Thirupullani Adi Jagannatha Perumal Temple is located 10kms South East of Ramanathapuram on the Keelakarai Road is Thirupullani on the banks of river Sethu (Sethu Karai). This temple dates back to a time before Rama Avatar. Rama came here in his search for Sita and is believed to have invoked the blessings of Adhi Jagannathan at this temple before he departed for Lanka
The place is also hailed as Pullaranyam, Pullanai, Thiruvanai, Adhi Sethu, Dharbasayanam, Rathnaakara Kshetram, Nalasethu, Saranagati Kshetram and Pullangadu.
Deity :Sri Adi Jagannatha Perumal ,Deiva Chilayaar Goddess :Padmasini ,Kalayanavalli Utsavar :Kalayana Jagannathar Theertham :Hema Chakra Theertham ,Adhi Sethu Rathnakara Thirtham Sthala Vriksham :Pipal Tree (Aswatha)
The age-old Pipal (Aswatha) tree and is considered to be the incarnation of Aswatha Narayanan Who revealed Himself to the three sages, Pullavar, Kannuvar, and Kaalavar.
The Prime Deity is also known as Dakshina Jagannathan, installed as a salagramam by the Devas during the swayambu manvantharam
72 Chatur Yugas ago (countless crores of years), three sages Pullavar, Kannavar and Kalavar came to this temple region, then covered densely with darba grass and merged themselves in deep penance. Pleased with their penance, Lord Vishnu appeared before them in the form of Arasa Maram. Though happy they were, the Sages sought the grace of Perumal in His original form, Perumal obliged in the form of Lord Adi Jagannatha. That is the place now called Tirupullani. A shrine for Mother Padmasani was built later.
King Dasaratha Raama’s father King Dasharatha is believed to have performed a Yagna here and is believed to have had his four children after this yagna. Hence it is the belief that childless couple who bathe at the Sethu river and pray to the Lord here will be blessed with a child.
Vibeeshana's Surrender to Lord Rama :It was here that Vibheeshana, the brother of Ravana, came for refuge and surrendered to Lord Rama asking him for help. While the entire Vaanara army looked at Vibheeshana with suspicion- one who has come with a plot to attack the Lord, it was Hanuman, who with folded hands, expressed his opinion that the Lord should accept Vibheeshana. Hanuman can be seen here, at this temple, in a posture indicating Vibheeshana’s surrender to Raama and to protect him from his brother(Raavana).
It was also here that Rama preached the doctrine of ‘Surrender’ that is applicable even today.
In Valmeeki’s account of this ‘Surrender to Lord episode’, Raama says, ‘I cannot reject anyone who comes to me for protection. This is my dharma. If Raavana himself came to me I would not reject him. How then can I reject his brother who has done me no wrong.’
In the Vaishnava Sampradaya, this episode of ‘Surrender to the Lord’ is held just as important as the Bhagavad Gita(Mahabharata). It is a doctrine that Lord accepts all who, in absolute surrender, seek shelter at his feet. Their sins are burnt out by the mere act of surrender.
This is a message of hope to erring humanity. There is hope for the worst of us if only we surrender ourselves to the Lord. This divine assurance is the life and light that a world filled with sin and darkness, needs.
Out of all the Divya Desams, this is said to be the most sacred for those devotees who are seeking ‘absolute surrender to Lord’
The temple has a five-tiered rajagopuram (gateway tower) facing east. The shrine of Adi Jagannatha houses the image of Adi Jagannatha, Bhudevi and Sri Devi in sitting posture. The consort of Adi Jagannathar is Padmasini, housed in a separate shrine. There is a shrine for Dharbasayana Ramar in a reclining posture.There is a metal image of Krishna from the 13th century Pandya perido. The image depicts Krishna dancing in a snake, a rare historical depiction of Krishna in a metal image
The temple is believed to have been initiated during the Medieval Chola period along with many temples dedicated to Rama. TheChola king Parantaka I named himself Sangrama Raghava after his conquest of Sri Lanka, while his son Aditya I was called Kothandarama. Some later Pandya kings also made contributions to the temple. A mutilated inscription in the temple made during the 37th year of Maravarman Sundara Pandyan in 1305 records order of a minister by name Arya Chakravarthi. Historians believe some portions of the temple tower might also have been built by Jaffna kings, who were friends of Pandya Empire and also rulers ofRameswaram.There is one damaged record from 1518 from the period of Mahabali Vanadaraya Naykkar and one another made in 1528 during the reign of Sundarattoludaiyar Mahabali Vanadarayar. There are inscriptions in the temple indicating Arab traders visiting the Pandyan Empire. The traders traded pearl and pepper and in return were allowed to build mosques in the region for their worship. The mosques followed Dravidian architecture with stone pillars and were called Kallupalli. The temple received lot of contributions from theVijayanagara period, along with other Vishnu temples in the region
Shrines Within the Temple
Sri Dharbasayana Ramar under the ‘Pushpaka Vimanam’ is in a reclining posture. Since he is lying on the dharba grass ( sacred grass used in the rituals), he is called so. The dwaarapaalakas (divine securities at the doorstep) installed at the doorstep of the sanctum sanctorum have majestic appearance with a domineering moustache in their faces. Such an imposing figures could not be seen in any other temple. They have hands with ‘aahvaana sign’(inviting sign) as if inviting into this unique sanctum, where the stately Rama reposes with his sword beside Him. But, He presents Himself as the Lord of Milky Ocean – from His navel arise three Lotus-stems, the center lotus with Lord Brahma flanked on his sides with Sun and Moon with head gear. Along with them sculpted on the wall are Madhu-Kaitaba, Lakshmi, Kausthubam and Sundopasundas.
On the side of the crown are Garuda and Markanda. At His feet are the Ramayana personages, Sukha and Sarana, and also Hanuman enjoying the feet of Rama in a valiant posture. At the southern side of the ardha mantapam stands politely Vibishana holding the mace and on the northern side are the Emperor and his wives of ‘Mahodadi’ (Ocean) making surrender to Lord Rama. Lakshmana as the Serpent-bed Adisesha carries his Lord. The Procession-deity (Utsava murthy) is ‘Kothandaraman’ with Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman standing respectfully as though trying to effect an alliance between Rama and Vibishana. The entire sanctum is a splendid piece, a superb sculpted tableau representing a few scenes from Ramayana. This is an exclusive presentation which could not be seen anywhere else.
Pattabisheka Ramar The shrine of Pattabhiramar has a separate flag-pole, altar, Dwaarapaalakas and ardha mantapam. The victorious Rama, after killing Ravana returns to Ayodhya with Sita in the Pushpaka Vimanam. He rests for a while at his place, where – it is said – He recounts to Sita the events that had happened during their separation.
The belief is that limitless blessings will be bestowed to the devotees who worship Pattabhiramar after taking a bath in the Adhisethu.
Santhana Gopalan, known as ‘Nagar Mandapam Santhana Krishna Mandapam’. It is a lovely sculptural wonder. Lord Krishna sits on the Adisesha who rests on the ‘kurmam’ (tortoise) surrounded by eight elephants and eight serpents. It is believed that the childless couple will be blessed with a child, if they worship the deity offering ‘paalpayasam’ (sweet-milk porridge) to Him. This is a famous offering in the Thiruppullani temple.
Sethukarai also called ‘Adhisethu’ or ‘Ratnaakaram’. ‘Sethu’ means ‘Bridge’. This is the place where Lord Rama built the bridge to cross over the ocean to reach Lanka, to retrieve Sita. Even today, we can see on the eastern side within the sea a long stone-way. A recent satellite photograph has proved the existence of such a causeway under the sea. This bridge was built by Nala, the monkey-architect and hence the name ‘Nala Sethu’. At the shore, there is a small shrine for Hanuman with enfolded palms facing south. He is a deity loved and worshipped by the people here.
Chinnakoil (small temple) situated about 3 furlongs from the seashore. It houses Lord Srinivasa and has beautiful sculptures. On the northern side there is the white-image of ‘Swetha Madhavan’, believed to be found from the sea. This is a marvelous sculptural piece, lauded by the Archeological Survey of India. Another interesting image is that of ‘Agasthyar’, which is believed to be found from the sea. There are water-eroded marks on the knees of the image.
Thirumangai Azhwar had sung 21 Verses praising the Lord.Verses from 1768-87 and 2674(131)
இலங்கு முத்தும் பவளக் கொழுந்தும் எழில் தாமரைப் புலங்கள் முற்றும் பொழில் சூழ்ந் தழகாய புல்லாணிமேல் கலங்க லில்லாப் புகழான் கலியன் ஒலி மாலை வலங்கொள் தொண்டர்க்கு இடம் ஆவது பாடு இல் வைகுந்தமே
Thirumangai Azhwar Describes Thirupullani as a beautiful place surrounded by deposits of pearls, coral reefs, lotus ponds and fragrant groves. Those who master this decad of verses by kaliyan on the Lord of TirupullANi will find a place in the state of unadulterated joy (Vaikuntha)
Thondaradipodi Azhwar in his Thiru Maalai verse makes a reference to the role of the Squirrel in the construction of the bridge across the Sethu
“குரங்குகள் மலையை தூக்கக் குளித்துத் தாம் புரண்டிட்டு ஓடித்……”.
He says that the squirrels which on seeing the monkeys helping Lord Rama, too wanted to help out the Lord. Being small in nature, they could not carry the trees and boulders. Hence, they did something innovative. The squirrels rolled on the sand and then ran back to the Sethu Bridge and dropped off the sand that had stuck to their body. So impressed was Lord Rama that he rubbed the squirrels with warmth, a mark that remains to this day on the body of every squirrel. Squirrels have 3(vertical) lines on their body believed to be Rama’s own finger prints
The most significant prayer in this holy place is to pray for begetting issues. The belief is that our sins will be absolved if we take a bath in the Sethu Thirtham. Moreover, all the impediments caused by the planets will be relieved if we worship here.
Those who have difficulties in getting married pray to the Utsavar, Kalyana Jagannathar
The two important festivals are the Brahmotsavam in the month of Panguni to Adi Jagannathar and Rama Jayanthi Utsavam in the month of Chithrai.
Besides during Vaikunta Ekadasi, Krishna Jayanthi, Pongal, Deepavali, and also in weekends devotees throng the temple.
- Morning 7:00 to 12:30
- Evening 3:30 to 8:30
How to Reach
The Temple is located 12 Kms south of Ramanathapuram and has frequent buses from Ramanathapuram ( Bus Nos 1A,1B, 5,5A,5B, 10 and 17 )
Ramanathapuram is well connected by Road & Trains
Nearest Airport is Madurai
Lot of Stay Options are available in Ramanathapuram