Thirumeniazhagarswamy Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is the most prominent landmark of Karaikal, one of the four regions of Pondicherry. This shrine is also known as Thiru Sundareswarar Temple and Thiru Vettakudi Temple. Thirumalrayan, the representative of the Vijayanagar ruler, built this town and ruled it. His inscriptions are found at Thiruvanaikkaval, Thanjavur, Papanasam and Pattichuram. This temple is the 49th of 275 Siva Thevara Sthalams that has been mentioned in the Tamil sacred texts called Thevaram.
About The Temple
Presently the temple is built in 7913 sq. ft. with outer mandapam, Raja gopuram, Kodikambam (18ft tall gold plated), front mandap, Mahamandap, Sanctum, walk around area, other deity prahara, kitchen, office, Urcharvar deity, Marriage Hall, Inside the temple, the presiding deity placed in Karuvarai area 4 X 4 square place as the sanctum and the Vimanam above covered fully with gold plated.
On the north side of the sanctum, Komugi is kept for abishega water will come out and a small temple for Sandikeswarar. On the southern side, pragara for walk to go to round the ardhamandapam and Sanctum area about 106.56 sq. mt. donated by the Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram for extension on 25.12.1968. Now, on the western side of the pragara on the left hand side Sri Bala Vinayagar temple below the silver vimana and on the eastern side of the pragara on the right hand side Sri Balasubramaniar temple below the silver vimana were found. Next to north pragara entrance on the right hand side is Marriage Mandap, the place wherein used for all kind of poojas, homams and Brahmothsavam and Pavithrothsavam were performed to the Urchavamurthy, during the festival days. Different kind of vahanas kept safely at vahana Mandap nearby the temple.
The golden chariot was made purely on the basis of collection of donations from the devotees. The total weight of the gold used in this chariot is 7.5kg with the estimate of around Rs.35 lakhs. The height & breadth of the chariot is 10ft & 6ft. The chariot was fully made up in teakwood covered by copper plates duly engraved with beautiful art works and the plates duly attached with golden rakes. At first the running of the said Golden Chariot was held on 05-10-2003 in a grand manner. At present most of the devotees are very much interested to fulfill their prayer by pulling the Golden chariot inside the temple on payment of fixed fees. Once in year i.e. on Vijayadhasami day the said Golden Chariot run outside of the temple i.e. only in the maada veedhis.
Above the Moolavar deity (Sanctum), the existing Vimana was fully covered with golden plate by using the gold of lOKg weight, which was made on the basis of donations from the devotees. The first Maha kumbabishegam with golden vimana was held on 24-01-1999. In the Vimana, the circular plane in between the roof and the sigaram were laid with various Vinayagar posture embossed in gold plate which is a feast to devotees' eyes
The Kavasam for Moolavar deity in 14 parts like Gireedam, two ears, Thumbikkai, 2 chestparts, belly, two legs, four hands, peetam were made in 916.7pure gold with Hallmarked certificate, under the estimate of 1.28 crores, the amount was fully collected from the devotees on their gracious donations. On the first time, the golden kavasam wearing ceremony was held on 13-06-2008. Afterwards, on important festival days, the said goldenkavasam weared in Moolavar deity by devasthanam for the free dharshan of the devotees and other days the said kavasam will be weared to moolavar only on payment as fixed.
About The Deity
The presiding deity Moolavar in Sanctum blesses his devotees with four hands, the top two holding Angusam, Pasam and the right lowe hand with abayadana muthra and the left one varadhana muthra.
Legend and Stories
The French built a Fort here in the year 1688. The temple behind this fort was the Manakula Vinayakar temple. This was near the sea shore with lot of sand (Manal) and hence the tank came to be known as Manarkulam – Manakkulam. Many government manuels also confirm this fact. It is on the eastern part of this tank, the temple is built known as Manakkula Vinayakar temple and became very popular in the days that followed.
Ganesh Chaturthi is very devotionally celebrated in the temple with abishek and special pujas. The crowd on the English New Year Day would be too huge. On the day, devotees are very particular to have His darshan before their other routines. 25 day Brahmmotsavam in the month of Avani (August-September), 10 day Pavithra Utsavam, monthly Chaturthi days (fourth day from New moon or full moon day) are the festive days in the temple. Deepavali, Pongal festivals are also observed with special poojas.
He is the symbol of wisdom. No surprise that all men and women, school children especially during examination times throng his temple to draw inspiration and courage to proceed with their works. Marriage, child, launching a business, buying a new vehicle, and for every new or current endeavours, devotees seek his blessings.
The speciality in the Manakula Vinayagar temple is that the devotees are not from the Hindu fold alone but from the Christian community too. Those leaving Pondicherry, seek the blessings of Manakula Vinayakar for an incident-free journey and successful completion of their job at the other end. The reputation of Manakula Vinayakar is surprisingly great.
People generously place their offerings in the Hundi. It is noteworthy that U.S. citizens had offered a diamond crown to Vinayaka. He is internationally worshipped. Devotees perform abishek to the Lord in oil, fruit juices, honey, milk, curd, swarna (gold) and with conch (sankabishekam) and Kalasas (holy pots). Devotees also perform Wedding Festival to Vinayaka with silver chariot which they pull. Devotees also undertake to feed the visitors
How To Reach Pondicherry
The nearest airport is in Chennai. The nearest railways station is in Pondicherry. Pondicherry is 106 kms from Chennai, 40 from Villupuram and 23 from Cuddalore.
Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple,
Pincode - 605 001.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- For success in endeavors
- For wisdom
- For progress in education
- For new property
- Vehicle purchase
- For matrimonial purposes
Vakratunda Mahakaaya Suryakoti Samaprabha Nirvighnam Kuru Mey Deva Sarva Kaaryeshu Sarvada
Meaning -I pray to thee O Lord, who has a curved trunk and a strong body, the shine of a million suns, to remove all the hurdles that may block me from all the tasks I intend to perform.
Agajaanana Padmaarkam Gajaananam Aharnisham Anekadantham Bhaktaanaam Ekadantam Upaasmahey
Meaning -The sun to Mother Parvati's lotus face, I worship Lord Ganesh, with the elephant face, the one who grants a lot of wishes, the one with the single tusk, I salute thee to grant my wish.
Gajaananam Bhoota Ganaadhi Sevitam Kapitta Jamboophaala Saara Bhakshitam Umaasutam Shoka Vinaasha Kaaranam Namaami Vighneswara Paada Pankajam
Meaning -Oh elephant-faced Lord, who is served by all the Ganas, who consumes the essence of Kapitta and Jamboophala, His favourite fruits, who is Uma's son, who destroys the gloom of His devotees, who handles hurdles, we worship your lotus feet.
Tatpurushaaya Vidmahe Vakratundaaya Dheemahe Tanno Danthihi Prachodayaat
Meaning -We meditate on the great power, we call upon the single tusked Ganesh, who grants wishes.
The temple is opened from 6.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m.