Thiruvaranvilai also known as Aranmula, is one of the 108 divya desam temples situated in Chengannur, Kerala. It is around 10 kms from Chengannur railway station.
According to legends,this temple was built by Bheema, one of the Pandavas.
Bheema killed an elephant called Ashwatma during the Mahabarath war.Dharmaputran (Yudishtran) , during the Mahabharth war,uttered 'Aswathama hatha' loudly and 'kunjara' feebly, meaning Ashwathma has been killed ( kunjara meaning an elephant). On hearing this word from Dharmar,and knowing that Dharmar will never lie, Dhronacharya, father of Ashwatma was shocked and laid down his arms,beleiving his son Ashwatma was killed. Seeing this opportunity, Pandavas slained him. Bheema was repenting for killing the Ashwatma the elephant and thereby misguiding Dronacharyar which got him killed. Bheema prayed here to Sri Narayana to absolve of his sins committed during the Mahabarath war.
Another legend goes thus: Once, Virukshadharbi, who was the son of Sibhi Chakravarthy, ruled an empire when it was under big deluge and the kingdom lost its wealth. The king decided to give Dhaanam (offerings given to any rishis) to the Sapta Rishis. But, the Sapta Rishis did not accept his Dhaanam.
The frusturated king hid some gold coins inside the fruits and offered them to the rishis as his Dhaanam. But, the Rishis sensed the trick and did not accept the fruits also.
This made Virukshadharbi angry. He started a Yagnam and invoked a she demon named "Kiruthyai" and he ordered the demon to kill all the sapta Rishis.
The Rishis surrendered to Sri Narayana. Sri Narayana sent Indiran to destroy the Kiruthyai. Indran took the form of a tiger and killed the demon.The Sapta Rishis got the seva of Sri Narayana here and got their mukthi. As Indiran was said to have come on the tiger ( Puli in tamil and Malayalam) this place is called Thiru Puliyur.
The temple is situated in a serene place among lush greenery. The temple is situated in an elevated ground. As you climb the steps and walk past the arch you enter the vast area of the temple. The temple is architected in typical Kerala style with slanting roofs and red Malabar tiles. As you walk past the copper plate covered flagpost (Kodi maram) into the sanctum, you can see a small mandap where the pillars are intricately covered in brass plated sheets. Beyond the mandap is the sanctum where the main deity Mayapiran appears majestically in a standing posture with Sri Chakra in his right hand and a lotus on his left hand.
Moolavar is known as Sri Mayapiran in a standing posture facing the east. Prathyaksham for Sapta Rishis (Atthri, Vasishtar, Kaashyapar, Gouthamar, Bharadwajar, Viswamitrar and Jamathakkini).
Thaayar of the temple is Porkodi Nachiyaar.
The temple is revered by the verses of Nammalvar
Temple location In the heart of the Chengannur town around 6 kms from Chenganur railway station
Temple Timings The temple is open from 5:30 AM till 10:00 AM and from 5:00 pm till 7:30 pm
How to reach?
Chengannur is well connected by Rail,Road and Air. The nearest airport is Cochin. Chenganur railway station is a major hub in the Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram),Ernakulam line.
Thirupuliyur is 6 kms away from Chenganur railway station. Autorickshaws or cab can take you there. If you are undertaking a pilgrimage to Sabarimala and happen to get down at Chenganur station, you can ask a cab driver to take you to Pancha pandava temples. There are four Divya desams around Chengannur and one near Changancherry all said to have been built and worshipped by the Pandavas