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Sri Narayur Nambi - Thirunaraiyur Nachiyar Koil, Kumbakonam District, Tanjore, Tamil Nadu India

This temple is situated on the road from Kumbakonam to Tiruvarur via Kodaivasal and is about 8 kms from Kumbakonam, Here the importance is for the goddess in preference to the god and hence the name Naachiyar Koil. The Moolavar is called Sri Thirunaraiyur N ambi, Srinivasan, Vyoogha Vasudevan and Sugandha Vana Nathan and the Thaayar Sri Vanjula Devi also known as Sri Nambikai Naachiyar. Both the god and goddess face east. There is a fairly big gopuram at the entrance and as we enter, the Goddess can be seen even from a distance since; Lord Sri Vishnu is standing a little aside to the goddess. The main deities are on a high pedestal which can be reached by climbing a flight of steps. In the Utsav Vigraham the goddess is wearing a saree with a bunch of keys on her hip ornament and is supposed to control the whole Universe. This is one of the three places where the goddess is given more importance, the other two being Sri Devi (Sri Lakshmi) at Sri Rangam and Sri Bhuma Devi as Andal Sri Valliputhur.

This is the only temple where Lord Sri Vishnu, when he came to the earth to marry goddess, gave her darshan in 5 forms namely Sangarshan, Pradyumnan, Aniruddhan, Purushothaman and Vasudevan. The God also gave the power of the above mentioned 5 aspects to the goddess at this place. The Lord is holding Shankha and Chakra in his two hands. There are 16 big and small gopuramis in this temple and the tallest is 76 Ft. in height.

The idol of Garuda in this temple is famous and very powerful. This is also the biggest Garuda idol found in all the Divya Deshams and is made of a single granite stone and is called Kal Garudan. The legend is once a shilpi was making the idol of this Garuda and suddenly the wings got power and started to fly. Later on the idol was installed in this place by chanting various Mantras. This Garuda is supposed to give prosperity to all the devotees. The place where this Garuda idol is installed is in a square of 10 1/2 Square Ft. During the festival when the Lords idol is placed on this Garuda, initially four people lift the idol. As it is brought out the idol gains weight and eight people carry and thereafter slowly the weight increases and the number of people aiso increase as 16, 24, and 32. Similarly as the Lord returns, the weight slowly diminishes and the number of carriers also get reduces to 32, 24, 16, 8 and 4. This procession is a beautiful sight to watch which is around the prakaram. After this the perumal is given neivedyam known as Amudha Kalasham which is only a Kozhakattai or Modhakan.

In this place one pious brahmachari wished to see all the 108 Divya Desham and he started praying to the Lord. Lord Sri Srinivasa came in his dream one night and gave him all the 108 idols of Divya Deshams and he worshipped them and offered Pooja. At the time of his demise, he handed all his assets to this temple. Even now in this temple the idols of all 108 Divya Deshams are instal led as vigrahas.

It is also believed that everyday Lord Brahma is doing pooja to this God and Goddess who are in Thirumana Kolam.

This Vaisnavite temple is the Navagraha Sthalam for Sri Sevvai Bhagawan.

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