Vamanapureeswarar, Tirumaanikuzhi, Cuddalore


Basic information about the temple

Moolavar:VamanapureeswararAmbal / Thayar:Ambujakshi, Udavinayaki
Deity:SivaHistorical name:TirumaaNikuzhi
Vriksham:KondraiTeertham:Sweta Teertham, Kedilam river
Agamam:

Age (years):

Timing:6 to 11 & 4.30 to 8.30Parikaram:

Temple group:Paadal Petra Sthalam (Nadu Naadu)
Sung by:

Sambandar

Temple set:

Navagraham:

Nakshatram:

City / town:TirumaanikuzhiDistrict:Cuddalore
Maps from (click): Current location Cuddalore (10 km)Viluppuram (38 km)

Mayiladuthurai (89 km)Tiruvannamalai (109 km)

Location

Sthala puranam and temple information

When searching for something to eat in a Siva temple, a rat tugged at the wick of a lamp, causing the lamp to burn brightly. Even though this was by accident, it pleased Siva, who caused the rat to be born in its next birth as Mahabali, an asura king but a noble and generous one. At the request of the celestials, Vishnu undertook the Vamana Avataram to vanquish Mahabali. He asked for land measured by 3 of the His footsteps in the form of a young brahmin boy, and with the third step, sent Mahabali to the nether world. This act meant that a dosham attached to Vishnu as Vamana, and to rid Himself of this, Vishnu worshipped Siva here. To enable Vamana, the diminutive bachelor boy, to worship, Siva also shrank his size down and entered a hole. In Tamil, maani also means bachelor, and kuzhi means hole – hence the place is called Manikuzhi. And since Siva blessed Vamana here, He is called Vamana-pureeswarar.

Before Mahabali’s end, Vishnu granted him the status of a Chiranjeevi – one who lives on forever – due to his devotion and benevolent attitide. As a result, Mahabali is believed to come to earth once a day, which is celebrated as Onam.

Vishnu is believed to be constantly praying to Siva at the garbhagriham here, and requested Siva to ensure that His worship was not disturbed. To this end, Siva appointed Bheema Rudra – one of the eleven Ekadasa Rudras – to create and reside in a protective screen. This can be seen even today, with Bheema Rudra printed on a cloth screen in front of the moolavar, in the garbhagriham, and it is Bheema Rudra to whom most of the worship and offerings are made. Devotees are allowed to have a sight of the moolavar only when deepam is offered, which is also for a very short time – a few seconds at best – when the screen is moved aside; but even then, only after deepam is first offered to Rudra Bheema.

Siva and Parvati protected Atiri – a businessman from the north – who took shelter in this temple to escape from thieves. Because they helped the man, Siva and Parvati are also called Udhavi Nayakar and Udhavi Nayaki, here.

Although She has a separate shrine in the temple, Parvati is considered to be also present with Siva in the garbhagriham at all times. So there is no separate palliyarai (bedchamber) for the deities, and the garbhagriham itself is considered the palliyarai, representing Siva-Sakti.

Dakshinamurti here is believed to have been worshipped by the Naga Devas. The Gadilam river which abuts the temple to the north and west, is said to be the sangamam of the Gadilam and Sweta rivers, considered to be the forms of Lakshmi and Saraswati. Arunagirinathar has sung on Murugan at this temple, in his Tiruppugazh.

The core temple is ancient and regarded as having been built in the time of Trishanku and Harischandra. Since Sambandar sang a pathigam at this temple, the temple is certainly over 1400 years old. The architecture of the structural temple is medieval Chola, evidenced by the granite and stone building as well as the sculptures and iconography in the temple. Interesting iconography here includes Dinka, the rodent vehicle of Vinayakar, present to his master’s side, as well as the absence of mahisha the bull, under Durga. There are also several inscriptions on the outer wall of the garbhagriham, and elsewhere inside the temple.

Other information for your visit

Contact

Nataraja Gurukkal: 9486387154;
Satish Gurukkal: 9047238423;
Manikandan Gurukkal: 9787607727

Gallery

Author: TN Temples Project

A personal project to catalogue information on temples (both mainstream and off-the-beaten-track), so that people can learn about them and visit those temples more regularly.

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