Srivilliputtur Divya Desam is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. It is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Vadapathrasayi and his consort Lakshmi as Andal. It is believed to be the birthplace of two of the Azhwars, namely Periazhwar and his foster daughter Andal.
The history of Srivilliputhur centres around the Srivilliputhur Andal Temple, dedicated to Andal. It is argued that the temple of Vadapathrasayee is present from the 8th century, but there are epigraphic records are available only from the 10th century. The view that the Andal temple was built during the 14th century is highly debated. The temple has inscriptions from Chola, Pandya and Nayak rulers, spanning across various centuries from the 10th to 16th centuries. As per some accounts, the original structure was constructed by Tribuvana Chakravarthy Konerinmai Kondan Kulasekara Devar and the Andal temple by Bharathi Rayar.
During the reign of Thirumalai Nayak and Rani Mangammal , this city became very popular. Thirumalai Nayak renovated all the temples of this city. He installed choultaries, temple tanks, paintings and golden towers inside the temple. The sculptures in the hall leading to the shrine of Andal were also built by him. From 1751 to 1756 A.D., Srivilliputhur came under the rule of Nerkattumseval palayakkarar Puli thevar and was a maravarpalayam. Later the Fort of Srivilliputtur was ruled by Periyasami Thevar. Then it fell into the hands of Mohammed Yousoof Khan. Until 1850, Sri Andal temple was under the care of the king of Trivancore. The British ruled the country till India attained freedom in 1947. The temple's gateway tower, 192 ft tall, is the official symbol of the Government of Tamil Nadu. During the modern times, the temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
The temple has two divisions - the one of Andal located in the Southwest and the second one of Vadapathrasayi in the Northeast direction. A granite wall surrounds the temple, enclosing all its shrines, the garden where Andal was found and two of its three bodies of water. The rajagopuram, the temple's gateway tower, 192 ft (59 m) tall, is the official symbol of the Government of Tamil Nadu. The tower is originally believed to have been built by Periazhwar with the prize money he obtained from religious debates in the court of Vallaba Pandya in Madurai. The Andal shrine houses the image of Andal and Rangamannar. Garuda, who brought Ranganathar, the divine bridegroom, from Srirangam is also housed in the same shrine. The walls around the shrine have paintings of the life of Andal. The second hall from the entrance towards the sanctum, the Kalyana Mandapa, houses huge life-size sculptures of Mohini, Rama, Kamadeva, Rati and many other deities. The Vadapathrasayee division has two precincts. The sanctum in the second level approached through a flight of steps houses the image of Vadapathrasayee in a reclining posture and his consorts, Lakshmi and Bhudevi, are shown attending to him at his feet. Sage Bhrigu stands near his head and sage Markandeya is near his feet.
The banyan tree whose leaf is known as Vatapatram, on which Vishnu is said to rest in the form of a baby during the deluge, is at his head, behind Bhrigu. Images of Panchamurtis - Tumburu, Narada, Sanatkumara, Kinnara Mithuna, the Sun and the Moon are shown all around Rangamannar as well as representations of Villi and Puttan are seen at his feet. The sanctum has three doorways from which the presiding deity can be seen. The hall leading to the sanctum, Bhopala villam, has a hall with detailed teak wood carvings depicting incidents from the Puranas and the ten avatars of Vishnu, the Dashavatara. There are a set of carvings that decorate the ceiling. The temple houses some rare Vijayanagara sculptures similar to the ones present in Soundararajaperumal Temple, Thadikombu, Krishnapuram Venkatachalapathy temple, Alagar Koyil and Jalakandeswarar Temple, Vellore.
Srivilliputhur Divya Desam Srivilliputhur
As per mythological legend, the place was referred as Varaha Kshetra. It was a dense forest named Champaka where the sages Bhrgu and Markandeya were doing penance and had their hermitages in the place. A demon named Kalanerai was troubling the sages and they prayed to Vishnu to relieve them from the demon. Vishnu was pleased by their devotion and appeared in the place to slay the demon. He is believed to have taken the abode in the forest reclining on Adisesha, his serpent bed, on the leaf of a banyan tree.
The place thus came to be known as Vadaveshwarapuram. Periazhwar was an ardent devotee of Vishnu and he used to string garland to Vishnu every day. He was childless and he prayed to Vishnu to save him from the longing. One day, he found a girl child under a Tulsi plant in a garden inside the temple. He and his wife named the child as Kothai, who grew up as a devotee of Krishan, an avatar of Vishnu. She is believed to have worn the garland before dedicating it to the presiding deity of the temple. Periazhwar, who later found it, was highly upset and remonstrated her. Vishnu appeared in his dream and asked him to dedicate only the garland worn by Andal to him. The girl Kothai was thus named Andal and was referred as Chudikodutha Sudrakodi .
The practise is followed during modern times when the garland of Andal is sent to Azhagar Koyil on Garudostavam during the Tamil month of Puratasi and Tirumala Venkateswara Temple during Chitra Pournami. It is also believed that Ranganatha of Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple married Andal, who later merged with the idol. Since Andal married Ranganatha, who came as a king , the presiding deity is called Rangamannar.
Thirumeni Nathar Temple
Nindra Narayana Perumal Temple
Irukkankudi Mari Amman Temple
Sri Vaikundamurthi Temple
This place is said to be the birthplace of Periyazhwar and Andal,the most important saints in the Vaishnavite tradition.