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Re: Vithuvakodu- location

From: Lakshmi Srinivas (
Date: Mon Aug 07 2000 - 14:46:22 PDT

--- In, "Bala Sundaram" <dbsundaram@h...> 
> There is claim that the Vithuvakodu divyadesam is the Mannar Koil 
> Ambasamudram, Tirunelveli District. This claim is made in an 
article by 
> Mayan in Kumudam Bhakti Special recently. This claim is at variance 
to the 
> information published in many books, which say that the Divya Desam 
is near 
> Shoranur, Kerala. I have visited this temple which also has Sri 
> Sannithi. This is now called Mitracodu by local people.

This is indeed a vexed question. Without taking away anything from 
the sanctity vested in the two temples that you have mentioned, I 
would like to point out to you couple of indicators:

1. tiruvittuvakkOTu has been sung only by kulacEkara AzvAr.
2. Most AzvArs would sing of the shrines near their native villages 
rather than those far away from there. 
3. PiLLailOkamjIyar in the vyAkhyAnam on upatEcarattinamAlai says 
that vittuvakkOTu and vanjikkaLam are near each other. 

Now for some contra-indicators:

1. NammAzvAr has not sung of it. There is not much of a Srivaishnava 
presence in the modern Kerala town of vittuvakkOTu.
2. The other shrines sung by kulacEkara AzvAr are araGkam, vEGkaTam, 
cittirakkUTam, kaNNapuram. Barring vEGkatam, all are in cOza country. 
3. It is not clear if vittuvakkOTu and vanjikkaLam of the West coast 
are next to each other. At least not so close that they match the 
jIyar's description.
4. A description such as "ghuSyate yasya nagare ranga yAtrA dine 
dine" would imply a town near Srirangam rather than far away.

Now for some other clues 'unrelated' to above:

1. The upatEcarattinamAlai verse 31 gives tiruvanjikkaLam as the 
AzvAr's hometown:

"eNTicaiyum Ettum kulacEkaran Urena vuraippar vAytta 

Btw, the upatEcarattinamAlai has been translated into Sanskrit by the 
AcArya Sri AbhirAmavara SwAmi who is the grandson of maNavALa 
mAmunikaL himself. He has translated the above quoted line 
as "vikhyAta zrIkulazEkharajanyadezah pradhyAvartA 

This has been used to identify tiruvanjikkaLAm with karUr-vanji i.e., 
modern Karur. (niculA = vanjuLam). vanjuLAraNyam  is a name for karUr-
vanji but not for the West Coast vanjikkaLam. vanji in Malayalam 
means a boat (?)

2. Also, there is a vittuvakkoTTagrahAram by the bank of the 
Amaravati river near modern Karur. 

You may want to pursue these leads yourself. 

Warm Regards,



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