Sri Sridhara Ayyaval Brindhavan Thiruvisai Nallur, Kumbakonam, Tanjore, Tamil Nadu, India

Three villages in the erstwhile Tanjore District are interconnected as three great Saints have lived in these places. They are Govindapuram, Thiruvisainallur and Marudanallur. They are just like the trinity in Carnatic music: Saint Sri Thiagaraja, Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar and Sri Shyama Shastri.

About 300 years ago, in Thiruvisainallur, there lived a great saint by the name Sri Sridhara Venkateshwara. He was popularly known as Sri Thiruvisai Nallur Aiyaval. He was a senior contemporary of Sri Bodendra Swamigal of Govindapuram. As Sri Bodendra swamigal propagated the greatness of Sri Rama and Sri Govinda Nama, Sri Aiyaval propagated the greatness of Sri Shiva Nama. However they never differentiated Sri Shiva and Sri Vishnu and used to conduct Bhajans jointly. Incidentally Thiruvisainallur and Govindapuram are at a distance of two km. Both of them believed and said that chanting the name of god is the only medicine for all mental illness in this Kaliyuga. These two are considered as Gurus and generally during bhajans they are worshipped after Sri Ganapathi and Sri Saraswathi.

There is a legend about Sri Sridhara Aiyaval. Once on the day of Shardha he gave food (Bhojan) to a poor harijan who came to his house begging food. The people of the village boycotted the Shardha ceremony and said that he will regain brahmin hood only by taking a bath in the river Ganges. Sri Sridhara Aiyaval prayed to goddess Ganga and the water in the well in his house began to overflow and flood the village. Thereupon he took bath in the Ganges water and all the people accepted him as a great saint and participated in the Shardha Ceremony.

Ultimately SridharAyyaval attained Mukthi at Thiruvidaimarudur and absorbed by Lord Mahalingaswami. This incident happened on amavasya day in the month of karthigai and even today people come to this village on 'Karthigai Amavasya' and bathe in the water of this well.

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