Divyadesam is located in Tirucherai, near 4km north Kodavasal and 15 km south of Kumbhakonam. In this town, is also the Tirucherai Shivastalam, enshrining Gnana
Parameswarar (Senneriappar), glorified by the Tevaram hymns of Sambandar and Appar.
The Moolavar here is Saranathan, in a standing posture facing east; Taayaar is known by
the name Saranayaki.
Legends: Vishnu here is believed to have been worshipped by Markandeya
and Kaveriamman. At the Tirucherai Shivastalam,
it is believed that Shiva was worshipped by Kaveri and Markandeya.
This legend states that the river Kaveri in the form of Kaveri Amman meditated upon
Vishnu with the desire of obtaining the stature of the river Ganga. Vishnu appeared in
front of Kaveri with his consorts Sreedevi, Bhudevi, Neeladevi, Saara naayaki and
Mahalakshmi and granted her request.
Legend also has it that during the time of the great deluge, a pot fashioned out of
clay, was used to rescue and preserve the Vedas. It is believed that none of the pots made
by Bhrama would last, and that he was directed by Vishnu to proceed to Tirucherai (Saara
Kshetram) and make a pot out of the clay on the banks of the Kaveri.
This temple with 2 prakarams has a 90 feet high Rajagopuram. There is
a shrine to Yoga Narasimhar here. Shrines to Lakshmi are in the Mahamandapam. There are
also shrines to Rajagopala with his consorts Rukmini and Styabhama, and to
Tiruvenkatamudaiyaan and the Alwars.Legend has it that this temple was built with a
part of the granite meant for building the Rajagopala
temple at Manargudi, and hence the shrine to Rajagopala here. There are
shrines to Kaveriamman and Anjaneyar near the temple tank.
Festivals: Six worship services are offered each day here. The grand
chariot festival happens on Taippoosam, in the Tamil month of Thai, when Saranathan is
taken in procession in a chariot with Sree Devi, Bhu Devi, Neelaa Devi, Mahalakshmi and
Saaranayaki in commemoration of the stala puraanam.
It is believed that the legend occured when the planet Jupiter was positioned in the
Pushya asterism. Once in 12 years when Jupiter transits through the zodiac sign of cancer
in the Pushya asterism, the chariot festival on Thaippoosam is considered to be of great
significance (as in Jan - Feb 2003), and is said to be on par with the Mahaamagam festival
(This chariot procession has ceased since 1982 and an attempt is being made to renovate
the chariot to revive the festival in 2003 - vide The
Hindu, Jan 3, 2003).