Friday, March 6, 2015

Azhagiya Shantha Manavalan Temple Vathirairuppu

Tenkasi Pandyas Period temple with 800year old inscriptions
Beautiful Stone Sculptures inside the temple

Located 11kms North West of Krishnan Kovil off the Madurai- Srivilliputhur highway is the Tenkasi Pandya period Azhagiya Shantha Manavala Perumal Temple in Arjuna Puram near Vathirairuppu (Watrap), where the handsome Lord Azhagiya Manavalan is seen in a standing posture flanked by Sri and Bhoo Devi.

The temple’s legend dates back to the Mahabaratha and is also closely associated with Ninra Narayana Perumal Divya Desam in Thiruthangal.

The story goes that on their way to Malai Naatu Divya Desams, the Pandavas passed through this place.  Arjuna brought relief to this drought struck village by striking his powerful arrow that pierced the earth and had water gushing out of this place. In memory of this event, this village is referred to as Arjuna Puram and the river Arjuna Poigai.

As the Dharma Putra led Pandavas stayed here, the place has come to be referred to as Dharmaranya Kshetram.

Association with Thiruthangal Divya Desam
A fight arose between the three Devis - Sri Devi, Bhoo Devi and Neela Devi- as to who was the senior most among them and also the favourite of the Lord. Sri Devi was guided by the Saptharishis here at Vathirairuppu to undertake penance at Thiru Thangal, around 30kms from here. Pleased with her prayers, Lord Narayana appeared before her and acknowledged that she was indeed his favourite. The place where she was guided and shown the place to penance is called Vyaktra Puram which in course of time became Vathirairuppu.

Tenkasi Pandyas Period Inscriptions
Inscriptions at the temple dating back to the rule of Tenkasi Pandyas indicate the temple having Artha Mandapa, Maha Mandapa and Mukha Mandapas.

There is a huge ancient well north of the temple complex. A 13th Century AD inscription on a Stone near the well refers to the rule of Kulasekara Pandya and names Nakkan Sokkan Villi as the digger of the well.

During the 15th Century AD, this place was referred to as Sendaneri.  Consecration of the temple took place in the 2nd half of the 15th Century dating back to the rule of Venrumalayitta Vira Pandya Deva with a donation of 20ma of land being made towards rituals, repairs and renovation of the temple.

Yet another inscription provides insights into the grant of a temple tank for pooja at noon and for daily food offering for the Lord.

There are several beautiful stone sculptures in the Vasantha Mandapa and Ekadesi Mandapa.

The temple is open between 7am and 12noon and 4pm-6pm.

Contact 96774 19184 / 94431 41884 before going to the temple.

How to reach

Buses ply every half hour from Krishnan Kovil/Srivilliputhur to Watrap. From there, one can reach the temple by auto (1km).

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