Monday, November 18, 2019

Athmanatha Swamy Temple, Avudaiyarkoil – History

Athmanatha Swamy Temple, Avudaiyarkoil – History
The original temple is believed to be built by Manikkavasakar in the 9th century AD. Manickavasagar was said to have used the money meant for buying horses for the cavalry to construct the temple at Thiru Perunthurai, one of the ports of the Pandiya Kingdom. Manickavasagar penned Thiruvasagam and Thirupalliyezhuchi while camping in this temple and referred to it as Thiruperunthurai.
The State Archaeology department had found inscriptions confirming that Manickavasagar, the Minister of Pandiya King Arimarthana Pandian, built the sanctum sanctorum and the Kanaga Sabha Mandapam. His contribution has been recorded in the form of a poem. The inscriptions, found in the Panchakshara mandapam of the temple built in the 16th century, also record that Thiruvasagam was inscribed on the walls.
This temple was built in 3 different periods with the latest being about 16th Century AD in the Nayak Period. The sanctum sanctorum was constructed by Manickavasagar and the other portions were constructed by different kings and rulers of this area like Pandiya kings, Nayak kings, Thondaimans of Pudukkottai, Zamindars of Palayavanam, Sethupathis of Ramanathapuram etc., at different periods of time.
Inscriptions found in this temple describe it as a Chathurvethi Mangalam denoting the fact that it was the home of great scholars, who were masters of all the four Vedas, the holy scriptures of Hindus.  The stone inscriptions show that the temple was consecrated once in 1891 AD. The next consecration was performed only in 1990. The temple is now under the management of Thiruvaduthurai Aadheenam. The Zamindars of Palayavanam are honored to lead the temple festivals such as Temple Car festivals every year as they have donated more than 35 villages to the temple.