Chitra Radha Vallabha Perumal Temple, Kuruvithurai, Madurai
|Architectural style:||Dravidian architecture|
|Major festivals||Vaikunta Ekadasi|
|Address:||Chitra Radha Perumal Temple,Kuruvithurai – 625 207,Vadipatti Taluk, Via Cholavandhan,
|Phone||+91 91592 36762 / 97903 55234|
The Temple is facing east with 5 tiered Rajagopuram with two prakarams. The temple which has a strong granite structure has several inscriptions on the Northern and Southern walls of the prakaram dating back to 1000 years. The temple in its current form and structure is believed to have been built in the early 12th century AD during the rule of Jadavarma Vallabha Pandya. Presiding Deity is called as Chitra Radha Vallaba Perumal. He is almost a 10 ft high sandalwood idol seen in a majestic standing posture along with Sridevi and Bhoo Devi.
Mother is called as Shenbagavalli Thaayar and she is housed in a sperate shrine. Though the primary deity of the temple is actually Lord Vishnu, the temple is famous as Lord Guru’s shrine. Jupiter (Guru) shrine is situated in front of the Eastern Rajagopuram where he is seen facing west – in the direction of the main deity – Chitra Ratha Vallabha Perumal. Lord Guru is called as Yoga Guru.
In fact, Lord Guru in meditating posture and Chakkarathzhwar are seen together in a single shrine and they are said to have emerged Swayambu (on their own) at this place. The idols of 12 Alwars (sage poets who eulogized Perumal) are in a single form. Theertham associated with this Temple is Vaigai River. Vaigai River runs besides the temple adds to the beauty of the temple.
Legend / Local stories
In a war between the Devas and the demons, a huge number of demons were killed. Their Acharya, Shukra, also a powerful planet, restored all the demons to life again through the power of Sanjeevini Mantra application which he alone knew. Devas, with a view to learn that Mantra, sent Kasa, son of Jupiter to Shukra to learn the Mantra and return to them. He went to Asuraloka, the land of demons with the blessings of Father Guru.
Devayani, daughter of Shukra, enticed by the handsomeness of Kasa fell in love with him, but it was a one-sided love. Kasa was keen only on his mission. The demons knowing the young man’s plans, killed him, reduced him to ashes, dissolved it in water and made Shukra consume it. As Devayani was unable to meet Kasa, she begged her father Shukra to find him. Shukra with his wisdom eye came to know the facts and understood he was in his belly.
To please the daughter and to restore Kasa back to life, he taught the Sanjeevini Mantra to him even while he was in his belly. Kasa came out alive tearing his guru’s stomach. As Kasa could not bear to see Shukra dead before him, he applied the same Sanjeevini Mantra and gave a new lease of life to the teacher. Shukra asked Kasa to marry his daughter Devayani. Kasa politely explained to Shukra that as he was born from his stomach, Devayani was his sister and therefore the match would be against law.
He left to his place with Shukra’s permission to his place. But Devayani created seven mountains preventing Kasa’s departure. Worried at the inordinate delay, Guru Bhagwan (Jupiter) undertook penance here invoking the blessings of Lord Narayana to save his son from the Asuras. Hence, this place came to be called as Guru Iruntha Thurai (later Kuruvi Thurai).
Pleased with the prayers, Lord Narayana used his discus (Chakrath Azhwar) to save Kasa from the asuras. He came here on a special chariot and provided darshan to Guru on the Chitra star day in the Tamil month of Chitrai and hence the Lord here is referred to as ‘Chitra Ratha’ Vallabha Perumal.
How to Reach:
The Temple is located at about 2 Kms from Kuruvithurai, 20 Kms from Vadipatti, 10 Kms from Sholavandan, 11 Kms from Sholavandan Railway Station, 26 Kms from Batlagundu, 34 Kms from Madurai, 34 Kms from Madurai Periyar Bus Stand, 38 Kms from Mattuthavani Integrated Bus Terminus, 34 Kms from Madurai Railway Junction, 45 Kms from Madurai International Airport. Take Bus No. 68 from Periyar Bus Stand in Madurai to reach Kuruvi Thurai in an hour. Several buses are available between Madurai and Sholavandan. Chennai to Tirunelveli Nellai Express stops at Sholavandan (4.45 a.m.) From Sholavandan Railway station, one can reach Kuruvi Thurai within 30 minutes.
Garuda Sevai on Vaikunta Ekadasi:
On the Vaikunta Ekadasi day, the Lord goes on a day long procession on the Garuda Vahana through the entire village of Kuruvi Thurai. Later that night, the Lord makes his way on a procession on the Horse Vahana. These are the only two Vahana processions in the year. In olden days, there seems to have been Vahana processions and Brahmotsavam at the temple going by the dilapidated old Elephant and Horse Vahanas. However, currently the Brahmotsavam is not celebrated here.
Chitrai Festival in Thenoor:
In centuries gone by, the Lord used to leave Kuruvi Thurai on a Chariot on a long procession to Thenoor for the Chitrai Utsavam there. He would leave Kuruvi Thurai 10 days ahead of the full moon day in Chitrai so as to reach Thenoor on the day Kallazhagar arrives there from Tiru Maliruncholai.
There seems to be a Vasantha Mandapam on the North-West corner of the temple, an indication that a Vasanthotsavam too may have taken place once upon a time but this too has now become a thing of the past.
Since it is Guru Parihara Sthalam, Guru Peyarchi day is the biggest day of the year at this temple with lakhs of devotees visiting the temple on that day.
Chitra Radha Perumal Temple,
Kuruvithurai – 625 207,
Vadipatti Taluk, Via Cholavandhan,
Mobile: +91 94439 61948 / 97902 95795
Mobile: +91 91592 36762 / 97903 55234