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Srinivasa Perumal idols with flowers, Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

Perumal (Tamil: பெருமாள்) or Thirumal (Tamil: திருமால்), also known as Mal or Mayon literally refers to a deity of "black complexion". Thirumal is worshipped mainly among Tamil Hindus in Tamil Nadu and the Tamil diaspora, who consider Thirumal to be the true name of Śrī Vishnu.

Some of the earliest known mention of Tirumal, and Tamil devotional poems to him, are found in Paripāṭal – the Sangam era poetic anthology.[1][2] He is a popular Hindu deity particularly among Tamils in Tamil Nadu and the Tamil diaspora, and in Vaishnava temples.[3] One of the richest and largest Hindu temples and monasteries complex dedicated to Tirumala is the Venkateswara temple in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.[4]

Popularity in Tamil Nadu[edit]

Perumal/Thirumal was the only deity who enjoyed the status of Paramporul (achieving a oneness with Paramatma) during the Sangam age. A reference to "Mukkol Pakavars" in Sangam literature indicates that only Vaishnavaite saints were holding Tridanda and were prominent during the Sangam age. Thirumal was as glorified as "the supreme deity" whose divine lotus feet could burn all evils and grant Moksha (Maru Piraparukkum Maasil Chevadi). During the post-Sangam period, his worship was further glorified by the Alwars.

Perumal Temples[edit]

Of the 108 Divyadesams according to the Alwar Saints, 106 of which are in the Earthly Realm.Prominent among these Divyadesams are:

Prominent Thirumal Temples in India[edit]

  • Sri Sathya-Narayana Perumal Temple in T-Nagar, Chennai, India
  • Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple (TTD), in T-Nagar, Chennai, India
  • Sri Vinavaraya Perumal Temple, in Ambattur, Chennai, India
  • Sri Santhana Srinivasa Perumal Kovil, in Mogappair, Chennai, India
  • Udumalai Tirupathi, Dhali Road, Udumalpet, India

Sri Lanka[edit]

  • Perumal temple in Jaffna, Sri Lanka


United States[edit]

  • Sri Venkateswara Perumal temple in the USA
  • Sri Ranganatha temple in the USA


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kamil Zvelebil (1973). The Smile of Murugan: On Tamil Literature of South India. BRILL Academic. p. 124. ISBN 90-04-03591-5.
  2. ^ V.N. Muthukumar; Elizabeth Rani Segran (2012). The River Speaks: The Vaiyai Poems from the Paripatal. Penguin Books. pp. 1–7. ISBN 978-81-8475-694-4.
  3. ^ Sykes, Egerton. Who's who in non-classical mythology. Kendall, Alan, 1939- (2nd ed.). London. ISBN 9781136414442. OCLC 872991268.
  4. ^ Michael D. Coogan (1998). The Illustrated Guide to World Religions. Oxford University Press. pp. 148–149. ISBN 978-0-19-521997-5.

External links[edit]