Today the divya desam story takes you to the first capital of the Chozhas – Uraiyur (in Trichy) – for the Love Story of Kamalavalli Nachiyar (Goddess Kamalavalli) and her wedlock with the handsome young lad Srirangam Lord Ranganatha.
The Chozha king Nanda Chozhan had been childless. Pleased with his prayers, Lord Ranganatha asked Goddess Lakshmi to be born as the King’s daughter at Uraiyur. Being born out of the Lotus, the Goddess here is called Kamalavalli Nachiyar [Kamala means Lotus].
As years went by, Kamalavalli grew into a beautiful young girl. One day while she was out with her friends, her eyes fell on a handsome young man and instantly she fell in love with him. The man was none other than Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam.
King Nanda Chozhan was in a fix as his daughter had fallen in love with the man, who had blessed the king with the child. Once again, the Lord accepted the king’s prayers and accepted her as his bride. Delighted at this, Nanda Chozhan built a temple at Uraiyur to celebrate the (home) coming of Lord Ranganatha to Uraiyur to take the hand of his daughter.
Every year in the month of Panguni, a significant event takes place at the Uraiyur temple.
Every year,during Panguni, Lord Ranganatha, in all his splendour, leaves the Srirangam temple at 4am to take the 6 km journey across the Cauvery in a golden palanquin to meet his beloved Kamalavalli Naachiyar for the ‘Kalyana Utsavam’(marriage festivities). On this auspicious day in the month of Panguni, the entire marriage formalities between Lord Ranganatha and Kamalavalli Nachiyar is enacted at the Uraiyur Temple.
Lord Ranganatha takes the trip back to Srirangam across the Cauvery that same night.
At the Uraiyur temple, one can see Kamalavalli Nachiyar in a grand sitting posture, all set to get married. Being the handsome man in wedding attire, Lord Ranganatha here is called ‘Azhagiya Mana Vaalan’.
A speciality of this temple is that this is the only Divya Desam (out of the 108) where the Goddess is facing the Northern direction, in this case in the direction of the Srirangam Ranganatha temple.
In centuries gone by, devotees used to first visit the Uraiyur Divya Desam, walk across the Cauvery to the Srirangam Ranganatha temple and then across the Coloroon to Uttamar Koil and Tiruvellarai, thus covering four divya desams in one go.
Uraiyur is also the birth place of Thiruppaanazhvaar, one of the 12 Azhvaar Saints. There is a separate sannadhi for Tiruppaanazhvaar at the Uraiyur temple. The Tiruppanaazhvaar festival is held in the month of Karthigai(Nov-Dec).
There’s a belief that an Elephant of a Chozha king, which entered this place, was beaten back by a valiant Hen and had to retreat. Hence, this place is also called Kozhiyoor (Kozhi means Hen in Tamil).
Thirumangai Azhvaar has composed one paasuram (song/verse in praise of the Lord).
Koziyum Kadalum Koil Konde, Kovalare Yoppar Kundramanna
Paazhiyum Tozhumore Naankudayaar, Pandivar Thammayaum Kandariyom
Vaazhiyro vivar vanna Mennil, Makadal Ponrular Kaiyil Veiya
Azhiyon Renthiyor Sangu Patri, Acho Oruvar Azhagiyavaa
Highlights of Uraiyur Temple
Ø Only Divya Desam facing Northern direction
Ø Birth Place of Tirupaanazhvaar
Ø Uraiyur was the first capital of Chozhas
Ø Entire marriage formalities between Lord Ranganatha and Kamalavalli Nachiyar enacted
during Panguni(March-April) every year
How to reach the temple
A number of town buses ply between Trichy (Trichirappalli) Junction/ Srirangam and Uraiyur, Chatram bus stand and central bus stand. The temple is about 4 kms from Trichy Junction.
The temple is open between 630am and 12noon & 4pm and 8pm.