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108 Dhivya Desam - Thirukkurunkudi

Location :  Thirukkurungudi near Nanguneri
Perumaal :  Azhagiyanambi
Thaayaar :  Kurunkudivalli Naachiyaar
Theertham : Thiruppaarkadal
Paasuram :  PeriAzhwar, Thirumazhisai, ThirumangaiAzhwar, NammAzhwar
Vimaanam : Pancha Ketaka Vimanam
Travel Base : Thirunelveli

Description: This Dhivya Desam is located near Kalakkad (near Nanguneri) in Thirunelveli district and is also known as Vamana Kshetram. This is the shrine where ThirumangaiAzhwar attained salvation.


Deities: Azhagiya Nambi (also known as Kurunkudi Nambi, Irunda Nambi, Vaishnava Nambi, Thirupparkadal Nambi, Malai Mel Nambi) in a standing posture facing East. Thaayaar here is Kurunkudivalli Naachiyaar. There are shrines to Ninra Nambi and Kidanda Nambi. There is a shrine to Shiva in between these two shrines in front of the Irunda Nambi shrine. There is also a shrine to Kalabhairava. Irunda Nambi is referred to as Vaikuntha Nathan.


There is a small shrine to Thirupparkadal Nambi on the banks of a creek by name Thirupparkadal. Atop a hill at a distance of about 10km is the Malaimel Nambi shrine.


Legend has it that Perumaal in the disguise of a disciple, obtained Sree Vaishnava initiation from his beloved devotee Ramanunacharya and hence the name Vaishnava Nambi.


Legend also has it that Shiva obtained alms from Thirukkurunkudivalli (Thaayaar), in the skull of Bhrama's fifth head, which had gotten stuck to his palms, after he had removed it from Bhrama's self. Perumaal is said to have taught the Sudarshana Mantram to Shiva at this shrine. This legend here is the same as that held at the Harasaapavimochana Perumaal temple at Thirukkandiyur and and at Bhikshandar Koyil (Thirukkarambanur)  in Chola Nadu.


There are several other colorful legends associated with this temple. Perumaal in the guise of a hunter is believed to have guided a Rakshasan and a Bhramanan to salvation.


It is also believed that NammAzhwar was born through the grace of Vaishnava Nambi at Kurunkudi, commemorating which there is no image of NammAzhwar here. Worship is offered spot at which ThirumangaiAzhwar attained moksham. It is believed that this is the last of the shrines that ThirumangaiAzhwar had visited and composed verses in praise of.


The name Kurunkuti arises from the legend that Perumaal in his varaaha avataram, shrunk his form prior to taking abode here. It is also believed that the river Silambaaru was created from the anklet of Vamana.


The flagstaff is not in line with a sanctum and is associated with the legend of its miraculous moving to the side to facilitate a devotee to have a vision of the deity from outside of the sanctum. This incident is enacted in temple plays here.


The Temple: This temple covering an area of 18 acres has five prakarams, and is surrounded by a massive wall, crowned with a five tiered gopuram. The Vijayanagar rulers and the Nayaks of Madurai have made several endowments to this temple, which boasts of several exquisite sculptures. Mention must be made of depictions of Gajendramoksham, Gopi Vastrapaharanam, Trivikrama Avataram etc. and others such as one of four horses sharing a common head.


The annual festival is celebrated in the month of Pankuni.