The renowned Manickavasagar temple is located at Chinnamanur in Theni district of Tamil Nadu. The temple is relatively old, and was built around 500 years ago. This is the only temple primarily dedicated to Manickavasagar, who was a well-known saivite saint. The temple also houses shrines of Lord Kasi Viswanatha and Goddess Visalakshi Ambal.
About the Temple
The statue of Saint Manickavasagar appears in the standing posture, adorning the sacred Rudraksha mala around the neck. The Guru is seen holding a Japa Mala in his right hand and gracing the devotees with a chinmudra. He holds the palm leaves in his left hand. The main deities of this temple include Lord Kasi Viswanatha and Mother Visalakshi. Devotees pray the Lord and Ambigai to bless their children with immense knowledge and wisdom. They perform this pooja especially before admitting their children to school. Special pujas are performed on the ‘Maga’ star every month on Saint Manickavasagar. Archana for Saint Maanikavasagar are performed here in Tamil since the saint composed several hymns in the language Tamil. The idol of saint Manikavasagar is brought in procession as a Minister during the festivals. It must be noted that Manickavasagar served as the Prime Minister of King Arimardana Pandiyan. During the tamil months of Aani and Margazhi, on the day of Uthiram Star, Saint Manickavasagar and Lord Nataraja are brought together in procession. Hymns composed by Manickavasagar from the sacred Tiruchazhal are chanted by the devotees on this occasion to overcome problems relating to speech such as stammering.
Sri Chandikeswarar generally appears in the sitting position in most Shiva temples. But he is seen standing worshipping the sacred Shivalinga, in this temple. Chitraguptan appears to be meditating with the palm leaf and ezhuthani which are used for writing. People worship the Lord here seeking longevity of life. There are two Sani Bhagwan statues in this temple. The one within the Navagraha shrine has a parrot in his hand. There is a yet another Sani Bagwan statue with long threatening teeth called the Gora Saneeswara. On he occasion of Guru Puja, a Shiva Puja in is performed during the midday. Devotees are offered the sacred ash, sandal and flowers.
Legend and Stories
Vadavoorar was born at Tiruvadavur as the son of Sambupadachariar and Shivagnanavati. As a token of appreciation for his divine talent and devotion towards Lord Shiva, King Arimardana Pandian had appointed him his minister. He also conferred him the title Thennavan Brahmmarayan. The King provided vadavoorar with adequate money to purchase high-breed horses for his cavalry.
When Vadavoorar reached Tiruperundurai (now known as Avudayarkoil), he saw Lord Shiva preaching his disciples under a Kurundha tree. Vadavoorar was completely mesmerized at the sight of Lord and fell at his feet out of devotion. He begged the Lord to accepted as one of his disciples. The Lord in turn is said to have gladly accepted him as his disciple. Since the hymns composed by Vadavoorar were considered precious like the gem ruby (known as Manickam in Tamil), the Lord is said to have named him Manickavasagar.
Upon his return to the Pandya kingdom, Lord Shiva is said to have brought two horses to the king, which were actually Jackals that were transformed into horses by the Lord. The horses again transformed into jackals at night. Suspecting Manickavasagar of foul play, the king is believed to have punished him. Lord Shiva is said to have staged a play (Tiruvilayadal) in order to bring out the greatness of Manickavasagar in front of the public.
Devotees offer species rachana and vastras to the saint on the fulfilment of their prayers.
Devotees pray the lord and the ambigai here their children with wisdom. Few also pray the Lord seeking cure from stammering speech.
How to Reach Manickavasagar temple, Chinnamanur
The nearest airport is located at Madurai, which operates domestic flights to cities like Trichy and Chennai.
The nearest railway station is the Theni railway station which has many trains connecting the town to many other towns and cities of the state.
Chinnamanur is situated 24 km from Theni. Ample Bus facilities are available to reach the place. The devotee has to get down at Margayan Kottai Round Tana bus stop. The temple lies very near to the bus stop which can be reached within 5mins by walk.
Chinnamanur, Theni District,
Tamil Nadu, India, Pincode – 625515.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Relief from diseases
- Purchase of vehicles
- Gain Knowledge
Daivi Hyesa Gunamayi Mama Maya Duratyaya Mameva Ye Prapadyante Mayametam Taranti Te
Meaning -According to this sloka, the heavenly maya of God is very complicated, but those who worship God will be able to overcome it.
Balam Balavatam Caham Kamaragavivarjitam Dharmaviruddho Bhutesu Kamo'smi Bharatarsabha
Meaning -According to this sloka, God is the isolated and aloof strength of the controlling and virtuous craving in men.
Ye Caiva Sattvika Bhava Rajasastamasasca Ye Matta Everti Tanviddhi Na Tvaham Tesu Temayi
Meaning -According to this sloka, though the only source of satva, rajas and tamas (good, obsessive and dark) elements is God, they are not present within the God or the deity.
Tribhirgunamayairbhavairebhih Sarvamidam Jagat Mohitam Nabhijanati Mamebhyah Paramavyayam
Meaning -According to this sloka, the entire world doesn't recognize the eternal God beyond them, because they are consumed by the elements of satva, rajas and tamas (good, obssessive and dark).
The temple is open from 7.00 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 5.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.