This temple lies in the Tanjore district of TamilNadu. It is 4 miles from Nannilam Railway station. From Maayuram we have to go to Thirupugalore and from there by crossing a river Thirukannapuram is at 1 mile distance. Bus facility is provided.
Tirukkannapuram is known as Sreematashtaakshari Mahaa Mantrasidhdhi Kshetram and is considered to be the eastern gateway to Srirangam. Tirumangai Alwar is said to have been initiated here. Also located nearby is the Ramanadeeswaram Shivastalam sung by the Tevaram hymns of Tirugnanasambandar where Rama is believed to have worshipped Shiva.
Kannapuram is revered as one of the five Krishnaranya kshetrams - Tiruvazhundur, Tirukkannankudi, Kapistalam, Kannapuram and Kannamangai.
It is even referred to as the eastern shrine while Srirangam is referred to as the Western shrine.
The sanctum enshrines Neelamega perumaal with his consorts. Andal's image is seen to the left of Perumal, while Padmavati Taayar (a local princess born of a fisherman) is located to his right; Vishnu's marriage with Padmavati is represented here. This temple with 3 prakarams occupies an area of about an acrea nd a half and it has a 100 feet high 7 tiered Rajagopuram. Across from the temple is the Nityapuskharini tank which is larger than the temple. There are shrines dedicated to Rama and Vibhishana in this temple.
The Moolavar of this kshetram is Sri Neelamega Perumal. The Moolavar is giving his seva in the standing posture facing east. Instead of Abhaya Hastham he has Varadha Hastham similar to Kanchi Varadharaja perumal. Also, he has the Prayoga Chakaram, similar to that of Ranganatha perumal of SriRangam. Prathyaksham for Kanva Maharishi, Thandaka Maharishi and Garudan. There is a shrine to Ramanujacharyar on the northern bank of the temple tank and there is a shrine to Tirumangaialwar near the temple. Thayaar:
The Thayaar found in this sthalam is Kannapura Naayaki along with Periya piraati, Sridevi, Aandal and Padmini Thaayar.
The Utsavar of this sthalam is Utsavar Sowriraja perumal is in a pose of seeking hands for marriage.
Thirukkannamangai and Thirukannapuram Lord Krishna is in a standing posture and at Thirukovilur Lord Krishna gives "Ulakalantha sevai" (ie) he stands up to a great height. Long back, this temple was near the seashore. But now the sea has drifted back about 10 Kilometers.
Kanva Maharishi brought up Shakunthala, the daughter of Vishvamithra and Menaka.
Later Shakunthala married king Dhushyanthan. But he forgot his love due to a eveil spell. In order to unite Bhakunthala with her husband a fish ate up her marriage ring and when the king saw the ring came running in search of Shakunthala and their son Bharatha.
As the fisherman was the sole reason of unison of Shakunthala and Dhushyantha they are called as "Bharathavar".
In order to remaind this, Neela mega perumal married the princes "Padmavathi" of the fisherman crew. Utsavar sowriraaja perumal as in a posture of seeking hands of yearly once a special pooja is conducted to this perumal by all the fisherman of this area.
As Neelamega perumal is treated in accordance with Varadharaja perumal of Kanchi, he has given a very special dharsan (ie) he has showed himself in person to Thandaka Maharishi who was formely a king and due to his hard penance at Kanchi gained the status of Maharishi.
Vibishanan wanted to take away Ranganathar from SriRangam but as he was in sleeping posture be couldn't do that. So he prayed god to show the beauty of his walk to him. Accepting this god ordered Vibishana to come to Thirukannapuram on a new moon day. And at this place, Neelamega perumal showed Vibishana his beautiful walk.
Once there was a demon named vikataksham and as an answer to the prayer of Maharishi's, Neelamega perumal destroyed this demon. Using his chakaram. After that he still gives us dharshan with that powerful chakaram which is ready to kill evil things.
Reason behind the Name:
(i) There's a small story regarding the name Sowriraajan. Once upon a time, lots of flowers were sent to the temple for pooja from the palace. But it didn't reach the god instead it was sold. The king came to knew this and tried to know the truth by a surprise visit.
Knowing this fact, the Archagar Ranga Bhattar arranged for a garland quickly and put it upon the god. When the King came to visit the temple, he found a strand of hair in the garland and started enquiring about that. Ranga Bhattar was shocked and pleaded the God to save him. Bhattar lied the King that it was God's hair and Lord Neela Mega perumal had a plait (Kudumi). But the King was not satisfied. When he came again for inspection, Lord Neelamega perumal showed him off his long plait. The king was convinced.
Henceforth from that incident he's also called Sowrirajan (Sowri means hair).
(ii) "Om Namo Narayana" is the Thirumandiram (ie) sacred word for Vaishnavities. Thirumangai Alwar was taught (ie) got upadesam of this Mandiram from the Lord Neelamega perumal itself. This mandiram consists of eight syllables and here he lives in each syllable forever and henceforth this place is also called "Srimathasthakshara Maha Manthira Siddhi Kshetram" (ie) the place were the Thirumandiram has gives boundless power.
(iii) Once there was a great devotee named "Munnayatharayar". He one night asked his wife to cook 'Pongal' (a rice dish) and took it to the temple. But as it was very late the temple doors were closed. Hence he stood outside of the temple and mentally submitted the pongal to the Lord Neelamega perumal. As a honour of acceptence, bells in the Moolavar Sannadhi started ringing and the whole campus was filled with the fragrence of fresh ghee and pongal.
So from that day, each night during the last pooja perumal takes pongal which is named "Munitharam" pongal after "Munnayatharayar".
On every Masi Magam, the lord god of this place goes to the seashore and blesses all his devotees there.
Periyalwar - 1 Paasuram
Aandal - 1 Paasuram
Kulasekaralwar - 11 Paasurams
Nammalwar - 11 Paasurams
Thirumangaialwar - 104 Paasurams.
Total – 128
Six worship services are offered each day. The Bhramotsavam is celebrated in the month of Vaikasi, and the Mahotsavam in the month of Maasi, where the festival image of Sowrirajan is taken to the seashore on a golden garuda mount, where fishermen join the celebration. The adhyayana utsavam is celebrated in the month of Margazhi. The first day of each tamil month, the ekadasis and the hasta asterism are all celebrated in this temple.
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 Tamarid tree in "Atthai Thindru - Angae Kidantha - Yoga Nilai in sitting seva.
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.