One of the 108 Temples & Celestial Abodes of Vishnu revered by the Tamil hymns of the Alwars of the 1st millennium CE

Location: Tirukkannapuram near Nannilam (Tiruvarur)(Chola Naadu)
Vishnu: Neelameghapperumaal,Sowriraja Perumaal,
Taayaar: Kannapura Nayaki
Theertham:Nitya Pushkarini
Paasuram :Periyalwar, Andal,Kulasekharalwar, Tirumangaialwar, Nammalwar
Vimaanam:Utpalavataka Vimanam
Travel Base:Thanjavur

kannapuram.jpg (7468 bytes)

Description: This celebrated Divya Desam is located at Tirukkannamangai, near Tiruppugalur, 6 km from Nannilam. Tirukkannapuram is known as Sreematashtaakshara Mahaa Mantrasidhdhi Kshetram and is considered to be the eastern gateway to Srirangam. Tirumangai Alwar is said to have been initiated here. Also located nearby is the Ramanadeeswaram Shivastalam sung by the Tevaram hymns of Tirugnanasambandar where Rama is believed to have worshipped Shiva.

Kannapuram is revered as one of the five Krishnaranya kshetrams  -  Tiruvazhundur, Tirukkannankudi, Kapistalam, Kannapuram and Kannamangai.

It is even referred to as the eastern shrine while Srirangam is referred to as the Western shrine.

Deities: The Moolavar here is Neelamegapperumaal in a standing posture facing east, while the Utsavar is Sowrirajan. Taayaar here is Kannapura Nayaki (Sree Devi, Bhu Devi, Andal, Padmini) enshrined in a separate sanctum. There is a shrine to Ramanujacharyar on the northern bank of the temple tank and there is a shrine to Tirumangaialwar elsewhere near the temple.

The temple: The sanctum enshrines Neelamegapperumaal with his consorts. Andal's image is seen to the left of Perumal, while Padmavati Taayar (a local princess born of a fisherman) is located to his right; Vishnu's marriage with Padmavati is represented here. This temple with 3 prakarams occupies an area of about an acrea nd a half and it has a 100 feet high 7 tiered Rajagopuram.  Across from the temple is the Nityapuskharini tank which is larger than the temple. There are shrines dedicated to Rama and Vibhishana in this temple.

Legend has it that the image of Vishnu in the sanctum miraculously showed a growth of hair, in order to protect the words of a devout priest Rangabhattar, hence the name Sowrirajan. Legend also has it that Vishnu blessed Vibhishana here revealing to him the grace of his gait (nadaiazhagu), on a new moon day.

Vishnu is believed to have vanquished the demon Veekatakshan with his discus; the image in the sanctum shows him bearing the 'prayoga' chakram. Offerings of Pongal are considered to be of great significance here.

Legend has it that a devotee by name Muniyadaraiyaar, who came here with an offering of Pongal, unable to enter a locked temple (after the nightly worship service) was blessed with the miraculous sound of bell chimes from within the temple; this miracle is recounted with the offering of 'Muniyodaram Pongal' during the nightly worship service.

Legend has it that a king by name Uparisravas performed the aswamedha sacrifice and begot a daughter by name Padmini, whom he offered in marriage to Vishnu at this shrine. (also see Tirupper nagar).

Festivals: Six worship services are offered each day. The Bhramotsavam is celebrated in the month of Vaikasi, and the Mahotsavam in the month of Maasi, where the festival image of Sowrirajan is taken to the seashore on a golden garuda mount, where fishermen join the celebration. The adhyayana utsavam is celebrated in the month of Margazhi. The first day of each tamil month, the ekadasis and the hasta asterism are all celebrated in this temple.

Abodes of Vishnu         Templenet Homepage     108 Divya Desam Index