The appakudathan temple is one of the 5 rangams along the Cauvery, the others being Srirangapatna, Srirangam, Kumbakonam sarangapani temple and Mayiladurai Indaloor temple. This temple is called the Madhya rangam. Koviladi is in the southern bank of Kollidam and can be reached from Kallanai dam easily and can also be reached from Anbil via Sengariyur and Poondi. For both Tiruchirapalli should be the main starting point. If one goes by a four wheeler, without break at Kallanai, cross the road over the dam and take the route to Koviladi. Only heavy vehicles cannot pass through this road over the dam. Those who take the bus should get down at Kallanai, cross the road over the dam and on reaching the other side, proceed on the road behind the Karikal cholan statue, which is the road leading to Koviladi. The bus stand is nearby and buses from Kallanai to Thirukattupalli via Koviladi, Poondi is to be taken and it is only 10 minutes drive from kallanai. For those, going via Anbil, the route is Lalgudi, Anbil, Sengariyur and Poondi.
This is one of the 108 Divya desams and is also called as Thirupernagar. The Lord is known as Appalarenganathar and Thayar is Kamalavalli. The perumal is in a lying posture on adiseshan and with the left hand bless Indra and chandra and right hand blesses Markendeya Maharishi. A Saligrama garland adorns him. Bhoomadevi is seated at his feet. A little distance away from the right hand is the appakudam, which is fairly large. The Neivedyam of Appam is offered from this kudam every evening. In the garbha graha, there is santhanagopalan.
Those seeking child boon, freedom from fear of death, to develop qualities of humility, for relief from adverse planetary aspects, sins and curses, facing endless problems, pray to Perumal for solutions.
The temple is dedicated to lord Vishnu who is better known as lord Ranganatha here and is one of five such Vishnu temples that are all built on the banks of the river Kaveri collectively known as the Pancharangas. The other temples and sites being the “Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple in Srirangam”, “the Sarangapani Temple in Kumbakonam”, “Sri Appakkudathan Temple in Trichy” and the “Parimala Ranganatha Perumal Temple in Indalur, Mayiladuthurai”.
The Emperuman here in this sthalam says that he will not go out from the hearts of his devotees and as well as from this sthalam. ("Peyarthal means getting out"). So this sthalam is called as "Thirupper Nagar".
Lord Shiva gave Thirupparkadal as milk, when Rishi Ubamanyu was in his childhood crying due to hunger. This is explained in "Siva Puranam".
Thirupparkadal is the place that belongs to Sri Vishnu. But, When Lord Shiva is giving dharshan to his devotee Rishi Ubamanyu, Sri Vishnu is helping him out to give the complete fulfilment of dharshan of Lord Shiva.
To explain more about this, the position of Shri Vishnu in this temple clearly explains how he helped out Lord Shiva. He is giving seva as Ranganathan (In sleeping position) and his right hand is in a position as giving to Rishi Ubamanyu as "Aranga Varadhan" in Kidantha Thirukkolam.
Appam, which is one of the delicious food item done in interior parts of Tamil Nadu. It will be very sweetful if it is taken along with Milk. Sriman Narayanan is giving Appam which is kept inside kudam (A small vessel) which is full of Milk. He is giving this Appam to Ubamanyu Rishi by hugging him along his right hand.
Once when a King called Ubharisaravasu was in penance on Lord Vishnu in a Purasai Forest, Saint Dhurvaasar came by that side. Since Ubharisaravasu was in penance he had not noticed the coming of Saint. Dhurvaasar got angry and cursed him to loose all his strength and power. Ubharisaravasu immediately came to know about it and begged Dhurvaasar to pardon him. Saint Dhurvaasar asked King Ubharisaravasu to go to Palasavana Kshethram near Cauvery River and perform Annadhaanam to 1 Lakh peoples. King immediately left to that place with a battalion of Cook. The population of that place was only few hundreds, so he thought of distributing food to whoever comes to that village. Every Day he was able provide to food for people in thousands. The king was also happy. One Day early morning, an old man came to king and told him that he is very hungry. The king performed his poojas very fast and served food to the old man. The old man ate the complete food prepared for thousands of people and still felt hungry. The king requested the old man to wait for some time to cook again and asked the old man whether he required any snacks in the mean time. The old man asked king to get him Appam in a pot. The Appam was made very fast and king brought it a pot full and gave it to the old man. While eating the Appam old man became Lord Vishnu and removed the curse of king given by Saint Dhurvaasar and laid down there with the pot full of Appam. So the Lord here was called as "Appakkudathaan” and "Appala Ranganathan".
The Good advice given by Sriman Narayanan in this shetram is "There is only one God". So don’t fight for it and avoid Racism.
Since, Lord Emperuman gave Appam to Ubamanyu, the prasadham here for the lord is Appam for evening pooja for Him.
The activity of Sriman Narayanan, who gave the appam was seen in Gnyna Dhirusti of nammalwar who is Thirukkurugoor Biran Sadagopan has compared Thirumaliruncholai and Thiruppernagar and sung 11 paasurams in Thiruvaaimozhi.
In that paasurams, he is explaining how Vishnu is getting out of Thirumaaliruncholai and the way he gives seva to all the people in Thiruppernagar. He has lot of appams in his stomach and gives to all the persons, who are suffering from hunger. Because of this, he doesn't want to get out of Thiruppernagar and sung as "Aara Vayitrinai Adangap Pidithen".
Also, from this shtalam only, Nammalwar started his way to reach Paramapadham.
Thiruvarangam is popularly called as "Periya Kovil". To explain the speciality of Srirangam, here Sriman Narayanan has given the seva as "Appakkundathan". Since, the Sthalam is situated on Cauvery banks and the Lord is in sleeping posture, this place is called as "Kovil Adi". To memorise the situation of Srirangam, the theertham here is Kollidam.
The temple has inscriptions from the 18th year of the regime of Aditya Chola.The recorded inscriptions in this temple are numbered 283, 300, 301 and 303 of 1901. As per Nammazhwar, the place was home to Vedic scholars of he time. The inscriptions in the temple indicate donations to build the main hall. During the Anglo-French war in the regions surrounding Tiruchirapalli, Koviladi was one of the focal points. There are no records on the contributions or damages caused by these wars.
The temple has a three-tiered rajagopuram facing west and an elevated structure approached through 21 steps. The Moolavar (presiding deity) of the temple, "Appala Rangan", is seen in Bhujangasayanm (a reclining posture) facing west and is surrounded by Bhooma Devi and Kamala Valli Thaayar. The image of the central deity is depicted in reclining posture, called pujanga sayanam and he is seen holding the holy pot in his right hand. The sanctum also contains the image of Upayamanyu and Dhurvarsa. The central deity is called Appala Ranganathar as he is located away from (appal) the Ranganathar in Srirangam.The temple has a prakaram (precinct) around the sanctum.
The Moolavar of this Sthalam is Appakkudathaan. He is also called as “Appalaa Ranganathan”. Prathyaksham for Ubamannyu and Parasarar(Bhattar). Moolavar in Kidantha Kolam and in bhujanga sayanam facing west direction.
The Thayaar of this Sthalam is Indira Devi. Also called as “Kamala Valli”.
Periyalwar – 2 Paasurams.
Thirumangai Alwar – 19 Paasurams
Thirumizhisai Alwar – 1 Paasuram.
Namaalwar – 11 Paasurams.
Total – 33
The temple is open from 8.30 a.m. and 12.00 a.m. and from 4.30 p.m. and 8.00 p.m
The temple priests perform the pooja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. Like other Vishnu temples of Tamil Nadu, the priests belong to the Vaishnavaite community, a Brahmin sub-caste. The temple rituals are performed four times a day; Kalasanthi at 8:30 a.m., Uchikalam at 10:00 a.m., Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m., and Ardha Jamam at 8:00 p.m. Each ritual comprises three steps: alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for the presiding deity. The worship is held amidst religious instructions in the Vedas (sacred text) read by priests and prostration by worshippers in front of the temple mast. There are weekly, monthly and fortnightly rituals.
The chariot festival is the most prominent festival of the temple and also for the villages around. It is celebrated during the Tamil month of Panguni (April–May) and devotees from various places pull the chariot round the streets of Koviladi. Verses from the Nalayira Divya Prabandham are recited by a group of temple priests amidst music with nagaswaram (pipe instrument) and tavil (percussion instrument). Vaikunta Ekadashi during December–January, Navarathri during September–October and butter pot breaking ceremony (locally called uri adi) are the other festivals celebrated in the temple.
How to reach:-
Tiruchi is well connected road from various cities in Tamilnadu.
Tiruchi is an important railway Station of Southern Railway and is well connected with the towns and cities of the state.
Nearest Airport is Tiruchi.