108 Divya Desams - Virudhunagar District


Vatabadrasayee, facing east


Aandal, facing east

Other Deities

Lakshmi Narasimha, Rengamannar, Garuda, Periazhwar, Rama, Srinivasa Perumal

Thiruvilliputhur is a large east-facing temple with an 11 tiered Rajagopuram in the east entrance of the main deity, Vatabadrasayee’s sanctum sanctorum. After the Rajagopuram is the outer Prakaram. A long pillared corridor open in the sides leads inside to the inner Prakaram. On top of the entrance to the inner Prakaram is a small 3 tiered gopuram. This is followed by a large Mahamandapam. The sanctum sanctorum has two levels. In the ground level is the sanctum of Lakshmi Narasimha. An ardha mandapam leads inside. The deity is a beautiful, colorful and large idol. Above this is the sanctum of Lord Vatabadrasayee in the upper level which is reached by climbing steps on the sides. Before this sanctum is a large mandapam called Gopala Vilasam adorned with the wooden panels and sculptures recovered from the ancient temple car which was not in use since it was very heavy. The main deity is a large stucco image and seen in a reclining posture with Sreedevi and Bhoodevi by the side of his feet. The large idol can be seen through 3 doors that open to show the head, body, and feet. Near the lord’s head is Sage Brighu and near the head is Sage Markandeya. Behind Sage Brighu is the Banyan Tree, the leaf (called Vatabadram) of which was under the lord as he rested during a deluge. Around the reclining lord are the celestial Gandharva musicians Tumburu and Kinnara, Sage Narada, Sanat Kumara the eternal youth, Sun, Moon, and Mithuna the zodiac sign of Gemini. Villi credited to have founded the town and his brother Kandan are at the feet. A covered and pillared circumambulatory path is at the ground level around the huge sanctum sanctorum.

On the southern side of the temple is a Nandavanam with a Mandapam where Aandal was found under a Tulsi (Holy Basil) plant by the Vaishnavite Saint Periazhwar as a baby. Further in the southwest is the Sanctum of Lord Vishnu as Rengamannar. This sanctum can be reached through the main temple and also has a separate entrance with a 5 tiered Gopuram on the east side entrance. This is followed by a long Pandha Mandapam and the Kalyana Mandapam on one side. After the entrance is the Maha Mandapam inside. The sanctum sanctorum is entered through an Ardha Mandapam. The Lord is seen here with Aandal on his right side and Garudan on the other side unlike in any other temple. The Vimaanam above this sanctum is called Pranavakirti Vimaanam and the upper sides are filled with stucco image representations from the Thiruppavai Hymns rendered to the Lord by Aaandal (one of the 12 Azhwars).

The mandapams here at Thiruvilliputhur have some exquisite sculptures including Veerabadhra, Manmadha, Mohini, Rati, and many paintings created during the Vijayanagar and Nayak periods. The old temple car modified to be lighter and with hydraulic wheels is one of the largest in Tamilnadu. The 11 tiered Rajagopuram, the tallest in Tamilnadu at 192 feet, is also in the emblem of the Tamilnadu Government. A large temple tank is outside on the northwest side of the town and is called Thirumukkulam.

Holy Water (Theertham) – Thirumukkulam

Vimaanam – Samsana Vimanam


Periyazhwar (c.9th Century CE) has sung Mangalasasanam Hymns for the Lord here at Thiruvilliputhur. His adopted child and one of the 12 Azhwars, Aandal (c.9th Century CE) has sung the Thirupavai and Nachiyar Thirumozhi parts of the Hymns for the Lord here at Thiruvilliputhur. The town and the temple were very famous during the periods of Tirumalai Nayak (1623–1659 CE) and Rani Mangammal (1689–1706 CE). Tirumalai Nayak renovated the temples here and built a palace similar to, but smaller in size than the Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace in Madurai. Many inscriptions are found here. The details of these inscriptions are not available to us at present.


Queen Malli had two sons called Villi and Kandan. While the two were hunting in a forest, a tiger killed Kandan. Unaware of this, Villi searched for his brother, got tired, and fell asleep. In his dream, divinity narrated to him what happened to his brother and asked him to create a city. The city was originally named after him as Sri-Villi-Puthur.


Thiruvilliputhur is in the middle of Srivilliputhur town and the Rajagopuram of the temple is visible from a distance. Srivilliputhur is about 42 kilometers southwest of Virudunagar, 75 kilometers southwest of Madurai, 20 kilometers west of Sivakasi, and 12 kilometers northeast of Rajapalayam.

Stay and Food

There are a few hotels, lodges, and restaurants in Sriviliputhur. Hotel Kadiravan serves good food at all times and is diagonally opposite the Aandal Temple road. Srivilliputhur is famous for Milk Khoa. Venkateswara Vilas near the entrance of the Aandal temple and Puliyamarathadi Shop in the road leading to Aandal Temple are famous. The other co-operative affiliated shops sell a variety which is equally good and in a brownish color. Never buy from the individual sellers walking around as everyone here prepares it at home and tries to make a quick buck.

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