Vishnu temple amid a forest of tamarind trees

Pulikunram, a small village close to Thirukkazhukunram, is home to the Lakshmi Narayana Perumal (Vishnu) temple.

Published: 05th September 2018 03:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th September 2018 03:29 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Pulikunram, a small village close to Thirukkazhukunram, is home to the Lakshmi Narayana Perumal (Vishnu) temple. The intriguing name of this village is derived from the Tamil word puli which is tamarind since this place is said to have been a forest of tamarind trees in the ancient past, and not from the slightly different pronunciation of this Tamil word which means tiger.

The temple is believed to have been constructed about 400 years ago by a group of people from Vangipuram (in present-day Andhra Pradesh) who had the main image consecrated and had the daily rituals performed.

Later, the processional image of Varadaraja Perumal with Goddesses Sri Devi and Bhu Devi was enshrined by a priest (Bhattacharya) of the famous Varadaraja Svami (Devaraja Svami) temple
in Kanchipuram.  

The entrance to the temple is via a gopuram about 40 feet high which was built in February 2012. The image of Lakshmi Narayana enshrined in the central sanctum is seen with Lakshmi seated on the left lap. The utsava-murti worshipped as Varadaraja Perumal is in a standing pose, flanked by the two Goddesses. He holds the sankha and chakra in the upper hands, with the lower right hand in the posture of reassuring devotees (abhaya hasta) and with the lower left hand on top of the mace (gada).

The temple also enshrines Kalinga Narthana Krishna, Garuda, Anjaneya, Vatapatrashayee (infant Krishna on the banyan leaf), Jaya Hanuman, Lakshmi Hayagriva, Lakshmi Narasimha, Sudarsana, Dhanvantari (Vishnu as the God of medicine), Andal and Vishvaksena (the commander of the army of Vishnu). The images of Nammazhvar and some Vaishnava Acharyas (preceptors) are worshipped here.

Goddess Lakshmi worshipped as Perundevi Thayar, was consecrated in 2001. Enshrined along with Thayar are the utsava-murti of three of the Ashta-Lakshmi (eight forms of Lakshmi) namely Vidya Lakshmi, Dhanya Lakshmi and Santana Lakshmi. 

Code of worship
This temple follows the codes of the Pancharatra Agama.

Name of deity
The processional image is known as Varadaraja Perumal

God of medicine
Dhanvantari, a form of Vishnu is enshrined here


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