Saturday, February 20, 2021

Naganathaswamy Temple, Manambadi, Thanjavur

Naganathaswamy Temple, Manambadi, Thanjavur

Naganathaswamy Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in Manambadi Village in Thiruvidaimaruthur Taluk in Thanjavur District in Tamil Nadu. Presiding Deity is called as Naganathaswamy / Kailasamudaiyar and Mother is called as Shenbagavalli. The Temple is situated in the southern banks of Kollidam River.


This temple was constructed by Rajendra Chola (1012-1044 AD) around 1016 AD much before the king's masterpiece, the Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple, was built. During Chola rule, the village was called Elaichikudi and Veeranarayanapuram. The temple was called as Sri Kailasam. There are about nine inscriptions in this temple.

Three inscriptions belonged to Rajendra Chola I and six inscriptions belonged to Kulothunga Chola I. Out of the three inscriptions of Rajendra Chola I, one inscriptions talks about his Mei Keerthi and other two inscriptions are dated to 4th and 5th regnal year of Rajendra Chola. All these inscriptions talks about the grants and gifts given to this temple. The temple is one of the 88 protected monuments in the state under the control of the state department of archaeology.

The Temple

The Temple is facing towards east with an entrance without a gopuram. A dilapidated compound wall surrounds the temple premises. The Temple is currently in dilapidated state. The Sanctum Sanctorum consists of Sanctum and Artha Mandapam. Presiding Deity is called as Naganathaswamy / Kailasamudaiyar and is facing east. He is housed in the sanctum in the form of Lingam.

Ganapathi, Dakshinamurthy, Lingothbhava, Bikshadana, Nataraja, Vishnu, Brahma, Gangadharamurthy, Durga and Ardhanariswara are the Koshta idols located around the sanctum walls. All these outstanding sculptures are dated back to Chola period. The Nataraja in smiling posture in the Koshta is worshipped by Chola Emperor Rajendra Chola I with his wives in one side and his officers on the other side. The depiction takes us to Rajendra Chola period.

There is a unique sculpture depicting Cauvery River performing Pooja to Shiva Linga in the temple premises. Chandikeswarar Shrine can be seen in his usual location. This Shrine is also in dilapidated state. Mother is called as Shenbagavalli. She is housed in a separate south facing shrine. The shrines of the Parivara Devatas were lost. All the idols housed in these shrines are kept in Maha Mandapam. There are sculptures depicting the dance dramas, used to be conducted during festivals in the Tamil month of Chithirai.


Masi Maha Shivarathri and Aippasi Annabishekam are celebrated here with much fanfare. Monthly Pradoshams are also observed here.


The temple is located at about 1.5 Kms from Cholapuram Bus Stop, 2 Kms from Cholapuram, 11 Kms from Thiruvidaimaruthur, 14 Kms from Kumbakonam, 15 Kms from Kumbakonam Railway Station, 15 Kms from Kumbakonam Bus Stand, 52 Kms from Thanjavur and 104 Kms from Trichy Airport. The Temple is situated on Kumbakonam to Thiruppanandal Route (NH – 36).


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