The temple tower at Srivilliputhur

The questions can be accessed here

Questions 1 to 14 can be accessed here

15. Hamsa Sandesam by Vedanta Desika. It is structured as a beautiful poem on the lines of Megha Sandesam where Rama, after Sundarakanda but just before Yuddhakanda, addresses a swan and requests it to fly to Lanka with a message to Sita.

16. Thiruvehka and two non-Divya Desams – Thiruparkadal and Pallikonda, share the same legend of Perumal quelling the arrogance of Saraswathi.

17. The one shrine where the Ubhayanachiyars (and by this I mean Sridevi and Bhudevi in the utsava icons) sit while Perumal stands is Srirangam. Legend has it that they can drink in his beauty better this way.

18. Koil Adi or Srirangam’s foot has the temple to appAla rangar (Ranga on the other side of the Cauvery). He is also known as appUL kiDanthAn as the temple was quite often surrounded by water. This became Appa KuDatthAn and to buttress this, the moola Moorthy is now given a silver pot to hold and is offered appams as naivedyam.

19. Athigiri at Kanchi and Vatapatrasayi at Srivilliputhur are on the upper storey with a shrine to Narasimha below them.

20. This magnificent bas relief to Satyamurti is at Thirumayam. Lord Ranganatha is in yoga nidra. Madhu and Kaitabha, imagining him to be asleep approach him. Adi Sesha shoots out flames from its multiple heads even as the five weapons, depicted as demigods, set out to battle the two demons. The Gods, sages and Bhoomidevi watch. The detailing is superb. Of the five weapons, Panchajanya is depicted as a plump figure while Kaumodaki is a female. The rest are slim and handsome warriors. The pain on the faces of the demons and their physical contortions are amazing.

21. This story never fails to brings tears to my eyes. The first three Azhwars Poigai, Bhootam and Pei meet at Thirukovilur. How can the Lord resist such a congregation? He joins in, leading to much beautiful poetry.

22. Andal states, and I cannot resist quoting her in full – I am caught in the web of that Supreme which sleeps on a banyan leaf in the ocean of milk. Don’t give me unnecessary words of advice that pierce me like spears. From the form of recumbent figure of the staff-wielding cowherd at Kudanthai, bring me the cool Tulasi and adorn my burning tresses. The shrine is Sarngapani’s

23. At magnificent Thirumogur, where the moolavar is called Kalameghan, the utsava murti is simply known as Aptan or friend. Can there by a better name for the Lord?

24. There can be no doubt about it. Perumal, like so many husbands, bungled. At Thiruninravur, He did not bother to ask Thirumangai Azhwar for a pasuram and so the latter moved on. Thayar on coming to know of it, was chagrined and chased Perumal off to go and meet Thirumangai and come back with pasurams or else. Perumal reaches Thirukadanmallai, huffing and puffing no doubt and gets one pasuram. He thinks his task is done and returns only to be chastised by Thayar. “What? One measly pasuram while the temple at Thirukadanmallai gets ten? Off you go my man and come back with more,” she says. Perumal, like so many husbands sent out to return unsatisfactory purchases from the market, goes off only to find Thirumangai has reached Thirukannamangai. He gets one more pasuram and returns.

25. Lord Devanayaka aka Vanamamalai aka Thoyadri at Sreevaramangai aka Vanamamalai sits with his hand on his lap.

26. Lord Uppiliyappan follows a salt-less diet.

27. Kubera goes around riding on man (oh what a truth lies in that simple depiction). Thirupanazhwar rides on the Muni and is known as Munivahanan.

28. Cherakulavalli sits in Srirangam and stands as Malayala Nachiyar in Athigiri. I am told that the two are however not the same persons.