Thirukkurugoor | Sri Aadhinatha Swamy Temple | Azhwar Thirunagari | Divya Desams - 087
About the Temple & Location:

This sthalam is situated in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu. One mile away from Azhwar Thirunagari railway station which is found in between Tirunelveli to Tiruchendur railway lane. Boarding and lodging facilities are available but not more. 3 miles away from Sri Vaikundam when travelling by bus.


Nammalvar is found below the Tamarind tree in “Atthai Thindru – Angae Kidantha – Yoga Nilai in sitting seva.

Alwarthirunagari Permual Temple is a Hindu temple, dedicated to the god Vishnu, in Alwar Thirunagari, a town in Thoothukudi district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

It is located 26 km from Tirunelveli. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is glorified in the Naalayira Divya Prabandham, the early medieval Tamil canon of the Alvar saints from the 6th–9th centuries CE. It is one of the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Adinathar and his consort Lakshmi as Athinathanayagi. The temple is also classified as a Navatirupathi, the nine temples revered by Nammalvar located in the banks of Tamiraparani river. The temple is the most prominent among the nine Navatirupathi temples. The temple is one of the Navagraha temples in Vaishnavism, associated with Jupiter, the Guru.

A granite wall surrounds the temple, enclosing all its shrines and two of its three bodies of water. The rajagopuram, the temple's gateway tower, is 95 ft (29 m) tall. The temple is considered the birthplace of Nammalvar, considered the most prominent among the twelve Alvars Saints. The temple follows Tenkalai tradition of worship. Six daily rituals and three yearly festivals are held at the temple, of which the ten-day annual Brahmotsavam during the Tamil month of Chittirai (April - May) and the Nammalvar birth celebrations with Garudasevai with all nine temple of Navatirupathi, being the most prominent. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.


Alwar Tirunagari is believed to be the largest town in the time of Pandya kings. The distinguishing name, with Alvar in Tamil prefixed to Thirunagari means the people who spoke languages first and speaks correct language. The temple is considered the birthplace of Nammalvar, considered the most prominent among the twelve Alvars Saints. Nammalvar has contributed more than thousand verses out of the four thousand in Naalayira Divya Prabhandam, the Vaishnava canon.

According to traditional scriptures, Nammalvar was born in 43rd Kali of 3059 BCE. He was born in a Mallar family at Thirukuravur (modern day Alwarthirunagiri) in the southernmost region of the Tamil country. According to legend, as a child he responded to no external stimuli and his parents left him at the feet of the deity of Sri Adhinathar of Nagar tribe in Alwarthirunagari. The child then got up and climbed into a hole in a tamarind tree, sat in the lotus position, and began to meditate. It appears he was in this state for as long as sixteen years when a Tamil poet and scholar in Madurai named Madhurakavi Alvar saw a bright light shining in the south, and followed it until he reached the tree where the boy was residing. Unable to elicit any reaction from the child, he asked him a riddle: "If the small is born in a dead's body (or stomach), what will it eat and where will it stay?" meaning, if the subtle soul is embodied in the gross body, what are its actions and thoughts? Nammalvar broke his lifelong silence and responded, "That it will eat, it will rest!" meaning that if the soul identifies with the body, it will be the body but if it serves the divine, it will stay in Vaikuntha and eat (think) of God. Madhurakavi Alvar realized the divinity of this child and became a devotee of the child. The works of Nammalwar were compiled by Madhurakavi as four different works, the Tiruvaymoli (1102 verses), Thiruviruttam (100 verses), Thiruvaasiriam (or Thiru Aasiriyam - 7 verses) and Periya Thiruvanthadi (87 verses). The works of Nammalwar contributed to the philosophical and theological ideas of Vaishnavism. Along with the three samaya kuravargal, Shaiva Nayanars Appar, Sundarar and Sambandar, they influenced the ruling Pallava kings of South India, changing the religious geography from Buddhism and Jainism to Hinduism.


A granite wall surrounds the temple, enclosing all its shrines and two of its three bodies of water. The rajagopuram, the temple's gateway tower, is 95 ft (29 m) tall. Lord Vishnu is worshipped here as Aathinathan or Aathipiran. The Swamyabhu murti of Vishnu faces east and is in standing posture. The feet of the murti are buried under earth. Goddess Lakshmi and Bhudevi are worshipped here as Aathinathanayaki and Thirukkurukornayaki. The shrine is located on the banks of Thamiraparani River. The sacred water body in the temple is known as Brahma Theertham. In modern times, the temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu. The temples houses a number of paintings depicting various scenes of the epic Ramayana. There are composite pillars in the temple numbering 48 which has remarkable sculptures. There is a tamarind tree on the precincts of the temple, which is believed to have been the birth place of Nammalvar. Devotees take strips of the trees for medicinal purposes.

Religious significance
Brahmanda Purana one of the eighteen sacred texts of Hinduism and written by Veda Vyasa contains a chapter called Navathirupathi Mahatmeeyam. The second part of the chapter refers to Alwar Thirunagari. The temple is revered in Nalayira Divya Prabandham, the 7th–9th century Vaishnava canon, by Nammalvar. The temple is classified as a Divya Desam, one of the 108 Vishnu temples that are mentioned in the book. The temple is also classified as a Navatirupathi, the nine temples revered by Nammalvar located in the banks of Tamiraparani river. The temple is the most prominent among the nine Navatirupathi temple. Nammalvar makes a reference about the temple in his works in Tiruvaymoli. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the temple finds mention in several works like 108 Tirupathi Anthathi by Divya Kavi Pillai Perumal Aiyangar. The temple also forms a series of Navagraha temples where each of the nine planetary deities of one of the temples of Navatirupathi. The temple is associated with the planet Jupiter, called Guru.

Festival and religious practices

The Garuda Sevai utsavam (festival) in the month of Vaikasi (May-June) witnesses nine Garudasevai, a spectacular event in which festival image idols from the Nava Tirupathis shrines in the area are brought on Garuda vahana (sacred vehicle). An idol of Nammalvar is also brought here on an Anna Vahanam (palanquin) and his paasurams (verses) dedicated to each of these nine temples are recited. The utsavar (festival deity) of Nammalvar is taken in a palanquin to each of the nine temples, through the paddy fields in the area. The pasurams (poems) dedicated to each of the nine Divya Desams are chanted in the respective shrines. This is the most important of the festivals in this area, and it draws thousands of visitors.

The temple follows the traditions of the Thenkalai sect of Vaishnavite tradition and follows Pancharatra agama. The temple priests perform the puja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. As at other Vishnu temples of Tamil Nadu, the priests belong to the Tamil Brahmin Vaishnavite community.The temple rituals are performed four times a day: Kalasanthi at 8:00 a.m., Uchikalam at 12:00 p.m., Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m., and Ardha Jamam at 8:00 p.m. Each ritual has three steps: alangaram (decoration), nivedhanam (food offering) and deepa aradhanai (waving of lamps) for both Adinathar and Athinathanayagi. During the last step of worship, nadaswaram (pipe instrument) and tavil (percussion instrument) are played, religious instructions in the Vedas (sacred text) are recited by priests, and worshippers prostrate themselves in front of the temple mast. There are weekly, monthly and fortnightly rituals performed in the temple

Sthlapuranam :

In Thirunelveli district, all along both the sides of Tanporunai (Tamirabarani), there are 9 sthalams and they are collectively and popularly called as “Nava Thiruppathigal”.

Thirukkurugoor is the Avathara Sthalam (birth place) of Nammalwar. This sthalam explains his speciality and his works towards Vaishnavism and because of this, the sthalam is called “Azhwar Tirunagari”.

Emperumaan, Sriman Narayanan says to Brahma that before producing him, he came to Porunai river and lived there. And said him to keep this temple as “Aadhi temple” (first and main temple) he should worship him. Like this he gives teaches (Ubhadesam) to Brahma as a Guru (Teacher) since, Sriman Narayanan acts as a Guru for Brahma, this sthalam is called “Kurugoor”.

Kuru means do this is the meaning. Since, Narayanam asks Brahma to do the tapas and his workship towards him, this sthalam is called “Kurugoor”.

The Moolavar, Aadhinarayanan has very big thirumeni (body) and he came on his own (Suyambu) its not done the Pradhishtai (installed). The feet of the Moolavar comes up inside from the Earth.

Devendran – Indiran finally got out from Sabham (Sabhavimotsanam) after worshipping the Aadhinadha perumal. He got the sabaham from his parents because he is not treating them well and obeying them.

In this sthalam Lakshmanan (brother of Sri Ramar) did pradhistai (made) himself as “Tamarid tree” and in that tree Emperumaan lives in Bramacharya stage. Once, periyapiratti comes there and asked Narayanan to marry her. At that time, Narayanan converts her as a flower and wear on his body.

In pramadhi year, Vaikasi 12th day in Valarpirai – Pournami, friday, Nammalvar was born to vellalar and Udaya Nangai. When he born, he didnt cry or open his eyes and didnt drink the Mother’s milk. This is because when the Sadavaayu (Air) went inside the body of Udaya Nangai, he made that not to enter and push him out. Because of this, Nammalwar is popularly named as “Sadagopar”.

He doesnt open his eyes because he doent wanted to see anyone except Sriman Narayanan, and the same way he wants to speak only about Emperumaan, so he doesnt open his mouth to cry (or) to drink milk. His parents were worried about him thinking he might be retarded (Jadam). So, they brought him to Aadhinadha perumaltemple and named him as “Maaran”. At that time, closing his eyes, he goes near to the Tamarid tree and sits there in Yoga stage till the age of 16.

At the same time, Madurakavi Alwar starts his Bhakthi Yaatra towards Ayodhya, Vada Madura, Gaya, Kasi, Kanchi, Avanti and Dwaraka. He was born in Tirukkoloor as an ordinary Andhanar (Brahmanar) and was well knowledged in Sanskrits.

When he was travelling to Ayodhya, a flashy light arised in the sky which directed him along the south direction. He followed the light and finally it disappeared in the Thirukkurugoor Aadhinadhar temple. On entering the temple Madhurakaviyaar found and surprised at Nammalvar, being 16 years old child in Yana nilai (thyama Stage).

He went close to Nammalvar and made some noises to awakes him from the thyanam. Then Madhukaviyaar questiontioned Nammalvar that how the life (Aathma) live and what it is eating to live? For this, Nammalwar said “Atthai thindru Angae Kidakkum”.

This means that the body is made up of Panjabhootham (5 Universal parts). Inspite it is found in earth, it lives only by the thinking and experience on Paramathma (Sriman Narayanan) and this how our life lives and it should be only in such a way.

On hearing this, Madhukaviyaar was so happy that he had got a wounderful teacher (Aasaan) and raised his hands over his head and started to praise him in songs. At that time to open the eyes of Nammalwar, Emperumaan as “Sangu Chakradhari” along with Lakshmi samethar gave his dharshan. Along with Nammalwar, Madhurakaviyar got the dharshan of Emperumaan in Nindra Kola seva. Since, Madhurakaviyaar was able to get the seva of Emperumaan, he assumed Nammalvar as his emperumaan and started to worship him. This is no selfishness with Sriman Narayanan, because of this only his bhakthas call him as “Emperumaan” thinking he is for them. Like the same way, since Nammalwar doesnt live for him and his thinking is always on Narayanan, Sadagopar was named as “Nammalwar”. Nam – means ours.

Nammalwar sat beneath the Tamarid tree and did mangalasasanam for 35 divyadesam through his “Gnana Eye”. This Tamarid tree with some holes can be seen now, too. This tree is called as “Puliyalwar”.

Daily Thirumanjanam is done beneath the Tamarid tree. The utsava moorthy, Nammalwar is giving his seva in Golden sannadhi (small one) in Sobhana Mandapam. Before starting the Ramayana, Kambar wrote “Sadagopar Andadhthi” by keeping down his head towards Nammalwar.

On the south mada veethi (street) Thiruvenkada mudayan – Sri srinivasar sannadhi and west mada street, is Thiru Aranganathan Sannadhi and on north mada street, Ulagaccharyar, Azhagar, Vedantha desikar, Manavala Maamunigal, Andal sannadhis are found.

The one more speciality si Udayavar Ramanujar wears white colours dress rather than wearing saffron colour. (Rishis wears only saffron coloured dress).

The Sadaari, which is kept on our head in all of the Vaishnava temples is said to be Thiruvadi (feet) of Emperumaan and it is the Nammalwars shape (or) dimension. He is explaining the world that he acts as the dust which is found below the feet of Emperumaan.

Udaya Nangai, who gave birth to Nammalwar, it was Sri Emperumaan who gave the Gnana to him and because of this, he accepts both of them as his mother. Because of this only, in all the Nava Thirupathis (total – 9), Sri Emperumaan is found along with two thaayars. (Nava Thirupathi is the sthalam is Nammlwar’s where did the Mangalasasanam)

Travelling a distance of 1 mile away from this sthalam, we can find “Appan Sannadhi”, where we can find the sannadhi for Kaarimaran, father of Nammalwar.

Sthala Virutcham (tree) of this shtalam is Tamarind tree.

Moolavar and Thaayar:

The Moolavar in Sri Aadhinathan. Other names of this Perumal are Aadhippiraan, Polindhu Nindra piraan. Moolavar in Nindra Kolam facing east direction.

Prathyaksham for Brahmadevar, Madhurakavi Alwar and Nammalwar.

Thaayar : 2 Thaayars – Aadhinadha Valli and Gurukoor valli and have separate sannadhis.


Nammalwar – 11 Pasurams
Total – 11

Manavala Maamunigal has also done Mangalasasam here.

Tamira Barani Nadhi.

Govinda Vimaanam.