Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Vajrakandeeswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Mangalambikai|
|Timing:||7 to 12 & 4 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Veeramangudi||District:||Thanjavur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Thanjavur (21 km)||Ariyalur (30 km)|
|Kumbakonam (33 km)||Perambalur (56 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
The demon Vajrasura had received a boon that he could not be killed by humans or devas. Armed with this boon, the asura started harassing the sages and devas, who eventually went to Siva for help. The Lord deputed a Sivacharyar who was serving as a priest in a temple, to fight the asura. The priest engaged with the asura, and just as he was about to take the latter’s life, the asura pleaded with Siva for mercy, to forgive him for his faults. As always, Siva – Ashutosh, the one who is pleased quickly – forgave the asura and granted him a boon. The asura requested that Siva stay here at this place forever. Siva heeded to this request and is therefore present as Vajrakandeswarar.
Mangalambika Amman is worshipped by girls seeking to get married, and by newly-wedded couples for marital bliss.
This temple is connected to the story of Siva’s journey from Tiruvaiyaru to Swamimalai. When Siva wanted to hear the meaning of the Pranava mantram from Murugan, the latter asked Him to come to Swamimalai, as a disciple. When going to a Guru’s place for upadesam, one is supposed to leave behind all worldly attachments. In order to fulfil this requirement, Siva left various aspects of His persona as also His entourage, in various places. At Veeramangudi, the Navagrahams and their consorts were left behind.
The temple is rather simple, but ancient, and presents a serene atmosphere. Going by the architecture, the temple appears to be from the early medieval Chola period, possibly the 10th century CE. There are also some later additions which may be from the Pandya period.
There is no dhwajasthambam here, and a small mandapam houses both the bali peetham and Nandi. Beyond this is the maha mandapam that encloses the garbhagriham and Amman shrine. Interestingly, Amman has a separate Nandi on the south, facing Her. This is suggestive of some Pandya influence on the temple’s layout and iconography.
Inside the maha mandapam is a beautiful vigraham of Siva-Surya – Siva in the form of Suryan. There are no original koshtams around the garbhagriham. The Dakshinamurti shrine facing south, and Durga shrine facing north, both clearly are later additions. In the prakaram are Vinayakar, Murugan with his consorts Valli and Deivanai, Varadaraja Perumal (with Garuda – head slightly tilted – facing Vishnu, pleased at having been assigned the role of Vishnu’s vehicle) and Chandikeswarar.
There is a separate Navagraham shrine in the northeast corner. The interesting part about the Navagraham shrine is that all the Navagraham deities are present with their consorts, reflecting the sthala puranam of Siva’s walk from Tiruvaiyaru to Swamimalai. The Navagraham shrine itself is on an octagonal peetham.
At the southern entrance to the Amman shrine, on top of the maha mandapam, is a beautiful plaster representation of a scene from Kailasam, depicting Murugan headed south on his peacock, even as Vinayakar has received the mango from Siva and Parvati, for having completed three circumambulations of his world!
Other information for your visit
The lady in the house at the entrance of the temple – who is also the caretaker – is a great devotee of the Lord, and is willing to open the temple to interested devotees who visit outside of normal temple timings, within reasonable limits.
Contact: 94435 86453