Location: Gunaseelam Temple, Google Maps
Dedicated To: Vishnu Temple
Gunaseelam Temple Timings: 6:00 AM –12:30 PM & 4:30 PM–8:30 PM (Everyday)
Gunaseelam Temple Phone Number: 04326 275 310
Gunaseelam Temple Temple Built By: Prasanna Venkatachalapathy
Gunaseelam Temple Festivals: Rathotsavam, Brahmotsavam, Aadum Pallaku, Muthangi, Chithirai Pavitrosavam
Distance From Trichy:20 Kms (45 mins travel time)
Origin Of The Name:
The name of the place Gunaseelam was derived from the words “Gunam” meaning Cure and “Seelam” meaning Place, describing the place in which illness is cured. “Gunam” also means Qualities and “seelam” also means “Assuming a lower position”. Hence Gunaseelam is considered to be the place where Vishnu comes down and addresses the devotees’ problems and offers his blessings.
The foundations of the Gunaseelam Perumal Kovil came up during the early Chola period. However, the legends around this temple went back to Dwapar Yuga. Thaalpiya Maharishi along with his disciple once went to the Himalayas. On their way back, his disciple stayed back at Tirupati. He was so attracted to Lord Venkatachalapathy that he wanted the Lord to appear in his village Gunaseelam and bless the devotees. He returned and undertook severe penance in his ashram in Gunaseelam. The Lord appeared before him along with Goddess as he was impressed with his sincerity, and promised to remain here till the end of Kali Yugam.
However, the story doesn’t end here. At the end of the Dwapara Yugam, the Maharishi left for Naimisaaranyam giving the responsibility of offering pooja to his disciple. Unfortunately, the floods in River Cauvery and the presence of various dangerous animals in the forest led the disciple to flee the place and thus the prayers offered here came to an abrupt end. The Lord decided to hide in a pit. After several years, Chola King Nyana Varma, who ruled this place with Uraiyur as the capital, used to visit Gunaseelam regularly. The cowherds would milk the cows every day near the pit and carry the milk back to his court. Unusually, all milk disappeared one day, and the voice desired that the reigning king dissolve the pit with milk. Pleased with this Vaikunta Vasudevan is said to have appeared before the king as Prasanna Venkatesan. Lord accepted the king’s request at the end of Kali Yugam and helped fulfil all the prayers of the devotees.
Gunaseelam Perumal Temple Trichy celebrates three yearly festivals. However, it is the annual Brahmotsavam, the most important festival here. It is an eleven-day festival celebrated from Sept to October. Several thousands of devotees throng this temple during this time from far and near. The Chitrai Theppotsavam festival is the float festival celebrated during the Tamil month of Chittirai (March – April). The Pavitrotsavam is a festival that is celebrated for three days during the Tamil month of Aavani. The Gunaseelam temple has the speciality of performing thrumajanam daily to the central deity. Every day there are six daily rituals at various times and the Gunaseelam temple pooja timings start from 6:30 a.m. to 12.30 pm and reopen from 4.00 pm to 8:30 p.m.
The Therapeutic touch of Gunaseelam:
The Gunaseelam Temple is the Home for many mentally challenged people. It is believed that mental ailments get cured when a patient enters the temple. The devotees line up inside the temple at a particular time of the day when the main temple purohit comes sprinkling holy water on the face each day during Uchi Kaalam (noon) and Artha Jaamam (night) for 48 days. This temple is so popular and revered that people from far and near visit the temple to pray and hope for miracles. The people who offer prayers at the temple are believed that they will get cured if they sincerely offer their prayers to the Lord and follow this process. The family members bring them to the temple and keep them in the temple premises for 48 days. They participate in everyday prayers and rituals. At the end of the 48 days, it is believed that their illness will be cured by the grace and blessings of the presiding deity, Lord Prasanna Venkatachalapathi. There is also a mental health rehabilitation center nearby. It has the official stamp of the Tamil Nadu Government license. The center is neatly maintained and equipped with individual rooms and toilet facilities. A Psychiatrist visits the center once every week. Some volunteers take care of these mentally challenged people daily.