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Garuda That Increases Weight And Sweats During Annual Procession – Hindu Temple Miracle

Every year during Tamil Margazhi Month (December – January) procession and during Panguni procession (March – April), a Hindu temple miracle unfolds at the famous Nachiyar Koil Temple on the outskirts of Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu. The Garuda Vahanam, or vehicle of Lord Vishnu, on the fourth day of Margazhi and Panguni Brahmotsavams increases in weight gradually and it also sweats.

The utsava murti of Lord Vishnu worshipped at Nachiyar Koil is brought out atop the Kal Garuda Vahanam at night on the fourth day of the temple festival. Only four people are required to carry the Garuda Vahanam from the sanctum sanctorum.

But soon the four people are not able to bear the weight of Garuda. Another four people join and it becomes eight. A few minutes later as the murti crosses a prakaram the eight people cannot carry the Garuda and 8 people join. This continues and at the end of rituals 128 people are required to carry the Garuda.

While only four people are needed to carry Garuda out of his sanctum, as he advances further out of each layer and prakaram, his weight increases manifold demanding eight, 16, 32, and 64 people to carry him out into the vahana mandapam at the entrance of the temple.

For the six-hour procession around the four mada streets of Nachiyar Koil 128 people are required for carrying the Garuda.

Interestingly on his return to the temple, the murti of Garuda decreases weight gradually 128 are required to carry the murti from mada streets to vahana mandapam. From here 64 are required to carry to the first prakaram…gradually only four people are require to carry the Garuda into the temple sanctum.

Another unique feature of the Garuda murti is that one can see it sweating profusely during the procession.

Nachiyar Koil is about 10 km from Kumbakonam on the Tiruvarur Road.

Story of Nachiyar Koil Kal Garuda

It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi once resided at the ashram of Sage Medhavi here. Vishnu came looking for her atop Garuda and therefore Garuda is given equal prominence in the temple.

The Kal Garuda (Stone Garuda) worshipped in the shrine is huge in size and holds 9 snakes.

The 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 the main sanctum sanctorum. The murt is carved out of Shaligram stone.

The story goes that a sculptor who was creating the murti of Garuda found the murti flying after he had made its wings. A couple of times this happened.

Shocked at this sudden flying, the sculptor threw a stone at one flying Garuda murti striking him on the nose. Garuda came falling down and decided to stay here ever after and bless the devotees.

Some Other Unique Facts Of Nachiyar Koil

  • Nachiyar Koil is one of the 108 divya desams dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Srinivasa Perumal and his consort Lakshmi as Nachiyar.
  • The temple is famous as Nachiyar Koil but is also known as Thirunaraiyur Nambi Temple.
  • Goddess Lakshmi is known here as Vanjulavalli Thayar or Nachiyar Thayar is given prominence in this temple.
  • In all rituals the first rites are reserved to Vanjulavalli Thayar. Vishnu gets second preference here in all rituals.
  • In the sanctum sanctorum of the temple Vanjulavalli Thayar is the one who is at the centre with Vasudeva Perumal (Lord Vishnu) slightly away by her side. Pancha Vyuha forms of Sankarshana, Pradyumna, Anirudha, Purushottama and Vasudeva are also found in the sanctum sanctorum.
  • Nachiyar Koil has 16 gopurams including the five- tiered rajagopuram.
  • During the annual festival, Garuda receives honors from Srinivasa Perumal (presiding deity) in the form of dress and ornaments.
  • Jewels and dress are also presented to Garuda by Ranganatha, the presiding Vishnu form of Srirangam Ranganathaswamy Temple.
  • It is believed that worshipping the Garuda at the temple helps in overcoming naga dosha. Couples not having children were blessed with children after offering prayers here.