Tiruttankal Temple is one of the Divyadesham, at a distance
of 3-km from Shivakasi. There are two temples here dedicated to Ninra
Narayanan and Ranganatha.
There are many legends behind the origin of this place. According to one it is believed that Ranganathar of Srirangam resided at Tiruttankal, enroute to Srivilliputtur. It is also said that there was a conflict between Sri Devi, Bhu Devi and Nila Devi as to who was superior.
Sri Devi left her abode and settled down at Tiruttankaal, as Arunakamala Mahadevi and was worshipped by one and all. She meditated upon Vishnu desiring that he be with her. Vishnu answered her prayers; Bhu Devi and Nila Devi followed. Legend also has it that Krishna killed the demon Banasuran, and his daughter Usha married Krishna's grandson Anirudhan here.
The Temple And The Deities
The inscriptions found in the temple dates back to 11th century, although much of the construction here is a result of recent renovations. The Vimanam here is of great beauty and is known as the "Somachanda Vimanam" (also pelt as Vimana).
In the hill temple the deity is Ninra Narayanan, in a standing posture facing east, while the Utsavar is Tankaalappan. The shrine of Taayaar, the consort of Narayanan is in the 2nd level of the hillock. Taayaar here is Senkamalattaayar in her own sanctum in a standing posture. Taayaar is also known by the names Anna Nayaki, Ananta Nayaki, Amrita Nayaki and Jambavati.
The deity is flanked by images of Sree Devi (Anna Nayaki), Bhu Devi (Amrita Nayaki) and Jambavati. In the sanctum are images of Markandeya, Garudan, Arunan, Viswakarma, Bhudevi and Sridevi, Niladevi, Usha, Anirudhan and Bhrigu Muni. The temple at ground level enshrines Tirukkolapperumaal.
Enroute to the hill temple is a cave temple enshrining Ranganathar or Pallikonda Perumaal.
Services and Festivities
In this temple services are offered first to Taayaar and then to Narayanan. Four services are offered each day.
Oonjal festival is celebrated each Friday in the Taayaar shrine. In the month of Chithirai (April-May), the Pournami Utsavam is celebrated for five days. The 10-day Vasantotsavam is celebrated in Vaikasi (May-June). On the fifth day of Aadi Pooram festival image of Narayanan is taken on a horse mount to neighbouring villages.
Other festivals celebrated here comprise of Krishna Jayanti, Pavitrotsavam, Garuda sevai in Purattasi, Navaratri, Kartikai deepam, Vaikuntha Ekadasi and Koorattalwar Tirunaal, and Pankuni Tirukkalyanam.
Air: The nearest airport is located at
Madurai, which is about 76-km
from Shivakasi city.
Rail: The nearest railway station is at Shivakasi. Shivakasi Railway station is an important station in the Southern Railway due to the movement of Industrial products and hence is well connected to major cities and towns of the state.
Road: Shivakasi being a major industrial centre is well connected by road. Tiruttankal being close to Shivakasi is easily accessible. Tourists can hire private taxis from Shivakasi or Madurai.
Accommodation is available at the moderate class and small budgeted hotels and lodges in Shivakasi.