Thiruvaali and Thirunagari are both within 3 miles from each other are realted to the history of Thirumangai Alwar.
Thirumangai alwar was born on Thirukurayalur near Thirunagari. His orinigal name was “Neelan” and was the Army chief (Padai Thalapathi) of the Chola Kingdom. He was well versed in Tamil and Sanskrit.
As a reward for his valor, the chola king made Neelan the king of “Aali nadu” a small state whose capital was “Thirumangai”.
Sumangalai was the head of the young ladies of heaven (Deva Kanni) who were involved in the job of fanning the lord using the “Samaram”. Once while saint Kabila was preeching the qualities of Lord Narayana, Sumangali distracted him by making an odd remark of his ugly students. So he cursed to go to earth and take birth.
As a curse, she born on this earth on a lilly flower and was named as “Kumudhavalli”.
Thirumangai Mannan wanted to marry her, but she ordered him to become a Srivaishnavan – a staunch follower of Vaishnavam.
He headed straight to Thirunarayur and asked the Lord to be his Guru and transform him into a pure Vaishnavity.
But Kumudavalli placed another condition for marriage. She ordered him to give food for 1008 Brahmins daily and fill his stomach by accepting the remaining food kept by the Brahmins and drink the water used to wash their lotus feets.
Thirumangai Mannan accepted her terms and married her happily. His extreme love for his wife, brought him into a delicate position of finding enormous money need for the second condition. He even used the many intended to pay the revenue to the chola king.
The king ordered him to pay the revenue, but Thirumangai Mannan was unable to repay it and so he was put in jail. He spent 3 days in the jail without eating food for he took a vow of eating food only after giving food to the Brahmins.
Varadharaja perumal of Kanchipuram, came into his dreams and asked him to come to the Vegavathi river bank to collect the required money.
So along with many Ministers, he came to Kanchi under a tight security and amazingly he found the required money.
But, as the day passed on, he spent all the money he had and was not sufficient to spend. He had no money for the further expenses, so he made up his mind to rob money from rich people.
Once Lord Narayana and Periya Piratti passed along the forest where Thirumangai Alwar was waiting for some rich persons to pass on and so that he could steal money and ornaments from them to serve the Brahmins. Sriman Narayanan and Periya Piratti were dressed as a newly married couples. While they were passing, all people around them sang lots of marriage related songs and on hearing this, Thirumangai Mannan was so happy that he could get lots of ornaments from them. He stopped them and asked for all of their belongings and while the conversation between them was going on, he took away all of their jewles from the marriage party but could not get the precious ring of the Groom. Finally he took the ring by bitting the Groom’s finger.
After that he gathered all the things and asked his servents to lift. But the parcel was too heavy even to Thirumangai alwar. He scolded the groom in suscipion of Chanting Manthra against him. The groom asked alwar to come near him to know the Manthra he chanted and he preeched alwar the most powerful “Ashtaksara Mandiram – Om Namo Narayanaya”. And gave dharsan to him in his original form and gave him the title “Nam Kaliyan”, Nam – Our, Kaliyan – Thief.
After that Alwar became a true addict – devotee to Lord Narayana and totally Mangalsasasanamed 84 Divydesams with thousand two hundred and twenty three paasurams.
He did many great things during his life time. He even built the compund wall of Sri Rangam temple and brought Nammalwar from his isolation to Sri Rangam for a discourse.
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.
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.
Contact: Archagar (Chakravarthy – 9566931905)