Thursday, January 24, 2013

Manamadurai Veera Azhagar Perumal Temple

14th Century AD temple on banks of Vaigai
Referred to as Vanara Veera Madura Puri after the Vanara Army was energised here as they resumed their search for Sita
 Located just under 50kms East of Madurai on the Eastern banks of Vaigai is the 14th Century AD Veera Azhagar Perumal Temple in Manamadurai. Vaigai flows in a unique North South direction here at this place.

Pandya Construction
The temple was built during the rule of Ugra Kumara Pandya, Satavarma Pandya and Maavali Vaanathi Raya. There are several inscriptions on the outer prakara dating back to the rule of Satavarma Pandya, King of Tiruppuvanam, Parakrama Pandya, Somadeva Nayak, Maaravarma Pandya and Sundara Pandya.
Maavali Vaanathi Raya ruled this place from his palace about 2kms East of this temple - currently referred to as Kallikottai Mound. It was his daily practice to ride his horse to Azhagar Koil in ThiruMaalirun Cholai for a darshan of KallAzhagar. When on consecutive days, he could not make it to Azhagar Koil, the Lord of Thiru Maalinruncholai asked him to build within his territory a temple for him.

When asked for the exact location, the Lord directed him to a place where Noopura Gangai flows as Vaigai and splits into two. He asked the king to build the temple at one place and the temple tank in the other. Four kms from the temple is Alankara Kulam (named after the sister of King Maavali Vaanathi Raya), the sacred temple tank. Perumal comes here once a year for Theerthavari Utsavam
Anjaneya Sannidhi
In the Thretha Yuga, the vanara army reached here in search of Sita. Finding a Brindavana and a lot of fruits, the vanaras destroyed the Brindavana and ate all the fruits and got themselves intoxicated forgetting the reason behind coming here.  Rama and Lakshmana reached here, boosted their energy and reminded them of the task on hand. Through this, the vanara army got ‘Veeram’ again. Hence this place has come to be referred to as Vanara Veera Madura Puri, which in course of time became Vana Madurai and later Mana Madurai. Even today, this place is referred to as Vanara Veera Madura Puri in all documents.

Hanuman is believed to have come here after the war and enjoyed the Vanam and Vaigai river banks. He told Rama that he would like to stay back here. Vibheeshana is believed to have presented his princely crown to hanuman here.

To ensure that another Ravana should not emerge, it is believed that the tall 6 1/2ft Hanuman stayed here facing south keeping an eye on Lanka in an ever watchful posture.

Sita is also believed to have presented a 3day feast to Hanuman here as a payback to the service rendered by him. The Hanuman idol facing South is said to pre date the temple.

Name of the place
This place is also referred to as Stula Karana Puri, Somanatha Puram and Vilva Vanam.

Chitra Pournami – 10 day Utsavam including Ethir Sevai and Azhagar getting into the Vaigai in his famous White Horse
12 day Aadi Brahmotsavam including Kalyana Utsavam
Hanuman Jayanthi in Margazhi
Paramapada Vaasal on Vaikunta Ekadesi

For the Thiru Kalyana Utsavam, Veera Azhagar makes his way to the Thaayar Sannidhi on the Elephant Vahana.

200years ago, it is believed that Gajendra Moksham event was enacted at Aara Mani Kulam, the tank opposite the temple.

The temple is under the administration of Sivaganga Devasthanam.

Quick Facts

Moolavar: Sundararaja Perumal with Sri and Bhoo Devi in an East Facing Standing Posture
Thaayar   : Soundara Valli Thaayar (Separate Sannidhi)
Utsavar   : Veera Azhagar
Time      : 7am -1030am and 5pm-8pm (Sat – 7am-12noon)
Contact  : SV Gopi Madhavan Bhattar @ 96596 66223/ 92451 99132

How to reach
By train, one can take the Rameswaram Express from Madras. Buses every 15minutes between Madurai and Manamadurai (Rameswaram bound buses)

Taxi from Madurai and back will cost around Rs.600

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