Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Nathan Kovil (Thiru Nandipura Vinnagaram Temple), Kumbakonam, Thanjavur

Nathan Kovil (Thiru Nandipura Vinnagaram Temple), Kumbakonam, Thanjavur
Nathan Kovil or Thiru Nandipura Vinnagaram Temple in Nathan Kovil, a village in the outskirts of Kumbakonam in the South Indian state of Tamilnadu, is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is glorified in the Nalayira Divya Prabandha, the early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th – 9th centuries AD. It is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Srinivasan and his consort Lakshmi as Shenbagavalli.

Nandi, the sacred bull of Shiva, is believed to have got his curses relieved by worshipping Vishnu here and hence the place is called Nandipuram. All the shrines and water bodies associated with the temple are named after Nandi. Six rituals are performed everyday and two festivals are celebrated every year in the temple. The Fridays during the Tamil month of Aipasi are believed to be auspicious to worship Shenbagavalli.

Among the Chola Nadu Tirupatis, which are 40 in number, Nadhan Koil is the 21st. “Mannilidhupol Nagarilliayena Vanavargaltham Malargal Thoovi Nanniyuraikindra Nagar Nanthipura Vinnagaram Nannumaname,” says Thiumangai Azhwar in his Mangalasasanam.

Located amidst lush green paddy fields and coconut groves, three km from Patteeswaram, the temple at Nadhan Koil has a Rajagopuram with colourful sculptures of Dasavatharam, a vimanam on the sanctum sanctorum and a separate niche for Thayar.

Built by the Pallava King Nandivarman, the Nathan koil in Nandipura Vinnagaram is in the Shenbagaranya Kshetram, which runs from here up to Mannargudi. Unfortunately, this historic temple now wears a deserted look and is struggling to even meet the daily pooja expenses.
Legends
As per Hindu legend, Nandi, the sacred bull of Shiva, did not respect the Dwarapalakas, the gatekeepers of Vishnu. They cursed Nandi that his body would suffer oppressive heat. Nandi informed it to his lord Shiva, who advised him to do penance in Shenbaranyam. It is the place where Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu was doing penance to get into the chest of Vishnu. Vishnu was impressed by the penance of Nandi and got his curse relieved. He was the one who explained the greatness of Lord Shiva to Lord Vishnu. Since Nandi performed Tapas (penance) seeking Lord Vishnu blessing and because of this, the place is known as "Nandipura Vinnagaram". Nandhan means "Teacher" or "Guide". As Lord Narayana guided at this place, he is called as "Nadhanadha".

He took Mother on his chest here on a Friday in the full moon fortnight in the month of Aipasi-October-November.  Devotees believe that their wishes would be granted with their participation in the abishek to Mother on Aipasi Fridays.
The great King Sibi was a great donor. Once, Lord Indra took a form of a hunter and Lord Agni transformed himself as a pigeon. The pigeon sought Sibhi's help and to help the poor bird, he came forward to give his own flesh equal to the pigeon’s weight to the hunter. So, he sat in the west plate of the Balance while the pigeon in the east. So, to see this beautiful scene, Lord Narayana faces west in this temple. Then he blessed eternity to King Sibi.

Lord Jagannathan is holding his weapons sword, bow, discus, dhanda and conch.  In early days, Lord was facing east.  To accept Mother Mahalakshmi in his Chest and to appreciate emperor Sibi who sacrificed his flesh for the sake of a dove, He turned west then, according to sthala Purana.  Nandhi and Brahamma are in the sanctum with Perumal promoting Saivism-Vaishnavism unity. As this place is like puri Jagannath temple of North India, it is called as Dakshina Jaganatham ((i.e) south Jaganatham).
As Nandhi made penance here, the pushkarani (or) tank of this place is called as Nandi Theertha Pushkarani. As the Vimaanam of this place is Mandara Vimaanam, this place indicates a note of unity among all castes. At a distance of about 1 1/2 miles away from this place in the river side there is a garden named "Nandivanam" and inside it is a very old temple in a demolished stage.
The Temple
The temple has a 3-tier gateway tower, the Rajagopuram. Since Nandi got relieved of his curse here, the names of the temples bodies are named after Nandi; the temple tank is called Nandi Theertham, the vimanam as Nandi Vimanam, the place called Nandipuram and other water body as Nandi Pushkarani. The main sanctum houses the image of the presiding deity, Srinivasa Perumal, the metal image of the festival deity, Jagannatha, the images of Bhoodevi and Sridevi on either sides of Srinivasa.

The image of Nandi, which is otherwise part of Shiva temples, is present in the main sanctum. There is a separate shrine for Shenbagavalli Thayar. The rectangular walls around the temple enclose all the shrines and some of seven water bodies associated with the temple.

The temple is maintained and administered by the Vanamamalai Mutt. The temple ranks among 108 Divya Desas of Perumal. As an example of unity of Vaishnavism and Saivism, Nandhi the bull vehicle of Lord Shiva and Lord Brahmma are in the sanctum sanctorum worshipping Perumal.

Lord Jagannatha is blessing the devotees from the sanctum facing west.  The vimana above presiding Lord is called Mandhara Vimana.  Nandhi and emperor Sibi had the darshan of Lord in the temple.

Moolavar:
The Moolavar of this sthalam is Sri Jagannathan. He is also known as Nadhanadhan and Vinnagara Perumal. The Moolavar is giving his Seva in sitting position facing his thirumugham towards west direction.
Thayaar:
The Thayaar found in this sthalam is Shenbagavalli Thaayar.
Mangalasasanam:
Thirumangaialwar - 10 Paasurams
Pushkarani:
Nandhi Theertham.
Vimanam: 
Mandara Vimaanam. 
Sannadhis:
·        Vinnagara Perumal
·        Sri Jagannathan (Nadanadhan)
·        Shenbagavalli Thaayar
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 8.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and from 4.30 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Festivals & Religious Practices
The temple priests perform the pooja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. As at other Vishnu temples of Tamil Nadu, the priests belong to the Vaishnavaite community, a Brahmin sub-caste. The temple rituals are performed six times a day: Ushathkalam at 7 a.m., Kalasanthi at 8:00 a.m., Uchikalam at 12:00 p.m., Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m., Irandamkalam at 7:00 p.m. and Ardha Jamam at 10:00 p.m.
Each ritual has three steps: Alangaram (Decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Srinivasan and Shenbagavalli. During the last step of worship, nagaswaram (pipe instrument) and tavil(percussion instrument) are played, religious instructions in the Vedas (sacred text) are recited by priests, and worshippers prostrate themselves in front of the temple mast. There are weekly, monthly and fortnightly rituals performed in the temple.
Pavitrotsavam is a festival organized in the temple by Karimaran Kalai Kappagam of Triplicane, Chennai, on every July. The festive images of the deity are taken out in procession and special poojas are performed during the occasion. Vaikunta Ekadasi is devotionally celebrated in the temple in December-January.
According to Krishnan of Vanamamalai Math, Kalai Kappagam has been conducting Pavitrotsavam at 20 divyadesams every year.
They are
1.        Thirumandankudi
2.        Kabisthalam
3.        Nadhan Koil
4.        Thirukkoilur
5.        Varagunamangai
6.        Thirupulinkudi
7.        Senganur
8.        Thirupullani
9.        Thirumeiyyam
10.    Irattai Thirupathi (Aravindalochanar)
11.    Sri Vaikuntam
12.    Thenthiruperai
13.    Irattai Thirupathi (Devar Piran)
14.    Azhwar Thirunagiri
15.    Thalachakadu
16.    Thirukkannankudi
17.    Sri Mushnam
18.    Thiruvanchikalam (birth place of Kulasekaraazhvaar )
19.    Paramesvara Vinnagaram
20.    Pettai (Mudaliyandan Avathara Sthalam)
Nadhan Koil is where Kaliyan Vanamamalai Ramanuja Jeer, the 20th Jeer of Vanamamalai Math, attained Samadhi. His Brindavanam has also been erected near the temple. The idol of Lord Lakshmi Narasimhar, worshipped by Vanamamalai Jeers, is also installed in a temple nearby and pujas are performed every day.
The temple is owned and maintained by Vaanamaamalai Mutt. The Mutt would do well to bring more devotees to the temple as well as take care of the priest and other people working at this temple. While one finds huge crowds at Oppili Appan temple, a few kms away from here, this Divya Desam looks rather deserted. However, it is quite commendable that the priest and cook perform all the 6 pooja services with utmost sincerity.
It is the belief that fights between husband and wife will be solved if one visits this Divya Desam on the Ashtami day.
Religious significance
The temple is revered in Nalayira Divya Prabandham, the 7th–9th century Vaishnava canon, by Azhwar in eleven hymns. The temple is classified as a Divyadesam, one of the 108 Vishnu temples that are mentioned in the book. The temple is a symbol of unity between the two sects of Hinduism, namely, Vaishnavism and Saivism and Nandhi, the sacred bull Shiva and image of Brahma are depicted in the main sanctum. The temple is frequented by people seeking timely wedding, reunion of married couples, children, court verdicts and cure from neural issues.
Saint Thirumangai Azhwar had compressed the glory of Lord picked from scriptures as Srimad Bhagavatam so melodiously in a single verse in his Mangalasasanam hymn.
Prayers
People pray for timely wedding, reunion of couples separated for some reason or other, child boon, favourable court verdicts in litigations and cure from neurology problems. Devotees perform Thirumanjanam to Perumal and offer vastras.
Contact
Sri Jagannathan Temple,
Nathankoil-Nandhipura Vinnagaram,
Thanjavur district
Phone: +91- 435-241 7575. 98430 95904, 94437 71400
Connectivity
The devotee has to reach Mulayur. Buses from Kumbakonam running Via Patteeswaram pass through Mulayur. Nathankoil is 2 km from here. Autos are available. Nadhan Koil can be reached from Kumbakonam via Korukkai, from Patteeswaram. It is three km away and can be reached via Kumbakonam -Thippirajapuram.
This Divya Desam is located about 5 kms South West of Kumbakonam and about 3 kms East of Patteeswaram near Korukkai, in a village not easily accessible by road. While the road leading to this temple is very narrow, it would be a nice gesture on the part of the Kumbakonam State Bus Transport service to run services to this temple, especially on weekends.
Nearest Railway Station is located at Kumbakonam & Nearest Airport is located at Trichy.

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