Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Lakshmi Narayana Perumal Temple, Mamandur, Thiruvannamalai

Lakshmi Narayana Perumal Temple, Mamandur, Thiruvannamalai
Lakshmi Narayana Perumal Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Vishnu located at Mamandur Village in Thiruvannamalai District of Tamilnadu. Lakshmi Narayana Perumal is seen seated with Goddess Lakshmi seated on his left lap. Mamandur is a small village very close to Palar River and situated on the road from Kanchipuram to Vandavasi. This village is popularly known as Doosi-Mamandur as it is situated near the village of Doosi and in order to distinguish it from another place also known as Mamandur.

Legend has it that Lord Varadharaja Perumal used to visit this place on every Chitra Pournami day.  

It is difficult to believe that this sleepy village was once a bee-hive of activity way back in the 7th century A.D. This place, which is rocky terrain, is situated approximately 10 Kms from Kanchipuram, the capital city of the Pallava dynasty who ruled over north Tamilnadu and parts of south Andhra Pradesh from 5th to 9th centuries A.D. Mahendravarman I (600-630 A.D.), one of the best known Pallava rulers, began in north Tamilnadu, the tradition of excavating cave temples in order to create permanent structures for the deities. He selected Mamandur, because of the rocky outcrop, to many of his magnificent cave-temples.

Viewing these caves created out of granite, one cannot but marvel at the level of architectural skill, reserves of patience and dexterity which the architects and sculptors of that era possessed. This was an epoch when many experiments were made with regard to temple architecture in stone, since the temples preceding this period were made only of perishable material like wood, clay or brick and therefore have not survived the ravages of time.

The Temple
The temple for Sri Lakshmi Narayana Perumal, which is small in size, faces east as does the Moolavar enshrined in the central sanctum-sanctorum. The stone image of medium size is Lord Vishnu, seated with his consort, Lakshmi on his left lap. Sri Lakshmi Narayana Perumal is four-armed, the upper two hands holding the conch (sankhu) and discus (chakra), the lower right hand in abhaya hasta and lower left hand encircling Lakshmi. The processional image, known by the same name as the moolavar is four-armed Vishnu in a standing pose with Sri Devi and Bhu Devi on either side.

This is a single prakara temple. In front of the main sanctum is a smaller one enshrining the stone image of Goddess Sundaravalli Thayar and utsavamurti of Mother is kept in the Perumal sanctum. Also worshipped in the central shrine are the processional images of Andal, Navanita Krishna and Chakrattazhwar (Sri Sudarsana). In the passage leading to the sanctum are the stone idols of the Azhwars and the Acharyas. Two images of Anjaneya which had been worshipped at the rear of the temple have now been consecrated in a small shrine to the left of the main sanctum in the prakara.

At present, only a few festivals are celebrated in this temple, which is governed by the Vaikhanasa Agama. The festival for Manavala Mamuni, one of the Srivaishnava Acharyas, is celebrated in the month of October-November during the Moola nakshatram. In the month of Karthigai, a satumurai for the well-known Azhwar, Tirumangai Azhwar is held in Karthigai nakshatram. The satumurai for Sri Lakshmi Narayana Perumal is Moolam and special pujas are done every month during this Nakshatram. The samprokshanam of this temple in Mamandur took place on the 5th of September, 2010.
Mamandur is a small village located very close to Palar River and situated on the road from Kanchipuram to Vandavasi. It is located at about 15 Kms from Kanchipuram. Nearest Railway Station is located at Kanchipuram and Nearest Airport is located at Chennai.

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