Located about 6kms East of Kumbakonam, Lord OppiliAppan in a handsome standing posture looks like Lord Venkataachalapathy of Tirupathi. A km from here is the famous Saivite Temple Thiru Nageswaram.
Visting OppiliAppan is equivalent to visting Tirupathi Srinivasa
Those who cannot go to Tirupathi can visit Oppiliappan in Thiru Vinnagar as a visit here is considered equivalent to visiting the Tirupathi Lord. In fact, Lord OppiliAppan considered the elder brother of Tirupathi Srinivasa.
Thiruthuzhaai Devi was upset that Lord Vishnu was closer to Goddess Lakshmi’s heart. Wanting to get a special treatment from the Lord, she undertook penance. A pleased Lord asked her to appear inThiru Vinnagar as Tulasi (the sacred plant). Lakshmi would then be born as Bhoomi Devi under the Tulasi tree.
Lord said that one would have to undertake penance to get the blessings of Lakshmi. However, those who seek blessings from me by showering the Tulasi garland will derive benefit equivalent to having performed the Ashwametha Yaagam. Also, those who grow the Tulasi plant in their homes will go to Vaikuntam. To this day, a Vaishnavite house is considered incomplete without the Tulasi plant. Further, Thiruthuzhaai Devi would always remain in his heart (as the Tulasi garland).
Mirukanda Rishi’s son Markandeya wanted Goddess Lakshmi to be born as his daughter and the Lord as his son in law. He undertook penance at this place and found a young girl (Goddess Lakshmi) under the Tulasi tree. He brought her up as his daughter.
Years later, Lord Vishnu, disguised as an old Brahmin, came to his house and asked for the hand of his daughter. A shocked Markandeya, who had wanted to give his daughter to Lord Vishnu, tried to dissuade the old man with several different excuses. He pleaded that his daughter was far too young and that she did not know to manage a household. The old man was not convinced and would not move out of the house without Markandeya’s daughter.
Markandeya told the old man that his daughter did not know the art of cooking, so much so that she was not even aware of the right mix of salt. The old man promised to consume food even if it was without salt.
A hassled Markandeya prayed to Lord Vishnu for help and on opening his eyes found the Lord in his full form with conch and chakram.
As the Lord agreed to eat food without salt, he came to be called UppiliAppan (Lord without the salt). This is the only Divya Desam where food is served to the Lord without salt.
Veru Kooruvathu Undu, Adiyen Virithu Uraikum
Aarey Nee Paniyaathu Adai, Nin Thirumanathu Kooren
Nenju Thannaal Gunam Kondu, Matru Or Deivam
Theren Unnai Allal, Thiru Vinnagaraaney- 1474
Darshan to NammAzhvaar
NammAzhvaar praised the Lord as “Oppilaa Appan” – No one equal to this Lord. It is believed that Lord OppiliAppan provided Darshan to NammAzhvaar in 5 different forms – PonnAppan, MainAppan, MuthAppan, EnnAppan and VinnagarAppan.
Thirumangai Azhvaar, Poigai, PeyAzhvaar and NammAzhvaar have sung praise of the Lord in 47 paasurams
Lord is always accompanied by the Goddess on processions and he never goes out alone.
One can combine OppiliAppan, Naachiyar Koil (Thiru Naraiyur), ThiruCherai(Saaranaathan) and Thiru Kannamangai(BhakthaVatsala Perumal) in one trip. This can be completed in ½ a day. One can begin with OppiliAppan and end with ThiruKannamangai. A car trip would cost about Rs. 250-300 from Kumbakonam and back.
Deity : OppiliAppan(Venkataachalapathy) Standing Posture East Facing
Goddess : Bhoomi Devi
Azhvaars: Thirumangai Azhvaar(34)-1448-77,1855,2080,2673(72)-2674(113), Poigai(1), PeyAzhvaar(2)-2342-43 and NammAzhvaar(11)3249-59
Paasurams : 48 verses
Temple timing : 6am-1pm and 4pm-9pm
One can take the Kumbakonam-Karaikal bus and get down at ThiruNageswaram. There are local town buses to OppiliAppan Temple
Auto from Kumbakonam bus stand to Oppiliappan temple is available.
Place to Stay:
Best to stay in Kumbakonam.