Friday, February 3, 2017

Tiruvalaputhur Manickavannar Temple, Nagapattinam

Tiruvalaputhur Manickavannar Temple, Nagapattinam
Tiruvalaputhur Manickavannar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located at Tiruvalaputhur in Nagapattinam district of Tamilnadu. Presiding Deity is called as Manicka Vannar and Rathna Pureeswarar. His consort is known as Brama Kunthalambica and Vandar Poonguzhali. It is one of the shrines of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams - Shiva Sthalams glorified in the early medieval Tevaram poems by Tamil Saivite Nayanars Sambandar and Sundarar.

Legends
Manicka Vannar:
During the reign of king Ruduketan, the region faced a severe famine. He surrendered at the feet of Lord Shiva. Lord poured rain of diamonds and asked him to use it for the welfare of his subjects. Hence, Lord came to known as Manicka Vannar. 
Serpent Vasuki performed penance on Shiva:
Serpent Vasuki used as the rope to churn the milk ocean spit venom unable to bear the pain.  All merciful Lord Shiva to protect all the beings and the Devas consumed the poison and prevented all calamities that would have occurred due to the spread of the poison gas. Devas got the nectar price. Vasuki felt guilty that it had caused Lord Shiva to devour its poison. She came to earth and performed penance on Lord. Lord granted darshan to Vasuki and paid rich tributes for its sacrifice. As requested by the snake, He agreed to stay in this place as Shiva Linga. This Linga had disappeared in course of time. 
Lord Shiva hid Arjuna’s Sword here:
During his pilgrimage, Arjuna stayed here for a while seeking water to quench his thirst. An old man came to him and gave a stick advising him to strike on the ground for water. Arjuna gave his sword to the old man and got water. When he turned, the old man was not there. He followed the footsteps of old man and found a glittering and bright anthill with his sword with a Shivalinga. Lord appeared before him and disclosed that the old man was but himself. As Lord hid Arjuna’s sword here, the place came to be known as Val (sword) Oli (light) Puthur – Valoli Puthur and changed as Valaputhur in the days that followed. Pandavas and Draupadi worshipped Shiva here.
Durga slayed Mahisasuran at Kadaattalaimedu:
Goddess Durga is said to have slayed Mahisasuran at Kadaattalaimedu nearby.
The Temple
Presiding Deity is called as Manicka Vannar or Rathna Pureeswarar. Utsavar is Somaskandar. Mother is called as Brama Kunthalambica or Vandar Poonguzhali. Thala Vriksham is Vaahai. Theertham is Brahmma Theertham. Lord Shiva in the temple is Swayambumurthy. Lord Muruga, Mothers Gajalakshmi and Saraswathi shrines are in the prakara. Lord Dakshinamurthi with Nandhi is on the Goshta. His shrine is borne by Lions. Saint Meikanda Nayanar has a shrine in the temple.  Muyalaga the symbol of ignorance and a serpent are under the feet of Lord Nataraja. The Navagrahams are notably absent in this shrine.

There is also a shrine for Lord Vinayaka with 8 serpents – Ashta Naga Vinayaka. This shrine appears as if in an anthill. Lords Vishnu and Brahmma appear worshipping Lingodhbava in the goshta. Sani Bhagwan has his shrine at the entrance of the temple facing east. Mother Vandar Kuzhali blesses the devotees from a separate shrine. Mother Durga who destroyed demon Mahishasura appears with eight hands with a parrot in her lower left hand and all graceful though holding weapons in hands. Durga is being worshipped first, in this temple.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.
Festivals
Maha Shivrathri in February – March; Margazhi Tiruvadhirai in December – January; Panguni Uthiram in March April and Mahalakshmi Puja on all Poornima – full moon days are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
Literary Mention
Lord of the temple is praised in the hymns of saints Tirugnana Sambandar and Sundarar. This is the 29th Shiva temple on the northern bank of Cauvery praised in Thevaram hymns.
Tirugnanasambandar describes the feature of the deity as:
பொடியுடைமார்பினர் போர்விடையேறிப் பூதகணம் புடைசூழக் கொடியுடையூர்திரிந் தையங் கொண்டு பலபலகூறி வடிவுடைவாணெடுங் கண்ணுமைபாக மாயவன்வாழ்கொளி புத்தூர்க் கடிகமழ் மாமலரிட்டுக் கறைமிடற்றானடி காண்போம்.
Prayers
Those facing adverse aspects of serpent planets worship Lord Vinayaka and Lord Shiva for relief.  Those facing delays in marriage, worship Mother Durga with Vastras during Rahu Kalam time in the respective days.
Contact
Sri Manicka Vannar Temple,
Tiruvalaputhur-609 205
Nagapattinam District
Phone: +91 – 4364 – 254 879
Mobile: +91 – 98425 38954
Connectivity
Tiruvalaputhur can be reached from Mayiladuthurai (18 km) and then 10 km towards Vaitheeswaran Koil. The temple is 1 km from the bus stand. Proceed from Vaitheeswaran Koil towards Tiruppanandal and reach a place called Elanthoppu. From Elanthoppu, take the branch road to Tiruvalaputhur. The place is now called as Thiruvazhaputhur and is 10 kms west of Vaitheeswaran koil. Nearest Railway Station is located at Mayiladuthurai and Sirkazhi. Nearest Airport is located at Trichy.  

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