June
Extensive network of roads connect it to Chennai, Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Pondicherry, Thanjavur and all other major cities. Nagapattinam is located at a distance of about 330kms from Chennai by Road.
Nagapattinam railway junction connects Thiruvarur in the west, Nagore in the north, Velankanni in the south and Karaikal in the east. There is a daily express train to Chennai via Mayiladuthurai and Ernakulam via Coimbatore and it connects all major cities.
The nearest Airport is Tiruchirapalli Airport, located 145 km (90 miles) away from the town.
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