Sundararaja Perumal Temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture,the temple is glorified in the Divya Prabandha,the early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th–9th centuries AD. It is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Vishnu,who is worshipped as Sundararajan and his consort Lakshmi as Sundaravalli.Sundararaja Perumal Temple also called Vadivazhagiya Nambi Perumal Temple.
The temple is believed to have been built by the Medieval Cholas of the late 8th century AD, with later contributions from Vijayanagar kings and Madurai Nayaks. The copper plate inscriptions from Anbil indicate generous contribution by the Chola kings to the temple. A granite wall surrounds the temple, enclosing all its shrines and bodies of water. King Sundara Chola, the ruler of the area, was a devotee of the temple. Upon his war victories, he donated immense wealth to this temple. His prime minister Anirudha Brahmarayar is believed to be from Anbil, the village where the temple is located. The copper plates from the Chola period from Anbil indicate the generous contribution from the Medieval Cholas.
The main entrance of the temple faces the east and has a 3-tiered rajagopuram, the gateway tower. The main shrine has the image of the presiding deity Sundararaja Perumal in reclining posture over his divine serpent Adisesha. The images of his consorts Sridevi (Lakshmi) and Bhoodevi and Brahma are present in the sanctum. The festive image of Sundararajan - Vadivazhagiya Nambi - is housed in the sanctum. The precinct around the sanctum houses the shrines of the twelve Azhwars, Narasimha, Venugopal, Lakshmi Narasimha and Hanuman. The structure of the roof over the sanctum is in the form of a gopuram, which is usually a feature in gateway tower. The front hall of the sanctum has a shrine for Andal in standing posture and has her bronze image in seated posture.
Sundararaja Perumal Temple Tiruchirapalli
As per Hindu legend, the sage Suthaba was doing penance under water at this place. As such, he did not observe that the sage Durvasa was waiting for him. The irritated Durvasa cursed Suthaba to become a frog . Suthaba requested Durvasa to relieve him of the curse. Durvasa explained to him that the curse was on account of the sin he had committed in his previous birth and the god Vishnu would free him. Suthaba, as a frog, continued his penance under water in the Mendaka Theertham in the temple and Vishnu appeared to him as Sundararajan.
As per another legend, the Hindu god of creation Brahma believed that he was the most handsome individual in the world as he created all the human beings. Vishnu learned this and cursed Brahma to be born as an earthly being. Brahma worshipped Vishnu for deliverance from the curse. Vishnu appeared as a handsome young man in front of him. Awed by the Vishnu's personality, Brahma inquired about him. Vishnu revealed his true form and conveyed to Brahma that physical appearance is temporary and one has to be good by heart.
The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Sundararaja Perumal, who is in the reclining posture on the serpent Adisesha.
The other important deities of the temple are Goddess Sundaravalli, Goddess Sridevi, Goddess Bhoodevi, the twelve Azhwars, Lord Narasimha, Lord Hanuman, and Lord Venugopalar. There is an idol of Goddess Andal located in this temple, who is in sitting posture, which is unique from other temples. And it is believed that the unmarried person will get married soon by worshipping Goddess Andal at this temple.
This place is considered more sacred, where Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma got relieved from their sins after worshipping Lord Sri Vadivazhagiya Nambi Perumal in this temple.
Sri Vadivazhagiya Nambi Perumal is respected in Nalayira Divya Prabandham, the literature by Thirumalisai Azhwar in two hymns.
This temple is now maintained by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
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