Ugra Narasimhar, Tirukurayalur, Nagapattinam


Basic information about the temple

Moolavar:Ugra NarasimharAmbal / Thayar:Amritavalli
Deity:PerumalHistorical name:
Vriksham:Teertham:
Agamam:

Age (years):

Timing:8 to 11 & 5 to 7Parikaram:

Temple group:
Sung by:

Temple set:

Pancha Narasimha Kshetram

Navagraham:

Nakshatram:

City / town:TirukurayalurDistrict:Nagapattinam
Maps from (click): Current location Mayiladuthurai (30 km)Nagapattinam (62 km)

Thiruvarur (65 km)Kumbakonam (67 km)

Location

Sthala puranam and temple information

After Sati immolated Herself at Daksha’s yagam, Siva was distraught. This is one of the basic premises of the Nangur Ekadasa Divya Desam and Rudra Peetham temples. In order to get Siva to re-engage with the world, Vishnu took the form of Ugra Narasimhar and, together with both Sridevi and Bhudevi, went and consoled Siva.

The concept and depiction of Narasimhar with both Sridevi and Bhudevi is unique to this temple. in all other places, it is only Sridevi who sits beside Perumal.

The Tiruvali-Tirunagari twin temples are closely associated with this temple. In the Padma Puranam, Tirukuraiyalur is referred to as Poornapuri and Poorna Narasimha Kshetram, possibly because of Amritavalli Thayar, the daughter of Poorna Maharishi, was born at Tirunagari.

This is one of the 5 temples In the Sirkazhi-Nangur region – together, the Pancha Narasimha Kshetrams – where Vishnu as Narasimhar blesses devotees in five forms. These are the Veera Narasimhar at Tirumangaimadam, Yoga Narasimhar and Jwala Narasimhar at Tirunagari, Lakshmi Narasimhar at Tiruvali, and Ugra Narasimhar here at Tirukurayalur. All five Narasimhar kshetrams are referred to by Tirumangaiazhvar, and also in the Narasimha Mantram which praises the Lord thus:

Ugram Veeram Mahavishnum Jwalantham Sarvathomukham |
Nrisimham beeshanam bhadram mrithyor mrithyu namamyaham ||

Some accounts regard Tirukurayalur as the avatara sthalam of Tirumangaiazhvar, while others suggest it is the location of the banditry described below. Born as Neelan and was initially a bandit and later an army general, he became a devout Vaishnavite satisfying two conditions laid down by Kumudavalli, who he was smitten by. In fact, his thieving was only to provide funds to satisfy one of the conditions, which was to feed 1000 people every day for a whole year, which he did at Tirumangaimadam. On one such occasion, he attempted to rob a wedding party returning from Tirunagari, which turned out to be Vishnu and Lakshmi, who blessed him with the ashtakshara mantra upadesam. So did Neelan (who was also called Kaliyan, the strong one, by Vishnu Himself) become Tirumangaiazhvar, singing the praises of Perumal across the country. The incident of Neelan attempting to rob the wedding party, is the central theme of the annual Gaurda utstavam, where all the 9 Nangur temples’ deities come together.

Interestingly, Tirumangaiazhvar has not performed mangalasasanam on this temple specifically (though he has, at the 11 Nangur Divya Desam temples), but mentions this temple in many other pasurams. Due to this, devotees believe that worshipping at this temple is in fact more special, and it is regarded as the equivalent of worshipping at all 86 Divya Desam temples where Tirumangaiazhvar has performed mangalasasanam.

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