Srivaikuntam Sri Vaikuntanathan Perumal Temple, also known as ‘Srivaikuntam Temple’ is one of the ‘108 Divya Desam Temples’ dedicated to Lord Vishnu and also one of the ‘Nava Tirupathi Temples’ situated in Srivaikuntam for about 30 km from Tirunelveli city of Tamilnadu, and it is also called as ‘Kailasapuram’. Nava Tirupathi Temples is a set of nine temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu, located on the either sides of Thamiraparani River in Tiruchendur to Tirunelveli route in the state of Tamilnadu, India.
The Nava Tirupathi is considered as Navagraha (the nine planets) Temples. Devotees worship in these temples to relieve from the adverse effects of the planets in their life. The Nava Tirupathi temples are headed by ‘Lord Perumal’ (‘Lord Vishnu’) hence there are no separate Navagraha shrine present in these temples. The Nava Tirupathi temples are classified as “Divya Desams”, the 108 temples of Lord Vishnu which are admired by the 12 Azhvars. List of Nava Tirupathi Temples and its related Grahas (Planets) are:
- Srivaikuntam Sri Vaikuntanathan Perumal Temple – Surya (Sun)
- ThiruVaragunaMangai Vijayaasana Perumal Temple – Chandra (Moon)
- ThiruPuliyangudi Bhoomipalagar Perumal Temple – Budha (Mercury)
- Rettai Tirupathi – North Temple (Sri Aravindalochanar Temple, Tholaivilimangalam) – Rahu
- Rettai Tirupathi – South Temple (Sri Devapiran Temple, Tholaivilimangalam) – Ketu
- Perungulam Swamy Mayakoothar Temple, Thirukkulanthai – Shani (Saturn)
- ThenThirupperai Thiru Makara Nedunkulai Kaather Perumal Temple – Shukra (Venus)
- Thirukolur Sri Vaithamanidhi Perumal Temple – Mangala (Mars)
- Alwarthirunagari Perumal Temple, Thirukkurugoor – Guru (Jupiter)
It is believed that the secret of creation was stolen by a demon Somukasuran from Lord Brahma, the god of creation. And it was retrieved by Lord Vishnu after the penance made by Lord Brahma towards Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu appeared as Vaikundanathar and blessed Lord Brahma at this place, hence this place is named as Srivaikuntam and the Lord is worshipped here as Vaikuntanathar. The Gopuram (temple tower) of Srivaikuntanathan Perumal Temple stands at a height of 110 feet.
The presiding deity of Srivaikuntam Temple is Lord Vaikuntanathar in a standing posture with Adisheshan over His head and known as the festival deity. The other deities of this temple are Goddess Vaikuntavalli, Goddess Chornathanayaki (Bhudevi) consorts of Lord Vaikuntanathar, Lord Krishna, Lord Lakshmi Narasimharar, and Lord Hanuman etc. Srivaikuntanathan Perumal Temple is a well-known sacred place of the planet Sun (Surya). The peculiar feature of this temple is that the rays of Sun falls directly on the idol of Lord Vaikuntanathar for two days every year (April or May and October or November), as a token of worship.
The mythology says that a robber named Kala Dooshakan, the devotee of Lord Vishnu, rob whatever he could and used to offer half of it to Lord Vishnu. This continued, and one day he got caught when he was looting things from the palace by the palace guards, and he prayed Lord Vishnu to save him. To save the thief, Lord Vishnu changed His form to Kala Dooshakan and preached Vedantha to the King and gave blessings to both the king and the thief. Since then the Lord Vishnu is called as Kallapiran (represents thief).
There can be found various sculptures sculptured around the Srivaikuntam Temple. The festival of ‘Vaikasi Utsav’, also named by ‘9 Garuda Sevai Utsavam’ celebrated in a grand manner every year in the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May). The festival idols of deities from all the Nava Tirupathi temples are brought on Garuda Vahana. Utsavar (An idol) of Nammazhvar is also brought in a palanquin to each of the 9 temples while the Paasurams (the Hymns dedicated to each of the 9 temples) are chanted respectively.
The temple remains open from 7.30 am to 12 noon and in the evening from 5.00 to 8.00p.m.
- Brahmmotsavam – January or February
- Pavithra Utsavam – January or February
- Vaikunda Ekadasi – January
- Pongal – January
- Garuda Sevai utsavam festiavl – May or June
- Deepavali – October or November
Srivaikuntam is also well connected by road with Tirunelveli, Tiruchendur and Tuticorin and all other major cities.
Srivaikuntam railway station is situated on the Tirunelveli-Tiruchendur line. All passenger trains from Tirunelveli stop at this station. The temple is about 1.5 miles from the railway station.
The nearest airport is Tuticorin (24.6 Km). There are flights like Air, IndiGo, Spice Jet, Jet Airways, and JetKonnect to reach to and from Srivaikundam.
- Thiru Varagunamangai Temple
- Thiruppulingudi Kaaisinavendhan Temple
- Irattai Tirupathi Perumal Temple
- Thenthirupperai Makara Nedunkuzhai Kannan Temple
- Alwarthirunagari Adhinaatha Perumal Temple
- Thirukolur Vaithamanidhi Perumal Temple