Tiruvidanthai is the place where an ancient Vaishnavite temple, the 62nd sacred Diviyadesam is situated. This temple has the unique distinction of having 10 verses sung in praise of the Lord by the great saint, Tirumangai Alwar. The origin of this temple dates back to some 8th century, the period in which Thirumangai Alwar had lived. Also, some ancient inscriptions found on the wall of the temple confirms this period as the likely period of consecration.
The temple is located on the ECR express highway, about 40 Km from Chennai. It is also approachable from OMR and one has to take a diversion at Kelambakkam to join the ECR from where it is at a few Km away. It is on the western side of the highway facing east and an elegant arch-way on the highway leads the visitor to the temple.
Soon after entering the archway, one finds the temple tank and in a few meters away is the temple. A beautiful 16 pillar mandapam stands before the temple entrance, exhibiting rare stone-panel relief figures carved on its pillars with deities and avatars of Lord Vishnu and some damsels and folk artists as well.
The presiding deities at Tiruvidanthai are Adi Varaha Perumal with Akilavalli and Komalavalli Nachiyars. The processional deity is Arulmigu Nithya Kalyana Perumal. There are separate shrines within the temple for Arulmigu Andal, Komalavalli Thayasr, Ranganathar and Ranganayaki Thayar, Periya Thiruvadi Garudalwar. One finds Lord Ganesha with tiruman on his forhead as ‘Thumbikkai Alwar’ on the outer sanctum wall.
The main deity, Sri Adi Varaha Perumal, the third avathar of Sri Vishnu, is in an impressive standing posture, with the right foot on the ground and the left on the heads of the divine couple, Sri Adiseshan and his consort and with Sri Akilavalli Thayar seated on his left lap. The tall and graceful image, exhibiting close intimacy of the presiding deities, with tastefully decorated adornments, is an ever lasting feast for the eyes of the beholder. The bewitching beauty of this divine form is beyond one’s words of expression and one refuses to move from the sanctum for a long time with the eyes merged on the Lord without even winking for a while, engrossed in the divine beauty and posture. (Here, one is reminded of a slightly different posture of Sri Varaha Perumal with his consort at Mahabalipuram, about 20 Km away, which may be seen in the attached photograph).
The Processional deities are Sri Nithya Kalyana Perumal, Komalavalli and Akilavalli Nachiyars. The naturally formed small mole like mark on the cheek of the Lord adds beauty to his already handsome face. (It is said that the Lord’s mother-in-law made this mark at the time of the marriage to ward off the evil eyes)
Legend has it that the saint Kalava rishi by the grace of Sri.Lakshmi Thayar begot 360 beautiful daughters. When the daughters attained marriageable age, the rishi approached Lord Vishnu for getting them married. Lord Viahnu appeared as a handsome, eligible bachelor in all respects and married all the 360 daughters of the rishi, one on each day of the year, for 360 days. The first bride was Komalavalli Thayar and he combined all others brides into one bride, Akilavalli Thayar, who is seated on his left thigh.
This place is believed to be a ‘Kalyana dosha nivethi sthalam’ and is thronged by a large number of youngsters of both sex, every day, who pray with their parents to ward of the hurdles in their life for their marriage to take place smoothly. Later, on fulfillment of the marriage they visit once again with their spouse and go round the temple together wearing garlands around their necks. This is a common sight taking place in the temple daily which one can’t miss.
Whether you are single or married, young or aged, wanting to get married or searching for a suitable alliance for your daughter or son, a visit to this ancient temple, in a village atmosphere with clean air and surroundings, accompanied by your near and dear ones for a darshan of Sri Varaha Perumal with his consorts is sure to elevate your spirits to a new height. You are also sure of returning with a satisfied mind of having achieved some thing useful in your life.