Abodes of lord Vishnu

34. Arulmigu Poornavalli Thayar sameda Azhagiya Singar Temple - Thiruvaaliyum

 
Moolavar   Azhagiya Singar, Lakshmi Narasimhar
Utsavar   Thiruvaali Nagaraalan
Thayar   Poornavalli, Amruthakadavalli
Kshethram   Pancha Narasimha Kshethram
Theertham   Illakshani Pushkarni
Pose & Direction   Sitting pose facing West
Vimanam   Ashtakshara Vimanam
Sthala Vruksham  
Paadiyavar   Thirumangai Alwar
Travel Base   Sirkazhi
Nearest Railway Station   Sirkazhi
 

 

Location

Thiruvali - Thiruvali is located at about 9 kms from Sirkali on the Poompuhar road and 4 km north of Thirunangur. The temple is about 1 km from the bus stop. Thirunagari - It is situated at about 10 kms from Sirkazhi. Buses from Sirkazhi to Thiruvenkadu go past this place. If you drive your car it is 20 kms from Mayavaram and 10 kms from Sirkazhi. Take Sirkazhi – Poompuhar bus to get down at Thirunagari. Auto from Sirkazhi bus stand will cost Rs. 200. This Temple is located at about 2 kms from Thiruvali.

 

History

Thiruvali - As per another legend, Vishnu took the avatar of Narasimha to slay the demon king Hiryankasipu. Hiranyakasipu was troubling the Devas as he got a boon from Brahma that no human can kill him. His son Prahalada was an ardent devotee of Vishnu, against the likes of his father. Hiranyakasipu tried to slay Prahalada by various means, but was saved by the divine grace of Vishnu. Vishnu took the avatar of Narasimha and appeared from a pillar. Narasimha was a human with lion face and slayed Hiranyakasipu on an evening time in a doorway, which was neither land nor air. His anger was not quenched even after slaying the demon king and Lakshmi came and sat on his lap, after which he calmed down. It is believed that since Narasimha did an aalinganam (meaning hug), the place came to be known as Thiruvali. The mythology was that the Thirumangai azhwar, who born at Thirunagari was named as “Neelan”. He was said to be the army chief of Chola king. And as a testimony, the Chola king made him as the king of “Aali Nadu”, which was the capital of Thirumangai. Sumangali, the head of the Deva Kanni, the young ladies of heaven, was said to be cursed by the saint Kabila for the act of disturbing him by making a freaky remark while he was preaching about the remarkable qualities of Lord Narayana. She was cursed to born as a normal girl on earth. And due to the curse of saint Kabila, Sumangali born was said to be born on the earth found on a Lilly flower and hence named as Kumudhavalli. Thirumangai azhwar who was ruling Aali nadu was attracted by her beauty and wished to marry her. When he proposed Kumudhavalli for his marriage with her, she made a condition that he should become a Vaishnavite, the followers of Lord Vishnu. He accepted her condition and went to Thirunaraiyur and worshiped the deity over there to guide him being his guru (teacher) to convert him into a pure Vaishnavite. When he was done with her condition, he approached Kumudhavalli again to get married, but she placed another condition that he should offer food for 1008 Brahmins every day and to accept the remaining food which has been kept by the Brahmins and also to drink the water which has been used to wash their lotus legs. Thirumangai azhwar accepted her new condition and married Kumudhavalli. But Thirumangai azhwar faced a very complicated situation to fulfill her second condition. Thirumangai azhwar was unable to pay the revenue for his ruling area as he was offering food for 1008 Brahmins every day. But the king of Thirumangai pushed him to pay the revenue and ordered to imprison him. He was in jail for three days without having food as he took pledge that he would eat only after offering food to the Brahmins. In his dream, a divine voice asked him to come to the banks of Vegavathi River and to collect the required money. Along with a complete security he came to the banks of river Vegavathi in search of money. And shockingly he got the required money. He spent all the money he got and had no money for further expenses. At last, he made up his mind to steal money from the rich people. He found a couple passed him, who was dressed up as a bride groom. They were with a crowd who was praising them with marriage songs. Thirumangai azhwar became happy that he could find more money and jewels from the bride groom. The bride groom was none other than Lord Narayana and Periya Piratti, who came in the form of a bride groom. He stopped everyone and asks for the jewels owned by the bride groom. As he was unable to get the precious ring of the groom, he took out the ring by biting the finger of the groom. When he wanted to weigh all the jewels along with his servants, they were not able to lift it. He berated the groom for using the mantra against him, which caused them unable to lift the jewels. The groom politely asked Thirumangai azhwar to come closer to him to know the mantra he chanted. When Thirumangai azhwar came near him, he preached the sacred “Ashtakshara Mantra – Om Namo Narayana” and gave Dharshan to him in his original form and proffered him with the title of “Nam Kaliyan”, where Nam means ‘Our’, and Kaliyan means ‘Thief’. This is the only temple where Thirumangai azhwar is honored with his beloved consort Kumudhavalli. Thirumangai aalwar refers to the Lord at Thiruvali as Vayalali Manavalan. However Lord Vayalali Manavalan is enshrined at Thirunagari and hence both these temples together comprise of one divyadesam. The Mandap where Tirumangai Azhwar intercepted the divine couple still exists here. This ‘way laying’ event is celebrated in the temple is celebrated in the temple each year. Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Perumal temple is considered as one of the Pancha Narasimha Kshetrams (five temples of Lord Narasimha), located in and around Thiruvali- Thirunagari. The Pancha Narasimha Kshetrams are: 1) Thiruvali Lakshmi Narasimhar, 2) Kuraiyalur Ugra Narasimhar, 3) Mangaimadam Veera Narasimhar, 4) Thirunagari Yoga Narasimhar, 5) Thirunagari Hiranya Narasimhar Thiru Nagari - As per Hindu legend, a son of Brahma named Karthama Prajapathi did penance worshipping Vishnu to attain Moksha. Vishnu was no pleased and Lakshmi, his consort was not convinced with Vishnu testing Karthama. She hid herself in the lotus tank at this place. Vishnu came in search of her and after finding her, he took her to Vaikunta. It is believed that Vishnu is sported in hugging posture in the nearby Thirunagari also on account of the legend. Karthama took many births during various ages like Treta Yuga and Dwapara Yuga, but Vishnu told him that he would get Moksha only during Kali Yuga. During Kali Yuga, Karthama was born as princess Sangabalan. During his young age, he wanted to marry Kumudhavalli. She was an ardent devotee of Vishnu and stipulated that she would marry him only if he feeds thousand Vaishnavites, the devotees of Vishnu. Sangabalan started feeding the devotees and he also resorted to burglary to fund it. Vishnu came with Lakshmi incognito in his path and he tried to rob them as well. Vishnu uttered the Ashtotra Mantra in his ears and he turned into Thirumangai Azhwar. Since Vishnu in the form of Ranganatha gave darshan to the Azhwar and his wife, the presiding deity is called Kalyana Ranganatha. The place is locally called Azhwar Koil and also called Vedarajapuram. Thirumal searched for the Thirumagal everywhere and found her finally in a Lotus flower in the Pushkarini here and hugged her; hence this place is known as Aalingapuri (Aalinga means hugging) and Sripuri (Sri meaning the Goddess); hence it became Thirunagari (Sri-Thiru, puri-nagar) in Tamil. Thirumangai had a golden sculpture of his done at Thirukurungudi. It is believed that he transferred all his powers to this sculpture before he attained Moksham at Thirukurungudi. This idol was then moved to Thirunagari, near the birth place of Thirumangai Azhvaar and to date remains the idol of Thirumangai, on whom the daily pooja is undertaken here at Thirunagari. To win over his sweet heart Kumudhavalli, Thirumangai fed a 1000 vaishnavites here as per the condition laid down by her. To this day, one can see the mandapam, called Mangai Mutt, where Thirumangai fed these Vaishnavites.

 

Architecture

Thiruvali - Azhagiyasingar temple covers an area of about 0.5 acres (0.20 hectares). The temple in enclosed in a rectangular enclosure with surrounded by granite walls. The central houses the image of the presiding deity, Azhagiyasingar facing west. The image is made of granite is sported in sitting posture, with Lakshmi seated on his lap on the right side. This posture is unique as usually the image of Lakshmi on Narasimhar temples are sculpted on the left side. The festival deity is named Thiruvali Nagaralan and the image is also housed in the sanctum. A south facing shrine of Thirumangai Azhwar is located outside the temple walls, opposite to the Garuda Mandapam. It is believed that the image of Narasimhar in the temple is one among the five original images of Narasimha worshipped by Thirumangai Azhwar. The temple mast, the shrine of Garuda and a four pillared hall are located axial to the sanctum, outside the compound wall. The Vimana-tower above the Sanctum Sanctorum is known as Ashtakshara Vimana. Main Deity is called as Azhagiya Singar (Lakshmi Narasimhar) / Vayalali Manavalan and Mother is called as Pooranavalli / Amruthakadavalli. The presiding deity is also called by the names Lord Kalyana Ranganathan, as Lord was appeared in the form of a groom to Thirumangai azhwar. Theertham of the Temple is Ilaakshani Pushkarani. Sthala Vriksham is Bael Tree. The Utsavar is called as Thiruvaali Nagaraalan. The temple is a small one with a single prakaram. The other deities of the temple are sage Poornamaharishi, Azhwars, Saint Manavala Mamunigal, Thiruvaali Nagaraalan, Allathi Nikanchama Prajapathi etc. Thiru Nagari - Vedarajan temple covers an area of about 2 acres (0.81 hectares) and has a seven-tiered gopuram (gateway tower) rising to a height of 125 ft (38 m). This Temple has Sanctum, Ardhamandapam, Mahamandapam and 4 inner prakarams. It has three Gopurams with 7, 5 and 3 stages respectively. The temple in enclosed in a rectangular enclosure with huge granite walls. The sanctum is approached through a second gateway tower. There are a series of pillared structure around the basement of the first enclosure. The central shrine has an elevated structure (Maadakovil) and houses the image of the presiding deity, Vedarajan (Vayalali Manavalan) with Sridevi and Bhudevi. The image is made of granite is sported in sitting posture facing west. The festival deity is named Kalyana Ranganathar and the image is also housed in the sanctum. This is the only Divya Desam where one can see ‘Kalyana Ranganathar’ in a sitting posture. The vimana, the shrine over the sanctum is Ashtanga in architecture, which has eight parts. The outer parts of the vimana has stucco images of sages, Dasavatara, Lakshmi Narasimha, Lakshmi Narayana and other Avatars of Vishnu. Two of the Narasimhar images, Yoga Narasimha and Hiranya Narasimha, worshipped by Thirumangai Azhwar are located in this temple, one behind the main shrine and the other in one of the prakarams. It is believed that these two images of Narasimhar in the temple are among the five original images of Narasimha worshipped by Thirumangai Azhwar. Thirumangai Azhwar is seen with the vel he won from Thirugnana Sambandhar in a separate shrine with a separate Dwajasthambam (apart from the main Dwajasthambam opposite the Perumal shrine). Thirumangai Azhwar is depicted as a hunter, which he originally was; adjacent to him is a small image of Vishnu (Sindanaikkiniyaan, which he had held in worship during his lifetime). The shrine of Amruthavalli is located in the basement, in the diagonal corner of the first enclosure. Theertham of this Temple is Ilaakshani Pushkarini. The other deities of the temple are Andal, Azhwars, Udayavar, Kannan, Nadha Munigal, Desikar, Poornamaharishi, Aalinganapureeswarar Manavala Mamunigal, Thiruvaali Nagaraalan, and Allathi Nikanchama Prajapathi.

Arulmigu Poornavalli Thayar sameda Azhagiya Singar Temple
Thiruvali, Nagapattinam - 609109
Phone: 04364–256 927, 275699, 9443372567, 9443372567, 9629758828
Temple Timings : 8.30 am to 11.30 am, 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm