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108 Dhivya Desam - Thirukkurukoor

Location :  Azhwar Thirunagari near Thiruchendur
Perumaal :  Aadhinaathar
Thaayaar :  Aadhi Naatha Valli, Kurukoorvalli
Theertham : Bhrama Theertham
Paasuram :  NammAzhwar
Vimaanam : Govinda Vimanam
Travel Base : Thirunelveli

Description: This is the ninth and the most celebrated of the nine Nava Thiruppatis in Thirunelveli district in the belt between Thirunelveli and the coastal shrine of Thiruchendur.

Only NammAzhwar, who resided at Azhwar Thirunagari, has sung of these nine shrines Thiruvaikuntham, Varagunamangai, Pulinkudi, Tolaivillimangalam, Thirukkulandai, Thirukkolur, Thirupperai and Thirukkurugoor collectively referred to as Azhwar NavaThiruppati. Tolaivillimangalam referred to as Irattai Thirupati, counts as two in the scheme of Nava Thirupatis, but as one of the 108 Dhivya Desams.  

 

NammAzhwar honors Thirukkurukoor with a decad of 11 verses. NammAzhwar's signature in each of his decads is Kurukoor Sadagopan. This shrine is very closely associated with NammAzhwar, who lived his life here. Azhwar Thirunagari is also known for Araiyar Sevai, where the Dhivya Prabanda Pasurams (verses) are recited with expression, music and rhythm as in Srirangam and Srivilliputtur.

 

Deities: The Moolavar here is Aadi Naathan or Aadi Piraan. Thaayaars here are Aadi Natha Valli and Kurukoor Valli.  There is a shrine to NammAzhwar. The tamarind tree, in which he resided (ThiruppuliAzhwar) is the stala vriksham here The name Azhwar Thirunagari is attributed to NammAzhwar's presence.

 

Legend has it that Indra was absolved of his curse here. It is believed that Lakshmana incarnated as the tamarind tree here. Perumaal is believed to have been under a vow of celibacy, when Thaayaar meditated upon him to marry him and therefore Perumaal took her in the form of a garland of flowers (magizha malar maalai). There is another legend that Agasthyar had been blessed by Shiva, that there would be born a saint (NammAzhwar)  in this area, who would enthrone the language Tamil to a status equal to that of Sanskrit.

 

The Temple: This temple covers an area of 5 acres and has three prakarams and a 5 tiered rajagopuram. The Thirumanjana Mandapam, the Thirumamani mandapam and the Kannadi Mandapam are of great beauty. There are shrines to Rama, Venugopala, Narasimhar, Varaha here. This temple boasts of a nadaswaram made of stone.

 

This temple is regarded as the Budhastalam (mercury) and being the ninth Dhivyadesam in the Thirunelveli area, it is regarded as Parama padam itself.

 

Festivals: The asterism of each Azhwar is celebrated here, as in Srirangam. Garuda Sevai in the Tamil month of Vaikasi (Vishaka asterism - the birthday of NammAzhwar) witnesses the grand Garuda Sevai, where festival images from all of the nine Nava Thirupatis congregate here. NammAzhwar is mounted on the Hamsavahanam. The Paasurams on each of these deities are recited then, during this grand festival. The image above is that of Perumaal from Thirupperai.