Lord Vishnu, Goddess Laxmi and Garuda

Temple History

Nachiar Kovil or Thirunarayur Nambi is an ancient temple situated in Thirunarayur a village which is just 5 kms from the famous temple city Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu. Situated on Kumbkonam - Tiruvarur road. This temple is dedicated to the God Vishnu and his concert Lakshmi Devi. Nachiyar koil is one of the few Divya Desams with special prominence for Goddess. 108 idols of Divya Desam Lords seen here.

Nachiyar Koil was built by the Chola King Ko Chenganan in 5th century. Nachiyar Koil has 16 gopurams including the five- tiered rajagopuram. This is his first vaishnavite temple, the 71st, with the other 70 being saivite temples. Recognising this, Thiru Mangai has dedicated 10 verses in praise of Ko Chenganan. While Kanchipuram is referred as Athigiri and Tirupathi as Seshagiri, the temple at Thiru Naraiyur is hailed as Suganthagiri.

The specialty here is a huge and well-built Stone Garuda, the only one of its kind in any divyadesam, is of special significance at this temple and is seen adjacent to Vanjulavalli Thaayar and Srinivasa Perumal’s sannidhi.

The story goes that a sculptor who was creating an image of Garuda suddenly found the idol flying after he had made its wings. Shocked at this sudden action, the sculptor threw a stone at Garuda striking him on the nose. Garuda came falling down and decided to stay here ever after and bless the devotees.

During the utsavam, Kal Garuda made his way out of his sanctum, at 7 p.m., to provide darshan to His devotees (including a family that had come all the way from Australia) who had gathered in large numbers inside this temple.

A special feature of this Kal Garuda utsavam was the magical event where Kal Garuda increased in weight during the procession. While only four people carried Kal Garuda out of his sanctum, as he advanced further out of each layer and prakaram, his weight increased manifold demanding eight, 16, 32 and 64 people to carry Him out into the Vahana mandapam at the entrance of the temple.

After the special alankaram that saw Kal Garuda draped in a new silk dhoti, decked with glittering jewels and with a huge flower garland, brought specially for this occasion from Srirangam, Vanjula Valli Thaayar led the handsome Srinivasa Perumal, mounted atop the Stone Garuda, out of the temple for the six-hour procession around the four mada streets of Nachiyar Koil.

As Kal Garuda stepped out from the Vahana mandapam, his weight had increased dramatically that 128 people were required to carry Him. Interestingly, early next morning, the Stone Garuda mount decreased in weight that only four people were required to carry Him ( the same number as the one when he departed the previous evening) back at the sanctum.

Another unique feature of this Utsavam was that one could see the Stone Garuda sweating profusely as he made his way out for the procession.

Kal Garuda Utsavam is the major festival held at this temple every year which attracts the huge crowd of devotees participating from the surrounding cities.


Additional Information

Hotels and accommodation facilities are available at Kumbakonam city.

Pilgrims can also visit other temples Thiru Cherai, Thiru Kannamangai and Thiru Kannapuram divyadesams after worshipping the Lord at Nachiar Koil.

This temple is located on Kumbakonam - Thiruvarur road. Kumbakonam city is just 5 kms from the temple. Buses, autos and private transport is available from Kumbakonam city.

Kumbakonam railway station is the nearest railway station which is just 8.5 kms and Thanjavur Junction is 49.5 kms from this temple. These stations have good connectivity with all the major cities of India.

Tiruchirapalli International Airport is 100 kms from here.
  • 6:30 AM to 12:30 PM & 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
  • Contact Person: Temple Office
  • Contact Number: (+91) 0435 2467167