Neer Vanna Perumal Thiruneermalai

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Ranganatha Temple

Neer Vanna Temple ,Ranganatha Temple is a Hindu temple in Thiruneermalai, a suburb of Chennai, India. While the Sthalathipadi (presiding deity) is Neervanna Perumal, all utsavams (Celebrations) are for Lord Ranganatha.

The complex is in two parts one at the base of the hill for the Staladhipadhi Neervanan (Ninran-Standing Posture), housing shrines of his consort Animamalar Mangai thayar, Kalyana Ramar and Andal. Shrine for Anjaneya (Hanuman) is to the right as one climbs up to the hill shrine.

The temple complex up the hill has three shrines for Lord Ranganatha (Kidanthaan – in reclining posture), Trivikrama (Nadanthaan – in walking posture), Lord Narasimha (Irundhaan - sitting posture) and a Shrine for Ranaganayaki Thayar (facing East). It is a double prakaram(outer courtyard) temple. The Garuda shrine faces the Lord. The view from the top of the hill is wonderful.

History

Perumal in 4 forms

For Sage Valmiki : Sage Valmiki, author of the celebrated epic Ramayana, desired to have the wedding darshan of Lord Sri Rama. He came to this place and performed penance to achieve his aim. Lord Rama appeared before the sage as he wished with Mother Sita and brothers Sri Lakshmana, Sri Bharatha and Sri Satrugna. The sage wished the Lord to stay in the place for the benefit of all devotees and Lord was happy to oblige him. The sage is in a separate temple at the foot of the hill. As He is in a place surrounded by water (Neer in Tamil), He is praised as Neer Vanna Perumal and the place Tiru Neer Malai – meaning mount surrounded by water. Sage Valmiki as a swayambu appears in a worshipping form in the shrine.

For Thirumangai Azhwar Azhwar came to this place for Perumal’s darshan. He could not see Perumal as the mount was surrounded by water. Azhwar decided to wait and have the darshan of Lord and stayed in the opposite hill. Though days moved, water level did not recede. He was steadfast in his determination and waited till the water level lowered, had the darshan.

Pleased with His devotee, Perumal granted four darshans to Azhawar – Neer Vanna Perumal standing, Narasimha sitting, Ranganatha reclining and Ulagalanda 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 Ulgalanda Peruamal are at the hill temple

For Prahalada Though Lord Narasimha is known for his furious appearance, He is smiling and cool here. After killing Hiranya to save his devout son Prahlada from his tortures, He was still furious. Boy Prahlada was very much afraid of Lord’s fury. To make His devotee happy, Lord Narasimha shed His fury and appeared before Prahlada 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. It is believed that Lord Narasimha gave darshan to Arjuna after he performed the Ashwamedha Yaagam here at this place

During Dwapara Yugam, there were only two Divya Desams that were on hills. One was Ahobilam and the other was Thiruneermalai.

For Sage 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.

Architecture

Ranganatha Perumal Temple on hill top

This is a hill temple. There are two big temples one at the top and the other at foot hill. Lord appears in four forms representing three incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The temple has a beautiful Teppakulam-tank covering three acres with a Mandap at the centre. This is praised as Suddha Pushkarini, Ksheera Pushkarini, Karunya Pushkarini and Swarna Pushkarini. The holy tank is one in form but comprises of four theerthams. In Kumbakonam, the Mahamaga tank is believed to be a confluence of 19 theerthams. Similarly, four theerthams Siddha, Swarna, Karunya and Ksheera theertham confluence in this holy tank.

Swayam Vyaktha Kshetras

Eight Vishnu temples in India are considered very important praised as Swayam Vyaktha Kshetras of which this Tiruneermalai temple is one. Others are Srirangam in Tiruchi district, Srimushnam in Cuddalore district, Tirupathi in south and Salagramam, Naimisaranyam, Pushkaram and Naraanapuram in north. As this is a hill temple, Giri Valam is observed on Poornima-new moon days.

Prarthana Sthalam

This is a prarthana sthalam and the Lord is said to answer prayers relating to different issues, especially marriage.

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.

Azhwar

Thirumangai Azhwar has glorified the temple in 19 hymns or Verses (1078-87, 1115, 1521, 1554, 1660, 1765, 1848, 2069, 2673 (73), 2674 (130)) .

Bhoothath Azhwar also composed 1 hymns (2227) praising the temple

அன்றாயர்கு லக்கொடி யோடணிமா 
மலர்மங்கையொ டன்பளவி,அவுணர்க் 
கென்றானு மிரக்கமி லாதவனுக்குக் 
குறையுமிட மாவது,இரும்பொழில்சூழ் 
நன்றாயபு னல்நறை யூர்த்திருவா 
லிகுடந்தை தடந்திகழ் கோவல்நகர், 
நின்றானிருந் தான்கிடந் தான்நடந்தாற் 
கிடம்மாமலை யாவது நீர்மலையே. 
     -திருமங்கையாழ்வார்

In the above Verse Thirumangai Azhwar highlights the unique aspect of the temple where Vishnu is seen in four different poses of Standing (Neervana Perumal), Lying (Sriranganathar), Sitting (Narasimha) and walking (Trivikrama). He also refers to four other Divya Desams -Thiru Kovilur, Thiruvali, Naachiyar Koil and Thiru Kudanthai while showering his praise on Thiru Neermalai meaning one can see the Lord of 4 Divya Desams in Thiruneermalai.

Festivals

Pavithra Utsav on Purattasi Saturday in September-October is celebrated in the temple.

Bramhotsatavams: Panguni and Chittirai Uttiram Masi (Animamalar mangai Thayar) and Panguni (Ranganayaki Thayar)

Temple Timings

Morning : 8.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m

Evening : 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m

How to Reach & Stay

This Sthalam is situated 7Kms from Chennai and 4 Kms from Pallavaram Railway Station.

One can take bus 55A from Pallavaram Bus Stand to reach the temple.

There are lot of staying options in Chennai

Nearby Temples

Sources