Sri Soundararaja Perumal Temple, also named as ‘Thirunagai’ is situated in Nagapattinam district of Tamilnadu, dedicated to Lord Vishnu and also one of the 108 Divya Desam Temples. Sri Soundararaja Perumal Temple is said to be commenced by the Chola Kings and the temple walls made of granites. This temple is said to be contributed by Pallava Kings, Thanjavur Nayakars and many other dynasties who ruled at that period of time. Soundararaja Perumal Temple is built in the Dravidian style and the temple has a five-tiered structure Rajagopuram (gateway tower), which is 90 feet tall.
Sri Soundararaja Perumal Temple is said to be in existence from the very first Yuga, which is Satya Yuga. The four Yugas (a Hindu Philosophy which explains the era within a four age cycle) mentioned are:
- Satya Yuga, where the average human lifespan was 100,000 years.
- Treta Yuga, where the average human lifespan was 10,000 years.
- Dvapara Yuga, where the average human lifespan was 1000 years.
- Kali Yuga, average human lifespan was 100 years.
It is said that in various Yugas, various legends has been worshipped and performed severe penance in this temple.
The presiding deity of this Soundararaja Perumal Temple is Lord Soundararaja Perumal (Lord Vishnu). The Goddess Soundaravalli (Goddess Lakshmi), the consort of Lord Soundararaja Perumal is housed in a separate shrine inside the temple. The other deities of this temple are Goddess Gajalakshmi, Lord Narasimha with eight hands, and the sculptures of guardian deities Lord Sumba and Lord Nigumba.
Since the presiding deity and Goddess shines with a bright face here, they are called as Soundararaja Perumal and Soundaravalli, ‘Soundaram’ refers to ‘most beautiful’ in Tamil Language. Sri Soundararaja Perumal Temple is glorified in Nalayira Divya Prabandham, the Vaishnav canon and hymns are sung by the saint Thirumangai Azhwar. The Vimanam (temple tower) of this temple is called Soundarya Vimanam.
- Ushathkalam Pooja – 7 a.m.
- Kalasanthi Pooja – 8:00 a.m.
- Uchikalam Pooja – 12:00 p.m.
- Sayarakshai Pooja – 6:00 p.m.
- Irandamkalam Pooja – 7:00 p.m.
- Ardha Jamam Pooja – 10:00 p.m.
- Chittirai Utsavam – April or May
- Nammazhwar Utsavam – June or July
- Navaratri – September or October
- Vaikunta Ekadasi – December or January
- Vijayadasami – September or October
- Uthirayanapunyakalam – January or February
- Panguni Peruvizha – March or April
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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