Friday, February 26, 2016

Thirunaraiyur Nambi Temple, Nachiyar Koil – The Temple

Thirunaraiyur Nambi Temple, Nachiyar Koil – The Temple
This Temple is facing towards east with five tiered Rajagopuram. The Rajagopuram is about 75 feet tall. This temple measures about 690 x 288 feet and has 16 gopurams in total. The entrance through the eastern gateway leads to a hall of 16 pillars, called Neenila Mutram. The centre of the hall is occupied by Dwajastambam (the flag pole) and Balipeedam (the place of sacrifice), one behind the other. The front portion of the flag pole has a small shrine for Garuda. The flag pole, place of sacrifice and Garuda's shrine are in axial position from the entrance to the main sanctum.

The Sanctum is situated on elevated structure approached through a flight of 21 steps. Presiding Deity is called as Thirunaraiyur Nambi / Vasudeva Perumal. This is the only Divya Desam where Lord is seen with a conch and chakra in front of his face. He is housed in the sanctum along with his consort Vanjula Valli Thayar (also called Neela Devi Nachiyar). Unlike other Vishnu temples where Vishnu is given importance, in this temple Nachiyar (Thayar) is prominent.

Vanjula Valli Thayar occupies the central position in the Sanctum with Vasudeva Perumal slightly away by her side. She is a little ahead of Perumal in a standing form. He is gracing the devotees facing east in standing posture ready to marry the Thayar. Both Lord and Nachiyar are seen here in a beautiful wedding posture, a unique feature at this Divya Desam. The sanctum also houses the images of 10 feet tall Brahma, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, Sankarshana and Purushotama (Vishnu) and a set of gods, who are depicted attending the wedding.

The festive idols of Idar Kadutha Tiruvalan (Vishnu), Sridevi (Lakshmi), Vanjula Valli (Lakshmi) and Bhudevi are housed in the same shrine. Procession deity, Vanjula Valli appears with a parrot and a key bunch on her hip showing that she is the head of the Universe overseeing all administration. The Vimana over the sanctum is called as Srinivasa Vimana. It looks like a tower (Rajagopuram).

The temple has been built in such a way that one can see the sanctum even from outside the temple premises. The shrine of Thirumangai Azhwar is located on the northern side. The central hall of the temple, the Goratha Mandapam, houses the images of RamanujaKoorath Azhwar and idols of eleven Azhwars, leaving that of Andal. The southern side of the temple has a garden where the Magizha tree, the Sthala Vriksha (temple tree) is present.

The Vasantha Mandapa or the spring hall is located next to it, which hosts the Vasantotsavam or spring festival during the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May–June). The temple also has a 100-pillared hall where the wedding festival is held during the Tamil month of Aavani (September–October). There is a separate shrine housing the idols of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita in the northern side of the temple premises. There is a shrine for Lord Hanuman in the southern side.

There is a shrine for Chakrathazhwar and Yoga Narasimha, believed to have been installed and worshipped by Sage Medhavi. Lord Chakrathazhwar with the Navagrahas below and paintings of Dasavathara (10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu) can be seen in the prakara. Sage Medhavi is nearby in worshipping form. The first precinct has separate shrines for Manavala Mamunigal, Vedanta Desikar and idols of the Utsava (festive images) of the 108 Divyadesams.

The idols of the procession deities of all 108 Divyadesam temples are near the Garuda Bhagwan shrine. Special Thirumanjanam are performed here on Shravana star days each month. There is huge tank called Manimutharu in front of the temple. It is about 648 feet length and 225 feet breadth. The Tank can be approached through steps in all three sides. Aniruddha Theertham, Pradyumna Theertham, Samba Theertham and Sankarshana Theertham are the other Theerthams associated with this temple.

Kal Garuda Shrine:
For brief details, please refer below link;