Ravikula Maanikkaeswarar Temple, Dhadapuram, Villupuram
Ravikula Maanikkaeswarar Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva located at Dhadapuram Village near Thindivanam in Villupuram District of Tamilnadu. Dhadapuram Village is located at a distance of 14 kms North-West of Tindivanam towards Vandavasi, is of great historic significances connected with the lives of Kundavai Devi and great Rajaraja Chola. The Chola Princess Kundavai Devi created this town, Rajarajapuram, in the name of his loving brother Rajaraja Chola. She also constructed the temple for Lord Manickeshwarar and Sri Varadharaja Perumal temple. The temples are rich in architecture with lots of inscriptions that tell the history of the land.
The old name of Dhadapuram was Rajarajapuram. In the records it is referred to as ‘Venkundra Kottathu Nalloor Naattin Rajarajapuram’. This temple was constructed by Raajaraja Chola’s sister Kundavai Pirattiyaar. There are 14 inscriptions in the temple. The inscriptions of Rajaraja Chola II, Rajendra Chola I, and Rajendra Chola II are the notable ones. Kundavai Pirattiyaar constructed Ravikula Maanikkaeswarar temple, Kundavai Vinnagar Azhvar temple and the Kundavai Jain temple. The Azhvar temple is now known as Kari Varadharaja Perumal temple.
Inscriptions say that Parantaka Chola Kundavai Pirattiyaar constructed this temple in the year 1004 AD. The period of this temple and the Tanjore Brihadeeswarar temple are the same. Kundavai Pirattiyaar has given large Treasures for lamps to be lit in the temple. The name of the Shiva is Ravikula Maanikkaeswarar temple (earlier called Manikandeeswarar). Balipeedam, Nandhi mandapam, Muga mandapam, Maha mandapam and Ardhamandapam have been constructed with selective quality stones. The Balipeedam is in the form of a Lotus bud.
The face of the Yali in the Mugamandabam is square shaped. The pillars of the Ardhamandapa have wonderful carving. The Moolavar Maanikkaeswarar faces east. The Aavudaiyar is round shaped. We find minute lines called Brahmsudhra lines on the forehead of the linga. The name of the amman is Manikkavalli. Ambaal has 4 hands. The Vinayaka with stone umbrella and the Veena Dhakshinamurthy with the bull are some special Sannidhis. All the deities have been constructed with great care. The whole temple is artistic. All the temple rituals are being celebrated in a grand manner.