Sri Soundararaja Perumal temple, Nagapattinam

Moolavar : Neelamega perumal, Soundararaja Perumal
Old year : 1000-2000 years old
City : Nagapattinam
District : Nagapattinam
State : Tamil Nadu

About The Temple

Thirunagai Sri Soundararaja Perumal Temple is one of the 108 Divya Desams of Lord Vishnu located in Nagapattinam district, Tamil Nadu. This is one of the oldest temples built by the Naga Kings; there were abundance of contributions made by the Kings of Maratha and Nayaks too. Presiding deity – Utsavar – Sri Soundararaja Perumal, Moolavar – Neelamegha Perumal with his consort Goddess Sri Soundaravalli Thayar Worshipped by – Serpent Gods in Kritha Yuga, Bhoomi Devi in Thretha Yugam and Sage Markandeya in Dwaparayugam. This temple remains open from 7.30AM to 12.00PM in the morning and 5.30PM to 9.00PM in the evenings.

Soundararajaperumal Temple is a temple dedicated to Hindu god Vishnu, located in Nagapattinam, a town in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Constructed in 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 AD. It is counted as one among the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Vishnu. Vishnu is worshiped as Soundararaja Perumal and his consort Lakshmi as Soundaravalli.

The temple is believed to be of significant antiquity and is believed to be initiated by the Medieval Cholas of the late 8th century AD, with later contributions at different times from Thanjavur Nayaks. The temple has two inscriptions dating from the Chola period. The temple has a five-tiered rajagopuram (gateway tower) and enshrined within a granite wall. The complex contains all the shrines and water bodies associated with it

Soundararaja Perumal is believed to have appeared for sage Markandeya, Dhuruva, Saleesan and Hindu god Bhoomadevi. The temple observes six daily rituals and three yearly festivals. The chariot festival, celebrated during the Tamil month of Chittirai (March–April), is the most prominent festival of the temple. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

Temple History

The temple had contributions from Pallavas, Nagars and Cholas during the 8th to 10th centuries. During the later centuries, Thanjavur Nayaks and subsequently the Thanjavur Marathas are believed to have made significant contributions to the temple. During the rule of Nayaks, Nagapattinam was a busy port and it was more of a Dutch territory. On the request of Dutch for a light house, the Nayak king is believed to built the seven tiered temple tower and utilized it as the light house. Jagul Nayakar, the lietuant of Nayak king during the 1650s was a stauch worshipper of Soundararaja Perumal. He is believed to have built the temple tower, halls and the compound wall around the temple.

The image of him and his wife Lakshmi Ammal are installed in one of the halls built by them. Kundo Pandithar, an officer in Nayak kingdom during 1737 is believed to have constructed the Ashtana Mandap, shrines of Pachai Varnar, Pavala Vannar, Veetriruntha Perumal, Kidantha Kola Perumal and Vishwaksenar shrines. During the early 20th century, Dratcha Balagurumuthi Chettiyar built the Bhakthiula hall, Chinnaya Chettiyar rebuilt the Vasantha hall, Nachiyappa Pillai rebuilt the Mataipalli, Ramasami Pillai renovated the image of the presiding shrine and the citizens of the town contributed to various other renovations. There are inscriptions from various ruling empires on the contributions made to the maintenance of the temple

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