Sri Uraga Mellanayaan Perumal Temple also called as Sri Sowmiya Narayana Perumal Temple is located in the village of Thirukkoshtiyur, Tirupathur, Sivagangai district of Tamilnadu. Thirukkoshtiyur Sri Sowmiya Narayana Perumal Temple is revered as one of the 108 Divya Desam temples, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Thirukkoshtiyur temple is considered to be the holy abode of Vaishnavites and has more importance among them.
The mythology says that during the Satya Yuga (the age of Truth), one of the ages of life, the Devas (deities) and sages were abused by the demon Hiranyakashipu. And it was said that the death of the demon was in the hands of Lord Vishnu, who kills the demon in His Varaha (form of a boar) avatar. All the Devas and the sages approached Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma for the solution. Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma, and all other deities with sages searched for a place to discuss regarding the solution.
Finally they chose this place and they all came in a group to the spot and hence from then the place is called as ‘Thirukkoshtiyur’. The word ‘Koshti’ refers to a group. And later it came to be called as Thirukkotiyoor. In Periazhwar Thirumozhi, a Vaishnava canon contributed by Periazhwar (one of the twelve azhwar saints of South India), predicts Thirukkotiyoor as the birth place of Lord Krishna.
The presiding deity of this Thirukkoshtiyur Sri Uraga Mellanayaan Perumal Temple is Lord Sri Sowmya Narayana Perumal (Lord Vishnu), who is otherwise called as Lord Sri Uraga Mellanayaan Perumal or Lord Sathyagiri Nathan. The main temple contains a separate shrine for Lord Narayana which is constructed having three stages which symbolizes Boologam (earth), Thiruparkadal (Ocean of milk), and Vaikundam. In all the three stages, Lord Narayana appears in three different postures. The different forms are:
- Nindran (Standing posture)
- Kidanthan (Sleeping posture)
- Aadinan (Dancing posture)
The spot Thirukkoshtiyur is closely related to Sri Ramanuja, a Hindu theologian, philosopher, and scriptural exegete. He is seen by Sri Vaishnavism as the most important acharya (teacher) of their tradition who followed Nathamuni and Yamunacharya. It is said that Sri Ramanuja learned the Ashtakshara manthra (sacred eight letter hymn), “Ohm Namo Narayanaya!!” at Thirukkoshtiyur from Thirukkoshtiyur Nambigal (sage).
Sri Ramanuja travelled all the way from Srirangam to Thirukkoshtiyur for eighteen times to learn that sacred mantra. Sri Ramanuja was refused by Thirukkoshtiyur Nambigal for seventeen times as he introduced himself as “Adiyen Ramanuja vandhirukiraen” (Beloved student Sri Ramanuja here), i.e., “I am Ramanuja arrived”, where ‘I am’ signifies his conceit. And in the eighteenth time when he visit Thirukkoshtiyur Nambigal, he introduced himself as “Adiyen Ramanuja” (Beloved student Ramanuja), where his ego got vanished, on which he was allowed to meet Thirukkoshtiyur Nambigal.
Thirukkoshtiyur Nambigal preached the sacred Ashtakshara manthram (“Ohm Namo Narayanaya!!”) and told him not to preach the mantra to anyone. But as soon he learned the Ashtakshara manthram, he climbed on the top of the temple and summoned the sacred manthram to the whole village. When Thirukkoshtiyur Nambigal question about this act to Sri Ramanuja, he replied that “It is my great fortune in showing the path and guiding people to heaven, I’m glad in going to hell for the act.”
The temple remains open in the morning from 7.00 AM to 12.00 noon and in the evening from 4.30 PM to 8.30 PM.
- Float festival – February/March
- Vaikunda Ekadasi – December/January
- Purattasi Navarathri – September/October
The State Transport Corporation runs long-distance buses to Coimbatore, Chennai from Sivagangai bus-stand.
Sivagangai railway station is located in the east side of town. Several Express trains and passenger trains are passing through the town and connecting with the cities like Karaikudi, Rameshwarem, Ramanathapuram, Tiruchirapalli, Coimbatore, and other major cities.
Madurai International Airport is 40 km away from Sivagangai and Tiruchirapalli Airport is about 130 km away.
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