Temple Location :
About the Temple:
This temple lies in the Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu. It's about 6 miles from Kumbakonam. The temple is populalry called as "Nachiyar Kovil".
Bus facilities are provided.
Once upon a time there lived a saint named Medhavi here in Nachiyar Kovil. He wanted
Mahalakshmi to be his daughter so he pleaded Mahavishnu and on an auspicious day under the
tree called "Vanjula Maram", he found a very beautiful girl child. He named her "Vanjulavalli"
after the tree from where he found her.
He led a peaceful life then by teaching Gnana to his students. Gradually Vanjulavalli grew up and reached the marriage stage.
One day Lord Narayanan split him into five of his forms:
Shankarshanan, Prathyumnan, Anirudhan, Purushothaman and vasudevan and visited saint Medhavi's
Ashram as a Guests.
His students bore the guests a warm welcome and Vagulavalli prepared a delicious meal for
them. AFter finishing their meal, all the five went to wash their hands. When Vagulavalli
helped them by pouring water, suddenly Vasudevan caught her by hand and immedietely she
shouted for help.
Hearing her cries, her father came running for rescue. But before he could catch and curse
Vasudevan, all the five guests disappeared to bring forth the original one (ie) Mahavishnu
saint Medhavi was spellbound, when Mahavishnu asked his daughters hand for marriage.
Happily, saint Medhavi accepted for marriage. But before that he asked 3 Boons from Mahavishnu
1. He should attain life beyond birth and death (ie) he should attain eternity.
2. All the living beings in Narayur which gave the Lord food and wife, should also attain salvation and
3. His daughter should be given the first place in all the aspects.
Hence from that day, this place is called as Naachiyar kovil, (ie) temple of Mahavishnu's
As Madurai stands in the name of lordess Meenakshi, the wife of Lord Shiva, Naachiyar Kovil
stands in the name of Lord Vishnu's wife.
Here Lord Vishnu stands in a begging posture seeking Varulambika's hand from saint Medhavi in
the Moolavar Sannadhi. In accordance to the saint's wish, Thaayar stands a step ahead to
Shankarshnan, Prathyumnan, Anirudhan and purushothaman too bless us in the Moolavar sannathi
by standing a step back to the Narayur Nambi.
Here Stone idol of the bird Garuda, Stands as the Vahanam or Vehicle to Narayur
Nambi whereas Annam or the Swan is the Vahanam of the Godess Vagulambika.
Garuda has a seperate sannathi in this temple extending about 10 1/2 sq.ft's. He has beautiful
big wings, broad chest and long hair. In tamil month Margazhi and Panguni the festival
"Kal Garuda Sevai" (ie) the festival where the idol of Narayur Nambi placed on the stone
idol of Garuda and taken out into vibrant procession is taken place every year.
There is a unique speciality regarding the stone idol of Garuda. when taken out for a
procession, until a step out fo his sannathi he can be easily carried by 4 persons. Then
inside the temple his weight would increase as to be carried by 8 persons, then further
outside the praharam he would weigh heavy so that 16 persons are required to carry him. Totally
outside the temple not even 32 persons are enough to carry him, he would get heavier and
heavier ahead. He would sweat a lot too so that his cloths get drenched in the sweat.
But after the procession is over, while returning to his sannadhi he would start losing his
weight (step by step) or (stage by stage). This is a remorkable wounder that takes place
only at this place.
This Garuda is treated in equivalence to Lord Vinayaka and so a dish Mothakam named as
"Amudha Kalasam" is offered to him.
Also, the slow progress of Lord Narayur Nambi with Garuda reveals his commitments with saint
As all know, the swan or Anna Patchi is a delicate bird which moves in a slow and delicate
manner. But, Garuda is a huge bird which can fly swiftly.
But when both the god and godess are taken out in a procession, the lord god should lead the
procession as he is carried by the bird. But his promise that his wife would have the
first place in every thing would be broken.
Hence, Garuda becomes heavier and it becomes tough for the devotees to carry him faster than
the light weight Annapatchi. So, in this way perumal fulfilles his world.
This place is greatly associated in Thirumangai Alwar's life. He fell in love with a damcel
named Kumudhavalli. She was a devotee of Lord Narayana. So, she ordered Alwar to become
a devotee of Lord Narayana by rendering food for 1008 vaishnavities daily and transform himself
as a devoted slave of Lord Narayana by performing the ritval "Panchasamskaranam", taking the
12 divine names of the Lord god to the depth of the soul and imprinting the images of
Chakaram and Sangu (shell) in both the arms.
As Thirumangaialwar could not find a suitable master to perform the above rituals. He came
to Naachiyar kovil and mentally accepting Narayur Nambi as his teacher, he performed all the
rites and finally led a happy married life with Kumudhavalli.
So as a reward for the great help rendered by Narayur Nambi. Thirumangaialwar sang totally
118 Paasurams in his ravour of that 40 Paasuram's is of Siriya Thirumadal where alwar
consideres himself as a girl in love of Lord Narayanan and the remaining 78 in the Periya
The Narayur Nambi Sannadhi was once called as "Mani Mada kovil". The Chola King Koshenkannan
rendered the money for Temple works. There after Sadavarma sundara pandiyan took over the
work and donated lands to the temple. Then Ragunatha naicken of Thanjore constructed a Mandapam
There is huge tank of 648 feet length and 225 feet breadth infront of the temple, It has a
number of steps in the 3 sides. This tank is like a big pond and so it is called as "Mani
There is a beautiful tale behind the name of this pond. Once king of the birds Gauda, took a
diamond head ornament to Narayur Nambi from Thiruparkadal. A diamond (Mani) accidentally
fell from the ornaments into this pond. As the precious stone fell into the pond degrading
it's status equivalent to ordinary pearl (Muthu) this tank is known as Mani + Muthi + Aaru
(tank or pond).
This temple extends its border for about 690x288 feets. As Narayur Nambi is also known as
Srinivasan, the Vimaanam of this temple is known as "Srinivasa Vimaanam".
This place is also called as "Suguntha giri".
The very special Garuda seva Utsavam is conducted twice a year. One is during Margazhi month and another during Panguni month.
The beautiful stone idol of the bird king Garuda, which gains weight stage when taken
out for a procession and reduces back to its normal weight while coming towards the temple.
The excellent collection of copper idols of Various gods. Alwars and other important kings.
The Moolavar of this sthalam is Thirunarayur Nambi. Also called as Srinivasan and Vasudevan.
The Moolavar is giving his seva in standing posture being ready to marry the Thaayar, facing east (Kalyana thirukkolam).
Prathyaksham for Medavi Munivar and Brahma devan.
The Thayaar found in this sthalam is Vanjulavalli Naachiyar. She is found next to the Moolavar in Garbhagriham ( Moolavar Sannadhi ).
- Thirumangai - 110 Paasurams.
Total - 110 Paasurams.
- Mani mukthi Nadhi Theertham.
- Aniruddha Theertham.
- Pradhyumna Theertham.
- Samba Theertham.
- Sankarshana Theertham.