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Thirukotiyur Temple
Proper name Thirukoshtiyur Temple
Country India
State Tamil Nadu
District Sivaganga
Location Tamilnadu, India
Primary deity Sathyagiri Nathan(Vishnu)
Architectural styles Dravidian architecture

Thirukoshtiyur is a village located near Tirupathur (on Tirupathur-Sivaganga road) on the way to Sivaganga, Tamil Nadu. It is 9 km from Thirupathur.

This place has an importance among Vaishnavites. The Village is notable for the great temple, which is one of the 108 divya desams.The holy shrines for the Vaishnavites. It comes under paandya naatu thiruthalangal (region once ruled by pandyas).

Etymology, names and significance[edit]

Thirukoshtiyur, derived from its native name Thirukotiyur. During Kritha yuga, Rishis, devas and people were tortured, anguished by the asura Hiranyakashipu as the vengeance for hiranyaksha's death in hands of Lord Vishnu in the form of Varaha Avatar. Devas, Rishis approached Brahma and Shiva for the solution. In response Brahma, Shiva, all devas, Saptha Rishis decided to meet at one place to discuss regarding. Finally all chose Thirukotiyur as the spot. Together they came like a group and so the name came as Thirukoshtiyur, koshti means in group or as a team.

Thirukoshtiyur is known for its great temple, Sri Sowmya Narayana Perumal Thirukovil ( Thirukovil means temple ). One of the 108 divya desams in India.

Periazhwar in his work Periazhwar Thirumozhi visualizes Thirukoshtiyur as the birthplace of Sri Krishna.

Sri Sowmya Narayana Perumal Thirukovil[edit]

Sri Sowmya Narayana Perumal Thirukovil, surrounded by a high walls on its four sides, with a Rajagopuram (Main tower) at the entrance which shows the gigantism. The inner infrastructure, mainly sannidhis( separate shrines) are unlike other temples. Inside the temple complex, The shrine for Narayana is constructed in form of three stages, similar to that of three floors in a building. This interprets as Boologam (earth), Thiruparkadal, Vaikundham. Narayana appears in three stages in three forms. In Ground floor as Krishna in dancing posture. Next level he is sayana thirukolam (sayana = reclining, thirukolam = posture), a posture resting on Adhisesha. And top most level in standing posture as Sri Sowmya Narayana Perumal. This form of appearances of Narayana is been poetically described as Nindran (means Standing posture), Kidanthan (means sleeping posture), Aadinan (means dancing posture) by Alwars.


There exist an important relationship between Sri Ramanuja and Thirukoshtiyur. Ramanuja was advised by Thirukachi Nambigal (Thirukachi is place and Nambigal means sage) to visit Thirukoshtiyur and learn the ' Sacred 8 letter hymn ', Ashtakshara manthra from Thirukoshtiyur Nambigal(i.e. Thirukoshtiyur sage). Accordingly Ramanunja travelled 18 times all the way from Srirangam to Thirukoshtiyur for learning the "Ashtakshara Manthram" ("Ohm Namo Narayanaya!!") from the Thirukoshtiyur nambigal. Each time Ramanuja tried to meet the Nambigal but was ultimately rejected by Nambigal. This continued for 17 times and at last 18th time when Ramanuja arrived and knocked the doors of Nambigal ashram saying "Adiyen Sri Ramanujan vanthurukiran..!" ( which means "Beloved student Sri Ramanuja here!!") on which he was allowed to enter. The reason why Ramanuja was denied 17 times and allowed during his 18th time is that as Ramanuja introduced himself as "Adiyen Ramanujan" (means Beloved student Ramanuja ) in 18th time unlike his past visits blindly introducing himself as "I'm Ramanuja arrived..". The word " I'm " shows his egotism for which he was rejected. Whereas his ego vanished in this 18th visit and made him eligible for the learning of Ashtakshara manthram.

Thirukoshtiyur Nambigal blessed Ramanuja with the 'Sacred 8 letter hymn' Ashtakshara manthram ("Ohm Namo Narayanaya!!") and warned him not to preach to anyone. Ramanuja rushed climbing to the top of temple, summoned the whole village people and delivered the Ashtakshara manthram. The act enkindled nambigal who on questioning, Ramanuja replied "Its my great fortune in showing the path and guiding people to heaven, I'm glad in going to hell for the act.." these words affected nambigal to extent he just prostrated towards Ramanuja. It is said the event happened in front of Sri Lakshmi Narasimhaswami sannidhi, small shrine like present on the way towards the Sowmya Narayana Perumal sannidhi, third stage.

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