This temple lies at Thirunageswaram of Tanjore district in TamilNadu. It is about 4 miles away from Kumbakonam and a mile away from Thirunageswaram railway station. Ample bus facilities are provided. Staying facilities are not furnished.
When the greta sea of Vaikunda, the Thiruparkadal was churned, Lakshmi devi and Thulasi devi emerged out from the sea.
Lord Narayana, placed Mahalakshmi in his heart. Thulasi devi too wanted to marry Lord Narayana. So, he guided her to become a thulasi plant where Maharishi Markandeya performed penance. She came to Thirunageswaram near Kumbakonam. After a long period of hard pennance Lord Narayana gave her the wife post. Lord Narayana gave Mahalakshmi a place in his heart but he gave Thulasi devi a very special opportunity (ie) Thilasi devi has perumanently got the place as a garland around his neck.
So internally Mahalakshmi blesses us and externally Thulasi devi blesses us. From then Thulasi is considered as a sacred herb and has lots of medicinal values it it.
Markandeya Maharishi is the son of Mrikantu Maharishi andhe had the wounderful opportunity of having dharsan of both Mahavishnu and Lord Shiva in his life time.
He prayed hard to Lord Vishnu, asking him to granted him Bhoomidevi as his daughter his wish was granted for one day he found Bhoomidevi as a two year old child under the Thulasi plant in the forest in Thirunageswaram.
Days went by and one day, Lord Vishnu came as an old Brahmin. Markandeya Maharishi gave him a very hearty welcome the aged Brahmin wanted to marry Bhoomi devi. But, Markandeya Maharishi tried to explain him that his daughter was too young to get married.
But the Brahmin refused to accept his reasons and blackmailed him that if he did not have Bhoomi devi as his wife he would die on the spot.
Maharishi pleaded him to leave his child. He told him that my daughter is not yet fit for marriage mentally and physically. She doesnt even know to cook food with proper proportion of salt. But the old man unable to be convinced. So, he Maharishi asked his daughter to accept for marriage. She started crying and told her father that she too would die if her father compelled her to marry the old man.
Now, Markandeya Maharishi was caught in fix. He pleaded Mahavishnu to get him out of the problem. Internally he knelt before the Lord and caught his feet and prayed hard to solve his problem.
When Maharishi woke from Dhyanam (Prayer), instead of aged Brahmin he found Lord Mahavishnu clad in most beautiful clothing with one hand in his hip and the other seeking Bhoomi devi’s hand for marriage.
Bhoomi devi was very happy and was really to accept Lord Mahavishnu as her husband. Markandeya Maharishi too was very happy.
So on the day of Sravana Natchatram of the Tamil Month Aipasi Lord Mahavishnu married Bhoomidevi. The grand occasion was graced by Lord Brahma and all the celestial persons (ie) devars. Even than Markanteya Maharishi felt sad due to his boundless towards his daughter. He feared that his daughter might not know the correct quantity of salt for dishes. So he asked Lord Mahavishnu three boons:
1. O! Lord you should take dishes without salt in this place. But the dishes should taste wonderful to you and your devotees.
2. You should never leave my daughter alone, you have to stay with her forever.
3. This place should be named after me.
Hence, from the onwards, Lord Vishnu takes food without salt and so he is called Oppiliappan (ie) Uppu – illatha – appan literall Lord without salt.
So, even today Lord Oppiliappan takes food without salt. Many may think that why so importance to salt. Salt is the main item not only in South Indian dish but in multi continental too. Without salt nothing would taste high. To improve the level of Sweetness to, a pinch of salt is being added. But too much of salt will also spoil the dish. Hence salt plays an important place. Lord Mahavishnu has forbidden such an item showing humanity that love is the most wanted thing in one’s life rather than anything including hatredness.
As from the heaven (ie) Vinnulagam Lord himself wished to stay on this place, this place is known as Vinnagar (place of heaven), also as a wish of Markandeya Maharishi this is also known as “Markanteya Kshetram”. Thulasi devi got her wish satisfied at this place and along with pleasant smelling flowers – Thulasi leaf has got an important role in its part (ie) the role of beautifying Lord Mahavishnu as a garland this place is also called as “Thulasivanam”.
Lord Oppiliappan bowed in front of Markandeya Maharishi to seek his daughter for marriage and got her as “Kannikadhanam”, (ie) getting a girl for marriage as deed of alms from the bride’s father. As Lord himself got alms from his father in law, the following deads are consided very scared at this place.
Each and every Thulasi leaf used to perform Pooja (Archani)to Lord Oppiliappan would fetch the total value of an Ashwametha Yagna (yagam).
Every step placed to reach this kshetram would fetch lots of eternal values (Punniyam).
Devoting cands to Oppiliappan even as small as a cow’s shoe, would fetch definite eternity. (or) immortality.
Rendering chandhan, Kumkum and flowers would vanquish the sins like the murder of a Brahmin etc.
By devoting Dhoopakal, Deepakal, vessells needed for pooja and Thirumanjanam (Bathing of Lord god), brass bell and silk clothing one could get themselves out from all sorts of sins.
Those who undertake/perform utsavam to Lord Oppiliappan would definitely have the boon of birth of a child.
Just by chanting “Thulasivanam” all the effect sins fly away.
In the Tamil month Panguni on the day of Sravanam doing the following things would remove all the if phabam’s (sins) due to Panchama Pathyam effects evil sins like murder, robbery etc.
Early in the morning taking bath in the temple pushkarani. Give alms (dhanam) to needy people. Choose any 5 Brahmins and treat them as the 5 forms of Oppiliappan (ie) as Ponnappan, Maniappan, Muthappan, Ennappan, Vinnagarappan. Then give them Thirukannal amudhu (ie) Payasam (ie) Sweet kheer and finally worship Oppiliappan in his Sannathi.
Oppiliappan in his Moolastanam (ie) Karbagraham (ie) Main Sannadhi takes the form of Ponnappan, Muthappan and Vinnagarappan. Out side the Moolavar Sannadhi, to the Northern side, of Opposite to pushkarani one can have dharsan of Ennappan and to the south side of the Moolavar sannathi inside the flower garder Manniappan has his sannathi.
Glimpse of Moolavar Sanathi: Oppiliappan stands upto 8 feet tall in the centre. Below him Bhoomidevi faces north in a kneeling posture while Makandeya Maharishi who has the boon of retaining his age as 16 forever is the position to perform Kannikadhanam (ie) ready to perform marriage to his daughter.
Left hand of Oppiliappa perumal contains the inscription “Maam Ekam Saranam Vrija” a made of diamonds which is a verse form Bhagavatgita instructing the whole mankind to devote their pure souls into his lotus feet to attain Salvation.
Ahorathra Pushkarani: There is an interesting tale regarding the reason behind the name of this pushkarani.
Once there was a Brahmin named Devasharma belonging to the clan of Bharadwaja Maharishi. One day it happened so, that he took forcefully the daughter of Gymini Maharishi as his wife. The rishi heard his daughters cries and atonce he cursed Devasharma turn in Krunchu Paravai a type of bord. Then only shrama realised his mistake and he pleded the Maharishi to leave him. As his anger suoded, he told devasharma to wait near pushkarani of Oppiliappan perumal temple and one day he would be freed from the curse.
It happened so one day during night time. A huge strom borke out and the branch in which devasharma was sitting as a bird broke and tell pushkarani. As soon as the divine water splashed in the birds body, devasharma was freed fromhis curse. Generally one has to take bath in the pushkarani only in the day time. Generally one has to take bath in the pushkarani only in the day time. But as unusually this pushkarani paved the way to freedom devashrama’s curse during the night time, this pushkarani is named as “Ahorathra Pushkarani” which means litrelly “Unusual in night”.
Utsavam: In the tamil months Panguni Bhramotsavam of Eypasi month Kalyana utsavam’s are conducted.
On every day of Sravana natchatram (ie) on the sravana day of every month, “Sravana deepam” is taken ie a huge camp is being lit and fortunes are forcasted.
By paying required amount in the Devastanam, we can conduct Kalyana Utsavam, Garuda sevai and Moolavar Thirumanjanam.
Sthala virutcham (Scared Tree): Flower – Herbs, Thulsi etc.
Specials: Whenever Oppiliappa Perumal’s idol is taken for procession, He is always accompanied along with Bhoomidevi only. The Perumal wont step out the Temple without Thaayar inorder to keep his promise.
Oplliappan perumal is treated as Brother of Srinivasaperumal of Thirumala Thirupathi. So all the offerings due to Thirupathi perumal can be offered here and it’s taken as equivalent as it were offered at Thirupathi.
The Moolavar of this Kshetram is Oppiliappan. He is also called with the name “Uppiliappan”. The Moolavar is found in Standing posture facing East direction. Prathyaksham for Markandeya Maharishi, Lord Garuda, River Kaveri, lord of Dharma.
The Thayaar found in this sthalam is Bhoomidevi Naachiyaar.
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.