Sri Thirunaraiyur Nambi Temple, also named as ‘Nachiyar Koil’ is located at Thirunaraiyur village of Kumbakonam, Tanjore district of Tamilnadu. Thirunaraiyur Nambi Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi and also one of the 108 Divya Desam Temples. This temple is said to be built by the Chola King Kochengat Cholan, which is constructed in Dravidian style. Thirunaraiyur Nambi Temple has five-tiered Rajagopuram (gateway tower) and stands at a height of 75 feet and also this temple is fully surrounded by granite walls.
The mythology was that the sage named Medhavi who went to take bath at Thirunaraiyur to perform penance there, he found a godly voice asking him to install the idols of Lord Chakrathazhwar and Lord Yoga Narasimha in his refuge. The sage found the idols of Lord Chakrathazhwar and Lord Yoga Narasimha near to the river and he installed it in his refuge. Goddess Lakshmi, consort of Lord Vishnu, took the place of his hermitage and appeared as a small girl to the sage, requesting him to take care of her. Years passed, the sage Medhavi worshipped Lord Vishnu to marry his daughter (Goddess Lakshmi). Lord Vishnu was pleased by his devotion and married his daughter. And the sage requested Lord Vishnu to stay in that holy sanctum.
The presiding deity of this Thirunaraiyur Nambi Temple is Goddess Lakshmi who is worshipped here as Goddess Nachiyar and Lord Srinivasa Perumal (Lord Vishnu). The other main deities of this temple are Lord Brahma, Lord Pradyumna, Lord Aniruddha, Lord Sankarshana and Lord Purushothaman. The each idols of Lord Rama, Lord Lakshmana, Goddess Sita, Lord Hanuman, Manavala Mamunigal and Vedanta Desika are located in the separate shrines.
Sri Thirunaraiyur Nambi temple is one among the temples where female deities found to have more prominence than the male deities. In this temple Goddess Nachiyar (Goddess Lakshmi) is given more importance than Lord Srinivasa Perumal (Lord Vishnu). This temple is the sacred place where Lord Vishnu commenced Pancha Samskara, a religious initiation to the Azhwar named Thirumangai. The Garuda (vehicle of Lord Vishnu) is worshipped here as Kal Garuda which is made of Saligrama (an aniconic representation). Sri Thirunarayoor Nambi Temple is revered in Nalayira Divya Prabandham and various hymns sung by the Thirumangai Azhwar.
- Ushathkalam Pooja – 7 a.m.
- Kalasanthi Pooja – 8:00 a.m
- Uchikalam Pooja – 12:00 p.m.
- Sayarakshai Pooja – 6:00 p.m.
- Irandamkalam Pooja – 7:00 p.m.
- Ardha Jamam Pooja – 10:00 p.m.
- Brahmmotsavam – December or January
- Garuda Sever – March or April
- Vasanthothsavam (Spring festival) – May or June
- Thirukalyana Utsavam – September or October
There are regular government and private bus services to Chennai, Thanjavur, Mannargudi, Tiruchirapalli, Chidambaram, Nagapattinam, Coimbatore, Madurai, Pondicherry, and Tirunelveli. The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) operates daily services from Bangalore and Mysore to Kumbakonam.
Kumbakonam is connected by rail with most important towns and cities in South India. The Mysore – Mayiladuthurai Express connects Kumbakonam with Mysore and Bangalore. There are regular express trains that connect Kumbakonam with major cities in the state like Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai and Tiruchirapalli.
The nearest international airport is at Tiruchirapalli, which is 91 km (57 miles) from Kumbakonam.
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- Sarangapani Temple
- Someswar Temple
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