DILAPIDATED: On the banks of the Tamirabarani.
The epic, Sri Tamirabarani Mahatmiyam, speaks of the sacred river Tamirabarani, and how sage Agastya created it. It also deals with the sacred places on the banks of the river. One of those places is Agaram village where Lord Narayana revealed His ten incarnations and preached the mantra, `Om Namo Bhagavathe Vasudevaya.' Agaram can be reached by auto or taxi from Vella Nadu, situated on the Tirunelveli-Tuticorin highway.
How it got its name
According to legend, Mithrasaha, a young man was a renowned dramatist. Once he happened to stage a play in Kashmir and King Kungumanganum and princess Chandramalini were among the audience. The princess fell in love with Mithrasaha and they got married with their parents' consent.
When they grew old, they had an ashram built and propagated devotion. Moved by their faith, Lord Narayana appeared before them and revealed His 10 incarnations. He also delivered the mantra, `Om Namo Bhagavathe Vasudevaya.' Therefore Agaram came to be known as `Dasavatara Kshetram,' Tamirabarani as `Dasavatara Sambu Theertham' and the Lord, `Dasavatara Perumal.' Tamirabarani is also known as `Dakshina Gangai' as it flows from north to south and a dip in it is considered as holy as the Ganges in Varanasi. To commemorate the Lord's appearance in 10 `avatars' the Lord has been sculpted in all these forms. The Moolavar Sri Anjel Perumal faces east and the Utsavar is with Sridevi and Bhoodevi.
OF SPECIAL SIGNIFICANCE: The ten incarnations sculpted.
There are also separate shrines for Ganapathy, Venugopalan-Sathyabama, Vishwaksenar, Dharma Sastha and Garudazhwar, built according to Vaikasana agama.
The temple was devastated by floods in 1923. Kumbabhishekam was performed in 1952. Now the temple is in a dilapidated condition and the cost of renovation has been estimated at Rs. 11 lakhs.
Even the conduct of daily pujas has become a difficult task. Sri Dasavatara Committee, formed to take care of renovation, invites contributions, which may be sent to Account No. 63/6, Indian Overseas Bank, Valla Nadu, Thoothukudi - 628 252.
For contributions through performances, artistes may contact the coordinator, `Sri Dasavatara Puja' task committee, 2/43, Pudhu Gramam, Valla Nadu (Ph: 04630-261142).
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