Ranganathaswamy Temple Thiruneermalai: History and Timings

Ranganathaswamy Temple Thiruneermalai: History and Timings

One of the 32 divya desams in Tamil Nadu is Thiruneermalai. Five kilometers separate Pallavaram station from Chennai City, which is seven to ten kilometers away. In the Brahmanda Puranam, this place is called Totadri. The word “adri” means “hillock” and the word “thoya” means “water.” So, Toyadri means mountains surrounded by water, which in Tamil is called Neermalai. It was called Thiruneermalai because the Lord (Thiru) stayed there.

The Brahmanda Puranam lists eight svayam vyakta kshetras. Thiruneermalai is one of them. It is said that Lord Vishnu manifested himself in the svayam vyakta kshetras, which are holy places. Here are the names of these places and the deities:

  • Srirangam: Sri Ranganatha and Sri Ranganayaki
  • Two people from Srimushnam are Sri Bhoovarahamurti and Sri Ambujavalli.
  • Lord Srinivasa and Sri Padmavati can be seen at Venkatachalam.
  • Naimisaranyam: Sri Devaraja Svamy and Sri Pundareekavalli
  • Sri Paramapurusha Svamy and Sri Pundareekavalli are the Pushkaram.
  • Lord Badrinarayana and Sri Aravindavalli are buried at Nara Narayanam.
  • Salagramam: Sri Murti and Sri Devi
  • Thayadri (Thiruneermalai): Sri Padmasini and Sri Ranganatha

People think that Thirumangai Alvar came to Thiruneermalai to pray to the Lord one day. But there was a rising stream of water around the temple that kept him from getting there. He had to wait on a nearby hill for six months. The water finally went away, and the Alvar was able to go to the temple. Thirumangai Alvarpuram is still the name of the place where the Alvar stayed.

The Lord can be seen in four different positions: Neervannan-Ninran (standing), Lord Narasimha-Irundan (sitting), Lord Ranganatha-Kidanthan (lying down), and Lord Trivikrama-Nadanthan (walking). As you can see, Alvar does a beautiful job of showing how these four expressions of the Lord are divine. In his piece, he says that in Thirunaraiyur, we can see the Lord standing. We see the Lord as Narasimha in Thiruvali. When we look at Tirukkudanthai, we see the Lord lying down.
In Thirukovilur, we see the Lord in the Trivikrama form, which is when He walked around the world twice. But in Thiruneermalai, all four of these shapes can be seen at the same time. This part of Alvar’s poem is used later in this chapter.

This is the name of the Lord in the temple at the base of the hill. At the base of the hill, there is also a small shrine for Sri Andal, Lord Rama, and all twelve Ahuls. If you go to the shrine at the top of the hill, you can see the utsava vigraham of Sri Ranganatha. It is kept in the shrine at the bottom of the hill. The hill is on the other side of the road from the temple. It’s around 200 feet tall and has 250 steps to get to the top.They are Lord Ranganatha, Lord Narasimha, and Lord Trivikrama. They are set up on top of the hill. Lord Sri Ranganatha is the most important god at the top of the hill.It is possible to see the god lying on Adisesha under Sri Ranga Vimanam with his back to the south. It is called Manicka sayanam when God stands in this way. The shrine for Trivikrama or Ulagalanda Perumal, is put on the side of the main sannidhi in the prakara. He can be seen under the Thoyagiri vimana. The sannidhi of Sri Santa Narasimha is next to it, under the Santa Vimanam. On top of that, there is a small shrine to Ranganayaki Thayar.

Ranganathaswamy Temple Thiruneermalai

Valmiki Maharishi is said to have visited Thiruneermalai, climbed the hill to see Lord Ranganatha, and then walked down the hill to worship the god at the base of the hill. He washed his feet near the tank and then prayed to Lord Rama. Lord Ranganatha is said to have come down from the hill and shown himself to Valmiki as Rama at that time. People say that when Lord Ranganatha changed into Lord Rama, Lakshmi Devi showed up as Janaki, Adisesha, the divine couch, changed into Lakshmana, the conch and the disc changed into Satrughna and Bharata, Vishvaksena became Sugreeva, and Garudalvar became An-janeyar. In this way, the whole family of Lord Rama appeared to Valmiki. Following this, Valmiki asked Lord Rama to stay in that spot and continue to bless other followers. People believe that Lord Rama then changed into the beautiful form of Neervannan and still blesses the people who pray at the base of the hill.

A lot of people know about the tank in Thiruneermalai. This type of music is usually called Ksheera Pushkarini. People think that the Karunya Pushkarini, the Siddha Pushkarini, and the Svarna Pushkarini are all inside it. People think that some of the water from the river Ksheer-abdhi in Vaikuntham is mixed with this tank when they talk about Ksheera Pushkarini. Some people say that Lord Narasimha was so happy to see how devoted the child Prahlada was that he cried tears of joy. As Karunya Padmini, those tears were stored in this tank. Some people, though, think that the most holy river, Ganga, runs into this tank. They call it Siddha Pushkarini because it is thought to flow from the head of Lord Siva. Some people think that Nityasuris brought water from the river Virajai in golden vessels for Neervannan’s holy bath and then poured some of that water into this tank. That’s why this tank is called Svarna Pushkarini. In this way, the tank has different meanings for different people.