Thursday, August 20, 2009

NAchchiyAr kOvil

This is the 14th among the 108 divya dEsams. It is located on the way to KumbakOnam from kudavAsal. This is famous for the kal garudan or garudA made out of stone. There is an interesting fact behind this.

During the temple festival, the lord and is taken on the back of garudA for procession. While starting, 4 people will be lifting the lord along with garuda vAhanam. The weight of the garudA keeps on increasing, demanding extra people at every furlong. 4 increases to 8, 16, 32, 64 and at last to 128. On return the garudA's weight will start diminishing. So 128 gets reduced to 64, 32, 16, 8 and so on. While entering into the garudA's place, there will be just 4 people holding the statue as it was at the start.

Another aspect of this garudA is that he has 10 serpants on his body. Near his eyes (2), ears (2), shoulders (2), throat (1), chest (1), arms (2). Usually there will be 4 or 6 serpants on garudA in other temples.

Vishnu is called by the name Srinivasa and Lakshmi is called as Vanjulavalli thAyAr. It is believed that, garudA spotted the pretty girl vanjula valli near nAchchiyAr koil and persuaded Sri Vishnu to marry her and he indeed performed the rituals. Vishnu became happy and offered GarudA status equal to him.

In this temple there is no separate sannidhi for thAyAr as other vishnu temples have. Both perumAL and thAyAr are in the same place. And Srinivasa is in the form of a human with just two hands as opposed to other temples where he use to have 4 hands.

If you observe, Maha Vishnu will be standing some what in the corner, leaving the center place to vanjula valli thAyAr. This signifies about the importance that one has to give to their wife. Surronding the couple who are standing in the wedding posture, there are 5 people who attended the marriage. BrahmmA, BalarAmA, AniruddhA, PurushOtthamA and PrathyumnA.

The temple has a nice prakAram, rAja gOpuram. Holy tank or pushkarani is located outside the temple and it is definitely a feast for our eyes.

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