the birthplace of Andal, is considered to be among the holiest of the 108 Divya Desam
shrines dedicated to Vishnu. This is the birthplace of Andal and Periyalwar and is closely
associated with the life of Andal, who attained Vishnu's hand in marriage. As in Srirangam and Alwar Tirunagari
Araiyar Sevai where the Alwar Paasurams are recited with expression, music and
rhythm - is performed here. Also in Srivilliputtur is the Madavar Vilagam Vaidyanathar
temple enshrining a six feet high monolithic image of Natarajar considered to be a
masterpiece. This temple was also patronized by the Madurai Nayak kings.
Deities: The Moolavar
here is Vatapatrasayee in a reclining posture facing east, while Taayaar here is Andaal.
There are shrines to Andal (where she was discovered in a garden) and Perialwar here.
Vatapatrasayee is flanked by Sridevi and Bhudevi and images of Garuda, Surya, Narada,
Sanatkumara, Bhrahma, Sanaka, Bhrigu and Markandeya.
Legends: The name Villiputtur stems from the legend that this town was
built by two hunters Villi and Puttan. Legend has it that Periyalwar a devotee of
Vatapatrasaayee, served the temple, by fashioning garlands out of fresh flowers from the
garden which he maintained. Andal his daughter (discovered in the temple garden) was in
the habit of wearing the garland prior to submitting them to the deity. An aghast
Periyalwar, tried to stop Andal's deed, and was directed by the deity, that he indeed
preferred garlands which had been worn by Andal, and hence Andal's name 'Soodittanda
Sudarkkodi'. It is believed that Andal left her mortal body and merged with Ranganathar.
Andal is the author of Tiruppaavai, the celebrated colleciton of 30 poems sung
especially in the month of Margazhi, the month considered special for the observance of
The temple: 8th century inscriptions are seen in this temple which
underwent extensive renovations during the Madurai Nayak period.. This temple
has among the tallest towers in Tamilnadu. The 12 tiered Rajagopuram rises to a height of
192 feet. Exquisite carvings adorn the temple. The temple has two major areas; the north
eastern segment is the Vatapatrasayee temple while the south western segment is Aandaal's
temple. The flower gardens in between these two areas are said to have been maintained by
Periyalwar. There are shrines to each of the ten avatarams of Vishnu. Andal's shrine is
crowned with the gold plated Pranavakriti vimaanam with stucco work depicting themes from
each of the 30 Tiruppaavai hymns.
Festivals: Six worship services are carried out each day. Annual
festivals are celebrated in the months of Aadi and Margazhi and Purattaasi.