Temple visited by seers and scholars

Veeraraghava Svami visited Lakshmi Narayana Perumal temple once a year

Published: 12th June 2019 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th June 2019 02:39 AM   |  A+A-

Thirukallam, an ancient village in Thiruvallur district, whose history can be traced to at least the 7th century AD, is home to two old temples, one of which is for Lakshmi Narayana Perumal.

This Vishnu temple, which is believed to be about 400 years old, is located about one kilometre from river Kushasthai, on the banks of which are numerous other old temples. This village has been graced by the visit of Jeeyars of the Ahobila Math and is the birthplace of many Srivaishnava scholars.The stone image of Lakshmi Narayana Perumal in a seated posture, holding the sankha and chakra in the upper hands, is enshrined in the main sanctum of this small temple.

Perumal’s lower right hand is in abhaya hasta (blessing devotees) while the lower left hand encircles Goddess Lakshmi who is seated on the left lap. It is noteworthy that the processional image (utsava murti) of this temple is not Vishnu in a standing posture flanked by Sri Devi and Bhu Devi as is usually seen in Vishnu temples of Tamil Nadu, but Rama standing with bow and arrow, with Sita to the right, Lakshmana to the left and Hanuman in front. Images of Vishvaksena, Nammazhvar, Ramanujacharya, Vedanta Desika, and Andal, Venkatesa Perumal along with Sri Devi and Bhu Devi; Hayagriva, Mannargudi Rajagopala Svami, Narthana Krishna and Salagrama are in worship.

Two large stone dvarapalakas guard the entrance to the main sanctum, opposite which is enshrined Garuda is seen in a standing pose.The abhisekam for Lakshmi Narayana in this temple used to be done with the water from river Kushasthalai in days bygone.It is interesting to note that Veeraraghava Svami from the famous temple in Thiruvallur used to visit the Lakshmi Narayana Perumal temple in Thirukallam once a year, about fifty or sixty years back.

Chithra Madhavan

cityexpresschn@gmail.com

The writer is a historian who focuses on temple architecture

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