Tirunavaya Temple is a historically significant ancient Hindu temple on the banks of the River Bharata dedicated to Nava Mukundan Vishnu with the other deities like Ganesha, and Lakshmi.
It is located near the ancient Hindu pilgrimage centre of Tirunavaya, a village 8 km south of Tirur in the Malappuram district of Kerala state, India. The temple was the traditional venue for the historic ritual of the Mamankam festival.
The deity is called "Nava Mukundan" as it is believed that the idol was the ninth one to be installed in the shrine by a group of Hindu saints known as "Navayogis". The first eight idols disappeared as soon as they were placed there and the ninth sank to its knees before it was forcibly stopped.
This is the place were Nava yogis (Sathuvanathar, Saaloga nathar, Aadhinathar, Arulithanathar, Madhanga Nathar, Macchendira Nathar, Kadayanthira Nathar, Korakkanathar and Kukkudanathar) worshipped Vishnu.
Vishnu gave darsan for Nava yogi. Hence this place is called Thirunavayogi and later changed in to Thirunaavaya.
Thirunavaya is refered as Thirunavai, Lord Vishnu as Sree Nava Mukunda Perumal and Thayar (Mahalakshmi) as Malar Mangai Naachiyaar or Sirudevi.Thiruvanaya Navamukunda Temple, near Ponnani in Malappuram district is situated on the banks of the river Bharathapuzha.
Thirunavaya was once the capital of Perumpadapu Swaroopam. It is indeed the cradle of culture in northern Kerala. Holding immense historical importance, this is the place where 'Mamangam', a grand assembly of the rulers of Kerala was held once every 12 years, in olden times.
This extravagant festival was held for the last time in 1755 AD. The famous and ancient Thirunavaya Temple, known throughout the country as an ancient teaching-centre of the Vedas, was once plundered and destroyed by Tipu Sultan's army. It was the Zamorin who repaired the temple later.
8 yogis attained moksha and the vigrahams worshipped by them also disappeared and as a result of this, the ninth yogi got dejected and stopped offering worship to Vishnu. When questioned by Perumal, he said that he was missing his companions and Perumal with his maya showed the 8 yogis.
The 8 yogis agreed to stay there but said that they would be invisible to human eyes and the 9th yogi could feel their presence. In due course, the 9th yogi requested Perumal to make him also invisible. But Perumal insisted that the vigraham worshipped by the 9 th yogi must be kept there itself and Perumal blessed the 9 yogis saying that they could offer worship to Him at that place forever.