|Description: Tiruvaali and
Tirunagari are located near Sirkazhi.
Tirunagari is the birthplace of Tirumangaialwar who is closely associated with the 11
Divya Desam shrines of Tirunangur. Tiiruvaali is where Tirumangai Alwar's wife Kumudavalli
was raised. Tiruvaali is located at a 10 km east of Sirkazhi, enroute to Tiruvenkadu. Tirunagari is at a
distance of of 5 km from Tiruvaali, again enroute to Poompuhaar. Tirumangai Alwar refers
to Perumaal as Vayalaali Manavalan at Tiruvaali; however Vayalaali Manavaalan is enshrined
at Tirunagari. Hence traditionally, Tiruvaali and Tirunagari are considered to be a Divya
Desam. Tirumangaialwar has referred to Tiruvaali-Tirunagari in a total of 41 verses. Also,
Kulasekharaalwar in his decad of verses dedicated to Rama (Sowrirajan at Kannapuram) refers to 'Aali Nagarkku
Atipati' in a lone verse.
Tiruvaali: The Moolavar here is Lakshmi
Narasimhar, Vayalaali Manavaalan in a seated posture facing west, while the Utsavar is
Tiruvaali Nagaraalan. Taayaar here is Amrita Ghatavalli. Tiruvaali is also known as
Tirunagari: The Moolavar here is Vedarajan in a seated posture facing
west, while the utsavar is Kalyana Ranganathan. Taayaar here is Amritavalli. Two of the
Narasimha images worshipped by Tirumangaialwar are located at Tirunagari. There is a
shrine to Tirumangai alwar where he is depicted as a hunter, that he originally was;
adjacent to him is a small image of Vishnu (Sindanaikkiniyaan, which he had held in
worship during his lifetime).
Legend has it that at a distance of about a km from here,
Tirumangaialwar attacked Perumaal and Taayaar (in kalyanakkolam as a newly wed
couple hence Kalyanaranganathar), in order to steal their jewels; the touch of Perumaal
who initiated him into a religious way of life completely transformed Kaliyan
or Tirumangaimannan, who went on to become Tirumangaialwar,
to sing verses in chaste tamil, that constitue a sizeable portion of the sacred Naalayira
Divya Prabandam. This legend of Tirumangaialwar's transformation is enacted
here in the dramatic Vedupari Utsavam, as also in the grand Srirangam
temple during the Pankuni Bhramotsavam.
Legend has it that the ugram or the intensity of Vishnu in his
Narasimhavataram was ameliorated by his consort Lakshmi. This embrace - aalinganam is
behind the name Tiru Aali. Legend also has it that Vishnu discovered Lakshmi in a flower
in the Tirunagari temple pushkarini and hence the name - Sreepuri or Tirunagari or
Aalinganapuri. Legends related to these temples are referenced in the Garuda puranam.
The temple: While the Tiruvaali temple has a single prakaram, the
Tirunagari temple is a vast one, and is a Maadakkoyil built at an elevation. A seventiered
rajagopuram adorns the entrance to this temple with four prakarams. Tirunagari is known as
the Pancha Narasinga Kshetram, as there are images to Narasimhar at Tiruvaali (Lakshmi
Narasimhar), Kuraiyalur - Ugra Narasimhar (the spot where Tirumangai Alwar
intercepted Perumaal) and Mangaimadam (where Tirumangaialwar fed devotees of Vishnu)
-Veera Narasimhar ; there are two images of Narasimhar , one behind the main shrine and
one in one of the prakarams at Tirunagari - Yoga Narasimhar and Hiranya Narasimhar.
Manavala muni has visited this shrine several times. One day prior to the grand
Tirunangur, Garuda Sevai festival, the image of Tirumangaialwar is taken in procession to
Kuraiyalur, Mangaimadam and Nangur.
Festivals: Bhramotsavam here is celebrated in the month of Pankuni
where the incident of Tirumangai Alwar's transformation is enacted.. The Tirumangaialwar
Mangalasasana utsavam in the month of Thai (after the new moon night) witnesses
Garudasevai - a spectacular event in which festival images of Perumaal from the 11
(Tirunaangur) Divya Desam shrines in the area are brought on Garuda mounts to
Tirunangur. An image of Tirumangai Alwar is brought to Tirunaangur on a Hamsa Vahanam
(from Tirunagari) and the his paasurams (verses) dedicated to each
of these 11 Divya Desams are recited. The image of Tirumangaialwar circumambulates each of
these deities, and at the conclusion of the festival, the images are returned to their
temples. Prior to this, the image of Tirumangaialwar and his consort are taken in a
palanquin to each of the 11 Tirunangur Divya Desams, (trampling) through the paddy
fields in the area, and the paasurams dedicated to each of the 11 Divya Desams are chanted
in the respective shrines. The Ekadasa Garuda Sevai is the most important festivals in
this area, and it draws thousands of visitors.