Azhagiyasingar Temple, Thiruvali – Legends
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.
Story of Thirumangai Azhwar & his consort Kumudhavalli:
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.
Pancha Narasimha Kshetrams:
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:
· Thiruvali Lakshmi Narasimhar
· Kuraiyalur Ugra Narasimhar
· Mangaimadam Veera Narasimhar
· Thirunagari Yoga Narasimhar
· Thirunagari Hiranya Narasimhar