Dharmeshvarar Temple, Manimangalam, Kanchipuram
Dharmeshvarar Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva located at Manimangalam Village in Kanchipuram District of Tamilnadu. Manimangalam is located 20 kms to the east of Sriperumpudur. This is an Archeological Society of India (ASI) maintained temple and so, like other ASI maintained temples, this is also nicely fenced and landscaped. The temple is very beautiful and is present in a nice environment with a mammoth Peepal tree in the huge open space in front. This was built by Kulothunga Chola.
Manimangalam is about 10 kms to the west of Tambaram and 20 km to the east of Sriperumpudur. From Tambaram, it can be reached through Mudichur. Like Somangalam, Manimangalam was also a Chaturvedimangalam, a village donated by the Kings to the pundits of the four vedas to conduct Yagnas and poojas regularly. Presiding Deity is known as Sri Dharmeswarar. The Goddess here is Sri Vedhambikai.
According to the inscriptions, this temple is said to have got constructed by Chozhas. This temple has mentions in the inscriptions as Grama Sikhamani Chaturvedhi Mangalam, belonging to Kunrathur Naadu, a division of Puliyur Kottam in the district of Jayamkonda Chozha Mandalam. This Shiva temple is on the east side of the village and under the control of Archeological survey of India with fence around the temple complex.
The earliest references to Manimangalam are in relation to a battle fought between the Western Chalukya ruler Pulikesin II and the Pallava King Narasimhavarman I. This fact is mentioned in the copper plates discovered at Kooram. Kalki has written about the Manimangalam battle in Sivagamiyin Sabatham. He describes how Mahendra Varma Pallava was injured in the battle at Manimangalam, and how his son Narasimha Varma Pallava and his trusted lieutenant Paranjothi vanquished Pulikesin's army.
Manimangalam has an ancient temple for Lord Shiva called Dharmeswarar. The Goddess here is Sri Vedhambikai. According to the inscriptions, this temple is said to have got constructed by Chozhas. Chozhas, Pandyas and Vijayanagara Kings had contributed for the construction of this temple. The main shrine was constructed by Chozhas with Gajapristha vimanam and front mandapam was built by Vijayanagara Kings and Ambal Sannadhi was built by Pandyas. There is no Rajagopuram, Dwajasthambam, Balipeedam and Nandhi originally. The Nandhi and Balipeedam are erected in the outer at a very latter stage in front of Ambal temple.
Ambal is in a separate Sannadhi without Gopuram. Looks with a childish face. It is believed that Ambal is very powerful. The temple is facing east with sanctum and mandapam and constructed like a mada koil. At the entrance Ganapathy and Subramaniyar are facing each other. In the outer prakaram Sannadhi for Vinayagar, Bairavar and Saneeswarar are located. In the mandapam Sannadhi for Chandran, Suryan, Vinayagar, Sri Valli Devasena Subramaniyar, Navagrahas are located.
In Koshtam Vinayagar, Dhakshinamoorthy, Vishnu, Brahma and Durgai are located. Sandikeswarar looks cute with Jadamudi without mazhu in hand and posture is little different from other Sandikeswarar. Moolavar is little tall. The temple is built on a very vast space amidst greenish paddy fields. A beautiful Peepal tree welcomes you as you enter the gates of the temple. This temple is maintained by Archeological Society of India and protected properly. The looks and the structure itself show the antiquity of the temple.
There is a small Mandapam outside the sanctum. Sri Vinayagar and Sri Subramanyar are seen on either sides of the entrance of the sanctum. The main deity, Sri Dharmeswarar is seen facing east. One can feel the divinity in this calm and cool ambience with the view of the Lord in natural light and the light from the temple lamps. There is a small Nandhi facing the Lord in the sanctum, from this Mandapam. There’s another small gated portion facing south, which is empty. There had been a beautiful Sri Natarajar here in ancient days and some miscreants had stolen the deity.
While local people chased them, it is said that the miscreants had thrown Sri Natarajar in the nearby pond and ran off, in which Sri Natarajar’s idol was damaged. In the inner prakaram, Sri Vinayagar is found at the South western corner, under a tree in good shadow. Along the walls of the prakaram, Sri Vinayagar and Sri Dhakshinamurthy are seen facing south. Lord Sri Mahavishnu is facing the west from the walls of the prakaram. Lord Sri Brahma, Sri Sandikeswarar and Sri Durgai are seen on the Northern side of the prakaram.
A window, beautifully carved window with 12 openings is found on the eastern side wall of the prakaram. The Vimaanam is built of Gajabrushta shape called Thoonganai Maadam (தூங்கானை மாடம்) in Thamizh. Unusually Nandhi and Bali Peetam are present outside the inner Prahara wall. Nandhi was looking at the Prahara wall without even a window in the compound wall.
There is a small mandapam in front of the sanctum sanctorum with some nice sculptures. Ganesha is sitting under the Sthala Vriksham. The Koshta gods are beautifully done. This temple was also built by the same Kulothunga king who built the Somangalam temple and so this also has the Gajaprashta Vimanam.
Shiva is present in the sanctum sanctorum as Dharmeswarar in linga form with Ambal in a separate shrine. One is assured of immense satisfaction and peace with the serene atmosphere of the temple and the village. The whole temple is built on stone with wonderful architecture. Even the steps to reach the Mandapam outside the sanctum is done beautifully, but damaged in few places. There are many dilapidated idols of Parivaara moorthies and Shiva Lingam kept safely in the inner prakaram.
One can notice many inscriptions along the walls of the temple. There is a separate shrine for Goddess Vedhambikai at the outer prakaram, facing south. Goddess is beautifully dressed and is so gracefully in blessing posture like a Mother blessing her children. The temple pond is found adjacent to the temple, without any steps or bathing Ghats to it. The Nandi statue opposite to the sanctum of Lord Siva is sculpted artistically and installed. A strike on it releases the sound of bronze.
Another rarity of Manimangalam is one can find many Vinayagar temples in this village, be it small or big. And all the Vinayagar have elephant as their Vahana (Carrier) and not the Mooshikha (mouse). Manimangalam also has another ancient temple for Lord Shiva called Sri Kailaasanaathar, which again is an ancient one and needs attention.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 8.00 am to 10.00 am and from 5.00 pm to night 9’o clock.
Festivals, like Maha Shivarathri, Aadi Pooram, Navarathri, Pradosham and Karthigai Dheepam are celebrated well in this temple, with much effort of the priests. People from various parts of the city visit this temple very often but unfortunately, not the local villagers.
Manimangalam – 601 301
Phone: +91- 44 - 2717 8157
Mobile: +91 - 98400 24594 / 9345960180
Dharmeswarar Temple is a Hindu temple located at Manimangalam, near Tambaram, a suburb of Chennai. Manimangalam is about 32 km to the east of Kanchipuram. The temple is about 12 kms from Tambaram on the Mudichur road and 5 kms from Vandalur on the Sriperumpudur highway. One can take the Tambaram - Sriperumpudur bus (route numbers: 55N, 555, M 52H, M80, 583C, 583D) to reach the temple. Nearest Railway Station is located at Tambaram and Nearest Airport is located at Chennai.