Thursday, February 27, 2014
Where holy stopped
That's the literal translation of Thiruninravur, about 30 km as the train runs from the Chennai Central station. The legend goes that, after a tiff with Vishnu, the Goddess Lakshmi left their celestial abode in a huff. As she stormed about, she spotted this land; with a large lake and forests around, it seemed to be a good place to rest. The rest grew longer, for she was entirely charmed by the beauty of the place.
Vishnu, in the meantime, had charged Varuna, the God of the oceans, with bringing Lakshmi back. Finding her at this spot, Varuna desired that rather than take her away from this beautiful spot, it would be better for Vishnu to come over here. The Lord did, and Varuna worshipped them as a couple. Since Lakshmi had stopped here, the place took its name from her act.
This temple has Vishnu as its main deity, in the form of Bhaktavatsala Perumal. The temple is reputed to be over a thousand years old; Thiruninravur seems to have been continuously inhabited for that long. However, it is today a sleepy moffusil town. Nice to visit, but stopping there? Some other time, maybe!