Adikesava Perumal Temple, Kanyakumari
|Adikesava Perumal Temple|
|Primary Deity:||Adi Kesava Perumal|
|Architecture and culture|
|Architectural styles:||Dravidian architecture|
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The Sri Adikesavaperumal Temple is a Hindu temple located in Thiruvattar, India and is one of the 108 Divya desams, the holy sites of Hindu Vaishnavism. The temple is a picturesque setting surrounded on three sides by rivers (River Kothai, River Pahrali and River Thamirabarani).
Architecture and history
The temple architecture is [Dravidian] style architecture with wooden pillars, doors and roofs. The lord is lying on his snake couch and has to be viewed through three doors. We could see Lord Shiva near Lord Adikesava Perumal inside the sannidhi. Deepalakshmis are many but none resembles the other. The Otraikkal Mandapam (single stone hall) made of a single stone 3 feet thick, is a marvel. Oorthuva Thandavam, Venugopala, Rathi, Manmatha, Lakshmana and Indrajit are excellently carved. The temple is also renowned for its murals.
This temple is considered to be older than the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple at Thiruvananthapuram and one of the divya devams. The style and the architecture of this temple has been taken as the sample to construct the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple at Thiruvananthapuram. Thiruvananthapuram Sri Anantha Padmanabhaswamy temple deity lies in the direction as to see the Thiruvattar Adi kesava deity. The main deity was originally covered with gold kavachams in which diamonds and other precious stones were embedded which the kerala kings had presented to the temple.There is also a small shrine for Lord Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy near the river and opposite to the Adikesavaperumal Temple. Nammalvar had sung 11 pasurams in praise of AdiKesavaSwamy.
The entire present day Kanyakumari District formed part of erstwhile Thiruvithamkoor or Travancore Kingdom. Up to Marthanda Varma, all kings ruled the erstwhile Venad Kingdom (which was expanded by Marthanda Varma to form Thiruvithaamkoor) from Padmanabhapuram in Kanyakumari District. It was Dharma Raja, the nephew and successor of Marthanda Varma, who shifted the capital to Thiruvananthapuram. Padmanabhapuram Palace, the erstwhile royal abode of Travancore Kings, is still preserved in all its glory and is situated at Padmanabhapuram in Kalkulam Taluk of Kanyakumari District. Marthanda Varma was a staunch devotee of Lord Adikesava and used to worship at the temple before all the major war campaigns undertaken by him.After the capital was shifted to Thiruvananthapuram, the temple began losing its glory. Being the deity of the royal family, the temple was filled with treasures collected over a long period of time. The kings did not take away any treasure from this temple. In fact, some of the treasures (i.e. the lord's kavacham and precious stones), which were left in the temple is not found now.It was in recent years that the treasure was looted.The treasure here was also worth few crores.Its believed that it has been robbed by many people. The poojari who supported this committed suicide.
The Lord AdiKesavaSwamy means 'Foremost Friend'. Legend says that Lord AdiKesavaSwamy defeated the demon Kesi. The demon's wife prayed to the River Ganges and to River Thamirabarani and created a destruction. But it was in vain and she surrendered to the Lord. Thus, the formation of the rivers made in a circle came to be known as Thiruvattaru.
Festivals and prasadhams
Vaikunta Ekadesi is celebrated with pomp and glory. Paal Payasam (Milk Kheer), Aval and Appam are delicious prasadams at this temple. The pujas are done in the same manner as that of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple, Thiruvananthapuram.
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