பூண்டவத்தம் பிறர்க்கடைந்து தொண்டுபட்டுப்
பொய்ந்_லை மெய்ந்_லென் றென்றுமோதி
மாண்டு,அவத்தம் போகாதே வம்மினெந்தை
என்வணங்கப் படுவானை, கணங்களேத்தும்
நீண்டவத்தைக் கருமுகிலை எம்மான்தன்னை
நின்றவூர் நித்திலத்தைத் தொத்தார்சோலை,
காண்டவத்தைக் கனலெரிவாய்ப் பெய்வித்தானைக்
கண்டதுநான் கடல்மல்லைத் தலசயனத்தே. (2) 2.5.2
The temple is built during the Pallava era, and is estimated to be 1500 years old. The temple has a 5 tier gopuram at the entrance. The Moolavar(presiding deity) of the temple is Lord Bakthavasala. The Moolavar is at a standing position facing east. The height of the Moolavar is around 10 feet. The Utsavar(procession deity) is called Patharaavi is made of panchaloka and is accompanied by two consorts as in most Vaishnavite temples. There is a separate sannidhi for Ennai Petra Thayar also called Sudhavalli, the consort of Lord Bakthavasala. The temple also has separate sannidhis for Andal, Chakkarathazhwar, the Alwars and Sri Ramanuja. On the banks of a lake a few meters behind this temple is another temple for Lord Rama. In this temple there is a beautiful statue of Hanuman lifting Rama and Lakshmana on his shoulders.
Goddess is said to have left Vaikuntam after a difference of opinion with the Lord and undertaken penance here. Hence this place is called Thiru Ninravoor- Thiru (Goddess) -Ninravur (the place where she stood).
Lord sent the King of the Ocean, Samudra Raja, on who lies Adiseshan, to search for the Goddess. Samudra Raja is believed to have come out of his home (the ocean) and found the Goddess here at Thiru Ninravoor and is said to have addressed her as ‘Ennai Petra Thaayaar’.
Kubera who lost his wealth is said to have offered prayers to the Goddess and regained his lost wealth at this place. Hence this place is also called Sukra Kshetram and Kubera Puram. Legend has it that King Dharamadvajan, a descendent of Surya clan, prayed here during the month of Panguni and regained his lost wealth.
All the Devas in the celestial world gathered here to witness and participate in the divine wedding of Lord Vishnu with Mother Mahalakshmi. They wished that this darshan should be available to them for ever. They took the form of honey-bees, built nests and stayed here to realize their wish.
Even today, a honey nest exists on the northern side of Mother’s shrine the antiquity of which is not known to anybody. This is a miracle in this Divya desa. It is believed that a one day stay in the place will bring total salvation to the soul. As Lord rushes to the rescue of His devotees so fast with the speed of Steam-Aavi in Tamil, He is praised as Bhakthar Aavi which later changed as Bhatharavi. Perumal’s Vimana is of Utpala design. It is also believed that the place is protected by Lord Shiva in all four directions in four forms. Though Vishwakseana appears with four hands in Vishnu temples, He appears with only two hands here as he came here to have the audience of Mother Mahalakshmi for Perumal on an occasion.
Unlike NammAzhvaar who visualized different forms of Vishnu and sung praises of the Lord, ThiruMangai Azhvaar is said to have visited these Vishnu temples (now called Divya Desams) and sung praise of the Lord, depending on how impressed he was.
For example, ThiruMangai visited Rajagopalaswamy temple at Mannargudi but did not sing praise of the Lord (reasons for which are not known). At Indhalur, in Mayavaram, the Lord had shut the door on ThiruMangai who threatened to leave the temple without singing praise of the Lord, only for the Lord to retract and then convince ThiruMangai Azhvaar to sing praise of him.
Something similar happened at Thiru Ninravur. Having visited ThiruVallur, about 15kms west of ThiruNinravur, ThiruMangai comes to Thiru Ninravur and finding the Lord and Goddess relaxing and enjoying themselves, he decides to move on and gives Thiru Ninravur a miss.
ThiruMangai does not wait, moves on to ThiruVellikeni. Unhappy with Thiru Mangai Azhvaar giving ThiruNinravur a miss, Goddess asks the Lord to find Thiru Mangai and to get him to sing praise of this place. Acceding to Goddess’s wish, Lord goes to Thiruvellikeni only to find that ThiruMangai had already left.
Same scenario repeats as the Lord moves on to ThiruVidanthai on the Eastern sea shore. Finally, the Lord catches up with Thiru Mangai Azhvaar at Thiru Kadal Mallai.
Finding the Lord standing in front of him and looking for praise from him, ThiruMangai sings:
“Neenda Vatha Karumugilai Emmaan Thannai
Ninravur Nithilath Thothaar Solai
Kaandavathaik Kanalerivaai Pei Vithaanaik
Kandathu Naan Kadal Mallai Thalasanathy”
Lord returns to Thirunanravur with a single paasuram
Happy with this, the Lord returns to ThiruNinravur only to find the Goddess disappointed once again. Thirumangai who has sung several verses in praise of other Lords could give us only one, said the Goddess to the Lord. And forced him to follow Thirumangai a 2nd time.
Lord back in search of Thiru Mangai
On reaching Kadal Mallai, the Lord found that Thiru Mangai had moved on. Lord followed him all the way and finally tracked him down at Thiru Kanna Mangai (near Thiruvarur), south of Kadal Mallai.
With the Lord entering the place, ThiruMangai had noticed him and welcomed him thus:
“Etrinaimaithulem Meesanai Imaiyai Marumaikku Marunthinai
Ninravur Ninra Nithilath Thothinai
Kaatrinai PunalaiChendru Naadik Kannamangai Ul Kandu Konden”
A visit to this temple is said to help people recover lost wealth/glory.
The temple is under the joint administration of Tirupathi Periya Jeer and Hindu Endowment Board.
BhaktaVatsala Perumal Koil in Thiru Ninravur is located about 30kms from Madras off the Madras- Tirupathi Highway (MTH). One can also reach ThiruNinravur by taking Madras-Poonamallee – Thiruvallur road.