Friday, August 19, 2016

Veera Azhagar Perumal Temple, Manamadurai, Sivaganga

Veera Azhagar Perumal Temple, Manamadurai, Sivaganga
Veera Azhagar Perumal Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Vishnu located near Manamadurai in Sivaganga District of Tamilnadu. The temple was built in the 13th century. The Vada mala – a garland made of Vada a popular dish of the South- does not go stale even after a month. It is a 14th Century AD temple located on the banks of Vaigai River.

This place is referred to as Vanara Veera Madura Puri after the Vanara Army was energized here as they resumed their search for Sita. This place is also referred to as Stula Karana Puri, Somanatha Puram and Vilva Vanam. It is located just under 50 kms East of Madurai on the Eastern banks of Vaigai. Vaigai flows in a unique North South direction here at this place.

Legends
Azhagar directing Maavali Vaanathi Raya to build Temple on the banks of Vaigai:
Maavali Vaanathi Raya ruled this place from his palace about 2 kms east of this temple - currently referred to as Kallikottai Mound. It was his daily practice to ride his horse to Azhagar Koil in Thiru Maalirun Cholai for a darshan of Kallazhagar. When on consecutive days, he could not make it to Azhagar Koil, the Lord of Thiru Maliruncholai 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.
Story behind the name Manamadurai:
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.
Vibheeshana presenting princely crown to Hanuman:
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.
History
The temple was built during the rule of Ugra Kumara Pandya, Jatavarman Pandya and Maavali Vaanathi Raya. There are several inscriptions on the outer prakara dating back to the rule of Jatavarman Pandya, King of Tirupuvanam, Parakrama Pandya, Somadeva Nayak, Maaravarman Pandya and Sundara Pandya.

The Temple
Presiding deity is Sundararaja Perumal with Sri and Bhoo Devi in an East Facing Standing Posture. Thaayar   is Soundara Valli Thaayar (Separate Sannidhi). Utsavar is Veera Azhagar. 200 years ago, it is believed that Gajendra Moksham event was enacted at Aara Mani Kulam, the tank opposite the temple. For the Thiru Kalyana Utsavam, Veera Azhagar makes his way to the Thaayar Sannidhi on the Elephant Vahana. The Hanuman idol facing south is said to pre date the temple. The temple is under the administration of Sivaganga Devasthanam.

Anjaneya Sannidhi:
In the Perumal Temple Hanuman is enshrined, with the highly unusual feature of a crown on his head, reflecting the local belief that Hanuman was crowned here before leaving for Lanka. According to one account the name of the town is derived from the visit, which in Tamil is described as Vanara Veera Madurai, which has become Manamadurai. The crowned Hanuman is enshrined near the entrance of the Vaishnavite Veera Alagar Koil temple on the east bank of the river.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 7.00 .m. to 10.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. to 8.00 a.m
Festivals
10 day Chithirai Thiruvizha in April-May is grandly celebrated as in Madurai temple. The event called Ethir Sevai (welcoming festival) is celebrated on the 4th day and on the fifth day, Azhagar steps into the river. Brahmotsavam including Kalyana Utsavam is celebrated in Aadi month (July-August) Vaikunda Ekadasi in December-January, Hanuman Jayanthi in Margazhi, Rapathu and Pagal Pathu (festival during days and nights) are also important festivals celebrated in the temple.
Contact
Veera Azhagar Perumal Temple,
Manamadurai, Sivaganga District
Mobile: +91 – 96596 66223/ 92451 99132
Connectivity
Manamadurai is 46 km far from Madurai on the Rameswaram route. The temple is in the heart of the place and could be easily reached. The town is well connected by road to all the cities and towns in Tamilnadu. The Manamadurai panchayat town Bus terminus situated at the Madurai - Rameswaram national highway caters to the road transportation of the town. Buses ply every 15 minutes between Madurai and Manamadurai (Rameswaram bound buses).
Manamadurai Junction serves the town with state capital Chennai and other places. The Silambu Express starting from Manamadurai running Bi-Weekly connects the town with Chennai. The Rameswaram express and Sethu express run through Manamadurai also connect the town with state capital. Also there are good number of Passenger trains from Madurai and Trichy passing through Manamadurai towards Rameswaram.

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