Thiru Parameswara Vinnagaram ( also called Vaikunta Perumal Temple) is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and located in Kanchipuram in the Tamil Nadu state. It is one among the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Lord is worshipped as Vaikuntanathan with his consort Lakshmi as Sri Vaikundavalli. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, the early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th–9th centuries CE. It is the second oldest existing temple in Kanchipuram after the Kailasanthar temple.
Legend of the Tiru Parameswara Vinnagaram
According to legend, king Viroacha ruled the region Vidarbha Desa where the temple is currently located. Due to curse in his past birth he had no inheritor. He prayed to Lord Shiva in Kailasanathar Temple. Lord Shiva gave a boon that Dvarapalas of the Lord Vishnu will be born as king’s sons. The princes were devoted to Vishnu and conducted yagna for the welfare of the people of their kingdom. Pleased with the worship, Lord Vishnu appeared as Vaikundanatha to the princes.
History of the Tiru Parameswara Vinnagaram
As per Dr. Hultzh, the temple was built by the Pallava King Nandivarman II in the 8th century with later contributions from Medieval Cholas and Vijayanagar kings. Nandivarman Pallavamallan was a worshipper of Vishnu and a great patron of learning. Around the sanctum sanctorum in the first precinct, there is an inscription dated to the 8th century which records the gift of a bowl and an image made of gold measuring 1,000 sovereigns by king Abhimanasiddhi. During the period of Dantivarman I in 813, there was a gift of golden bowl weighing ten thousand kalanju. There was another gift of 3,000 kalanju of gold to meet daily expenses of the temple. The temple is believed to have been constructed few years after the construction of Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple.
Architecture of the Tiru Parameswara Vinnagaram
Constructed of Dravidian architecture, the temple covers an area of 3 acres. The temple has a rectangular plan and surrounded by a granite wall enclosing all the shrines and water bodies. The 3 layered vimana has a stepped pyramidal roof. The temple has three sanctums on the top of other host the figure of Vishnu in different postures. The ground floor sanctum contains a figure of Vishnu in a seated posture where as in the first floor lying posture and in the second floor standing posture. First floor is accessible to devotees only on ekadashi days; second floor is inaccessible to devotees. The external cloisters are predecessors of the grand thousand pillared halls of later temples. The cloister walls have a sequence of relief sculptures depicting the history of the Pallava dynasty.
Tiru Parameswara Vinnagaram Temple Timings
The temple is open from 7.30 A.M. to 12.00 A.M. and from 4.30 P.M. to 7.30 P.M.
Tiru Parameswara Vinnagaram Pooja Timings
The temple priests perform the pooja (rituals) six times a day: Ushathkalam at 7:30 a.m., Kalasanthi at 8:00 a.m., Uchikalam at 12:00 p.m., Sayarakshai at 5:00 p.m., Irandamkalam at 6:00 p.m. and Ardha Jamam at 7:30 p.m. Each ritual has three steps: alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Vaikuntanathan and Vaikundavalli.
Tiru Parameswara Vinnagaram Festivals
The two major festivals celebrated in the temple are
- The Vaikasi Brahmotsavam, celebrated for 10 days during the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May–June), and
- Vaikunta Ekadashi celebrated during the Tamil month of Margazhi (December–January)
How to reach the Tiru Parameswara Vinnagaram
The nearest airport is Chennai International airport at the distance of 75 KM. Someone can hire a taxi to reach the temple.
The temple is only 2 KM from Kanchipuram railway station which is connected with Chennai and other cities in South India.
Bus services are available from Chennai, Pondicherry, Nagaercoil, Madurai and Bangalore to Kanchipuram city. The temple is only 1 km from the Kanchipuram bus stand.