Sri Devaperumal visits Pazhaiya Seevaram…

athigiri-arulalan

Sri Devaperumal, Kanchipuram

Pazhaiya Seevaram (or Sripuram), a lovely little village with a temple for Lord Narasimha atop a small hillock, is about 15 km east of Kanchipuram on the Chengalpat road. Once, Vishnu Chitthar, a great muni in Naimisaranyam asked the other Rishis which is the best sthalam to get the seva of Sriman Narayanan in the archa vigraha form(one among the 5 nilayas forms of Sriman Narayana), and where he could attain the full fruit of his austerities. On hearing this, Mareecha muni answered that there exists a sthalam, where the Perumal has already given full palan (fruit) for austerities, and that this place is gifted with nature’s beauty. He also added that the sage who got the seva of the Perumal at this place was Atthiri Muni who saw the Lord in the form of Sri Lakshmi Narasimhar. Atthiri muni wished that the Perumal should stay in that place and bless all the devotees.

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Sri Lakshmi Nrusimha Perumal, Sri Rangam

The place is marked by the confluence of three rivers — Palar, Cheyyar and Vegavathi — which can be seen merging together at the place from the temple on the hillock. Known as Dakshina Prayag, it is a much holier place than the Triveni Sangamam or Prayag in the north. This is because, while at Prayag all the three rivers are not visible to the naked eye (river Saraswathi is Antharvahini, running under ground) in Pazhaiya Seevaram the three rivers can be seen at the place of confluence. In the midst of greenery everywhere with the river Palar running to its south, the hillock was known as Padmagiri in times of yore. It was here that Lord Narasimha was pacified by Goddess Mahalakshmi and hence it came to be known after Her as Sripuram, and later became Seevaram. How it acquired the title of old or “pazhaiya” is a mystery.

Apart from its holiness due to the confluence of the three rivers, the hill temple is visited by Lord Varadaraja of Kanchipuram on the day following Sankranthi, for what is known as “Pazhaiya Seevaram Paarivettai”. Paarivettai is observed to mark the destruction of evil forces by the Lord and is celebrated in almost all Vishnu temples.

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Moolavar of Sri Varadaraja Swamy, Kanchipuram

It is said the present Moolavar idol of Lord Varadaraja at Kanchipuram was sculpted out of a rock here after the original wooden idol of Atthi Varadar got damaged hundreds of years ago. It is said to mark this, Lord Varadaraja is taken to Pazhaiya Seevaram on the day following Sankranthi every year, when thousands of devotees gather here for vana bhojanam and aradhana.

Sri Devathirajan on Pazhaiya Seevaram Parivettai

Lord Varadaraja, who leaves His abode at 10 p.m. on Sankranthi day, accompanied by devotees including those reciting Azhwars’ Paasurams and Vedas, is carried all the way to a distance of 15 km and goes around Pazhaiya Seevaram village at the foot of the hillock. He reaches the Narasimha temple, which is in the middle of the hillock, at noon and then He is taken to the Varadaraja Mandapam atop the hill, by climbing the 140 steps. He stays in the mandapam there till 4 p.m. when thirumanjanam (sacred bath) and Aradhana are performed. Later the Lord reaches the Narasimha Temple and both deities are taken to a temple at Thirumukkoodal, on the other side of Palar where a temple for Lord Srinivasa, known as Appan, exists. There the three deities, along with the Lords of two other temples, give darshan. Later Lord Varadaraja returns to Pazhaiya Seevaram along with Narasimhar and then starts His trek back to Kanchipuram late in the night and reaches there next morning.

Note: Adapted from http://www.thehindu.com/

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