Bhaktavatsala Perumal Temple Thiruninravur: History, Timings, and Darshan

Bhaktavatsala Perumal Temple Thiruninravur: History, Timings, and Darshan

Tiruninravur is about 30 km away from the city of Chennai. The god in this place is called Bhaktavatsala Perumal. Battharavi Perumal is another name for him. This name means that he is the heart of the Bhaktas, or devotees. “Ennai Petra Thayar,” which means “the mother who gave birth to me” in Tamil, is the name of the goddess.

Bhaktavatsala Perumal Temple, Thiruninravur

The sthala for Mangalasasana is not this one. Tirumangai Alvar is said to have been here once, but the Lord is said not to have seen him, so the Alvar did not sing any pasuram at Tiruninravur. A place is called a Mangalasasana Sthala and a Divya Desam only when the Alvars go there and sing praises to the Lord. In a strict sense, Tiruninravur is not really a divya desam. But some people think that the goddess caught the mistake before the god did, when Thirumangai Alvar wasn’t looking. One of the Lord’s true followers leaving the place in anger without even singing His praise will look bad on the Lord, she told him. It is said that the Lord agreed that this made sense and went to find Thirumangai Alvar. Shri Thirumangai Alvar had already reached Mamallapuram at that point. It was then that Thirumangai Alvar saw the Lord of Thiruninravur in his mind’s eye. When he saw the idol at Mahabalipuram, Alvar said that he saw the God of Thiruninravur in the idol.

Alvar saw the Lord of Tiruninravur in the Sthala Sayana Perumal of Mahabalipuram. When the Lord finished what He set out to do, He went back to His wife and told her that He had been able to give Thirumangai Alvar sight and make him sing a couplet in His honor. The consort wasn’t happy with this, so she said that Thirumangai Alvar was a prolific musician who would often write many songs in praise of the Lord at the temples he visited. Because of this, she asked the Lord to go back to Thirumangai Alvar and ask him to sing at least one more pasuram in praise of Him. So, the Lord went to find Thirumangai Alvar, who had already arrived at Thirukkannapuram by then. Thirumangai Alvar saw the Lord of Tiruninravur again in his mind’s eye while he was looking at the statue at Thirukkannapuram. Thirumangai Alvar sings praises of the Lord at Thirukkannapuram in the pasuram. The following lines say that he was seeing the idol of the Lord at Tiruninravur while he was looking at the idol of Thirukkannapuram.

In fact, the Vedic scholars thought that these two pasurams meant a lot more than they did. These two pasurams made it clear that there is only one God and that He only shows up in different ways in different places, according to them. In other words, the Lord who showed up in Tiruninravur is the same Lord who can be seen in Mallapuram and Thirukkannapuram.

Bhaktavatsala Perumal Temple History, Thiruninravur

There is an interesting sthala puranam that talks about this place. People say that while the Lord and His consort were in the skies (Thirupparkadal), the goddess left because she didn’t understand something and went to Tiruninravur. It’s said that “Thiru” means “wealth,” and Goddess Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth. Our lady Lakshmi stayed here, so it’s called Tiruninravur.
But the Saivites have another story about how this place got its name. They think that there was a debate in the past about which religion, Samanam (Jainism) or Saivism, was stronger. They chose to light a lamp and float it in the Coovam River to see what would happen.
The wick is called “Thiri” in Tamil. As the wick was lit to support saivism, the lamp got brighter and reached a certain village by the river. The village where the Thiri (the wick and the lamp) stopped is called Thiri Ninravur, which means “the place where it stopped.” As time went on, this was thought to have become Tiruninravur and Tinnanore.

Srinivasa Kshetram is another name for this place. It got that name because Lord Narayana came here to find his divine companion and stayed the night. Also, it is said that when Goddess Lakshmi, the holy mother, left Thirup-Parkadal, her father, Lord Samudraraja, went looking for her and found her at Tiruninravur. The father was so happy to see his daughter, the holy mother, who is often called “Tvam maata sarva lokanam,” which means “mother of the world” or “Akhila jagan mata.” Since the goddess is the holy mother, even the father called her mother when he was happy to find her. The Thayar is called “Ennai Petra Thayar,” which means “the mother who gave birth to me.” It’s possible that this only means that the heavenly spouse is the mother of everyone. The Samudra raja is said to have stayed in Tiruninravur for a while with his daughter. He built an asramam next to a tank. People started calling this tank Varuna Pushkarini.

Nearby Temples to visit

  1. Veera Raghava Perumal Temple in Tiruvallur