108 Divya-deshams: Thiruvaragunamangai


BY: SUN STAFF - 17.4 2024

Vijayasana Perumal with His consorts

A tour of the 108 Divya-desams, the divine abodes of Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi.

Thiruvaragunamangai Perumal Temple (also called Vijayasana Perumal) is a Divya Desham and one of the Nava Tirupati, the nine temples dedicated to Vishnu located in the Tiruchendur-Tirunelveli area of Tamil Nadu, on the banks of Thamiraparani river. The temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Vishnu as Vijayasana Perumal with His consort Varagunavalli (Lakshmi).

The presiding deity here, Lord Varagunamangai, appeared to a sage named Vedavit was living along the banks of the Tamarabarani river and was serving his elderly parents. After the death of his parents, he wanted to perform a penance. Vishnu appeared in the form of a Brahmin and advised him to perform penance at Varagunamangai. After several years, pleased by the devotion of Vedavit, Vishnu appeared before him. Vedavit requested Vishnu to appear as Vijaysanan at this place. Varagunamangai is also believed to have appeared to the sage Romesar, who performed severe penances here for several thousand years.

Thiruvaragunamangai Perumal Temple

The Brahmanda Purana contains a chapter called 'Navathirupathi Mahatmeeyam' which glorifies this temple, as doesVaikunta Mahatmeeyam, another work in Sanskrit that is a part of Tamraparani Sthalapurana, available only in palm manuscripts. The temple is also revered in the Nalayira Divya Prabandham.

This temple is next only to Alwarthirunagari Temple in terms of importance among the nine Nava Tirupati temple. Nammalvar makes a reference about the temple in his work named Tiruvaymoli.

The temple also among the Navagraha temples, and is associated with Chandra, the moon god.

Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, a granite wall surrounds the temple, enclosing all its shrines. The rajagopuram has five tiers. There is a sixteen pillared granite hall in front of the gopuram. The sanctum houses the image of Vijayasana Perumal in sitting posture, flanked by his consort Varagunavalli on one side, and another consort on the other side. The festival images of Vijayasanar and Varagunavalli are located inside the sanctum.