Thiruneermalai Dhivya Desam, Kanchipuram
|Architectural style:||Dravidian architecture|
|Major festivals||Brahmotsavams and Uttiram|
|Address:||Neer Vanna Perumal – Sri Ranganathar Temple,Thiruneermalai – 600 044,|
|Phone||+91 44 2238 5484|
Thiruneermalai Dhivya Desam is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu located in Thiruneermalai, a suburb of Chennai in Kanchipuram District of Tamilnadu. Thiruneermalai Dhivya Desam is one among the 108 Divya Desams of Perumal. There are two temples, one at the top of the hill and other in the foothills. In all, the temple occupies an area of 15 acres (6.1 ha). At Thiruneermalai, one finds Lord Vishnu in four forms – Sitting, Sleeping and Walking posture atop the hill and Standing posture in the temple at the foot of the hill.
While the presiding deity is Neervanna Perumal, all Utsavams (Celebrations) are for Lord Ranganatha. Thiruneermalai Dhivya Desam is revered in Nalayira Divya Prabhandham, a great Tamil canon, and the hymns were sung by Thirumangai Azhwar and Boothathazhar. This temple is considered as Mukthi Sthala. Thiruneermalai area is one of the 163 notified areas (megalithic sites) in the state of Tamil Nadu.
Legend / Local stories
Ranganatha appearing as Lord Rama due to Sage Valmiki penance:
As per Hindu legend, sage Valmiki, after composing the epic Ramayana, worshipped Ranganatha at the top of the hill. When he came downhills, Valmiki is said to have missed the presence of Lord Raama at foot hills and is said to have undertaken penance thinking of Lord Raama. Due to his penance, Ranganatha appeared as Lord Rama, Lakshmi appeared as Sita, Adi Sesha appeared as Lakshmana, Vishnu’s shankha as Bharatha, Sudarshana chakra as Shatrugna, Garuda in the form of Hanuman and Vishwakarma as Sugreeva.
Thirumangai Azhwar 6 month wait:
Thiru Mangai Azhvaar came here to sing praise of the Lord but heavy rains flooded the place and he could not reach this temple. Having come this far, he decided to wait till the rains stopped. It proved to be a long wait of 6 months before Thiru Mangai could meet his Lord. The hill on which he stayed during these 6 months still exists and is called Thiru Mangai Azhvaar Puram. This is the only Divya Desam where Thiru Mangai waited this long to meet the Lord.
One has seen in the stories relating to a few of the other Divya Desams where Thiru Mangai has left/threatened to leave without waiting for the Lord. Pleased with his devotee, Perumal granted four darshans to Azhwar – Neer Vanna Perumal standing, Narasimha sitting, Ranganatha reclining and Ulagalandha Perumal in walking postures. The devotee can enjoy these darshans in the temple. Lord Neervanna Perumal is at the foot of the hills while Ranganatha, Narasimha and Ulagalandha Perumal are at the hill temple.
Utsavar goes up the hill only thrice a year:
The Utsavar deity of Ranganatha is seen at the Neer Vannan temple at the foot of the hill. Only thrice a year – on the first and last day of Brahmotsavam festival and on the Panguni Uthiram day – is he taken up the hill to be alongside the Moolavar Lord Ranganatha.
This place is called Madhya Rangam and Lord Ranganatha is seen in Bhoga Sayanam.
Oldest Hill Divya Desams:
During Dwapara Yugam, there were only two Divya Desams that were on hills. One was Ahobilam and the other was Thiruneermalai.
Lord Narasimha darshan to Arjuna:
It is believed that Lord Narasimha gave darshan to Arjuna after he performed the Ashwamedha Yaagam here at this place.
This is a Prarthana Sthalam and the Lord is said to answer prayers relating to different issues, especially marriage.
Ashta Swayamvektha Kshetrams:
Eight Vishnu temples in India are considered very important as Lord Vishnu manifested himself and these places are praised as Swayam Vyaktha Kshetras of which this Thiruneermalai temple is one. Others are Srirangam in Trichy District, Srimushnam in Cuddalore District, Tirupathi in Andhra Pradesh and Salagramam, Naimisaranyam, Pushkaram and Narayanapuram in north.
Only Dhivya Desam where Lord Narasimha in Cool Posture:
Only Divya Desams where Lord Narasimha is seen in a cool posture – called ‘Shanta Narasimhar’. Though Lord Narasimha is known for his furious appearance, He is smiling and cool here. After killing Hiranya to save his devout son Prahladha from his tortures, He was still furious. Boy Prahladha was very much afraid of Lord’s fury. To make his devotee happy, Lord Narasimha shed his fury and appeared before Prahladha as a smiling boy himself. He thus became Bala Narasimha. There is a shrine for him in the hill temple. Behind Bala Narasimha is Ugra (furious) Narasimha with two hands. We can worship Narasimha in two forms Bala and Ugra.
As this is a hill temple, Giri Valam is observed on Poornima-new moon days.
Boga Ranganatha darshan to sages Markandeya & Brugu:
After the darshan of Lord in Srirangam in reclining posture, sages Markandeya and Brugu were returning to their places. The darshan at Srirangam was afresh in their minds. They prayed to Lord to grant them darshan again at this place. Lord granted the darshan as Boga Ranganatha in reclining posture in this place and continues to bless from the hill top His devotees. Abishek is not offered to Him except a Thaila Kappu – applying cosmetic oil on the idol- once in a year in Karthikai month-November-December.
This Thiruneermalai Kshetram is also called as “Thoyagiri Kshetram” and also as “Thothadri”. Thoya means “Water” and Adhiri means “Mountain” (malai). Since the mountain is surrounded by water, this Sthalam is named as “Thiru Neer Malai” in Tamil. Brahmanda Purana refers this place Thodatri, meaning a mountain surrounded by water.
Devotees bathe in the tank for health and cure from illness and for a clear mind and worship Perumal. Devotees also seek child boon by placing cradles in a tree and for removal of obstacles in marriage efforts. Devotees perform Tirumanjanam and special pujas to Perumal and offer vastras.
Temple Opening Time
The temple remains open from morning 8.00 AM to 12.00 noon and in the evening from 4.00 PM to 7.30 PM.
- Kalasanthi Pooja – 09.00 A.m. to 10.00 A.m.
- Sayaratchai Pooja – 06.00 P.m. to 07.00 P.m.
How to Reach:
The Temple is located at about 5 Kms from Pallavaram, 10 Kms from Mangadu, 14 Kms from Poonamallee, 17 Kms from Thirumazhisai, 18 Kms from Taramani, 15 Kms from Guindy and 28 Kms from Chennai.
The Temple is located at about 100 meters Thiruneermalai Bus Stop, 5 Kms from Pallavaram Bus Depot and 23 Kms from Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus, Koyambedu. There are MTC buses to Thiruneermalai from Poonamallee, Kundrathur, Pallavaram and Tambaram. You can reach the temple either by car, taxi or take a bus from Pallavaram bus depot.
One can take bus 55A, 55B, 155A & J66 from Pallavaram Bus Stand to reach the temple. In the Guindy – Tambaram GST Road, take the road opposite Pond’s factory (towards West) at Pallavaram and go further for about 3-4 kms to reach the temple.
The Temple is located at about 5 Kms from Pallavaram Railway Station, 26 Kms from Egmore Railway Station and 30 Kms from Chennai Central Railway Station.
The Temple is located at about 9 Kms from Chennai International Airport.
Two worship services are carried out each day here. Two Brahmotsavams and Uttiram (Birth star of mother goddess) are celebrated. Brahmotsavam of Neer Vana Perumal is held in the Tamil month of Panguni (March – April) and for Rangantha Perumal in the month of Chittirai (April – May). While Panguni uttiram is celebrated for Ranganayaki Thayar and Masi Uttiram is the Birth star of Animamalar Mangai, the consort of Neervanna Perumal. Pavithra Utsavam on Purattasi Saturday in September-October is celebrated in the temple.
On the Vaikunda Ekadasi day in December-January, Azhagia Manavala Perumal passes through the Sorga Vasal. He also grants the Garuda Seva darshan on Masi Magam day in February-March. A one-day festival is celebrated for Narasimha in Aani (June-July) and for Ulagalandha Perumal in Aadi (July-August). Wedding festival for Neervanna Perumal and Anima Malar Mangai is celebrated on the Uthiram star day in Chithirai-April-May.
We have seen Gods coming in procession on one vahanam only during festival days. But Ranganatha comes in seven vahans in procession in a single day on the Ratha Sapthami day in Thai month (January-February). During the sunrise, Lord Ranganatha comes in Surya Prabha vahanam when Arti is shown from foot to face as if Sun God himself performs this puja. Then he comes in procession on Hanumantha, Garuda, Sesha, Horse, Lion and Surya Prabha vahans.
Neer Vanna Perumal – Sri Ranganathar Temple,
Thiruneermalai – 600 044,
Phone: +91 44 2238 5484
Mobile: +91 98405 95374 / 94440 20820 / 98940 74360