In the district of
Kanyakumari, Paralayar takes a turn and it is called vattaru and when the temple of adikeasav perumal was installed it came to be known as Thriuvattaru. Puranaanuru ( 396th song) mentions this river as VALA NEER VATTARU. It also refers about EZHINIYATHAN who ruled Thiruvattar. Nammalvar ( 9th century) refers this place as “Valamikka vattaru.”
Adi kesava perumal temple of Thiruvattar is one of the 108 Divyastahnams of Vaishnavaites. It is said that Sri Krishana Chaitanyar, of 16th century visited this temple and it urged him to compose “Sree Brahma Samhitai.”
The temple is located on an elevated place. Its structure is similar to that of the temple of Sree Padmanabha.
Kesan an asura was troubling the three worlds. The Devas approached Vishnu and requested him to find a solution. Perumal escorted by Ananthan. At Thriuvattar, Ananthan hurled Kesan slew him. Ananthan used Kesan as his bed on which in turn reclines the Lord.
There plenty if inscriptions from 11th century to 18th century. The one in the Balikkal mandapam belongs to the period of Rajendra Chozhan I (1013 TO 1045). It refers the deity as the “thiruvattaru pallikondu arulkindra perumal.”
Built in the Kerala style of architecture, “Udaya marthanda mandapam” is named after the venad king Udaya Marthanda Varma. This mandapam has exquisite wood carvings and the highlight is the wedding procession of Lord Ganapathi. Veera Ravi Varman erected the ottakkal mandapam (18ft square granite slab with a height of 3 ft). His brother Aditya Varma built the corridors. (Travancore archeological series vol-1).The corridor has 222 salabhanjikas (feminine forms holding a lamp), each one has a unique hair do! Sculptures of Rathi and Manmadan, Lakshmanan, Indrajit, Venugopal, sakthi, Natarajar, Brahma, Vishnu offers a visual treat.
The idol of Padmanabha is made of Kadusarkarai yogam-a mixture of herbs and other minerals. The idol of Adikesava and Sree Padmanabha are installed in such a way that they face each other.
In 1740 the men of the Nawab of Arcot looted this temple and the golden idol (ulsava vigraham). It was so heavy. They drilled a hole and chained it. The Nawab since then had intermittent physical ailments. On the advice of well wishers he returned the idol. He offered a golden cap and a platter. He also provided the fund for conducting annual pujas. THE pujas were conducted in THIRU ALLAH MANDAPAM. This temple has a treasure of mural works poorly maintained.
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