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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Woraiyur [Uraiyoor] Sri Kamalavalli Nachiyar Thirukkovil

Recently had the fortune of worshipping at a Great Divyadesam 'Thiru Uraiyoor'

River Cauvery is considered very sacred ~ in the words of Thondaradipodi Azhwar – ‘more sacred than the Sacred Ganges’…. ~ and in that beautiful island formed by Cauvery [Kaveri and Kollidam] reclines Lord Ranganathar.  Azhwars, many sages and saints have left a rich treasure for posterity, in the form of classics containing all information about God and how He is ready to respond to the devotees' sincere pleas.  Most of them heaps praises on the Great Thiruvarangam and Lord Arangar as the saints could visualize and be recipients of the  Divine Grace.

The sacred Cauvery flowing across enriched all areas on its banks ~ the Chozha empire flourished due to that.  Historically, Uraiyur [also spelt Woraiyoor] was the capital of the Empire – had big palatial buildings and bigger choultries feeding the poor all the time.   Uraiyur over the period is known by various names such as ‘Thirukkozhi, Nikalaapuri, Uranthai, and Kozhiyur’. Inscriptions and rock edicts of earlier dynasties  describe Urayur as "the citadel and centre of the Cholas". The word Urayur in Tamil literally means "the residence" ~ perhaps meant to be the abode of the Lord Himself.  Legend has it that ‘cock attacked the elephant of the king’ and realizing the valour, the place came to be known as ‘Kozhiyoor’ too. 

For Sri Vaishnavaites, this places assumes significance for this is a Divyadesam ~ more so as every year Lord Num Perumal from Thiruvarangam visits this place.  The presiding deity here is Azhagiya Manavaalan in  standing posture possessing ‘Conch [Thiruvazhi] and Chakra in His hands.  The Thayar is Kamalavalli Nachiyar ~ who is in the main sannathi itself alongwith Perumal.   The moolavar Kamalavalli Nachiyar is in sitting posture of the bride [Thirukalyana thirukolam]. Thiru Kalyana uthsavam is celebrated on Panguni  Pooram day when NumPerumal from Thiruvarangam comes here for marriage.   Lord Ranganatha here is ‘Azhagiya Mana Vaalan’ ~ there is no Uthsavar idol for Perumal.  Thirumangai mannan sings about this place as :

கோழியும் கூடலும் கோயில் கொண்ட கோவலரே  ஒப்பர் குன்றமன்ன*
பாழியும் தோளுமோர் நான்குடையர் பண்டிவர் தம்மையும் கண்டறியோம்*
வாழியரோவிவர்  வண்ணமெண்ணில் மாகடல் போன்றுளர் கையில்வெய்ய*
ஆழியொன்று ஏந்தி ஒர் சங்கு பற்றி  அச்சோவொருவர் அழகியவா.**

திருமங்கை மன்னன் தமது திருமொழியில் மங்களாசாசனம். " உறையூரையும், தென் மதுரையையும் இருப்பிடமாகவுடைய கோபாலக்ருஷ்ணன் போல இருக்கும் இவர் பெரிய கடல் போன்றும்; மலை போன்ற வலிமை பொருந்திய அழகிய நான்கு திருத்தோள்களையும் உடையவராய் இருக்கிறார் ~ அத்தகைய பெருந்தகையோன் -  பல்லாண்டு பல்லாண்டு  வாழ்ந்திடுக.

This place has added significance of being the avathara sthalam of Thirup Paan Azhwar for whom there is a separate sannathi.  The prakaram is not big and on the left side of the corridor is the sannidhi of Thirupanar.  Such was his blemishless devotion to Lord Aranganathar that he claimed that he does not want to see anything else with his eyes that saw the most benevolent Lord Arangar. ~ அண்டர்  கோன் அணியரங்கன் என்னமுதினைக் கண்ட கண்கள் மற்றொன்றினைக் காணாவே.

Adiyen Srinivasadhasan.
Gopuram photos taken by me in 2008 

Uraiyur Kamalavalli Nachiyar after Adi Vellikizhamai purappadu

Thirup Panar - courtesy :

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