Sri Naavaay Mugundha Perumal Temple, also named as ‘Thirunavaya Nava Mukunda Temple’ is located near Thirunavaya, Malappuram district of Kerala state. Sri Naavaay Mugundha Perumal Temple is revered as one of the 108 Divya Desam temples, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Sri Naavaay Mugundha Perumal temple is glorified in Nalayira Divya Prabandham, a Vaishnava canon, and mangalaasanam (devotional songs) were sang by the 12 azhwar saints.
The legend says that Goddess Lakshmi and Gajendra, the king of all elephants, worshiped Lord Vishnu at this place with holy lotus flowers which blossoms from a lake nearby. As they both devoted with lotus flower from the same lake, the lotus flowers got diminishing. So Gajendra requested Lord Vishnu that Gajendra wanted to worship Him with lotus flowers without any dismay. As a result, Lord Vishnu took Lakshmi by His side on His throne. And blessed Gajendra that Gajendra can worship Him with Lotus flowers without any anxiety.
Sri Naavaay Mugundha Perumal Temple was said to be firstly damaged by Tipu Sultan’s invasion in 18th century. And then it was again attacked by Moplah rebellion in 1921. Upon many renovations, the recent renovation of the temple and its sanctum sanctorum was done by the legendary Perumthachan (master craftsman) under the direction of the chief of Vettom. This temple is built in a different touch of architecture that the rays of the sun falls directly on the idol in the month of April and in the month of October.
The presiding deity of this Sri Naavaay Mugundha Perumal Temple is Lord Nava Mukundan (Lord Vishnu), found in a standing posture facing towards the east. It was said that Nava yogis (nine saints) namely Sathuvanathar, Saaloga nathar, Aadhinathar, Arulithanathar, Madhanga Nathar, Macchendira Nathar, Kadayanthira Nathar, Korakkanathar and Kukkudanathar) worshipped Vishnu at this place and got Dharshan of Lord Vishnu. And hence this place is called as Thirunavayogi and later changed into Thirunavaya.
The idol of the presiding deity was believed to be ninth idol to be installed at the shrine. The eight idols which was installed in the shrine was said to be disappeared as soon as they get installed. The ninth idol has been sank inside the earth up to its knees and it was forcibly stopped. And hence the presiding deity in this Sri Naavaay Mugundha Perumal Temple is depicted from only above the knees. The idol was believed to be installed by Nava Yogis. And as this was the ninth idol to get installed in that place, and hence the Lord is called as Nava Mukundan.
The goddess of this temple is Malarmangai Nachiyaar (Goddess Lakshmi), who is found in a separate shrine. And the other deities of the temple are Lord Ganesha, and Nava Yogis. Thirunavaya is considered as the traditional venue for Mamankam festival, a medieval military and cultural festival, held once in every 12 years. The Theertham (temple tank) of this temple is Sengamala Saras theertham and the Vimanam (tower above the sanctum sanctorum) of this temple is called as Veda vimanam.
The temple remains open from morning 5.00 AM to 11.30 AM and in the evening from 5.00 PM to 7.30 PM.
- Vaikunda Ekadasi – December/January
- Annual Brahmotsavam – April
- Krishna Jeyanthi – August/September
- Navaratri – September/October
Bus service is available throughout the district, with 93 routes operated by Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) on major roads and 300 intercity routes passing through the district.
The nearest railway station to reach Sri Naavaay Mugundha Perumal temple is Thirunavaya Railway Station which is around 1.5 km away.
The nearest airport to reach Sri Naavaay Mugundha Perumal temple is Calicut International Airport, which is about 32 km away.
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