Facelift: Parthan Palli, one of the 11 Divya Desams in Thiru Nangur, will soon sport a new look.

Renovation is on at the historical Parthasarathy Perumal Divya Desam in Parthan Palli, one that dates back to the Mahabharata period. Located near Thiruvenkadu (Budhan Sthalam) about 15 km from Sirkazhi, off the Poompuhar road, amidst lush green fields, this Divya Desam is one of the 11 in Thiru Nangur.

Legend has it that Arjuna reached this place while on a pilgrimage. Feeling thirsty after a long trip, he searched for water but could not find it anywhere. Seeing sage Agastya undertaking penance at this place, he was hopeful that he would be able to quench his thirst at the ashram but to his dismay he found that the Sage’s ‘kamandalam’ too had gone dry.

Significance of the sword

Realising that this was one of Lord Krishna’s acts, sage Agastya directed Arjuna to invoke the blessings of his favourite Lord. Answering Arjuna’s prayers, Krishna appeared here as Parthasarathy and presented Arjuna with a sword. As instructed by Parthasarathy, Arjuna struck the ground with the sword and water gushed out. This location, south of the temple, became the sacred ‘Katka’ pushkarani and aptly Arjuna is seen with a sword at this Divya Desam.

It was also here that Arjuna was initiated into ‘Knowledge Education’ by Lord Parthasarathy to make the former understand who he really was and what his real powers were. Since Arjuna had this ‘initiation’ here and played the role of a student, this temple came to be known after him as ‘Parthan Palli.’

The Lord of Parthan Palli is the only Divya Desam deity, among the 11 Vishnu temples in Thiru Nangur, who is praised by an Azhwar in addition to Thiru Mangai Azhwar. Poigai Azhwar in his Thiruvandhadhi verse makes a mention of the Moolavar, ‘Thaamaraiyal Kelvan,’ without specific reference to Parthan Palli – ‘Peyarung Karunkadaley Nokkumaaru…Tharumanaiye Nokkumon Thaamaraiaal Kelvan Oruvanaiye Nokkum Unarvu.’

The entire Parthan Palli temple complex is now receiving a face lift. The main Western temple tower, Perumal and Thayar vimanams, Arjuna sannidhi, the big outer walls, the prakaram and the vahanams are being renovated. The temple is also planning to renovate the ancient sacred tank situated on the southern side and to build a few new vahanams and a chariot. Donations are expected to expedite the reconstruction works and to give the temple a new lease of life. Those who wish to contribute may call 94422 26413.

How to reach: From Sirkazhi, take a Poompuhar-bound bus (the bus plies every half hour) via Thiruvali/Mangaimadam and get off at Thiruvenkadu.

From here, Parthan Palli is about two km (travel by auto will cost Rs. 40).

From Mayiladuthurai, take a Poompuhar-bound bus (available every hour) to Thiruvenkadu (20 km). Also, local buses (route nos. 4A, 12, 28 and 34) ply from Mayiladuthurai to Thiruvenkadu/Parthan Palli.