Srivilliputtur the birthplace of Andal, is considered to be among the holiest of the 108 Divya Desam shrines dedicated to Vishnu. This is the birthplace of Andal, who was a great poet-saintess of the Bhakti tradition and is closely associated with the life of Andal. Also in Srivilliputtur is the Madavar Vilagam Vaidyanathar temple enshrining a six feet high monolithic image of Natarajar is considered to be a masterpiece. This temple was also patronized by the Madurai Nayak kings. The name Villiputtur stems from the legend that this town was built by two hunters Villi and Puttan. Legend has it that Periyalwar a devotee of Vatapatrasaayee, served the temple, by fashioning garlands out of fresh flowers from the garden which he maintained. Andal his daughter discovered in the temple garden was in the habit of wearing the garland prior to submitting them to the deity. An aghast Periyalwar, tried to stop Andal s deed, and was directed by the deity, that He indeed preferred garlands which had been worn by Andal. It is believed that Andal left her mortal body and merged with Ranganathar.
Posted On : 04/19/09 10:35:22 PM
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Divya Desams are Vishnu temples where the 12 Azhvars divine saints of vaishnavism have rendered mangalasasanam Songs in praise of the lord . The 12 divine saints are Poigaiazhvar, Boodhathazhvar, Peyazhvar, Thirumazhisaiazhvar, Nammazhvar, Madhurakavi Azhvar, Kulasekara Azhvar, Periyazhvar, Aandal, Thondaradi Podi Azhvar, Thiruppaanaazhvar and Thirumangaiazhvar. There are 108 such Vishnu Temples. Out of them 105 are located in India, 1 in Nepal and 2 in the non-physical world. Vaishnava Hindus, especially in South India, hope to visit all the 106 earthly divya desams in their lifetime, and aspire to reach the 2 spiritual divya desams after their lifetime.