Kailasapuram Ayya Vaikundar Temple, Peruvilai, Kanyakumari
|Deity:||Kailasapuram Ayya Vaikundar|
|Architectural style:||Dravidian architecture|
Legend / Local stories
In 1836, Ayya Vaikundar, a member of the Hindu lower class, wanted to pull the temple chariot, a task traditionally reserved for the elite. This angered and frightened the members of the upper class. King Swathi Thirunal, who was temporarily residing at Suchindrum (4 miles (6.4 km) away), had Ayya arrested and led away, tied to a horse. In Swamithoppu, where the arrest took place, Ayya’s followers objected but he advised them to remain patient. He said,
“Let them learn who I am and I will be back to you without any harm.”
Ayya was brought before the king and answered the king’s questions put to him with wisdom. However, when the king asked Ayya to guess the item in his right hand, Ayya dismissed the king, saying everyone’s soul was of the same value because the universe was created by one god. The king was angered and condemned Ayya to fifteen months imprisonment in Thiruvananthapuram and further incarceration from November 1838 in Singarathoppu.
Despite all sorts of torture such as brutality or poisoning, being made to walk through fire or being burnt in a lime kiln, being fumigated with burning chillies or being publicly taunted with a hungry tiger, Ayya maintained his composure and appeared showered with flowers. When a guard poked the tiger with a spear, the animal grabbed the spear then suddenly let it go. In the incident, the spear hit a Brahmin chieftain who died of his injury. The king offered to release Ayya if he agreed to remain within his caste but Ayya refused, saying he had no caste. He also refused to leave jail until he was ready.
This news spread Thiruvananthapuram and throughout India. People came before him in large groups with fruits, flowers, and other gifts. His followers were from parts of south Tamilnadu. On the 19th day of the Tamil month of Masi (March 3, 1839), Ayya returned to Swamithoppu Pathi. Ayya and his followers reached Swamithoppu on the 20th day of Masi, now an auspicious day amongst Ayya’s devotees celebrated with a procession and a public holiday in south Tamilnadu.
How to Reach:
Peruvilai is located at about 2 Kms from Nagercoil, 6 Kms from Nagercoil Bus Stand, 6 Kms from Nagercoil Railway Station, 13 Kms from Thuckalay, 13 Kms from Boothapandi, 23 Kms from Kanyakumari and 72 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Nearest Railway Station is located at Nagercoil and Nearest Airport is located at Thiruvananthapuram.