Nachiar Kovil or Thirunarayur Nambi Temple in Thirunarayur, a village in the outskirts of Kumbakonam in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu and his wife Lakshmi. It is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Srinivasa Perumal and his consort Lakshmi as Nachiyar. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
According to the legends, Sage Medhavi prayed to Lord Vishnu to get Goddess Lakshmi as his daughter. True to his prayer, the sage Medhavi found a beautiful girl child under vanjula tree and the sage started taking care of that girl as his own daughter and named her Vanjulavalli. The girl grew up and was of marriageable age. Vishnu appeared to Medhavi, pleased by the latter's devotion and asked his daughter to be married to him. The sage happily m...View more
rried Vanjulavalli to Vishnu and requested Lord Vishnu to stay in his place, which Vishnu accepted. The sage asked Lord Vishnu that his daughter should always be given prominence. From then on, the temple has been known as Nachiyar Kovil. According to another legend, Garuda was the one to trace Lakshmi to this place and led Vishnu here. As a mark of gratitude, Lord Vishnu blessed Garudan to receive equal status at this temple.This temple is part of the famous Kumbakonam Divyadesam Yatra.
Thirunaraiyur Nambi Temple is built in Dravidian Architecture style. The temple has a 5-tiered rajagopuram on the eastern side, raising up to a height of 75 ft (23 m). The entrance through the eastern gateway leads to a hall of 16 pillars, called Neenila Mutram. The centre of the hall is occupied by Dwajasthamba (the flag pole) and Balipeeda (the place of sacrifice), one behind the other. The front portion of the flag pole has a small shrine for ...View more
aruda. The flag pole, place of sacrifice and Garuda's shrine are in axial position from the entrance to the main sanctum.
Male devotees have been advised to wear dhoti, shirt, pyjama or pant and shirt while women and girls should wear saris or churidhar or 'pavadai' with half-sari. Devotees wearing lungi, bermudas, jeans and tight-leggings would not be allowed.
Tamil Nadu is home to many natural resources, classical arts, classical music, classical literature, Hindu temples of Dravidian architecture, hill stations, beach resorts, multi-religious pilgrimage sites, and eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Kal Garuda Temple, also known as "Nachiar Kovil" is located in Thirunaraiyur, at about 6 to 7 Kms from Kumbakonam. Nachiyar Kovil is also famous for Brass Sculpting. Finely crafted kuthuvilakku or oil lamps are made here and in neighbouring villages.
Nachiarkoil is 10 km from Kumbakonam on the Tiruvarur road. Buses from Kumbakonam to Tiruvarur stop at Nachiyar koil.
The temple priests perform the pooja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. Each ritual has three steps: Alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Srinivasa and Nachiyar.During the last step of worship, nagaswaram (pipe instrument) and tavil (percussion instrument) are played, religious instructions in the sacred texts Vedas 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.
Devotees offer tulsi garlands and vastras and sweet pudding-Sarkarai Pongal as nivedhana to Perumal. Devotees pray to Garuda Bhagwan on Thursdays offering archanas and vastras for relief from delays in marriages, adverse aspects on children and for relief from negative aspects of serpent planets.
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