Kal Garuda vahana of Nachiyar temple, TN carries a mystery - weight remains same no matter how many people carry it!!

Kal garuda, Nachiyar temple, TN. hinducosmos.tumblr.com

Certain Hindu temples of Tamil Nadu have some mysteries that can not be  easily explained. Such unexplained phenomena will make them more interesting. For example at the Brihadeeshwara temple (dedicated to God Shiva), the huge cupola weighing 60 ton is atop the Shikara that was built more than 1010 years ago.  No plausible explanation is forthcoming as to how the dome with symmetrical images on all sides plus  4 pairs of Nandis - bulls at each ordinal corners, were made. Indeed an engineering marvel. At Thirunageswaram Raghu temple, near Uppiliappan temple (close to Kumbakonam),  when abhisheka is done to the idol of Raghu during Raghu kalam, the stone image turns bluish. 

hanging pillar, lapakshi, AP.ritebook.in

Above image: Veerabhadra temple,a Hindu temple, located in Lepakshi in AP. A 20 foot tall stone pillar hanging from the ceiling, the rest 69 pillar support the hall..... 

Yet another miracle is the hanging pillar (that does not touch the ground) at Veerabhadra temple (1530-45)in Lepakshi. There is a gap between the base of the pillar and the ground. It was masterly designed by the craftsmen  of yester years.

Like the above the Kal (stone) Garuda at Thirunarayur Nambi Temple, close to Kumbakonam  has layers of riddle that is in deed difficult to explain. It is more than an enigma than a miracle. At the temple there is a separate shrine for  Kal Garda that is made of Saligrama stone ( in  Saligrama, the chakra is actually the fossilized impression of the whorl of Ammonites that lived in the ancient sea called Tethys). 

Kal Garudar (Stone Garuda) procession. Nachiyar Kovil, Kumbakonam,

Kal Garuda, an image of Vishnu's mount is a fascinating feature of T hirunarayur Nambi Temple for the following reasons: 

01, It is entirely made of Saligrama stones found in Nepal, 

02. It is housed outside the  garbagriha and acts as festive vahana for God Vishnu,

03. Garuda was the one  who helped God Vishnu trace Mahalakshmi here. So God, as a token of his  gratitude, blessed Garuda  with special  status on par with him at this temple.  

04. Kal Garuda Vahana  procession takes place  during the annual festivals in the Tamil months of Margazhi & Panguni. The procession will go round all four mada streets.

05. For his devotional services to the lord by way of carrying him around the streets, Garuda Deva, on festive occasion, receives honors from the presiding deity Srinivasa Perumal. The honor will be in the form of  Vasthra (dress) and ornaments. Pleased with his devotion, the deity of Srirangam temple  Ranganthaswamy  also honors him every year by presenting  Jewels and dress, etc.  

06. Garuda is referred to as modaka-moda meaning  he is fond of sweet. As part of worship protocol of this temple Nithya puja is   offered to him and a sweet known as amuda-kalasa (amrita-kalasa) (pot of nectar) is  also offered.

As to the question of how Kal Garuda  was created, it is mentioned that  when  the sculptor was chiseling out the Kal Garuda, the idol, surprisingly came to life and  had  started flying out upon making the wings.  Dumb-founded, the sculptor  just added weight to the procured idol  to prevent from flying. This made it stay in the same place. Since then the temple has become  an  abode of Kal garuda and devotees visit his shrine to get blessed.

Indeed a miracle happens when kal garuda vahana is being taken out in a religious procession from the shrine and back. This miracle doe not have any plausible explanation as of to day. 

When Garuda Sevai procession begins at the shrine  only four people are needed  to shoulder the idol of Garuda with the lord.  When the vahana is out of the shrine, the number of people carrying it also miraculously increases in  multiples to 8, 16, 32, 64 when the image is taken outside the temple.

The amazing, but puzzling fact is no matter how many people carry the Kal Garuda Vahana, the weight remains the same. How come there is a need for 64 people out side the  shrine when the same vahana was easily carried by just four people close to the sannidhi?

After the procession  was over when the vahana is back to the temple, the same process is repeated in a reverse order and the number of people goes down in the decreasing order 64, 32, 16, 8, 4. Yet another strange thing is appearance of sweat drops on the image of Kal Garuda during the six-hour-long procession. 

During the procession the Thayyar's vahana Annam - swan moves faster than the lord's. Because Garuda vahana moves forward slowly hampered by the weight. 

It is indeed an unexplained miracle. It looks as if some kind of supernatural forces are acting on the Vahana. There is no way you can set aside the strange phenomenon as a matter of conjecture in the absence of  any scientific explanation. Is it not unusual that the number of people carrying the vahana goes up in multiples as you move away from the shrine without any weight gain and the same thing is repeated in decreasing order  while returning to the shrine, again without any change in the weight of the vahana.  Indeed it an enigma that needs proper explanation.


Thirunarayur Nambi Temple, Nachiyar Kovil near kumbakaonam:  

Thirunarayur Nambi Temple  of  Thirunaraiyur,  about 15 kms from Kumbakonam on the Kumbakonam - Nachiyar Koil - Kudavasal route is a popular place of worship.  Close to Nachiyar kovil town that is famous for making all kinds of oil lamps, including Nachiyar lamp, it  is one of the 108 divyadesams  glorified  by Azhwar saints from the 6th to 9th centuries AD.  Dedicated to Vishnu, here he  is worshipped as Srinivasa Perumal and his consort Lakshmi as Nachiyar. It was here god Vishnu is believed to have initiated Pancha Samskara (religious initiation) to Thirumangai Azhwar. The temple follows the Thenkalai  Samprathyam - mode of worship.

What is unique about this temple  that was   built by Kochengat Cholan of the late 3rd century AD, with later contributions from Medieval Cholas and Vijayanagar kings is  the temple has all the Vishnu’s Pancha Vyuha forms of Sankarshana, Pradyumna, Anirudha, Purushothama and Vasudeva all  are  in the garbagriha- sanctum. The distinctive features of this temple are:

01. Presence of idols of all the 108 Divya Desams, 

02. Brahma in the sanctum praying to Vishnu, 

03. Unusual position of  the Chakra and Conch in front of  in front of the lord's  face, 

04. Unlike other temples here Paramapada Vasal or Sorga Vasal is facing south, 

05. Here, Vishnu's festive vahana  Garuda is not made of metal but of Saligrama stone (geologically millions of years old,  normally found in the earliest sedimentary formations of the Himalayas in Nepal).