Sri Saranathan Perumal Temple is situated in Thiruccherai village, Kudavasal, Tiruvarur district of Tamilnadu and also revered as one of the 108 Divya Desam temples, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It was said that the king named Azhagiya Manavala Nayakar, who ruled Tanjore during that period had a wish to build a temple for Rajagopala Swamy in Mannarkudi. As ordered by the king Azhagiya Manavala Nayakar, the work of collecting of Blackstone to construct the Saranathan Perumal Temple was done by Narasa Boopalan, who was the minister of the king.
Being a great devotee of Lord Saranathan Perumal of Thiruccherai, Narasa Boopalan had a desire to erect a temple for Lord Saranathan Perumal. As a result, he extracted Blackstone from each carts which is sent for Mannarkudi via Thiruccherai. Narasa Boopalan got caught by the spy of King Azhagiya Manavala Nayakar. By knowing this, the king Azhagiya Manavala Nayakar came to Thiruccherai to make an inspection. But cleverly Narasa Boopalan erected the temple for Saranathan Perumal and to please the king he built a sannadhi for Rajagopala Swamy at the temple premises.
And it was also said that to save all Vedhas from the Maha Pralaya (the end of the yugam), Lord Brahma made out a mud pot, which was made of sand taken from the place Thiruccherai and placed all the Vedhas and other assistances needed for srishti (Universe) inside that pot. And it is believed that the sacred place was the reason to make all living creatures to live even after the Maha Pralaya. Hence, the place Thiruccherai is called as Sara Kshetram. And as the place was added with assets Lord Saranathan Perumal, Goddesses, temple Vimanam and Pushkarani, it is called as Pancha Sara Kshetram.
The presiding deity of Sri Saranathan Perumal Temple is Lord Saranatha Perumal (Lord Vishnu), found in standing posture. Sri Saranathan Perumal Temple is the only temple where Lord Vishnu is found with five Goddesses namely Goddess Sri Mahalakshmi, Goddess Saranayaki, Goddess Neela Devi, Goddess Bhooma Devi, and Goddess Sri Devi. The other shrines inside the Saranathan Perumal Temple are the shrines of Lord Sri Rama, Goddess Sita, Lakshmanan, Rajagopala, Lord Anjaneya, Goddess Andal, Lord Narasimha, Lord Balasaranatha, Santhana Gopalan, Sri Ramanuja, Manavala Maamunigal, and Azhwars.
The mythology says that the River Goddess Cauvery wished to be equal in the status to River Goddess Ganges. So to acquire that, the river Goddess Cauvery made serious penance. When Lord Vishnu pleased by the penance of River Cauvery, she deposited her three wishes to Lord Vishnu. The three wishes are:
- The River Goddess Cauvery asked Lord Vishnu to stay in Thiruccherai forever.
- And the second wish of the River Goddess Cauvery was that all the Jeevans (living things) at Thiruccherai should attain the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu.
- And the final wish was that the River Goddess Cauvery should be treated as devout as the River Goddess Ganges.
Lord Vishnu fulfilled all three wishes of River Cauvery extemporize her position further, Lord Vishnu accepted River Cauvery as His mother and slithered on Her hand as a child. And hence, River Goddess Cauvery in this temple, found to be in a maternal posture with a child in Her lap. The Vimanam and Pushkarani (temple tank) of Sri Saranathan Perumal Temple is Sara Vimanam and Sara Pushkarani.
The temple remains open from morning 7.00 AM to 12.00 noon and in the evening from 4.00 PM to 7.00 PM.
- Vasantha Utsavam – May/June
- Jeshtabishegam – July/August
- Navarathri Festival – September/October
- Manavala Mamunigal Uthsavam – October/November
- Pavithra Uthsavam – November/December
- Rapathu Festival – December/January
- Thaipoosam Therthiruvizha – January/mid-February
- Ramanujar Festival – April/May
The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation operates close to 175 daily services connecting various cities to Thiruvarur. Most of the buses via Thiruvarur are operated by the corporation ply between Trichy and Velankanni.
Thiruvarur railway junction is a four way junction connecting Thanjavur in the west, Mayiladuthurai in the north, Nagapattinam in the east and Thiruthuraipoondi in the south. There is a daily express train to Chennai via Mayiladuthurai and Ernakulam and trains available from Mannargudi to Tirupathi and Velankanni to Goa, operated three times a week that pass through Thiruvarur.
The nearest airport to Thiruvarur is Tiruchirapalli Airport located about 110 km from the town.
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