Appala Ranganatha Swamy Koviladi
Main Deity : Appala Ranganathar, Appa Kudathan.
Ambal : Sri Kamala valli Thayar, Indira Devi.
Oher Deities : Ganesha, Nammazhwar, Ramanujar, Azhwars, Garuda, Venugopalan, Vishwaksenar.
Holy Water : Indira Pushkarani.
Temple Tree : Pursha Tree.
Prominence of the Shrine: Appala Ranganathar temple is at least 2000 years old. This temple is 6th among the 108 Divya Desams. The most important 108 Vishnu temples in south India is called as 108 Divya Desams or 108 Thiruppathi. Every day evening “Appam”(pancake) is offered to the Lord Vishnu so he is called as “Appa Kudathan”. At this temple lord Vishnu is holding Appam in his right hand. King “Upari siravasu”, Markandeyan and Indra worshipped at this temple and got their problems resolved.
This temple is considered to be one among the five sacred houses of Lord Vishnu. Only in very few temples Lord Vishnu is appearing in a sleeping position and out of that, five temples are considered as sacred houses. They were
1) Aadhi Rangam – Sri Rangapattinam (Mysore)
2) Appala Rangam – Koviladi (Tanjore)
3) Mathiya Rangam – Sri Rangam (Trichy)
4) Chathurtha Rangam – Sarangapani Temple (Kumbakonam)
5)Pancha Rangam – Mayiladurai Vishnu Temple.
If devotees worship this five temple that is equal to worshipping the 108 Divya Desams. Sri Devi appeared at this temple before Vishnu came. Four different Azhwars have sung songs about this temple. This temple is located at a place Koviladi and also called as Thiruper Nagar.
It is believed that Nammazhwar after sung about this temple attained moksha from here. Devotees to overcome the fear of death, married couples facing difficulties to have child, facing different curses can worship at this temple to overcome all their problems. As it is a very old temple it is called as “Appala Rangam” and also it is older than Sri Rangam temple it is called as Appala Ranganathar. Lord Maha Vishnu is appearing in the sleeping position and facing the west direction. Sri Devi is residing at Vishnu’s heart. Markandeyan is sitting next to them. Kamala Valli Thayar is located in a dedicated Sannidhi. In the inner prahara the other gods like Garuda, Ganesha and Azhwars are located.
Temple History : This temple was constructed and renovated by different kingdoms. The architecture of the temple is representing the Chola, Pallava and “Vijaya Nagara” style of construction. Sri Devi appeared at this temple before Lord Maha Vishnu arrived here. There is an interesting mythological story behind this. Once at Vaikunda there was a debate about who is better in between Sri Devi and Bhooma Devi. The final result of the debate favored the Bhooma Devi. Sri Devi got angry about it and she came down to earth from Vaikunda. Sri Devi came down to “Thiruper nagar” and started performing the penance to get peace at her. Later Lord Vishnu also came down and convinced her importance in the world. He accepted her in his heart and that is why Sri Devi is in the chest of Lord Vishnu at this temple. This entire drama was taken place to have Lord Vishnu at Thiruper Nagar.
As per another historical story there was a powerful Pandya king called Upamanyu. One day when he went for hunting and he saw a mad elephant was entering into Rishi Gowthama’s ashram. He arrowed on the elephant to kill it. The elephant became wild and it killed one Brahmin who was reading the Vedas in the ashram. So the king Upamanyu got a Brammahati Dosha. To get rid of his Dosha he visited several temples and he finally reached Koviladi Appala Ranganathar Temple. When he reached this temple he felt refreshed and improved in his health. Then he checked with his guru what the specialty of this temple is. Guru explained him that even for Indra who was chased by Asuras due to Dhurvasa Rishi’s curse and he got cured his problems only here. He advised king Upamanyu to stay at this temple and worship the Lord Vishnu. King stayed at this temple and donated food for thousand Brahmins every day. Lord Vishnu saw the king’s dedication and he wanted to cure his curse. One day early morning, a Brahmin arrived at King’s place and asked for a food. King also did his morning rituals very quickly and started serving the food. That Brahmin ate all the food prepared for that day and he still claimed only half of his stomach is full. King replied that to wait for some more time. He will once again cook and serve the Brahmin. The Brahmin who arrived is none other than Lord Vishnu. Vishnu told him he is very tired so he is going to take rest. He asked him to bring the Appams in the evening and he went. On that day evening king Upamanyu carried a pot full of Appam and reached the Brahmin to eat. He picked one Appam from the pot and laughed at him. The king felt totally divine at that moment and realized the Lord himself arrived in the form of Brahmin. Then Sri Devi who was performing penance also showed her appearance to the king and he got cured from his curse. Hence every day evening the “Appam” are offered to Lord Vishnu only at this temple.
Poets who sang its praise : Thiru mangai Azhwar, Nammazhwar, Thirumazhisai Azhwar, Periyazhwar.
Who worshipped here : Indra, King Upamanyu, Markandeyan, King Upari Siravasu.
Temple Timings : Morning 8.00 A.M. to 12.00 Noon, Evening 4.00 A.M. 7.00 P.M.
Temple Festivals : Navarathri, Vaikunda Egadesi, Panguni Uthiram.
Address : Sri Appala Ranganathar Swamy Temple,
Koviladi, Tanjore – 613 105.
Hotels Near Appala Ranganatha Swamy Koviladi, Tanjore :
1. Mathura Hotel,
No 1, Rockins Road, Tiruchirappalli Townhall, Trichy - 620 002,
Opposite Central Bus Stand Contonment
2. Mayavaram Lodge,
No 87, Vanapattarai Street, Tiruchirappalli Townhall,
Trichy - 620 002, Teppakulam Pos
3. Femina Hotel,
109, Williams Road, Tiruchirappalli - 620 001,
Hotel Area: Trichy Central Bus Stand / Railway Junction Area
Tel : 0431 - 2414501.
4. Hotel Rockfort View,
5, Odathurai Road | Chinthamani, Tiruchirappalli - 620 002.
Mobile: +91 740 2713466.
Tel : +91 431-2713466.
5. Grand Gardenia,
22-25 Mannarpuram Junction,
Trichy - 620 020, Tamilnadu.
Mobile : +91 95856 44000.
Tel : +91 431 4045000.
Restaurants Near Appala Ranganatha Swamy Koviladi, Tanjore :
1. Ragunath Restaurant,
2. Parthasarathy vilas,
Vegetarian / Vegan Restaurant
Kondayam Pettai Agraharam,
Thiruvanaikoil, Trichy - 620 005, Tamilnadu.