Divyadesam is a vast temple located at Tirukkovilur (near Tiruvannamalai), which is also home to the Tirukkovalur Veerattam, an ancient shrine
glorified by the Tevaram hymns. This temple has a history of royal patronage. Tirukkovilur
is considered to be one of the Pancha Krishnaranya shrines. This shrine represents the
physical meeting point of the first of the Alwars Poikaialwar, Bhutattalvar and Peyalwar.
The Divya Desams enshrining Trivikrama are Tiru Oorakam (Kanchipuram) , Tirukkovilur, Kaazhicheeraamavinnagaram
five panchakrishna kshetrams are Tirukkovilur, Tirukkannankudi, Kapistalam,
Kannapuram and Kannamangai.
Deities: The Moolavar is an imposing image of Ulagalanda Perumal or
Trivikrama, with his foot raised, facing east. Taayaar here is known as Poonkoval
Nachiyaar in her own shrine. The Utsavar here is Aayanaar or Kovalan (Gopalan).
Legend has it that Vishnu took the form of Vamana, to subdue the demon
king Mahabali; took on an enormous form and conquered the earth and the heavens and upon
being offered Mahabali's head as the resting point for his foot, banished him to the
netherworld. Legend has it that Mrikandu Maharishi worshipped Vishnu here as Trivikrama.
The Temple: This is a vast temple with an imposing Rajagopuram seen
from a distance. Covering an area of 5 acres, it has three prakarams.There is a small
shrine to Vamanar behind the image of Trivikrama. An Ardhamandapam, a Mahamandapam, and
the Pandya Mandapam are seen in front of the sanctum. There are shrines to
Lakshminarayanar, Lakshminarasimhar, Andal, Udayavar, Senai Mudaliyar, Manavala Mamuni,
Chakrattalwar, Poonkoyil Naachiyaar (Pushpavalli), Varadarajar and Venugopalar here. There
is also a Ramar temple behind the Taayar shrine. The rear gopuram in a comparative state
of disrepair is not used.
This temple was oringinally a brick and mortar structure in the period of Parantaka
Chola I (early 10th century); it was patronized by the great Chola rulers Raja Raja Chola
I and Raja Raja II. Rajendra Deva in the 11th century rebuilt it of granite.
Legend has it that the three Alwars (Poikaialwar, Bhutattalwar and
Peyalwar) took shelter in the hermitage of Mrikandu munivar, in cramped quarters on a
stormy night when they felt the overwhelming person of the fourth
person, who was none other than Perumaal, upon whom they composed a hundred verses in
praise. This is where the first verses of the Alwars came into being.
Festivals: Two worship services are offered each day here. The annual
festival is observed in the month of Pankuni. Vaikuntha Ekadasi in Margazhi and Manavaala
Mamuni Utsavam in the month of Aippasi are other festivals observed here.