Located about 8kms West of Nagapattinam, off the Nagapattinam- Thiruvarur Highway, is Damodara Narayanan Divya Desam in Thiru Kannangudi, which is also part of the Pancha Krishna Kshetram. This is the final point of Krishnaranya Kshetram, which begins at Naachiyar Koil in Thiru Naraiyur and passes through Thiru Cherai, Kannamangai and Kannapuram.
Sage Vashishta and Lord Krishna
The story goes that, Lord Krishna, pleased with Vashishta’s penance, appeared before the sage in the form of a kid. While the Sage was immersed in thoughts of the Lord, Kannan picked up the butter, swallowed it in one go and gave Vashishta the run.
With Vashishta giving him a chase, young Kannan runs through the Krishnaranya Kshetram until he came upon the rishis, who were undergoing penance here. Thrilled to see Kannan come their way, the rishis blocked him.
Explaining his hurry, Kannan wanted them to ask for one wish. By this time, Vashishta too had caught up with the Lord and he fell at his feet. The rishis wanted the Lord to provide darshan to other devotees in this same standing posture at this place. Hence this place came to be called Kannankudi.
4 Interesting stories relating to ThiruMangai’s experience at Thiru Kannangudi
1. Thirumangai’s praise of the Tamarind tree
Thirumangai Azhvaar who was to build the huge walls of Srirangam temple came to Nagai to pick up the golden statue of Buddha. On his way back, a tired Thirumangai wanted rest and lay under a Tamarind tree at Thiru Kannankudi. Placing the gold in the pit there, Thirumangai asked the tree to wake him up if someone came there. The next morning when the owner of the plot arrived to resume work, the tamarind tree dropped its leaves on Thirumangai to wake up the Azhvaar.
2. Pending cases at Kannankudi
Thirumangai and the owner of the plot argued about its ownership. Thirumangai defended himself saying his papers were in Srirangam and that he would come back in a day or two with the papers. Thirumangai never came back and the case is said to have remained pending. Disputes in ThiruKannangudi don’t see a quick decision.
3. Dry Wells at Thiru Kannangudi
A thirsty Thirumangai is said to have walked up to the ladies near the well and asked for water. Having heard about his arguments regarding the ownership of the plot, they were worried that he would fight with them on the ownership of the well and hence refused him a pot of water. An angry Thiru Mangai Azhvaar pronounced a curse stating that the water would not fill up in the well. To this day, wells in Thiru Kannankudi are seen dried up. Even when it fills up, it tastes salty.
4. Lord quenches Thirumangai’s thirst
The Lord of Thiru Kannankudi is said to have come and presented a tired and thirsty Thiru Mangai with food and water. With Thiru Mangai finishing his food, the Lord is said to have disappeared.
Left wondering, Thirumangai, on his way back, met a man who seemed like one with conch and chakra but disappeared almost immediately. It is believed that Thirumangai had earlier answered the Lord’s enquiry about his background saying he was a vagabond. Hence, the Lord is believed to have given him just one quick glimpse of his full vision and then disappeared.
Pancha Krishna Kshetram
ThiruKannankudi is part of the Pancha Krishna Kshetram, the others being Kapisthalam, ThiruKovilur, Thiru Kannamangai and Thiru Kannapuram.
Garuda’s Posture at ThiruKannankudi
Unlike in other Divya Desams where Garuda is seen with folded hands, he is seen here with his hands around his body.
Another unique feature at this temple is the similarity of the Moolavar and Utsavar archa-vigrahas of Goddess, not seen in any other Divya Desam.
Moolavar : Loganathan , Neelameghavannan East facing standing posture
Goddess : Loganayaki
Utsavar : Damodara Narayanan
Azhvaar Paasurams: Thirumangai Azhvaar- 1748-57(10 paasurams)
Temple Timing : 6am-12noon and 5pm –8pm
Priest :Venkataramanan Bhattar@ 94435 54570
How to reach ThiruKannangudi ?
One can take the Nagai-Thiruvarur bus (buses every 5-10 minutes) and get down at Aazhiyur, about 6 kms from Nagai. From there, one can take a mini bus to Kannangudi (about 5mts drive). One can also reach Thiru Kannankudi from ThiruKannapuram (about 25 kms) by car.
Place to stay
It is best to stay in Mayavaram and visit Thiru Nagai, Thiru Kannapuram and Thiru Kannankudi in one go.