Rajagopala Swamy Temple, Mannarkoil – History
In the 10th century A.D., after the Chola conquest of Pandyan country, the riverine of Tamirabarani - Ghatana Nadi was established as a Chola colony. Jatavaraman alias Sundara Chola Pandya (1017-18 A.D), aka Chola Viceroy (feudatory of the Rajendra Chola I) formed new townships and converted the forest lands for cultivation. Rajagopalaswamy Kulasekara Azhwar temple, a Chola temple in the land of Pandyas, was built by Chera king Rajasimha (1028- 1043 A.D.) with the permission of Rajendra Chola I. The Chera has also donated land to the temple at a later date.
The village is also known as Rajendra Chola Vinnagaram, named after the Chola monarch Rajendra Chola I, who has made significant contribution to the temple. Jatavarma Chola Pandya has also made considerable contributions. Finally there are contributions from Nayaka rulers. The temple has a very unique architectural design. Unlike the majority of the temples which have only one main sanctum enshrining the presiding deity, Mannarkoil has three vertically aligned sanctums, all facing east, one above the other, each housing one image of Lord Vishnu. The canonical texts call this style as Ashtanga vimana.
The inscriptions at the Veda Narayana Perumal temple at Mannarkoil village informs us that the big Brahmadeyam village of 'Rajaraja Chadurvedi Mangalam' in Mullinadu in the 'Mudikonda Chola Valanadu' of Raja Raja Pandinadu was made over to Brahmins as gifts. The hamlets of 'Ilangokudi' (today's Ambasamudram), Kallidaikurichi, Aththala Nallur, Vazuthiyoor, Alwarkurichi and Pappankurichi were parts of this big Brahmadayam village (now Brahmadesam).