Sri Adi Keshava Perumal Vishnu Temple, Thiruvattar is located near the Kerala – Tamil Nadu border about 6 km north-east of Marthandam town, 30 km north-west of Nagercoil,Tamil Nadu. It is a 4000 year old temple covering 1.5 acres. The temple is surrounded on three sides by rivers Kothai, Parali and Tamraparni. River Paraliyar takes a turn in this place and diverges to flow forming an island and it is called vattaru and when the temple of Adikeshav Perumal was created it came to be known as Thiru Vattaru.
The Lord is huge, 22 feet, made out of 16008 Saligrams in a sleeping position.For a full view, the Deity must be viewed through three doors after climbing 18 steps. One of the unique occurrence at this temple on 2 days during dusk, sun’s rays directly falls on the Lord inside the sanctum, almost as a mark of respect from the Sun God. Lord Siva is near the Lord Adi keshava Perumal inside the altar. This Deity of Adikeshava is considered the Elder brother of Sri Ananta Padmanabha Swamy of Thiruvananthapuram.The temple legends says the Lord killed 2 demons named Kesan and Kesi and restored Dharma.
The style and the architecture of this temple is taken as the sample to construct the Sri Ananta Padmanabha Swamy Temple. There are close to 50 inscriptions inside the temple in the outer prakarams in both Tamil and Sanskrit. In addition to the inscriptions, one also finds a number of stunning sculptures on the pillars. No two images are the same. The circumambulatory passage around the sanctum which is a hall with 224 ornately carved granite pillars. The pillars nearby in the Bal ipeeta Mantap have life-size images that include Vishnu, Laxmana, Indrajit, Venugopal, Nataraja, Parvati,Tiruvambadi Krishna,Adi Kesava,Venkatachalapati and Mahalakshmi. Another remarkable feature is the single stone hall outside the main sanctum of the temple altar is measuring 18ft width and 3ft height that has been built on a single stone in the 12th Century AD. the day when this temple was built.
Vaikuntha Ekadasi festival is celebrated with pomp and glory. Paal Payasam (Milk Kheer), Aval and Appam are delicious prasadams at this temple.
There are 12 shiva temples around this temple related to the legend of this temple
The Sivalaya ottam or Shiva temple run is very famous on Maha Sivaratri day. Devotees visit 12 shiva temples and finally this temple. This is a perfect example of Shiva – Vishnu devotion.
Thiru Allah Puja
In 1740 AD the men of the Nawab took away the golden deity. At that time, the Nawab’s wife was afflicted with a serious illness.The physicians could do nothing about it. Then the Deity appeared in the dream of the temple priest and ordered him to go to Nawab’s palace and inform the Nawab that if the Deity was returned, his wife would be cured of illness.
Explaining the greatness of the Lord, the priest convinced the Nawab that the illness would be cured once the Deity was restored to its original place in the temple. The Nawab complied and acted accordingly. Nawab’s wife was cured. He was surprised that the illness of his wife had disappeared. The Nawab repented for his deeds and as a token of gratitude, he offered a pillow, crown, a golden plate and cup to the Lord.
A special worship was performed wherein a cap that is used to crown the Deity is fashioned like the Muslim head-dress. This was started by the Nawab and is still performed during the two annual festival and the paraphernalia offered by Nawab is used at the time of Seeveli puja every day. He also provided the fund for conducting annual puja, which is called Thiru Allah Pooja. The Thiru Allah mandapam within the temple is linked with this episode and is the place where 21-day Thiru Allah puja takes place even today.
Location: Thiruvattaru, Tamil Nadu 629177, India