Monday, December 29, 2014

Ko Chenganan and Nachiyar Koil Divya Desam

Ko Chenganan's anger against elephants is reflected not just in Saivite temples but here as well in the Naraiyur Nambi Vishnu Temple
Thirumangai Azhvaar dedicated an entire set of 10verses to the Chozha King clearly impressed with his 'Maada Koil' construction

As seen in the story on Thiruvanaikaval, Chozha King Ko Chenganan had developed hatred for elephants in his previous birth ( and he carried this anger into the first Vishnu temple that he built – Nachiyar Koil Divya Desam in Thiru Naraiyur. He had earlier built 70 Saivite temples, the first of which was in Thiruvanaikaval.

It is huge credit to the Chozha king Ko Chenganan that Thirumangai Azhvaar dedicated an entire set of 10 verses in his Periya Thirumozhi to his contribution to the Nachiyar Koil in Thiru Naraiyur.

This is the only Divya Desam where an Azhvaar has praised a single king over 10verses in the Nalayira Divya Prabhandham. So impressed was Thirumangai Azhvaar with the king’s construction that he explains the greatness of the king in detail.

செம்பியன் கோச் செங்கணன் சேர்ந்த கோயில் 
திருநறையூர் மணிமாடம் சேர்மின்களே 
In the initial verses, he refers to Thiru Naraiyur as a temple where Ko Chenganan repeatedly visited to invoke the blessings of Lord Naraiyur Nambi. Thirumangai Azhvaar also brings in the story of his anger against elephants. In a couple of the verses, he specifically praises Ko Chenganan as one whose sword slit that throat of opponent kings on elephant tops. He says time and again Ko Chenganan rode fast on a horse top and killed the kings who seemed taller sitting on top of an elephant and brought them down one by one. He almost seemed to indicate that Ko Chenganan’s determination to destroy his opponents grew exponentially when he saw them on elephants.

Thirumangai Azhvaar also praises Ko Chenganan as a great Chozha king who built 70 big sized temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, thereby referring to Nachiyar Koil as the first Vishnu temple built by him.

இருக்கு இலங்கு திருமொழி வாய் என் தோள் 
ஈசற்கு எழில் மாடம் எழுபது செய்து உலகம் ஆண்ட 

In all the verses, he refers to the Thiru Naraiyur temple as a ‘Mani Mada Koil’ indicating that similar to all the Saivite temples built by Ko Chenganan, in this one too he made sure that elephants would not enter by making the steps to the Sanctum steeper than normal.

திருக்குலத்து வலச் சோழன் சேர்ந்த கோயில் 
திருநறையூர் மணிமாடம் சேர்மின்களே  

Nachiyar Koil clearly has the stamp of Ko Chenganan style of architecture. One can clearly see the sanctum right from the entrance of the temple similar to the Thiruvanaikaval temple where too one can see the sanctum from the entrance of the temple.

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