Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Manikundra Perumal||Ambal / Thayar:||Ambuja Valli|
|Timing:||7 to 11 & 5 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Divya Desam||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Thanjavur||District:||Thanjavur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Thanjavur (5 km)||Kumbakonam (39 km)|
|Ariyalur (45 km)||Tiruchirappalli (62 km)|
The temple is located on the northern town limits of Thanjavur.
Sthala puranam and temple information
Thanjavur gets its name from Thanjakan, one of three asuras (the others being Thandakan and Tharakasuran) vanquished by Vishnu. The Thanjai Mamani Koil is a set of three temples, collectively regarded as one Divya Desam, located near the banks of Vennaru river on the outskirts of Thanjavur. The three temples are dedicated to Neelamegha Perumal, Manikundra Perumal and Narasimha Perumal (also known as Thanjai Yali Koil), and are located very close to each other. This is the only instance of a group of three temples being considered as one Divya Desam.
This temple finds mention in the Brahmanda Puranam.
The three asuras
In Krita Yuga, the demons Thanjakan, Thandakan and Tharakasuran did penance to Lord Siva. As a boon, they asked for immortality, but Siva referred them to Vishnu, since as the preserver of the world, only Paranthaman could offer such a boon. Siva also assured them that they would not come to any harm on his account.
Thereafter, the three asuras started troubling the entire universe, and also harassed the devas and rishis. During that time there was a severe drought and famine, and the only place with enough food and water was the hermitage of Parasara rishi. All the asuras went there and assaulted Parasara, who called out to Siva for assistance.
As Siva could had given them the boon, he could not help and so he deputed the task to Mahakali. However, every time the asuras were killed, they drank the water from the nearby Manimuthar river, and came back to life. With no option left, Parasara called out to Vishnu for help.
Thanjakan took the form of an elephant (thereby becoming Gajamukhan) and fought with Lord, who then took the form of Narasimha and killed Thanjakan (the place is today known as Thanjai Yali Koil – Yali meaning elephant).
Thandakan went down to patala loka to escape. Vishnu took the form of Varaham (boar), and plunging into patala loka, killed Thandakan. That place, where Thandakan was killed, came to be known as Thandagaranyam, and is today referred to as Srimushnam, where the Lord is worshipped in his form as Bhuvaraha Perumal.
Tharakasuran was overcome by Mahakali, but was pardoned by Vishnu before being killed.
Since Thanjakan asked for forgiveness, the town was named after him as Thanjakapuri or Thanjakanoor, and later modified to Thanjavur.
After the three asuras were decimated, Vishnu appeared to Parasara as Neelamega Perumal.
For all three deities, only thalaikappu is done instead of abhishekam.
This temple is associated with Nammazhvar.
Other information for your visit
There are several temples in and around Thanjavur. This is also a central spot to use as a base, when visiting temples in the Tiruchirappalli to Kumbakonam route. Several options for accommodation across all budgets, are available in Thanjavur.