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|Elevation||39 m (128 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Srimushnam is a panchayat town of the Cuddalore district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu located about 24 miles (39 km) west of Chidambaram and 12 miles (19 km) south east of Vridhachalam. Srimushnam is sacred to Hindus as well as Buddhists and is one of the eight Svayam Vyakta Ksetras of Vaishnavas.
The town has an average elevation of 39 metres (128 ft).
Thennacharya(Thenkalai) Sampradhaya Shetram
Srimushnam's presiding deity is 'Lord Bhuvaraha', which gives the town its alternative name, 'Varaha Kshetram'. Lord Bhuvaraha's consort is Ambujavalli Thayar while the temple icon is formed naturally from a saligarama (black smooth round stone). The utsavamurthy does not resemble a wild boar in accordance with the desires of his celestial consort and is called 'Yagna Varahan'.[clarification needed] This is the only place where all deities are Varaha Murtis.
Tradition states that Lord Vishnu resides in Srimushnam in three forms: the 'Ashwatha tree', 'Nithya Pushkarani' and 'Bhoovaraha Swamy'. The temple cistern, the 'Nithya Pushkarani', contains water known for its medicinal value as a panacea. The towering 'Ashwatha tree', stands near the sacred cistern and is believed to have the beneficial effect of blessing sterile women with progeny. Meditation and chanting of the 'Gayathri Mantra' under the tree after bathing in the holy cistern are said to vouchsafe a place in the heavens.
The temple is extremely ancient and has suffered the vicissitudes of nature over time. According to its inscriptions, the temple rose to prominence in the 16th century. Rulers of the Vijayanagar Empire (1336–1646) took special interest in its renovation and constructed mandabams along with shrines. They also systematised the daily Pujas (rituals) and designed important vahanas such as the thiru ther (temple vehicle).
The Tamil New Year heralds the upcoming festivals in the Srimushnam temple. During the month of April–May Chitrai Utsavam is celebrated. Varaha, avatar of Vishu, along with his consorts Shreedevi and Bhūmidevi, go around the four mada streets around the temple. This culminates in the celebration of the "float festival" - Theppotsavam - in the 'Nithya Pushkarini'. The Lord and his two consorts, accompanied by their retinue, then go for a boat ride in the illuminated temple cistern. .
During the Brahmotsavam, the vehicle festival attracts people from all around the neighbourhood. During Masi Maham (the full moon during February–March), Vishnu and his consort visit the neighbouring hamlets and towns where they give darśana to devotees.
The 'Navarathri' festival involves the goddess Ambujavalli being decorated with silk sarees and flower garlands. She is carried in a palanquin festooned with fragrant flowers on the last Friday of the Tamil months of Aadi and Thai.
As Varaha, Vishnu likes to eat korai kizhangu. Therefore, a sweet dish (laddu) made from korai kizhangu is presented as prasadam at the temple.
As of the 2001 India census, Srimushnam had a population of 12,000 of which 50 per cent were male and 50 per cent female. Srimushnam has an average literacy rate of 61 per cent, higher than the national average of 59.5 per cent. Male literacy is 70 per cent, and that for females 51 per cent. In Srimushnam, 13 per cent of the population is under six years of age.
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
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