Kariya Manikkam Perumal Temple, Pathamadai, Thirunelveli
Kariya Manikkam Perumal Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Vishnu located at Pathamadai Village near Cheranmahadevi in Thirunelveli District of Tamilnadu. This is the birth place of Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh. Pathamadai is popular for its cottage industry manufacturing Korai Pai (mat) made out of a type of grass from Cyperus family grown for decorative foliage.
Presiding Deity of this Temple is Kariya Manikkam Perumal in an East Facing Standing Posture. Utsavar Idol is kept under security at Krishnan Koil located in Ambasamudram. Centuries old idols of Perumal, Thaayar and Hayagriva belonging to the Perumal Temple are lying in a dilapidated condition in the North Eastern corner of the temple with a head chopped off from one of the idols.
Cheran Maha Devi Chadurvedi Mangalam (as it was referred to then) and its adjoining region is home to several ancient Perumal temples that were close to the hearts of the Pandya and Chera rulers as can be seen from the contributions made. Several inscriptions inside the temple on the walls of the prakara indicate significant contributions by the Pandya Kings. However, the white washing of the walls of the strong granite structure, in recent times has contributed to destruction of these centuries old inscriptions.
In the late 12th Century and early 13th Century AD, Sadaya Varma Kulasekara Pandyan contributed in no small measure to the development of this temple. During that period, this temple was referred to as Ayiara Thenma Vinnagara Azhvaar Temple at the eastern hamlet of Cheran Maha Devi Chadurvedi Mangalam. Vikrama Pandya too contributed to the improvements at this temple.
On the Eastern Wall is an inscription dating to the rule of Kulasekara I that registers an assurance that 6 Ma of land in Cheran Maha Devi Chadurvedi Mangalam might be made tax free for daily offering of Ayiratenna Vinnagara Azhvaar temple. In 1198AD, tax free temple lands were donated to this temple by the Cheran Maha Devi Province.
Lighting of lamps:
During the rule of Pandya Kings including Kulasekara Pandya, oil was gifted for lighting a perpetual lamp at the Kariya Manikkam Perumal temple here at Pathamadai. This temple was specially protected by the army force of Pathamadai. On the South Wall of the central shrine, an inscription dating back to 1193AD to the rule of Jatavarma Kulasekara Deva registers a gift of income from an oil mill for burning perpetual lamp, by the king while he was seated in the throne called Kalinga Rayan in his palace at Madurai.
On the Eastern Wall of the mandapa in front of the central shrine is an inscription that registers a gift of one achchu for a twilight lamp to the Lord by Sri Vallabha Sri Vasudevan, one of the Arya Bhattars of the temple. A brahmana lady gifted one achchu for a twilight lamp as seen from another inscription on the eastern wall.
A 1296 AD inscription on the North Wall relates to the rule of Mayavarma Vikrama Pandya III. This inscription states that the assembly of Cheran Maha Devi Chadurvedi Mangalam assigned a portion of a land already in the enjoyment of the temple in lieu of another which they had granted to the temple on the occasion of its foundation, the latter being disputed to have been the gift of another Vishnu temple in the same village called Sri Vallabha Vinnagaram.
In consideration of this new transaction and exchange, the assembly gave some money to the temple and declared that the land now given was to be a Devadana of the temple. On a slap in front of the temple is an inscription that refers to a gift that the temple is placed under the protection of Munrukaiyar. Below this inscription are sculptures of two lamp stands.
Special Status of Women:
Women had a special status here at Pathamadai during the rule of the Pandyas. During the rule of Veera Pandyan, women used to anchor and present mythological dramas inside the temple that were witnessed by a huge crowd. Inscriptions also indicate that this was a place that had a huge growth of sacred flowers and that special ‘palagais’ were erected inside the temple to collect and place the flowers that was then presented to the Lord during pooja time.
· Procession around the four Mada Streets on Vaikasi Uttaradam
· Margazhi Saturday Procession
Temple Opening Time
The Temple remains open from 8am-10am in the morning and 5pm-7pm in the evening.
Kariya Manikkam Perumal Temple,
Phone: +91 4634 261612
Mobile: +91 89038 61612
Pathamadai is 1 Km east of Cheranmahadevi on the Thirunelveli – Ambai/Papanasam Highway. From Pathamadai bus stand, the temple is walking distance at just under ½ km north. Buses ply every 15 minutes between Thirunelveli and Cheranmahadevi. Cheranmahadevi is located at about 50 Kms from Tenkasi, 17 Kms from Ambasamudram, 6 Kms from Veeravanallur, 30 Kms from Thirunelveli, 190 Kms from Madurai and 155 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Chakkarathzhwar Temple at Karisulntha Mangalam is located at about 2 Kms north of this temple on the banks of Tamaraibarani.