Celebrating the Azhwars and the Divya Desams of Lord Sriman Narayana!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Thiru Uraiyur a.k.a ThirukkOzhi

Located within Tiruchirapalli city in central Tamil Nadu, India, this temple is one of the 108 Sri Vaishnava Divya Desams and also the birthplace of Sri ThiruppAn AzhwAr, one of the twelve AzhwArs.

A very compact temple, it houses separate sannidhis for Sri ThiruppAn AzhwAr, Sri NammAzhwAr, Sri VishvaksEnar and Sri Raamanujar.

Since Uraiyur is part of Tiruchirapalli (Trichy for short) city, it is easily accessible. The name ThirukkOzhi is virtually unheard of today, and the place is referred to as Uraiyur or Nachiyar Koil by local people. Visitors may stay at Trichy and cover Uraiyur along with other Divya Desams in and around Trichy, which include Sri Rangam, Thiruvellarai, Uthamar Koil, Thiru Anbil and Koviladai (aka Thiruppaer Nagar). From within Trichy city, Uraiyur can be reached by public transport buses or auto. Those who wish to cover all the six Divya Desams in and around Trichy can hire call-taxis and cover all the Divya Desams in 1-2 days.

The temple:
As we enter the temple, there is a stone mandapam (hall). To the left, there is a corridor that houses the sannidhis for Sri ThiruppAn AzhwAr, Sri NammAzhwAr, Sri VishvaksEnar and Sri Raamanujar. On the left of this corridor, there is a very beautiful, deep stone tank that is completely housed within the temple campus. It is a very serene sight when the tank is full. An entrance in the corridor on the right hand side, leads us to the main sannidhi. The main sannidhi (sanctum sanctorum) has the Perumal Sri Azhagiya Manavalan in a very beautiful standing posture, with the Thayar Sri Kamalavalli seated on the left. There is no separate sannidhi for ThAyAr. There is no Utsavar idol for Perumal here, just a Utsavar for ThAyAr.
Behind the main sannidhi, there is a nandhavanam (flower garden) with a vasantha mandapam.

The temple is not very big and all sannidhis can be covered in about 45 minutes. Those who wish to enjoy this place in leisure can take a slow walk around the corridor and observe the beauty of the temple, tank, the stone pillars, the beautiful paintings in the smaller sannidhis, the flower garden, and above all, the infinitely auspicious beauty of the Divya Dampathi. Sri Thiruppaan Azhwar showers his gentle benevolence on devotees, guiding them towards the Divya Dampathi.

Legends and History:
Sri Kamalavalli Thayar is said to have incarnated as the daughter of the local Chozha king and later married Sri Perumal. The Chozha king built the temple to commemorate the divine wedding. Hence Perumal is known as Azhagiya MaNavALan which literally means “The handsome bridegroom”. On the day preceding Pankuni Uthiram, the uthsavar of Sri Ranganatha (NamperumAL) is brought from Sri Rangam and a Kalyana Uthsavam is celebrated with the Thayar here. Since ThayAr has a lot of importance here, the temple is referred to as “nAchiyAr koil” by local people.

Historically, Uraiyur was the capital of the Chozha kings at one point of time. Later the Chozhas shifted their capital to Pazhaiyarai near Kumbakonam and then later to Thanjavur.

Thirumangai Azhwar and Kulasekara Azhwar have glorified this Divya Desam.

Sri KamalavaLLi ThAyar samEtha Sri Azhagiya MaNavALa PerumAL ThiruvadigaLAE saraNam
Sri ThiruppAN AzhwAr ThiruvadigaLAE saraNam

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