Pachai Varana Perumal - Nazarethpettai

Birth Place of Sri Mudaliandan

Situated off the ever-busy Poonamallee high road is the calm and quiet village of Nazharethpettai which is home to a frequently visited ancient vishnu temple dedicated to HARITHA VARANA PERUMAL (known in tamil as PACHAI VARANA PERUMAL). Nazarethpettai is well-known as the birthplace of the famous Sri Vaishnava Aacharyan, Sri Mudaliandan.

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Mudaliandan, also known as Daasarathi, was the son of Anantha Narayana Dikshithar and Nachiyaramma, who was a sister of the illustrious Sri Ramanuja. Mudaliandan was born in the year 1027 after his parents were blessed by Lord Rama in their dreams. He, along with Koorathazhwaan, was a prominent disciple of Swami Ramanuja and rendered yeoman services to his teacher. He was the head of all Sishyas of Swami Ramanuja which beared him the name as Mudaliandan and is believed to have lived for 105 years till 1132.

Temple History:

The sthala-purana of this temple is connected to an interesting and well-known episode in the Mahabharatha.

elephant (kunjara)named ashvatthama and told dhrona that ashwatthama was dead. When dhrona wanted to confirm this statement with yudhishtira (dharmaputra) who was known never to utter a lie, the latter declared that aswathamma was dead, but added in a very low voice that it was the elephant. Dhrona, then bent on giving up his life beheaded by dhristadyumna.

It was to expiate the sin of having uttered a lie that the repentant dharmaputra, after praying to narada performed an elaborate yaga at this place. Out of the sacrificial fire, appeared Lord Krishna in the form of a green elephant, HARITHA VARANA (HARITHA in SANSKRIT meaning green and VARANA meaning elephant) or PACHAI VARANA and blessed yudhishtira.

Accepting the prayers of yudhishtira, the Lord remained here and even now is gracing as Sri Pachai Varana Perumal. (The Lord and elephant are comparable: like elephant, the Lord makes people to see repeatedly. Like elephant, the Lord also can not be controlled by others; like elephant's movement is restricted by the mahout, he restricts himself as the Bhakta desires. Like elephant carrying the chain for tying it, the Lord also hands over Bhakti to devotee to be bound!)


The main shrine of this east-facing vishnu temple in Nazarethpettai enshrines the four-armed PACHAI VARANA PERUMAL, the presiding deity of this temple.

Moolavar is in sitting pose, with left leg folded and right leg stretched. Right hand is showing abhaya and left arm is inahvahana [welcoming] mudra under the DHARMAKOTI VIMANAA. Utsavar is in standing pose.

The Lord graces with four arms, the right ones are holding the discus and showing abhaya, while the left arms are holding conch and pointing to his divine feet. He graces along with Sridevi and Bhudevi.

The handsome utsava vigraha of perumal and ubhaya nachiyar are seen in front along with those of andal and sudharshana.

The pillared passage leading to this shrine, houses the idols of Ananthan, Garudan, Vishvaksenar, Swami Ramanuja and many of the Azhwars & Acharyas. In front of this shrine, is a large mandapa which has a sanctum for Garudan facing the main shrine. It is in this pillared pavilion that the numerous mounts (vahanas) of the deity such as Garudan, Hanumantha, Horse Elephant, Sesha and more which are in an excellent condition are kept.

Below are Pachai Varana Perumal, Amirthavalli Thayar, Ananthan & Garudan, Viswaksenar, Nammazhwar, Thirumangai Azhwar, Swami Ramanuja, Pillai Lokacharya



Of particular importance in this temple is a separate sannidhi for Mudaliandan situated near this mandapa. This sanctum which faces south, has the stone moolavar and metal utsava images of this famous preceptor seen here with folded palms (anjali hastha).

There is also a tiny sanctum for Manavala Maamunigal in front of the Mudaliandan shrine facing EAST.

Mudaliandan with Ramanujar's Garland (on Chithirai Punarpoosam)

The shrine for Goddess Lakshmi worshipped here as AMIRTHAVALLI THAYAR is situated to the right of the main shrine and the sannidhi dedicated to ANDAL is also seen in this prakara.

There is a mandapa in front of the thayar sanctum supported by very slender, beautiful pillars which reveal the exquisite craftsmanship of the master-artisans of the ancient tamil.

The architectural features of this clean and well maintained single-prakara temple of moderate proportions bespeak workmanship of chola and vijayanagara periods, an era of unsurpassed architectural grandeur in south india.

This temple has a five-tier gopura over the eastern entrance and to its right is the sanctum for Rama is seen with Sita and Lakshmana beside him and also small and for captivating utsava vigrahas. Immediately in front of the gopura on the outside is a mandapa standing on four pillars, a product of the vijayanagara age.

Situated diagonally and opposite the temple is a very large temple tank known as DHARMA PUSHKARINI, now sadly in an extremely dilapidated condition.

Temple Festivals:

Among the festivals conducted in this temple, the Brahmostavam starting from Uthiram nakshatram in the month of panguni and the Thirunakshatram (birth star) festival of Mudaliandan are celebrated with great pomp for ten days in CHITHIRAI with Satrumurai on Punarpoosam.

The Pavithrotsavam is also celebrated in this shrine in the month of Ippasi. The ritiuals in this temple are done according to the tenets of the Vaikhanasa aagamam.

Temple Location:

It is situated between Thirumazhisai and Poovirundhavali [Poonamallee]. 10 KM north of Chennai. View Map

Sri Mudaliandan Swami's Mariyadhai to Varthamana Acharyan

Attained Paramapadam:

Sri Mudaliandan ascended to Sri Vaikuntam which is believed to be by the year 1132 after living for 105 Years in service of Lord Ranganatha & Swami Ramanuja.

Temple Timings:

Morning - 7:00 - 11:30, Evening - 4:30 - 8:30