Vedarajan Temple, Thirunagari – Legends
Story of Thirumangai Azhwar & Kumudhavalli:
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 Golden Idol:
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.
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