Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Mukteeswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||x|
|Timing:||to & to||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Possible Vaippu Sthalam||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Manigramam||District:||Nagapattinam|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Mayiladuthurai (27 km)||Nagapattinam (54 km)|
|Thiruvarur (58 km)||Kumbakonam (64 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
The town of Manigramam has two temples – one is the Tirumeni Azhagar temple which is a Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam, and this temple. This one is located on the road from Mayiladuthurai to Poompuhar, a few hundred meters to the left before the Chayavaneswarar temple at Sayavanam.
There was nobody available to explain the sthala puranam of this temple, nor was there any published information in the temple itself. The caretaker was able to provide us with some information, that this temple was built about 400-500 years ago, by members of a certain family from the Pillai community, whose descendants continue to maintain and administer the temple even today.
The temple is west-facing, as is the moolavar Mukteeswarar (also called Kripanidheeswarar). As is the case for such west-facing temples, Vinayakar, Murugan and Lingodhbhavar face east, and the order of koshtam deities is reversed (but not their direction). The temple is spread over a rather large area of about 4 acres.
There are separate shrines for Vinayakar, Murugan, and Amman. Interestingly, Amman’s shrine faces east, which would make this a Guru sthalam – where Siva gives upadesam to Parvati (this is the case with some other temples, such as Tiruvanaikkaa and Tiruvamathur, though in the latter, Siva faces east and Amman faces west).
Amman’s name here – Mullaivana Nayaki – suggests that this place used to be a dense forest of mullai trees (a type of jasmine).
In the koshtam are the usual deities – Vinayakar, Dakshinamurti, Lingodhbhavar, Brahma and Durga – all of which are beautifully sculpted. These are fairly large murtis, and are at a slight height, since the main garbhagriham and the mandapam is at a slight elevation. There are also separate shrines for Bhairavar and Suryan in the north-east section of the temple premises.