Prime Deity (Moolavar) : Vijayasanar
Consort (Thayar) : Varagunavalli, Varagunamangai
Significance : Consecrated (Divya Desam)
Sacred Fountain : Agnithirtham, Deva Pushkarani
Sacred Dome (Vimanam) : Vijayakoti Vimanam
Planet : Chandran (Moon)
Village : Natham
District : Thoothukkudi
The nine vaishnava shrines, hailed as ‘Navathiruppathi’ are considered to be related to the ‘Navagrahaas’ or the nine planets or celestial bodies, and the deities in these temples are worshipped as the ‘navagrahaas’ themselves. They are:
1. Sooriyan (Sun) Srivaikuntam
2. Chandran (Moon) Varagunamangai
3. Angaarakan (Mars) Tirukkolur
4. Budhan (Mercury) Thiruppulinkuti
5. Guru (Jupiter) Alwar Tirunagari
6. Chukran (Venus) Thentirupperai
7. Shani (Saturn) Perungulam
8. Raghu Irattaithirupathi
( Thirutholaivillimangalam )
9. Kethu Irattaithirupathi
These Navathiruppathis in the Pandya region are recognized on par with the Navagrahaa temples in the Chola country (Surya – Thirumangalakkudi, Chandra – Thingaloor, Angaarakan – Putthirukku Velur, Budha – Thiruvenkaadu, Guru – Aalangudi, Sukra – Kanjanoor, Shani – Thirunallaar, Raahu– Thirunageswaram, Ketu – Keezhperumpallam). In these Vishnu temples, the Prime Deities themselves are worshipped as the Navagrahaas and so there are no separate shrines for the Navagrahaas, as found in other temples. To offer worship to these deities alleviate the malignant influences of the Navagrahaas that come about during one’s lifetime.
It is advisable to engage a car to go to these places for offering worship, since it is time-consuming, if bus-services are opted. The Tamilnadu Tourism Development Corporation offers a tourist-program twice a month from Chennai, on the first and the third Fridays. The transport and lodging charges for three days is Rs.1100/- per person.
NAVATHIRUPATHI 2 — SRIVARAGUNAMANGAI ( NATHAM)
This small village without many residential quarters is situated in the Tirunelveli – Srivaikuntam railway line, 3 kms. east of Srivaikuntam. The place is popularly known as ‘Natham’.
The Prime Deity Vijayasanar is installed in sitting posture facing east. Adisesha, the Lord’s dedicated vassal, spreads his mighty hoods over His head, like an umbrella. His Consort, Varagunavalli or Varagunamangai dwells beside Him.
The legend is that the Lord appeared before a Brahmin, Vedavith, who conducted the rituals for his departed mother, father and Guru, by chanting the excellent mantra called ‘Aasanathai’ . The Lord in the guise of an old Brahmin, directed Vedavith to go to the sacred place ‘Varagunamangai’ and chant the mantra, which could then be realized in its full potential. By his arduous tapasya and meditation of mantra, Vedavith gained the Supreme Feet (Parama Padam) of the Lord. Since he chanted the ‘Aasana’ mantra, the Lord was christened ‘Vijayasanar’. Earlier, a sage by the name Romasar had told his disciple, Sathyavaan that one who died in this kshetra (sacred place) would attain ‘moksa’. Sathyavaan had seen an unusual incident as he was taking his bath in the Akanaasa thirtham: a fisherman died due to snake-bite, but he was carried in a chariot to the Celestial City. The Guru alleged that the fisherman who had committed grave sins in his previous birth could absolve them by his deathS in this sacred place. Varagunamangai has such a high glory.
Nammalvar in his Tiruvaymoli (9.2.4) has consecrated this Lord in one pacuram, along with the Lords of Thiruppulinkuti and Srivaikuntam.
Distance from Important city : 29 kms. from Tirunelveli, situated in the Srivaikuntam-Thoothukudi route.
Lodging facilities : Lodges available in Tirunelveli / Tiruchendur; rental rate – Rs.100/- to Rs.400/-.
Transport facilities : Adequate bus-services from Tirunelveli / Tiruchendur. Nearest Railway stations – Tirunelveli / Tiruchendur Nearest Airport – Thiruvananthapuram,Madurai.