Thiru Pullam Boothangudi

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Thiru Pullam Boothangudi is one of the 108 Vaishnava temples situated at a distance of 4kms from Swamimalai. The kshetra is also close to the birthplace of Thondaradipodi Alwar.[1]

Introduction

In Thiru Pullam Boothangudi, the main deity is known as Valvil Raman. He is in shayana tirukolam (the reclining posture) facing the east. Sri Lakshmi here, is said to have emerged from the lotus tank and hence, is known as Pottramarayal. She is also known as Hemambhujavalli. The tirtha has taken its name from Jatayu - the one who fought Ravana while he was abducting Sita in the Ramayana. Jatayu tirtha is also known as Kiruthra tirtha. The vimana is identified as Shobhana vimana. It is in this kshetra that Rama is said to have responded to the prayers of Kruta Raja and Thirumangai Alwar.[1]

Temple at a glance[1]
Vishnu in this kshetra is known as Valvil Rama
Lakshmi in this kshetra is known as Pottramaraiyal, Hemambujavalli
Vimana is called Shobhana Vimana
Pushkarini is named as Jatayu Pushkarini, Kruthva Theertha
Hymns by Alwars on this kshetra Ten
Location 4 kms from Swamimalai

Structure

The temple of Thiru Pullam Boothangudi is a great example of Dravidian art. It is a five-tiered tower that dominates the landscape from an imposing height. The tirtha itself occupies a modest dimension of one acre area with a single prahara. The five-tiered tower endowed with kalashas over the eastern entrance is characteristic of Dravidian architecture. From the entrance, getting past the gopura, there is the Dvaja stambha and the Bali Pitha. Furthermore, there are three tiers of gateways leading to the entrance of the sanctum. The Prahara includes shrines of different deities.[1]

Legends

This temple of Thiru Pullam Boothangudi is rich in history and its legends are famous. It also occupies an important position among the Chola temples. The Brahmanda purana embodies a great deal about this kshetra. This kshetra has witnessed many inspiring episodes.[1]

Jatayu Moksha

This is believed to be the kshetra of Jatayu Moksha (where Jatayu attained liberation).

  • In the Ramayana, Jatayu saw Sita being abducted by Ravana and fought valiantly to save her. In the process, both his wings were cut by Ravana. His wings being cut, the place where Jatayu fell down is now known as Pulla Bhoothangudi. It is said that, Rama and Lakshmana in their search for Sita saw Jatayu. He was holding on to life just to inform them of Sita's plight. Fulfilling his resolve, the divine bird then breathed its last with the following prayer:

"Rama is the chime of the clock of time, Rama and Rama alone is the spirit sublime, Rama is my breath, o! mother of mine ! Rama is the rhythm of nature and clime !"

Rama, himself is said to have performed the last rites of Jatayu at this very spot like a son would for his father. The temple is in memory of this divine bird and since Rama performed the last rites of Jatayu, Jatayu earned the name Periya Udayar.

  • It is interesting to note here that there is one more temple known as Thiruputkuzhi near Kanchipuram where the same legend as above is accepted. However, at Pullam Boothangudi, Rama didn't have Sita by his side. Just as he was perplexed about performing the last rites in Sita's absence, legend goes that Bhumadevi appeared from the Jatayu Pushkarini as Sita. And as she came out from a lotus tank, she came to be called Pottramaraiyal.
  • It is said that Rama was sad and inconsolable on the death of Raja Dasharatha. At the same time, on separation from Sita, he became lost and withdrawn. It was when he performed the last rites of Jatayu enabling his moksha that Rama regained his poise and vigour. Therefore, he has rightly earned the name Valvilrama in this kshetra. And because he gave moksha to a bird and performed the last rites to a bhuta sharira, the place came to be known as Pullam Boothangudi.[1]

Thirumangai Alwar

  • Once when Tirumangai Alwar reached Pullam Boothangudi, he saw the two princes Rama and Lakshmana lying under a tree. However, he mistook them to be pilgrims and walked away. As divine intuition prevailed, he happened to come back to the temple, where Rama then appeared before him with four hands as Chaturbhuja Rama.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Prof. S. Narayanan (April 2004), 108 Temples of Azhvars, Volume 1, Maharashtra: Sri Ramanuja Mission.