Periyanayagi Amman temple -  Devikapuram

Periyanayagi Amman Temple Devikapuram
periyanayagi amman temple - Devikapuram

Periyanayagi Amman temple is a very popular temple that is located in Devikapuram towards the south Arani of Thiruvannamalai district in Tamil Nadu, India. This temple is said to have been built by the Vijayanagara empire in the 14th century AD.


The Periyanayagi temple is located at the base of the hill called Kanakagiri. At the hilltop, there is a temple for lord shiva, with the name Kanakagiriswarar.The periyanayagi amman is also called sri brahadambhal or sri Bhrihanayaki amman.


About the temple :

It is the second-largest temple in the Tiruvannamalai district after  Arunachaleshwarar temple in Thiruvannamalai. The architecture of the temple resembles the sculptures in  Hampi Style with phrases of Puranas stories, and sculptures of animals, warriors, and others.

The mandapas in the temples are one of the major tourist attractions here.


Devikapuram means “city of the goddess”. It is said that the goddesses here were bought into existence by the Lord Brahma. Devikapuram is called by many names in stala puranams  like Devakipuram, Devakkapuram, Kanagagiri, Kanagathiri, Kanagachalam, Narayanavanam and others.


This temple at the bottom of the hill does not have lingams, the lingams are there at the temple on the hilltop i.e Kanakagiriswarar hill. It is one of the major tourist attraction temples in Tiruvannamalai where a lot of devotees come and worship the Lord. 


The temple covers an area of 3 acres and has a huge seven-tiered pagoda. The carvings are very beautifully crafted out of granite stone. There are lined carvings of horses, pigs, and bull. The intention of the pig being carved is to prevent invasion from Muslim invasions.


There are three entrances to the temple in the directions from, east, north and south. The doors on the north and south are closed for devotees.

At the entrance of the Raja gopuram, there are two huge statues of Dwarapalakas. Gradually moving forward one can find the statues of Lingotbhavar, Narashimar, Kalabhairavar, and others. There is a huge Adikara  Nandi that poses a stunning look.


Kanakagirishwarar temple - Devikapuram


On the Kalyana mandapa, the sculptures narrate the story of Manunidhi Cholan who killed his son by running the wheels of the chariot on the neck of his own son to keep up justice as a king.

The Dwajastambams, Balipeetham, and the Nandi Devars are present here.

This Kalyana mandapam is in the form of a chariot being pulled by horses is an impressive form of artwork and is very attractive.


There is 36 pillared mandapam that have sculptures depicting the Puranas of the lord Shiva, Vishnu, and Devi. this mandapa has around 432 sculptures that depict the Puranas. 

The Sannidhis for Lord Vinayagar and Arumugar are located beside the 36 pillar mandapa. 

The next level enters with the three-tiered pagodas, where the Sannidis for Kasi Viswanathar, Pillayar, and a Navarathri mandapam are found.

Then we enter the maha mandapam, we can see the utsava moorthys of vinayagar, Natarajar, and somaskandar.

Then we enter the Artha mandapam with several sculptures and 55 inscriptions that are said to belong to the Vijayanagara empire. then we enter the main temple after crossing the Dwarapalagis to seek the blessings of the goddess Periyanayagi Amman.


Devikapuram  Amman temple
Devikapuram  Amman temple  


The goddess is blessing the devotees with a majestic look with Paasangusam in her upper hands and the Abhayavarada mudra in her lower hands.

There are several birds, snakes, and honey hives, it is said that the temple and the treasures are protected by the saints who are in the form of birds snakes, and bees.

 

Theerthams :


There are many sacred theerthams located inside and outside of the temple. 

The Brahma theertham is located inside the temple.

To the southeast is the Agni theertham with a Neerazhi mandapam. This theertham is also called the Kaatan kulam. There is a Murugar temple that is located at the hillock of this Agni theertham.

The Periyappan kulam is located at the foot of the hill and is also called the Navagraha theertham.

There are Devaradiyar theertham, Seyyan theertham, and other theerthams around the hill

On the hilltop

The main deity on the hilltop is lord Kanakagirishwarar in the form of shiva lingam. The lord Kanakagirishwarar is very powerful and it is said that the devotees on all Tuesdays come around the hill and offer prayers to the lord. It is said that by offering such prayers one can get blessings from the lord and be cured of all incurable diseases.

The hilltop temple is open only from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the mornings every day.

Legend 

As per the legend, it is said that Devaki - the sister of Kamsa gave birth to Lord Krishna here. Hence the name Devakipuram. There is a temple for Sri Srinivasa Murthy here hence the name Narayanavanam.

The temple dates back to the 14century and is said to belong to the Vijayanagara empire. The Chola kings have also influenced the development of the temple.

The architecture of the temple resembles the architecture of the sculptures at Hampi.

Offerings and prayers 

The local devotees who come to worship here have a strong belief that the lord fulfils their wishes. People pray for marriages, child boons, good luck in business, better job opportunities, and many others.

Once their prayers are fulfilled the devotee comes here to offer Pongal Naivedyam, ghee lamp to the deity, wedding garland offering,  tonsuring (shaving of the head after success of their prayers).

The abhishekam to the lord is also done in which the devotee offers the items like oil, curd, milk, tender coconut, turmeric, and kumkum for abhishekam. After the abhishekam, the vastra is offered to the goddess- usually, sarees are offered.

The prasadam is distributed to the devotees who come here. The deities here are very powerful and sure to bless the devotees come here and pray with utmost devotion.

The devotees also go around the hill and offer prayers to the lord Kanakagirishwarar on Tuesdays, it is believed by the devotees that many incurable diseases are also cured.


festival in Periyanayagi Amman temple
festival in Periyanayagi Amman temple 

Temple timings

 The Periyanayagi Amman temple at the foothill is open from 6 a.m. till 12 p.m. in the daytime and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Kanakagirishwarar temple at the top is open from 8 a.m to 10 p.m. in the morning only.

How to reach

Devikapuram is a small village that is located in the Tiruvannamalai district. It can be reached if one travels on state highway 115 in the state of Tamil Nadu.

By road :

Devikapuram can be reached from Polur, Arani, Vandavasi and Tiruvannamalai.

Local cabs and private and government buses always are available from Polur, Arani, Vandavasi, and Tiruvannamalai.

The distance from Chennai to Devikapuram is 150 km.

Distance from various nearby towns are provided:


Tiruvannamalai 50 km

Arani 21 km

Vellore 60 km 

Polur 14 km

By Train: 

There are railway stations in Polur and Arani. Few trains from Vellore, Puducherry  Chennai, and Bengaluru stop here.

By airways :

The nearest airports are Chennai and Bengaluru. from there one has to take a taxi or bus to reach the destination.


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