Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Perumal Temples are located at Thiruvaali and Thirunagari, Nagapattinam district of Tamilnadu. These two different temples of Lord Vishnu which are together considered as a single Divya Desam temple and also revered as one of the 108 Divya Desam temples, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Perumal is believed to be closely associated with Thirunangur Tirupathis, a group of 11 temples located near nangur at Nagapattinam. This sacred place is believed to be the birth place of Thirumangai Azhwar, the last of the 12 azhwar saints of south India, who are known for their affiliation to Vaishnava tradition of Hinduism.
The history behind the story is closely associated with Thirumangai azhwar. 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 was accepted to her condition and went to Thirunarayur 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 to her conditions and married Kumudhavalli. But Thirumangai azhwar faced a very complicated situation to fulfil 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 were 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 ask 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.
The presiding deity of this Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Perumal Temple is Lord Lakshmi Narasimha (Lord Vishnu), also called as Lord Vedarajan and the goddess of the temple is Amirthagatavalli Thayaar (Goddess Lakshmi) also called as Amirthavalli. The presiding deity is also called by the names Lord Kalyana Ranganathan, as Lord was appeared in the form of a groom to Thirumangai azhwar. The other deities of the Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Perumal Temple are sage Poornamaharishi, azhwars, Saint Manavala Mamunigal, Thiruvaali Nagaraalan, Allathi Nikanchama Prajapathi etc.
Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Perumal temple is considered as one of the Pancha Narasimha Kshetrams (five temples of Lord Narasimha), located in and around Thiruvaali- Thirunagari. The Pancha Narsimha Kshetrams are:
- Thiruvaali Lakshmi Narasimhar
- Kuraiyalur Ugra Narasimhar
- Mangaimadam Veera Narasimhar
- Thirunagari Yoga Narasimhar
- Thirunagari Hiranya Narasimhar
Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Perumal temple is glorified in Nalayira Divya Prabandham, a Vaishnava canon, and mangalaasanam (devotional songs) were sang by the 12 azhwar saints. And additionally by the Kulasekara azhwar, who belongs to the Chera kingdom. Unlike the other temples, the twelve azhwar saints referred these two Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Perumal Temples as a single shrine in all their 41 poems. The Vimanam (the tower above the sanctum sanctorum) of this Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Perumal Temples is called Ashtakshara Vimanam and the Pushkarani (temple tank) of this temple is called Ilaakshani Pushkarani.
The temple remains open from 8.00 AM to 11.30 AM in the morning and in the evening from 5.30 PM to 7. 30 PM.
- Thirumangai Alvar Mangalasasana Utsavam – January/February
- Vaikundha Ekadashi – December/January
- Panguni Uthiram – March/April
The State Express Transport Corporation operates buses connecting Nagapattinam to Bangalore, Thiruvanathapuram and Marthandam and other major cities.
Nagapattinam railway junction is the nearest junction which connects Thiruvarur in the west, Nagore in the north, Velankanni in the south and Karaikal in the east.
The nearest Airport to reach Sri Lakshmi Narashima Perumal temple is Tiruchirapalli Airport.
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