Tiruvekkaa Temple or Yathothkari Perumal Temple or Sonnavannam Seitha Perumall is a famous and ancient temple located in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu and dedicated to the Sri Vishnu. The temple was constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture and is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, the early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th–9th centuries AD. It is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Sri Vishnu, who is worshipped as Yathothkari Perumal and his consort Lakshmi as Komalavalli. Yathothkari Perumal Temple is considered one of the very oldest temples in Kanchipuram, which is said to be built in the 8th Century AD.
The temple is considered one of the three oldest Vishnu temples in Kanchipuram, the other two are Ulagalantha Perumal Temple and Pandava Thoothar Perumal Temple. The temple is believed to have been built by the Pallavas of the late 8th century AD, with later contributions from Medieval Cholas and Vijayanagar kings. The temple has three inscriptions on its walls, two dating from the period of Kulothunga Chola I (1070–1120 CE) and one to that of Rajadhiraja Chola (1018-54 CE). A granite wall surrounds the temple, enclosing all the shrines. There is a three-tiered raja gopuram, the temple’s gateway tower, in the temple.
Yathothkari Perumal is believed to have appeared for Saraswati and Thirumalisai Alvar. Six daily rituals and three yearly festivals are held at the temple. The temple houses a rare image of Ranganatha recumbent on his left hand, unlike other temples where he is recumbent on his right. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
Poigai Azhwar, one of the alwars, poet-saints of the 7-10th centuries was born at this temple lotus tank. Panguni Brahmotsavam celebrated during April – May and Poigai Azhwar birthday during Aipassi Thiruvonam star are the two major festivals celebrated in the temple.
Yathothkari Perumal Temple Timings:
Morning: 5:30 AM to 12:00 Noon
Evening: 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Yathothkari Perumal Temple History:
The temple was built 8th century A.D. by Pallavas, Medieval Cholas and Vijayanagar kings. The Azhwars have sung praise on the different forms of Yathothkari Perumal.
Brahma’s Aswamedha Yagam and Goddess Sarswathi’s anger at being ignored by her husband who was busy with the fire ritual. Brahma needed Saraswathi, his wife, to be by his side to perform the ritual. So, he sent his son Vashistan to make Saraswathi return to Brahma. Saraswathi refused and Brahma started the Yagam by keeping Savithri and his other wives next to him. The Asuraas (demons) wanted to stop this fire-ritual and so went to Saraswathi and carried tales that made her angry. Saraswathi took the form of Vegavathi River and began to flow in a south direction and across the area where the Yagam was being performed so as to destroy it. Sriman Narayanan decided to stop Vegavathi River to protect the Yagam. So, he stopped the river’s flow by lying across the river on his serpent Adiseshan. This is why this Perumal is also called Vega Sethu. This became Vegavanai, then Vekkanai and finally became Vekka—Thiruvekka. When on Brahma’s request Lord Vishnu came in a tearing hurry to block River Vega Vathi (Saraswathi), Perumal on his return to the sanctum is said to have slept in the opposite direction.
Thirumizhisai alwar was living in Kanchipuram, an old lady used to clean his house daily and do some small favours for him. He was very happy by her favours, and Alwar changed her from old lady to a beautiful woman. Wondering at her beauty, the king married the woman and she became the queen. On hearing this secret, the king was eager to meet Thirumizhisai Alwar. Kani Kannan was a great follower of the Thirumazhisai Alwar. So, the king called up Kani Kannan and told him that Thirumizhiasi Alwar should come and sing a song praising him. Kani Kannan immediately replied that, all the poems sung by Thirumizhisai Alwar belonged to the lord, Srivaikundanatha and it is impossible to come to the palace.
Due to this, king got angry and ordered Kani Kannan to get out of Kanchi. Then Kani kannan went to Thirumizhisai Alwar and explained all the happenings in the palace. Then, he decided to get out of the Kanchi. While they were going, he sang a song on the Yadhothakari Perumal saying that, as Kani Kannan was leaving Kanchipuram, he was also going along with him and Alwar asked the lord to get up from his Aadhisheshan(the holy snake), which is the bed for him, to roll it and quit from Kanchi. At that time, the lord also got from the Kanchi following Alwar and Kani Kannan. On hearing this, the king and all the people of the kanchi begged Kani Kannan to return back to the Kanchipuram. After this, Kani Kannan returned back to the Kanchipuram along with the Thirumizhisai Alwar. Alwar sang a song saying that Kani Kannan had returned back to Kanchi and he wanted Perumal to go and sleep in his Aadhiseshan back in the temple. On hearing this, Shriman Narayana comes back to Thiruvekka temple and gives his sayana seva. As the lord obeyed the words, he came to be known as “Sonna Vannam seitha perumal”.
Yathothkari Perumal Temple Sannadhis:
Kodanda Ramar Sannidhi
Komalavalli Thayar Sannidhi
Sri Yathokthakari Perumal Sannidhi
Yathothkari Perumal Temple Dress Code:
The temple follows a strict dress code for men, women and for foreigners.
For Men: Shirt & Trouser, Dhoti or Pyjamas with upper cloth.
For Women: Saree or half-saree with blouse or chudidhar with pyjama and upper cloth.
These rules are applicable for foreigners also. Shorts, mini-skirts, middies, sleeveless tops, low-waist jeans and short-length T-shirts are not allowed. Pilgrims/visitors will not be allowed inside the temple if dress code is not followed.
Temples Near Yathothkari Perumal Temple:
Sri Ekambareswarar Temple, Kanchipuram, Distance: 3.9 KM
Sri Subramanian Swamy Temple, Kundrathur, Distance: 7.2 KM
Sri Sri Vaikuntha Perumal And Embar Temple, Kanchipuram, Distance: 25.4
Sri Balasubramaniam Temple, Uthiramerur, Distance: 26.9 KM
Vallakottai Subramanya Swamy Temple, Vallakottai, Distance: 33 KM
Sri Adikesava Perumal Temple, Sri Perumbudur, Distance: 36.8 KM
Bhutapureeswarar Temple, Sri Perumbudur, Distance: 37.1 KM
Sri Vedagiriswarar Temple, Tirukalukundram, Distance: 49.4 KM
Sri Dhenupureeswarar Temple, Madambakkam, Distance: 58.3 KM
Sri Kamakshi Amman Temple, Mangadu, Distance: 62 KM