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Thirunaraiyur Divya Desam - Thirunaraiyur Nambi Temple (Nachiyar Koil)

• Thirunaraiyur Divya Desam - Greatness:

Sri VishnuMeditation: I meditate on Sri Thirunaraiyur Nambi and Sri Vanjulavalli (Nambigai Nachiyar) in Thirunaraiyur Divya Desam.

Divya Desam: Thirunaraiyur is a Divya Desam whose hymn was sung by Thirumangai Alvar. It is the 14th Divya Desam and is located in Chola Nadu.
- Perumal is in Standing posture facing East.
- Pratyaksham: Medhavi Munivar, Brahma
- Mangalasasanam: Thirumangai Alvar (10 Pasurams)
- Vimanam: Srinivasa Vimanam, Hema Vimanam
- Pushkarini: Mani Mukta Pushkarini, Shankarshana Teertham, Pradyumna Teertham, Aniruddha Teertham, Shambhu Teertham
- Sthala Vriksham: Magizha

Sugandha Vana Kshetram: This place is known as Sugandha Vana (or Sugandha Vana Kshetra) which means a fragrant forest.

The name Thirunaraiyur: Thiru means Holy, Narai means Fragrant and Ur means Place. Hence it means a place which is fragrant.

Nachiyar Koil: This place is popularly known as Nachiyar Koil since the goddess is very prominent here and takes precedence of the Perumal in various aspects (due to the boon of the Perumal to sage Medhavi). The goddess is present in the garbhagriha of the temple along with the Perumal. There is no separate shrine for the goddess.

Pancha Vyuha Sthalam: This place is known as Pancha Vyuha Sthalam because Perumal incarnated here in Pancha Vyuha forms - Shankarshana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, Samba and Puroshotthama.

Kal Garuda: The Garuda here is very famous (due to the blessings of the Perumal for searching for Devi Lakshmi) and has a separate shrine. The Garuda is made of stone, so known as "Kal" (or Stone) Garuda.

• Thirunaraiyur Divya Desam - Deeds & Grace:

Sri Vishnu 1. Devi Lakshmi & sage Medhavi: Devi Lakshmi incarnating as Vanjulavalli: Sage Medhavi was performing penance in Sugandha Kshetram on the bank of river Mani Mukta with the wish of having the Goddess as his daughter and Perumal as his son-in-law. Incidentally, during that time Devi Lakshmi (as if to fulfil the wish of the sage) left her divine abode in anger (when Perumal was in Yoga Nidra) and came to Sugandha Vana. She incarnated as a small girl standing under a Vanjula tree. Sage Medhavi discovered her and adopted her as his daughter. He named her as Vanjulavalli as he found her under a Vanjula tree.
Image of Vanjulavalli Thayar: The Image of Vanjulavalli Thayar is in the garbhagriha itself along with the Perumal. There is no separate shrine for the Thayar. The goddess gets precedence in this temple in many activities. So the temple is known as Nachiyar Koil.
Vanjula Tree: On the southwest corner of the Mani Mukta Teertham is a Vanjula tree which is said to be the original tree under which Devi Lakshmi incarnated.

2. Lord Vishnu & Garuda: Lord Vishnu asking Garuda to search for Devi Lakshmi: After waking up from Yoga Nidra, the Lord started searching for Devi Lakshmi. He himself manifested in Pancha Vyuha forms to search for Devi Lakshmi in the four directions. He asked Garuda to search for Devi Lakshmi from the sky.
Image of Kal Garuda: Due to this service of Garuda, the Lord blessed him and made him very famous in this kshetra. Here the Image of Garuda is made of Stone (Kal) and has a separate shrine. The Image of Perumal is taken out in procession seated on the Kal Garuda twice a year (4th day of Margazhi and Panguni). This is known as Kal Garuda Seva. A peculiar feature of this Seva is that while initially only 4 persons could lift the Kal Garuda, later requires 64 persons.

3. Lord Vishnu & sage Medhavi: Lord Vishnu incarnating as Pancha Vyuha forms: When Lord Vishnu woke up from Yoga Nidra, he incarnated in Pancha Vyuha forms and searching for Devi Lakshmi in different directions came to Sugandha Vana. The Pancha Vyuha forms of the Lord are Shankarshana (East), Pradyumna (South), Aniruddha (West), Samba (North) and Puroshotthama (Center). Garuda, whom the Lord deputed in the search also came here. Sage Medhavi extended his hospitality to the five forms of the Lord. However, when Vanjullavalli was pouring water on the hands of the Lord, the Lord caught hold of her hands. Vanjullavalli shouted and when sage Medhavi was about to curse him, Perumal showed his true form to him. The sage became very happy to find that the Lord has fulfilled his wish.
Images of Pancha Vyuha: The Images of the five forms of Lord is present in the garbhagriha.

4. Lord Vishnu & Brahma: Brahma coming to Thirunaraiyur: After hearing about the incarnation of the Lord Vishnu and Devi Lakshmi at Thirunaraiyur, Brahma came here and worsipped the Perumal and Thayar.
Image of Brahma: There is an Image of Brahma in the garbhagriha of the temple.

5. Lord Vishnu & Devi Lakshmi: Lord Vishnu marrying Devi Lakshmi: Lord Vishnu married Devi Lakshmi (Vanjulavalli) in this place.

6. Lord Vishnu & Thirumangai Alvar: Lord providing money to Thirumangai Alvar: Thirumangai Alvar wanted to marry Kumudavalli, but she lay the condition that he has to feed thousand vaishnavites every day for one year. Thirumangai Alvar robbed the rich to perform this service. He also used the money collected as tax (as chieftain) for this purpose. The king detected this and imprisoned the Alvar in the temple itself. The Lord came in the dream of Thirumangai Alvar and told him about the money hidden on the bank of river Vegavati near Kanchi. With this money, Thirumangai Alvar got released from the prison.
Place of imprisonment: Devotees can see the place of imprisonment of Thirumangai Alvar within the temple.
Shrine of Thirumangai Alvar: There is a shrine of Thirumangai Alvar in this temple.

7. Lord Vishnu & Thirumangai Alvar: Lord performing the samasrayam of Thirumangai Alvar: Thirumangai Alvar prayed to the Lord to initiate him in Vaishnavism to enable him to marry Kumudavalli. The Lord himself performed the samasrayam of the Alvar (imprinting the symbols of Shankha and Chakra on the shoulders). Hence the Lord is known as Nambi (Guru).
Moolavar Image of Perumal: The Moolavar Image of Perumal is seen with Shankha and Chakra as if to imprint it on the Alvar as a Nambi (Guru).

8. Lord Vishnu & Thirumangai Alvar: Thirumangai Alvar singing hymns in this Divya Desam: Thirumangai Alvar sang hymns in praise of the Lord in this Divya Desam.

9. Lord Vishnu & king Kochchenganan: Lord helping king Kochchenganan to regain his kingdom: Once when king Kochchenganan went to Gaya to perform the shraddha of his forefathers, the enemies waged a battle and captured his kingdom. The king and the queen retired to the forest and came to Sugandha Vana. The sages advised him to pray to Perumal. Accordingly, the king prayed to the Perumal sitting on the southern bank of river Mani Mukta. The Lord appeared before him and told him to take bath in the Mani Mukta Nadi. When the king took his bath, he found a sword and a horse with which he regained his kingdom.
Chola king Kochchenganan: The Chola king Kochchenganan is said to have built this Perumal Temple of Thirunaraiyur. The king has also build several Shiva temples.
Mani Mukta Teertham: The Mani Mukta Nadi has dried up and is reduced to a Mani Mukta Teertham.

10. Lord Vishnu & river Kaveri: Lord purifying Kaveri and other rivers: Kaveri and other rivers went to Brahma for a way to purify themselves from the sins left by the pilgrims. Brahma advised them to mingle their waters with Mani Mukta Nadi to regain their purity.
Margazhi Shukla Paksha: This mingling of waters happen in Margazhi Shukla Paksha.

11. Lord Vishnu & Surya: Lord helping Surya deva to regain his lost hands: Once Surya deva lost his hands which got caught within the wheels of his own chariot. He approached Brihaspati for a remedy. Brihaspati advised Surya deva to take bath in the Mani Mukta Nadi. Surya deva regained his lost hands.
Chittirai Dwadasi: Surya deva took bath on the Chittirai Dwadasi day.

12. Lord Vishnu & Indra: Lord relieving Indra deva from the curse of Durvasa: Indra deva lost his kingdom due to the curse of sage Durvasa (for disregarding the garland given by the sage). He approached Brahma. Brahma advised Indra deva to perform penance at Sugandha Kshetram and take bath in the Aniruddha Teertham. Indra got relieved of the curse. Indra planted a Peepal Tree in that place.
Peepal Tree: A Peepal Tree is present on the bank of the Aniruddha Teertham.

13. Lord Vishnu & Vayu: Vayu deva performing penance: Vayu deva performed penance on the banks of Pradyumna Teertham. He planted a Banyan tree there.
Banyan Tree: A Banyan Tree is present on the bank of the Pradyumna Teertham.

14. Lord Vishnu & brahmin Banudatta: Lord relieving Banudatta of his curse: Banudatta was a brahmin from Mahishmati who was a Vedic scholar. However, due to the display of his ego, his guru cursed him to become a demon. Banudatta roamed about in the forest in the form of a demon. Once he came to the Pradyumna Teertham to drink water. The moment he touched the water, he was relieved of his sins and regained his human form.

15. Lord Vishnu & Sapta Rishis: Sapta Rishis staying on the banks of Samba Teertham: The Sapta Rishis stayed on the banks of Samba Teertham. They planted an Amalaki tree there.
Amalaki Tree: An Amalaki Tree is present on the bank of the Samba Teertham.

16. Lord Vishnu & Shiva: Lord relieving Shiva of a sin: Lord Shiva was afflicted with the sin of plucking the fifth head of Brahma. Shiva took bath in the Shankarshana Teertham and got relieved of the sin.

17. Lord Vishnu & Vayu: Vayu deva praying to Lord: Vayu deva prayed to Lord Vishnu on the banks of Shankarshana Teertham.

• Thirunaraiyur Divya Desam - Sacred Geography:

Sri VishnuSugandha Vana: The ancient forest of this Kshetra.

Mani Mukta Nadi: The ancient river of this Kshetra. This later became only a Pushkarini known as Mani Mukta Pushkarini. According to legend, a few Mani (Gems) and Mukta (Pearls) fell from the Vairamudi (Gem-studded Crown) of the Lord while Garuda was carrying it from Thiruparkaddal to Thiru Narayanapuram at Melkote.

Mani Mukta Pushkarini: Pushkarini of the temple.
Aniruddha Teertham: Pushkarini of the temple.
Pradyumna Teertham: Pushkarini of the temple.
Samba Teertham: Pushkarini of the temple.
Shankarshana Teertham: Pushkarini of the temple.

Magizha Tree: The Sthala Vriksha of the temple.
Vanjula Tree: Situated on the south-west corner of Mani Mukta Teertham. Devi Lakshmi incarnated under this tree.
Peepal Tree: Planted by Indra deva on the bank of the Aniruddha Teertham.
Banyan Tree: Planted by Vayu deva on the bank of the Pradyumna Teertham.
Amalaki Tree: Planted by the Sapta Rishis on the bank of the Samba Teertham.

• Thirunaraiyur Divya Desam - To See:

Sri Vishnu 1. Image of Lord Vishnu: The Image of Sri Thirunaraiyur Nambi in standing posture holding Shankha and Chakra (as if to imprint it on the shoulders of the Alvar as a Nambi).

2. Images of Pancha Vyuha: The Images of the Pancha Vyuha forms of Perumal present within the garbhagriha. The Pancha Vyuha forms of Perumal are Shankarshana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, Samba and Puroshotthama.

3. Image of Thayar: The Image of Sri Vanjulavalli (or Nambigai Nachiyar) present within the garbhagriha. There is no separate shrine for the goddess.

4. Image of Brahma: The Image of Sri Brahma present within the garbhagriha.

5. Image of Garuda: The Image of Kal Garuda (or Stone Garuda) in a separate shrine, which is a unique feature of this temple.

6. Image of Thirumangai Alvar: The Image of Sri Thirumangai Alvar in a separate shrine.

7. Vimana of the temple: The Vimana of the temple known as Srinivasa Vimana or Hema Vimana.

8. Pushkarinis of the temple: The Pushkarinis of the temple known as Mani Mukta Teertham, Aniruddha Teertham, Pradyumna Teertham, Samba Teertham and Shankarshana Teertham.

9. Sthala Vriksha of the temple: The Sthala Vriksha of the temple which is the Magizha Tree.

10. Other Vrikshas of the temple: The other Vrikshas of the temple around the various Teerthams are: Vanjula Tree, Peepal Tree, Banyan Tree and Amalaki Tree.

• Thirunaraiyur Divya Desam - Location:

• Thirunaraiyur is located near Kumbhakonam in the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. This is in Chola Nadu.
• The temple can be visited from Kumbakonam. The temple is located around 11 km from Kumbakonam.

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Last updated on Sep-2021

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