024. Thirukkannapuram – Sri Neelamega Perumal Temple, Nagapattinam
About the Temple & Location:
This temple lies in the Tanjore district of TamilNadu. It is 4 miles from Nannilam Railway station. From Maayuram we have to go to Thirupugalore and from there by crossing a river Thirukannapuram is at 1 mile distance. Bus facility is provided. But staying facility is not privided well.
This place is one among the five Krishna Kshetrams:
IV. Thirukannan Kavithalam and
Thirukkannamangai and Thirukannapuram Lord Krishna is in a standing posture and at Thirukovilur Lord Krishna gives “Ulakalantha sevai” (ie) he stands up to a great height. Long back, this temple was near the seashore. But now the sea has drifted back about 10 Kilometers.
Kanva Maharishi brought up Shakunthala, the daughter of Vishvamithra and Menaka.
Later Shakunthala married king Dhushyanthan. But he forgot his love due to a eveil spell. In order to unite Bhakunthala with her husband a fish ate up her marriage ring and when the king saw the ring came running in search of Shakunthala and their son Bharatha.
As the fisherman was the sole reason of unison of Shakunthala and Dhushyantha they are called as “Bharathavar”.
In order to remaind this, Neela mega perumal married the princes “Padmavathi” of the fisherman crew. Utsavar sowriraaja perumal as in a posture of seeking hands of yearly once a special pooja is conducted to this perumal by all the fisherman of this area.
As Neelamega perumal is treated in accordance with Varadharaja perumal of Kanchi, he has given a very special dharsan (ie) he has showed himself in person to Thandaka Maharishi who was formely a king and due to his hard penance at Kanchi gained the status of Maharishi.
Vibishanan wanted to take away Ranganathar from SriRangam but as he was in sleeping posture be couldn’t do that. So he prayed god to show the beauty of his walk to him. Accepting this god ordered Vibishana to come to Thirukannapuram on a new moon day. And at this place, Neelamega perumal showed Vibishana his beautiful walk.
Once there was a demon named vikataksham and as an answer to the prayer of Maharishi’s, Neelamega perumal destroyed this demon. Using his chakaram. After that he still gives us dharshan with that powerful chakaram which is ready to kill evil things.
Reason behind the Name:
(i) There’s a small story regarding the name Sowriraajan. Once upon a time, lots of flowers were sent to the temple for pooja from the palace. But it didn’t reach the god instead it was sold. The king came to knew this and tried to know the truth by a surprise visit.
Knowing this fact, the Archagar Ranga Bhattar arranged for a garland quickly and put it upon the god. When the King came to visit the temple, he found a strand of hair in the garland and started enquiring about that. Ranga Bhattar was shocked and pleaded the God to save him. Bhattar lied the King that it was God’s hair and Lord Neela Mega perumal had a plait (Kudumi). But the King was not satisfied. When he came again for inspection, Lord Neelamega perumal showed him off his long plait. The king was convinced.
Henceforth from that incident he’s also called Sowrirajan (Sowri means hair).
(ii) “Om Namo Narayana” is the Thirumandiram (ie) sacred word for Vaishnavities. Thirumangai Alwar was taught (ie) got upadesam of this Mandiram from the Lord Neelamega perumal itself. This mandiram consists of eight syllables and here he lives in each syllable forever and henceforth this place is also called “Srimathasthakshara Maha Manthira Siddhi Kshetram” (ie) the place were the Thirumandiram has gives boundless power.
(iii) Once there was a great devotee named “Munnayatharayar”. He one night asked his wife to cook ‘Pongal’ (a rice dish) and took it to the temple. But as it was very late the temple doors were closed. Hence he stood outside of the temple and mentally submitted the pongal to the Lord Neelamega perumal. As a honour of acceptence, bells in the Moolavar Sannadhi started ringing and the whole campus was filled with the fragrence of fresh ghee and pongal.
So from that day, each night during the last pooja perumal takes pongal which is named “Munitharam” pongal after “Munnayatharayar”.
On every Masi Magam, the lord god of this place goes to the seashore and blesses all his devotees there.
The Moolavar of this kshetram is Sri Neelamega Perumal. The Moolavar is giving his seva in the standing posture facing east. Instead of Abhaya Hastham he has Varadha Hastham similar to Kanchi Varadharaja perumal. Also, he has the Prayoga Chakaram, similar to that of Ranganatha perumal of SriRangam. Prathyaksham for Kanva Maharishi, Thandaka Maharishi and Garudan.
The Thayaar found in this sthalam is Kannapura Naayaki along with Periya piraati, Sridevi, Aandal and Padmini Thaayar.
The Utsavar of this sthalam is Utsavar Sowriraja perumal is in a pose of seeking hands for marriage.
Born on Makara Uthiradam star, native of Mukkur and brought up in Ladavaram village near Arcot and now well settled in Mumbai for over five decades. Presently, at 70, trying to run this website without any commercial expectations or profit motive, just for the sake of our future generations to understand about Sanatana Dharma & Srivaishnavam sampradayam.Within my limited knowledge that I put it here, what I learnt from the world.