Rama Yekadasi occurs during the dark fortnight (krishna paksha) of the month of Ashvayujmaas also known as Ashwina occurring in September or October just before Deepavali. This month is known as Purattasi in Tamil.
It is believed that when you observe the sacred Rama Yekadashi fast, you will be freed from all sins, hearing the glories of Rama Yekadashi would bring the grace of Lord Vishnu and help reach Vaikuntham at the time of salvation.
Pureprayer take you on a SpiRitual Journey to Ulagalanda Perumal Temple in Kancheepuram dedicated to Lord Vishnu on the occasion of Rama Yekadashi. Kancheepuram was famous as a city of thousand temples in the past, probably during the Sangam age. Being one of the sacred seven places that are called ‘Mokshapuris’ capable of granting salvation.
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Where is Ulagalanda Perumal temple?
Ulagalanda Perumal temple is located in Periya Kanchi of Kancheepuram about 72 km from Chennai of Tamil Nadu state and and about 290 km from Tiruchirappalli. Ulagalanda Perumal temple temple is very near to the famous Kanchi Kamakshi temple of Kancheepuram.
Earliest refrences to Ulagalanda Perumal temple has been found in Nalayira Divya Prabandham by Azhlwars, the saints from 6th Century CE.
What is the Puranic Background of Ulagalanda Perumal Temple?
Demon king Mahabali, being pious and powerful, unseated Lord Indra and took over the reigns over the heaven, earth and netherworld. Slowly, ego started building up and he thought his deeds should be unparalleled. He decided to perform a Yajjna and started giving alms to everyone without discrimination.
Lord Vishnu, came in the form of a dwarf Vatu and expressed to Mahabali, his desire to continue performing religious practices and need for three paces of land. Mahabali readily agreed and offered to fulfil the Vatu’s request. Shukracarya, the Guru of demons in the netherworld tried to put some sense into his king. He informed the king that, Vamana was none other than Lord Vishnu himself in disguise who had come to thwart Mahabali’s grand plans. Mahabali disagreed to step back from his vow.
Once the king offered the three paces of land as per practices of tradition, Vamana showed his real form. He covered the entire earth in one pace and the entire space in the other. He asked Mahabali to show the third pace of land. Mahabali, who realized his ego offered his head as the place for the third step in order to complete his vow.
Lord Vishnu used this opportunity to push Mahabali to the netherwrld called ‘Patal Lok’.
What is the historical background of Ulagalanda Perumal Temple ?
Ulagalanda Perumal temple was built and developed during the reign of Pallavas that came to be called Dravidian style of architecture. The temple saw a continuous development during the rulings of Pallavas, Cholas and Vijayanagar kings. Ulagalanda Perumal temple is replete with sculptures, Teerthas (ponds) and Mantaps.
Ulagalanda Perumal temple built by Pallavas and developed further by different dynasties is full of interesting sculptures and Mantaps. There are four shrines of Divyadesams within the temple complex. They are known by the names, Thirukkarvaanam, Thirukaaragam, Thiruneeragam, and Thiruooragam, The large temple occupies an area not less than two acres.
A large three tiered Vimana welcomes you from a distance. Goddess Lakshmi is fondly called Amritavalli here. Image of Trivikram perumal is 35feet high. Trivikrama is in a standing posture with his right leg lifted to symbolise his covering the space. His left foot is on the ground. Two fingers in his right hand appear stretched emphasising the fact that Mahabali was only able to offer just two paces of land. Roof of the Garbhagudi (sanctum sanctorum) has an elevated roof to shelter the large image. This central shrine is called Peragam.
Thiruooragam is a small shrine where Adishesha, who is a cushion and snake-bed for Lord Vishnu has benn installed. The legend says that, when Mahabali could not completely see the Vishwaroopa of Lord Vishnu, he requested the lord to appear smaller, so he could get a full Darshan. Vishnu obliged his Bhakt. Childless couple are advised to pray here for offsprings.
Sage Garga is said to have performed penance here and attained salvation. Image of Lord Vishnu installed here is known as Karunakara Perumal and seated on Adishesha. Goddess Lakshmi is called Padmamani Nacchiyar. Thirukaragam is the name acquired due to sage Garga.
Lord Vishnu is known as Kalavar in this shrine. Goddess Lakshmi is known as Kamalavalli Thaayar. Thirukaalavan may have slowly come to be called Thirukarvanam in the local parlance.
Thiruneeragam shrine is without a deity for which reasons are unknown. However, Utsav Murthy of the temple called Jagadishwara has been housed here. Jagadishwara is a four armed image and seated facing east. A verse by Sri Pillai Perumal Iyengar states that Lord Vishnu appeared like a small baby on banyan leaf. This is the form described in Bhagavata purana, that Lord Vishnu assumed after the great deluge (Maha Pralaya).
When is the best time to visit Ulagalanda Perumal Temple?
Ulagalanda Perumal temple is an important Divyadesam temple where Agama Shastra tradition is observed. Festivities take place round the year. However, Tamil month of Thai occurring in January or February sees the celebration of Brahmotsavam. Tamil month of Avani occurring in August or September is the time for celebration of Vamana Jayanti in this temple.
Pleasant weather during the winter season from October to February is said to be ideal for visting Trivikrama Perumal temple.
What are the nearby temples?
Varadaraja temple in Kanchipuram:
Sri Kanchi Varadaraja Swamy temple is located about 80 kms from the capital city Chennai in Tamil Nadu state. This region of the city is popular as Vishnu Kanchi. Sri Varadaraja Swamy temple is on a hill called Hastigiri. This is one of the 108 Divya Desams visited as a part of Sri Vaishnava Yatra.
Kanchi Kamakshi temple:
Kamakshi Temple in the city of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu State, is an ancient Hindu Temple dedicated to Goddes Parvati (called Kamakshi), the ultimate form of Goddess Lalita Maha Tripurasundari.
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