Monday, May 28, 2007

Uraiyur Kamalavalli Nachiyar

Nanda Chozha built the temple to celebrate the home coming of Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam
Thirupaan Azhvaar's birth place 
Only Divya Desam where Thaayar is seen facing North
Located 6kms South of Srirangam Ranganthaswamy Divya Desam is the Kamalavalli Nachiyar temple in Uraiyur, a divya desam whose legend relates to the love story of Kamalavalli Nachiyar and her wedlock with the handsome young lad Ranganatha of Srirangam. Uraiyur was the first capital of the Chozhas.

The story
The Chozha king Nanda Chozhan had been childless. Pleased with his prayers, Lord Ranganatha asked Goddess Lakshmi to be born as the King’s daughter at Uraiyur. Being born out of the Lotus, the Goddess here is called Kamalavalli Nachiyar [Kamala means Lotus]. As years went by, Kamalavalli grew into a beautiful young girl. One day while she was out with her friends, her eyes fell on a handsome young man and instantly she fell in love with him. The man was none other than Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam.

King Nanda Chozhan was in a fix as his daughter had fallen in love with the man, who had blessed the king with the child. Once again, the Lord accepted the king’s prayers and accepted her as his bride. Delighted at this, Nanda Chozhan built a temple at Uraiyur to celebrate the (home) coming of Lord Ranganatha to Uraiyur to take the hand of his daughter.

Panguni visit of Lord Ranganatha
Every year in the month of Panguni, a significant event takes place at the Uraiyur temple. Lord Ranganatha, in all his splendour, leaves the Srirangam temple at 4am to take the 6 km journey across the Cauvery in a golden palanquin to meet his beloved Kamalavalli Naachiyar for the ‘Kalyana Utsavam’(marriage festivities). On this auspicious day in the month of Panguni, the entire marriage formalities between Lord Ranganatha and Kamalavalli Nachiyar is enacted at the Uraiyur Temple. Lord Ranganatha takes the trip back to Srirangam across the Cauvery that same night.

At the Uraiyur temple, Kamalavalli Nachiyar is seen in a grand sitting posture, all set to get married. Being the handsome man in wedding attire, Lord Ranganatha here is called ‘Azhagiya Mana Vaalan’.

North Facing Thaayar
A speciality of this temple is that this is the only Divya Desam (out of the 108) where the Goddess is facing the Northern direction, in this case in the direction of the Srirangam Ranganatha temple.

Birth Place of Thirupaan Azhvaar
Uraiyur is also the birth place of Thiruppaan Azhvaar ( There is a separate sannadhi for Tiruppaan Azhvaar at the Uraiyur temple. The Tiruppanaazhvaar festival is celebrated in a grand way at this temple in Karthigai (Nov-Dec).

Thirumangai Azhvaar's reference to Kozhiyur
There’s a belief that an Elephant of a Chozha king, which entered this place, was beaten back by a valiant Hen and had to retreat. Hence, this place is also called Kozhiyoor (Kozhi means Hen in Tamil).

In his praise of Uraiyur Lord, Thirumangai Azhvaar refers to this place as Kozhiyur and the Lord as being truly handsome.

கோழியும் கடலும் கோயில் கொண்ட கோவலரே யொப்பர் குன்றமன்ன 
பாழியும் டோழுமொரே நான் குடையார் 
பண்டிவர் தம்மயாம் கண்டறி யோம் 

வாழிய ரோ விவர் வண்ண மென்னில் 
மாகடல் போன்றுளர் கையில் வெய்ய 
அழியோன் றேந்தியோர் சங்கு பற்றி 
அச்சோ ஒருவர் அழகிய வா 

In centuries gone by, devotees used to first visit the Uraiyur Divya Desam, walk across the Cauvery to the Srirangam Ranganatha temple and then across the Coloroon to Uthmar Koil and finally to Thiru Vellarai, thus covering four divya desams in one go.

Quick Facts
Moolavar: Azhagiya Manavalan North facing standing posture
Thaayar  : Kamalavalli Nachiyar
Time       : 630am -12noon & 4pm - 8pm
Contact  : SK Rangaraja Bhattar @ 94433 07605 or 0431 2437605

How to reach the temple
A number of town buses ply between Trichy (Trichirappalli) Junction/ Srirangam and Uraiyur. The temple is about 4 kms from Trichy Junction.

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