A Guide to Nachiyar Kovil Temple, Tamil Nadu| Timings, Significance & History

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The ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi is Nachiyar Koil or Thirunarayur Nambi Temple. In Thirunarayur, a village near Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, the temple is situated. The presiding deity is venerated as Srinivasa Perumal and as Vanchulavalli Nachiyar as his consort. At this shrine, relative to the King, the mother Goddess gets more devotion and choice. One of the 108 Divyadesams devoted to Vishnu in this temple. This temple is the location where Lord Vishnu is thought to have introduced Pancha Samskara (religious initiation) to Thirumangai Azhwar.

Nachiyar Koil Temple, Tamil Nadu- Temple Facts

  • The Chakra and Conch are placed in front of his face by the Presiding Deity.
  • In this temple, statues of the Presiding Deities of all the 108 Divya Desams are present.
  • Brahma is thought to have worshipped Lord Vishnu here and can be found within the sanctum sanctorum in a standing pose.
  • Paramapada Vasal or Sorga Vasal, facing south.
DeityLord Vishnu
LocationNachiyar Koil, Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu.
Significance14th Divya Desam temple among the 108 Divya Desams.
Best time to visitDecember to June

Darshan Timing
Monday to Sunday6.30 AM – 12.30 PM4.30 PM ­ 8.30 PM
Entry FeesFree
Dress CodeTraditional
FestivalsBrahmotsavam, Garuda Seva, Vasanthothsavam, and Thirukalyana Utsavam
PhotographyNot Allowed

Nachiyar Koil Temple, Tamil Nadu Darshan & Aarti Timings

It is believed that performing Archana to Kal Garuda every Thursday for 7 consecutive weeks to give the marriage blessing to the devotees, provides relief from Navasarpa dosha and Navagraha dosha. An amount of Rs.360 can be paid directly in person at the temple office by devotees willing to do so. For those unable to attend the temple, via money order, a sum of Rs.360 may be submitted. Until the Archana is finished, devotees can receive the prasadam from the temple by post.

Doshai Thaligai5:15 am to 6:00 am
Kalasanthi7:15 am to 7:45 am
Uchikalam9:15 am to 9:30 am
Thirumal Vadai11:15 am to 12:05 pm
Sayarakshai3:30 pm to 3:45 pm
Arthajamam4:45 pm to 5:00 pm

History of Nachiyar Kovil Temple – Tamil Nadu

It is one of Vishnu’s 108 divyadesams, venerated as Srinivasa Perumal and his consort Lakshmi as Nachiyar. The temple is the location where it is believed that God Vishnu initiated Pancha Samskara to Thirumangai Azhwar (religious initiation). The temple is enclosed by a granite wall, enclosing all of its shrines, while it has a five-tiered raja gopuram, the gateway tower of the temple. The temple is owned and operated by the Government of Tamil Nadu’s Hindu Religious and Endowment Council. In Divya Prabandha, the early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints of the 6th to 9th centuries AD, the temple is glorified. The temple practices the style of worship of Thenkalai.

The temple is thought to have been founded in the late 3rd century AD by Kochengat Cholan, with later contributions from the Kings of Medieval Cholas and Vijayanagar.

The architecture of Nachiyar Kovil Temple – Tamil Nadu

From the entrance to the principal sanctum, the flag pole, place of sacrifice, and Garuda’s shrine are in an axial location. He is believed to have constructed 70 temples dedicated to Shiva and the only Vishnu temple founded by him is Thirunaraiyur. Situated on the northern side is the temple of Thirumangai Azhwar. Dwajasthamba (the flag pole) and Balipeeda (the place of sacrifice), one behind the other, occupy the middle of the chamber. It is assumed that the temple was founded by King Kochengat Cholan. The entrance leads to a hall of 16 pillars, called Neenila Mutram, through the eastern gateway. On the eastern side, the temple has a 5-tiered raja gopuram, which rises to a height of 75 ft. The front part of the flag pole has a small shrine for Garuda.

The prominence of the Shrine – Tamil Nadu

Of the 108 Dhivya Desams, this is the fourteenth one. Offering worship on Thursdays to the ‘Kalgarudan’ (Garuda made of stone) dispels all sorts of doshas. In this temple, Perumal’s Garudaseva is famous. The most prominent feature of the temple is Kal Garuda. As per local mythology, as the bird flew away each time a new image was prepared, the sculptor who created the idol of Garuda grew annoyed. He threw a stone at Garuda in anger, who got hurt and decided to stay as “Kal Garuda” in the temple. The Kal Garuda image is made of saligrama and is located outside the main sanctum in the temple.

During the festive procession, the festive images are taken out in a procession at Kal Garuda during the Tamil months of Margazhi (December-January) and Panguni (April-May). While it takes only four people to bring Garuda’s idol out of the sanctuary, when the image is taken outside the temple, it multiplies to 8, 16, 32, and 64 people. As it travels away from the shrine, the image is thought to get heavier. On the way back, only 4 individuals are needed to take them back.

On the banks of the Manimuthu Canal, a hermit called Medhavi observed strict penance for making Goddess Lakshmi as his daughter-in-law. In recognition of his penance, on a Friday of the Panguni Month (Tamil calendar), also an auspicious day of Uthiram Star, Lakshmi came out of ‘Parkadal’ (Sea of Milk) under the Vanjula Tree on the bank of the river. They named her Vanjulavalli. Lord Srinivasa Perumal married her. Krishnaranyam is named the spot. The specialty is that Kalgaruda Seva is kept only in this sanctuary.

Legend of Nachiyar Kovil Temple – Tamil Nadu

The legend says that Lord Vishnu prayed to Sage Medhavi, who lived in Nachiyar Kovil, to have Mahalakshmi as his daughter. True to this prayer, under the Vanjula tree, the sage found a lovely girl’s child and named her Vanjulavalli. The girl was growing up and of marriageable age. One day, Lord Vishnu, presented himself in five ways and appeared as visitors at the sage’s ashram. They were warmly received by the Sage apostles. Vanjulavalli served them a tasty dinner, too.

Vasudeva immediately put up her hand after the meal when Vanjulavalli helped them by pouring water to wash their mouths, and she cried for help. Upon hearing the cries of his daughter, Sage Medhavi came there and saw that all five forms of Vishnu had become one and gave him darshan as Mahavishnu. The Sage was asked by Mahavishnu for his daughter’s hand in marriage. This was agreed to by Sage Medhavi.

He sought from the Lord the boon of everlasting life as well. Eternal salvation should also be attained by all living beings in this place, who gave the Lord his wife and food. Last but not least, he called for a boon to still grant prominence to his daughter. This temple has been known from then on as Nachiyar Kovil, and the Goddess is granted prominence over the Lord according to the wish of the Sage.

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