11 Divya Desams in and around Thiru Nangur near Seerkazhi.
Deities from each of the Thiru Nangur temples go out on a street procession on Garuda Vahanam and come together at Mani Mada Koil in Thai maasam (mid January)
Angered at not being invited for the Yaagam conducted by Parvathi’s father Dakshan , Lord Shiva performed the Rudra Thaandavam (dance) in a place called Ubaya Cauvery (between Cauvery in the South and Mani River in the North) , a few kms South East of Seerkazhi .
So aggressive was his performance that for every hair that fell down on the ground, a new form of Lord Shiva emerged. And very quickly 11 forms of Lord Shiva were each performing the Rudra Thaandavam. Sensing a possible damage to the world as a result of Lord Shiva’s fury , Lord Vishnu appeared here before Shiva as Paramapatha Naathan .
Softened by the presence of Lord Vishnu , Rudra requested Vishnu appear in just as many forms . Lord Vishnu is said to have acceded to this request and provided darshan to Rudra in 11 different forms here in Thiru Nangur , having taken one form each from 11 different Divya Desams . These together constitue the 11 Divya Desams in and around Thiru Nangur.
In the Tamil calendar month of Thai (mid Jan-mid February), the deities from these Divya Desams go out on a street procession in the Garuda Vaahanam and congregate at the Mandapam in the Narayana Perumal Mani Maada Koil in Thirunangur. At the Mani Maada Koil , Thirumangai Alwar sings praise of each of the 11 forms of Lord Vishnu .
1. ThiruVellankulam Annan Koil
Located away from the hustle and bustle of towns and cities , Annan Koil Divyadesham is located in the middle of a village , 8 kms South East of Seerkazhi off the Poompuhar – Thirukadaiyur road . Looked at as the elder brother of Thirupathi Srinivasan , it is believed that those who cannot go to Thirupathi can come here and “Annan” is said to fulfill their wishes . Lord here is seen together with the Goddess (Alar Mel Mangai) unlike in Tirupathi where he is seen alone. This is the only Divya Desam where the diety and Goddess have the same names as in Tirupathi .
Thiru Mangai Mannan wanted to marry Kumudha Valli who belonged to the generation of the Devas . Mangai Mannan is said to have worked with utmost sincerity towards fulfilling each of Kumuda Valli’s conditions to marry him. It is believed that Mangai Mannan finally married Kumudavalli at this place. Hence, there is a separate sannidhi for Kumudha Valli at this temple .
King Dhundhu Maaran , who belonged to the Surya dynasty, had a son Swethan who was destined to die at the tender age of 9 . Swethan came here to undertake penance to increase his lifetime . Lord Vishnu is said to have appeared before him as Srinivasa and fulfilled his prayers . Hence , this is said to be a place when one’s sincere prayers will prevent untimely death .
Thirumangai Alwar came here, had darshan of the Lord and praised him here as if he has seen Lord Srinivasa himself . His Paasurams also reflect the fact that the Lord is the elder brother of Thirupathi Lord Srinivasan .
Moolavar is Annan Perumal east facing in sranding Posture
Goddess : Alar Mel Mangai
Utsavar : Srinivasa Perumal
Alwar : ThiruMangai Alwar 10 Paasurams ( Periya Thirumozhi)
2. Thiru Purushothamar
Located 3 kms East of Annan Koil is Purushothamar Koil in Thiru Nangur, near Seerkazhi . The story goes that Sage Vyagra Paadha was busy collecting flowers as part of his daily process of making a garland for the Lord . It is believed that Purushothamar brought Thiru Paarkadal to this place and gave milk to the hungry child of the sage. The Ayodhya Lord appeared here as Purushothamar .
Moolavar : Purushothamar east facing in standing posture
Thayar name is Purushotham Naayaki
3. Thiru Sempon Sei Koil
Located under ½ km East of Purushothmar Divya Desam is Sempon Sei Arangar Divya Desam in Thirunangur . Sempon Arangar is said to have come from Uraiyur . Hence the Lord here has 2 Goddesses similar to Azhagiya Manavaalan of Uraiyur .
After killing Lanka King Ravana , Lord Rama is said to have stayed here for a few days . While here , he is said to have a made a golden cow and given it to a Brahmin , who is said to have built this temple .
It is believed that a poor person came here and uttered the Thiru Manthiram repeatedly for a few days . Answering his prayers , the lord here is said to have given him wealth and made him happy . The belief here is that if one would recover his lost wealth , if one offers sincere prayers to Sempon Arangan .
Moolavar is Perarulaalan east facing in standing posture
Thayar name is Alli Maamalar Naachiyar
Utsavar Sempon Arangar
4. Arimeya Vinnagaram Kudamaadu Koothan Koil
Legend has it that Lord Krishna who lifted the Govardhana mountain himself came and resided here with the intention of destroying the evil forces. It is believed that Lord Vishnu appeared as Gopala Kannan , pleased with the penance of Sage Uthanga .
Moolavar is Kudamaadu Koothan east facing sitting Posture
Thayar name is Amrutha Kada Valli
5. Vaikunta Vinnagaram
Located 100 yards North of Purushothamar Divya Desam , the Lord here at Vaikunta Vinnagaram is said to be the one who came from Vaikuntam to cool Shiva’s Rudra Thaandavam. Hence , he appears here in the same way as in Paramapatham . It is said that Ubarisavasu and Uthanga rishi attained Moksham after praying to this Lord .
Moolavar is named Vaikunta Naathan east facing in sitting Posture
Thayar name is Vaikunta Valli
6. Thiru Thetriyambalam Palli Konda Perumal
Located ½ km South East of Purushothamar Koil , this is the only Divya Desam in Tamil Nadu to be called Ambalam . Lord Palli Konda Perumal at Thetriyambalam is said to grant the wishes of ” power “. This is a form of Srirangam Lord Ranganathar and is seen in a Sayana Kolam with the Serpant King Adiseshan on top of him.
Moolavar is named Shenkammalan Ranganathar facing east in Sleeping Posture
Thayar name is Shenkamala Valli
7. Mani Maada Koil Naarayana Perumal
It is said that Narayanana Perumal from Badri came here as one of the11 forms of Vishnu. The Garuda Sevai , that takes place in the Tamil Calendar month of Thai (Jan-Feb) every year takes place at the Mani Maada Koil . It is here that the 10 different forms of Vishnu from the Divya Desams in and around ThiruNangur come together to be praised by Thirumangai Azhvaar on the day after the No moon day. This is the most important festival in Thiru Nangur .
Moolavar is Narayanan Perumal East facing in sitting posture
Thayar is Pundarika Valli Thaayar Thirumangai Alwar has sung 12 Paasurams praising this Lord .
8. Thiru Mani Koodam
Lord Varadaraja Perumal , Mani Koodam Koil is located in Thiru Nangur and the Lord here is one of the 11 forms of Lord Vishnu who came to ThiruNangur as per the request of Lord Shiva , is said to be from Kanchipuram . Like Kanchi Varadar, the Lord here is said to grant all wishes of devotees .
Moolavar is Varadaraja Perumal east facing standing posture
Thayar name is Thiru Maamagal Naachiyar
9. Devanar Thogai Madhava Perumal koi
Located about 3 kms North East of Annan Koil and 2 kms from Purushothamar koil , Madhava Perumal Koil in Devanar Thogai on Keezha Salai is the place where the Devas came in groups and congregated to have darshan of Lord Vishnu in his 11 different forms. It is believed that Sage Vashista undertook penance here and had darshan of the Lord .
Moolavar is Deiva Nayakan esst facing standing oosture
Thayar is Kadal Magal Naachiyar
Utsavar Madhava Perumal
10. Thiru Paarthaan Palli
Located near Thiruvenkadu (Budhan Sthala) about 15kms from Sirkazhi off the Poompuhar road , legend has it that Arjuna reached this place while on a pilgrimage. Feeling thirsty after a long trip , he could not find water anywhere . Seeing Sage Agastya undertaking penance at this place , he was hopeful that he would be able to quench his thirst at the ashram but to his dismay he found that the Sage’s Kamandala too had gone dry .
As instructed by Parthasarathy , Arjuna struck the ground with the sword and to his surprise water poured out of that place helping him quench his thirst .To mark this event , Arjuna is seen here at this Divya Desam with a sword . Since Arjuna had this Knowledge initiation here and played the role of a student , this temple came to be known after him as ” Thiru Parthan Palli “.
Poigai Azhwar’s praise
Lord of Parthanpalli is the only Divya Desam Lord among the 11 Vishnu Temples in Thiru Nangur who is praised by an Alwar in addition to Thirumangai Alwar .
On the No Moon day in Aadi , Parthasarathy goes on a procession to Poompuhar Sea (where River Cauvery merges with Bay of Bengal) for the Annual Theerthavari Festival . On the No Moon Day in Thai , Thirumangai Alwar visits this temple .
Moolavar is named Thaamaraiaal Kelvan west facing in standing posture
Thayar name is Shengamalavalli Thayar (Thamarai Nayaki)
Utsava Deity is Parthasarathy (and Kolavilli Ramar )
11. Thiru Kaavalampaadi
Located quite close to Thirumangai Alwar’s birth place of Kuraiyalur and off the Seerkazhi-Poompuhar road is the Gopalakrishnan Divya Desam in Thiru Kaavalampaadi . Dwaraka Lord is seen here as Gopalakrishnan . This place is said to have powers equivalent to a visit to Dwaraka itself .
Moolavar : Gopalakrishnan (Rajagopalan) east facing in standing posture
Thayar name is Madavaral Mangai , Shenkamala Naachiyar
How to reach Seerkazhi
One can reach Seerkazhi from Madras in about 5 ½ hours by bus via Cuddalore , Chidambaram . Currently, there are no trains to Seerkazhi as the Villipuram-Mayavaram stretch is under broad gauge conversion .
It is best to visit the Thiru Nangur Divya Desams in the first half of the day . One can start with Kazhi Cheerama Vinnagaram in Seerkazhi at 7am . From Seerkazhi , one can take an auto and visit all the Thiru Nangur Divya Desams in one go . It will take about 5 – 6 hours and will cost about Rs. 1200 . There are guides to this 11 temples they have bhattars phone numbers with them . Those interested to visit these temples can take the help of those guides .
Thirunangur 11 divyadeshams Garuda sevai video courtesy Dinamalar 27 th January 2020