A prominent religious shrine, Thirumohoor Kalamegaperumal Temple is one of the 108 divya desams. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, in this temple Lord Vishnu is worshipped as Neelamega Perumal with his divine consort Goddess Lakshmi as Thirukannapuram Nayagi. Located only 12 km from Madurai city, this holy shrine is visited by most of the devotees who come for Madurai tour.
Also known as Mohana Kshetram and Mohanapuram, this temple has been referred in many ancient texts. Many great poets and saints have sung about this temple such as Manavala Mamunigal, Thirumangai Azhwar and Nammazhwar, Pillai Perumal Iyengar, Kalamega Pulavar, Thiruninravur Tirumalai and others. Thirumohur has been mentioned in the holy Hindu scriptures, Brahmanda Purana and Matsya Purana as well. Many devotees come here to attain salvation as it is popularly believed that those devotees who come to offer prayers here attain a place in the heavenly Vaikunta.
Architecture and History of Thirumohoor Kalamegaperumal Temple, Madurai
This place has been mentioned in the Sangam Literature. This temple is considered to more than 200 years old with references in many great Tamil epic Silappatikaram and other great works such as Pathitrupathu and Madurai Kanchi.
Spread over an area of 2.5 acres, this temple presents an impressive example of artistic architecture. Thirumohoor Kalamegaperumal Temple has been constructed in the Dravidian Style of architecture. This temple was originally built during reign of Pandyan King Sadaiya Varman Sundara Pandiyan. One can find inscriptions in the temple which throw light on the construction of this temple, ponds and about adjoining areas. It is now maintained by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of Tamil Nadu Government.
The main temple along with shrines within its complex and three of four water bodies are surrounded by granite walls. This temple has four prakarams. The main hall has columned pillars. It leads to the Garuda hall with a small gopuram. Garuda mandapam has idols of Lord Kodanda Rama, Lakshmana, Sita, Rathidevi and Kamadevan. The five tiered Rajagopuram of the temple is one of its most attractive features. The present structure of this temple with various additions was built during the rule of Madurai Nayaks. The most attractive feature of this shrine is the Sudarshan Chakra of the Lord with Chakrathazhwar in front with 16 hands, each with a different weapon. Behind it, there is idol of Lord Narasingha Perumal. This is amid 6 circles with 154 letters carved in it along with pictures of around 48 Gods. There are separate shrines of various other Gods and goddesses where devotees can offer their prayers.
Legend behind Thirumohoor Kalamegaperumal Temple, Madurai
There are two popular legends regarding Thirumohoor Kalamegaperumal Temple. According to one legend, the demon Bhasmasura was blessed by lord Shiva who was pleased with his prayers. He was given the boon of turning anyone to ashes if he touches his/her head. However, after getting the blessings and the power, Bhasmasura wanted to try it on Lord. This is when Lord Vishnu intervened in the form of a lady named Mohini. She distracted Bhasmasura with her dance and eventually led to him to touch his own head. Thirumohur is said to be the place where Lord Vishnu in the form of Vishnu had put an end to the menace of demon Bhasmasura.
According to another legend, during the churning of the ocean by Asuras and Devas, there was fight over the ownership of the holy pot of Amrit, ambrosia. During the fight when Asuras were overpowering devas, they sought the help of Lord Vishnu. Lord to assist them, took the form of Mohini to entice Asuras and ultimately gave them an empty pot. It is said that it is in Thirumohur where this event took place.
Timings of Thirumohoor Kalamegaperumal Temple, Madurai
Opening timings of Thirumohoor Kalamegaperumal Temple for darshan are from 7 AM to 12 Noon. It again opens at 4 PM to 8 PM.
This temple gains a unique fervour during various festivals. Brahmotsavam in the month of April or May, Vaikunta Ekadasi during December or January and Gajendra Moksham in month of February of March along with Krishna Jayanthi, Panguni Thirukalyanam, Diwali, Pongal, etc., are a few of the major celebration at this temple. Going for darshan during these times will make the visit even more memorable.
Reaching Thirumohoor Kalamegaperumal Temple, Madurai
Thirumohoor Kalamegaperumal Temple is located in Thirumogur, which is about 11 km away from Madurai city. Tourists can reach here via road transportation. Many buses run between the two cities. From the bus stop, this temple is not far away. Tourists can also hire a cab from Madurai for travelling to Thirumogur.