Aadi Vaidyanathar, Mannipallam, Nagapattinam


Basic information about the temple

Moolavar:Aadi VaidyanatharAmbal / Thayar:Thaiyal Nayaki
Deity:SivaHistorical name:
Vriksham:Teertham:
Agamam:

Age (years):

Timing: to & to Parikaram:

Temple group:
Sung by:

Temple set:

Pancha Vaidyanatha sthalam

Navagraham:

Nakshatram:

City / town:MannipallamDistrict:Nagapattinam
Maps from (click): Current location Mayiladuthurai (15 km)Kumbakonam (50 km)

Tiruvarur (59 km)Nagapattinam (65 km)

Location

Sthala puranam and temple information

This is one of the five Pancha Vaidyanathar temples and is regarded as perhaps not just the oldest of them, but also as the original site of what is today the Paadal Petra Sthalam temple of Vaidyanatha Swamy at Vaitheeswaran Koil.

In the Hindu pantheon, Dhanvantri is the god of medicine. He is also variously imagined or described as an avatar of Vishnu, who came to earth in the form of a sage. The sthala puranam of this temple is connected with that sage – Maharishi Dhanvantri – who lived in the premises that is today this temple.

The king of the region was suffering from some serious illness and, hearing that a sage with curative powers was residing in this temple, asked the sage to come to the palace. The sage refused, citing that it was the king who had to come to the sage, and had to take a bath in the temple’s tank and worship Lord Siva as Vaitheeswaran and Parvati as Thaila Nayaki, before meeting the sage.

This angered the king, who ordered that the sage be thrown into the fire. The king’s soldiers attempted to do so, but the sage emerged from the fire unscathed, and continued his penance at the place. The king was further enraged by this and ordered that the entire place be burnt down. Realising the futility of the king’s behaviour, the sage left the place, and the entire temple was razed to the ground. Later, when the king visited the remains, he noticed that nothing had happened to the vigrahams. In a flash, he also realised the sage was none other than Dhanvantri, and inwardly repented his actions. As penance, he decided to build a new temple at a new location some distance away, and moved all the vigrahams to that place. The new temple was duly constructed and is what we know as Vaitheeswaran Koil.

According to another story, in the Mahabharatam, the five Pandavas are believed to have worshipped at these five Pancha Vaidyanathar sthalams, during their period of exile.

Read more about the Pancha Vaidyanatha sthalams here. The four other temples nearby for Siva as Vaitheeswaran, are all said to have been built after a handful of sand from this place was taken to the other places, during the groundbreaking ceremony. For that reason, this temple is considered the moola koil or mother temple for the other four.

There are several stories of Siva and Parvati engaging in sport, playing games. One of these involves the sthala puranam of the nearby Pandanallur temple. The ball of Vedas that Parvati was playing with, fell here and created a hollow (Tamil: pallam) in the sand (Tamil: mannu). The place therefore came to be called Mannupallam, which corrupted to Mannipallam over time.

The original structural temple is said to be from the Pallava period, built in the 7th or 8th century. In those times, this village was entirely occupied by brahmins, perhaps given to them by the rulers as an exclusive place (Chaturveda Mangalam). Archaeological and epigraphical evidence from this region suggest that in its time, this was perhaps a massive temple spread over a large area.

In the 1920, Kanchi Maha Periyavaa visited this place and bathed in one of the 5 temple tanks (sthala Teerthams) called Thailakuttai, before worshipping at this temple. The location of that tank is not known now, but is said to be a short distance from the temple. He also indicated that the vigrahams of this temple had been installed by devas from the Devalokam. The other 4 teerthams are named Sadaiyar Teertham, Home Teertham, Vettu Rna Teertham and Deiva Teertham.

The temple we see today was painstakingly reconstructed in recent years by two locals – Sri Ramesh and Sri Paramanthan – who were able to garner public support and funding to bring this abandoned temple back to life, and who restored it to its past glory. Word has it, that during the recent rebuilding of this temple, the duo of Ramesh and Paramanatham encountered several obstacles, including legal cases foisted on them and others who assisted the project. One day, in a house near the temple, a yellow pumpkin was noticed growing with the appearance of a five-hooded snake. Word spread, and the number of curious people visiting this place suddenly increased, attributing this phenomenon to Nagaraja, the king of the nagas. As this was happening, the impediments to the temple’s reconstruction also began to vanish. Finally, after 12 years of struggle, kumbhabhishekam for this temple was performed in 2013.

The temple is located on a narrow street that branches off from the Vaitheeswaran Koil-Pandanallur road. An imposing three-tier raja gopuram stands at the entrance. Inside is a tin roof lined passage, where one finds the dhwajasthambam, bali peetham and Nandi mandapam. The rest of the main temple is very simple, with the garbhagriham for Siva as Adi gVaitheeswaran and a south-facing shrine on the right for Thaiyal Nayaki Amman. Inside the Amman shrine is another Amman vigraham, perhaps an older one that was in the temple.

Flanking the garbhagriham are Vinayakar and Murugan. The Lingam itself is new, and fairly large – about 3½ feet in height. In the koshtam are Dakshinamurti, Lingodhbhavar and Durga. in the prakaram are Vinayakar, Murugan with his consorts Valli and Deivanai, Dhanvantri – depicted as an avataram of Vishnu, and a separate, older Siva Lingam. Murugan is depicted as Muthukumaraswami, same as in Vaitheeswaran Koil. The Vinayakar here is called Bhagavata Vinayakar, and is said to be depicted as being in the process of writing the Mahabharatam. This Vinayakar is worshipped for progress and excellence in academics. This may be the way the Mahabharatam connection of this temple (amongst the Pancha Vaidyanatha sthalams) is depicted.

Naturally, Siva at this temple is said to be the master physician, worshipping whom can cure all sorts of illnesses. It is believed that those who visit this temple once will be attracted to visit this and the other four of the Pancha Vaidyanatha sthalam temples, and that worshipping at these temples is equivalent to reciting the Vedas. Also, perhaps as a later interpolation, worshipping at this temple (and the others in the Pancha Vaidyanatha sthalam list) is believed to help rid one of Sevvaai dosham.

Other information for your visit

In addition to the Pancha Vaidyanathar temples, the stretch of road of about 55km from Vaitheeswaran Koil to Tiruppanandal boasts of several important temples (including Paadal Petra Sthalam and Vaippu Sthalam temples) on and just off the road. These include:

Tirupunkur Sivalokanathar,
Perumangalam Kambanathar,
Tirukurakkaa Kundala Karneswarar (one of the pancha kaa kshetrams),
Thalaignayiru Kutram Porutha Nathar,
Tiruvalaputhur Manikka Vannar,
Iluppaipattu Neelakandeswarar,
Kizhai Chidambareswarar,
Aththur Swarnapureeswarar,
Pandanallur Pasupateeswarar, and
the Pandanallur Aadi Kesava Perumal temples.

Contact

Ramesh: 98421 88063
Paramanathan: 94445 26253

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