Oppiliappan Temple is located at a distance of 5-km from
Kumbakonam and is considered
to be a Prartanaistalam where devotees fulfil their vows taken to
propitiate the Lord. Oppiliappan temple is one among the famous 108
Vaishnavite shrines hallowed by the hymns of the Azhvars. The first four
Azhvars, "Nammazhvar", "Tirumangai Azhvar", "Poigai
Azhvar' and 'Peyazhvar" have sung in praise of the lord.
The deity is known by various names such as "Oppiliappan", "Uppiliappan", "Thiruvinnagarappan", "Venkatachalapati", etc. The name Oppiliappan refers to the presiding deity who is considered comparable to none. Nammalwar refers to Vishnu as 'Ponnappan", "Maniappan", "Muttappan", "Ennappan" and "Tiruvinnagarappan".
Legend has it that Markandeyar, Kaveri and Yama worshipped Vishnu here. It is believed that this shrine is equivalent to Tirupati.
According to The Legend , Sage Markandeya was the son of Sage Mirikandu. On his birth astrologers predicted that he would die young. Sage Markandeya performed rigorous penance to save him from death. Lord Shiva pleased with his penance gave him the boon of immortality. Sage Markandeya undertook a pilgrimage to all the holy places in the country and arrived at a place full of 'Thulasi' plants and decided to stay here.
Later on he started another penance praying that he should have Boomidevi as his daughter and Lord Vishnu as his son-in-law. He was graced with a beautiful girl child who emerged from the earth and the sage named her as Bhoomi Devi. The child was so devoted to the Lord that the lord wanted to marry her.
One day an old man sought her hand in marriage; the sage attempted to stop the marriage by stating that his daughter was not well versed in household duties, and that she would even forget to season food with salt. The old man revealed himself as Vishnu, and took Bhoomi Devi as his bride after assuring Bhoomi Devi's father that henceforth he would eschew salt and eat food prepared without "uppu" (salt). Salt is not included in any of the offerings made to the deity; hence also, the name Uppiliappan.
The Temple And The Deity
The main deity Oppiliappan or "Uppiliappan - Srinivasan", the presiding deity in this temple is in a standing posture facing east resembles Venkatachalapati at Tirupati. The lord here is seen with the Abhaya hasta and one can see the inscription in diamonds, "Mam ekam charanam vraja" which means "I am the only one and surrender to me". The second line of that sloka promises the devotee salvation.
Bhoomi Devi and sage Markandeya are on either side of the lord. There is no separate shrine for the Bhoomi Devi in this temple and the Lord never leaves His sanctum without being accompanied by Bhoomi Devi. One can see both the deities in the same shrine, the main sanctum sanctorum. She is on his right, kneeling in the marriage posture.
The special feature in this temple is that salt is never used in the food offered in worship.
The annual Brahmotsavams are celebrated in the months of 'Pankuni' (March-April) and 'Purattasee' (September-October). The Vasantotsavam is celebrated in 'Vaikasi' (May-June), and the Tirukkalyana Utsavam in 'Aippasi' (October-November).
Air: The nearest airport is at
Tiruchirapalli, 92-km away.
Rail: Kumbakonam is on Chennai- Tiruchi line, and is well connected by rail with the important places within and beyond the state.
Road: This temple is just 5-km from Kumbakonam by road. Kumbakonam being an important pilgrim centre of Tamil Nadu is well connected by road with the major towns and cities of the state. For local transportation, auto rickshawas and taxis are available.
Accommodation is available at the moderate and economy class hotels, lodges and choultries in Kumbakonam.