Monday, January 3, 2011

Thiru Uthira Kosa Mangai- Ramanathapuram,Tamil Nadu

Uthira Kosa Mangai is a tiny hamlet, famous for the Siva temple considered to be 3000 years old. This is the place where Siva transferred the secrets of  Vedas to Parvati. Uthiram means ( updesham ) kosam( secrets) Parvati  (Mangai )  hence this place is known as Uthira Kosa Mangai.

The main deity here is Mangalanathar ( Siva) and his consort is  Mangleshwari.  There is a Nandi just outside the sanctum and a bigger Nandi in the outer prakaram  known here  as Pradosha Nandi.   Special poojas are conducted here on Pradosham days in the evenings as it is  believed that Siva dances between the horns of Nandi during that time. There  are also  shrines for Kalabhairavar and  Sanishwarar here. Each pillar in this temple has beautiful carvings and the ceiling is painted in myriad hues.

The main attraction of this temple is a statue of Natarajar made of emerlad which is about  51/2 feet tall. This idol is known as Margatha Natarajar and the deity is always covered with sandal paste.  Only in the Tamil month of Margazhi on Tiruvathira nakshtram (latest  was on Dec. 22nd 2010)  the sandal paste gets removed and there is abhishekam for the idol and this special darshan is known as  Arudhra darishanam. Lakhs of devotees visit the temple on this day and on the next day again the idol  gets smeared with sandal paste. To have a darshan of this deity, one must be there around 12.00 noon on regular days.

On the way to Natarajar temple we find other sub shrines dedicated to Sahasra Lingam ,which has thousands of tiny Lingams carved on a single Shiva Linga and a separate shrine for Manikka Vasagar(the saint poet who was a regular visitor to this temple) near the Agnitheertham (tank) . The sthala vricksham is also considered as old as the temple. The base of this  tree has a huge hollow in which I could find some images of serpents.

How to reach: The nearest airport is Madurai . Ramanathapuram is 100 Kms from the Madurai airport.
Many buses ply from Madurai  to Ramanathapuram.
Accommodation- It is better to stay in Madurai which has good hotels.


54 comments:

  1. Happy New Year Chitra! Love the pieces of India you show me - nice to be in touch :)

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  2. Martina, Nice to see you. Thanks and wish you also the same.

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  3. Excellent write up and beautiful pictures

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  4. The pillars of the Mandapam that surrounds the lawn is majestic.The Nandi also sports sandal paste smearing?. I wish the carvings of these kinda temples are better maintained than they are now..
    Nice post chitra.!

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  5. so nice to see the temple in pictures..its so beautiful

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  6. A,
    Thank you so much. Happy New year!!

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  7. Sridharan,
    Happy New year!!!
    That is the pradosha Nandi and it was Pradosham day hence the special alankara with sandal paste.
    Though the temple conducted kumbabhishekam recently,no maintenance has been taken up for the pillars. They are all smeared with vibhooti and oil. It needs great attention.We must also know how to preserve our monuments. I had mentioned that in my post but later I removed it as I didn't want to paint a negative picture.

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  8. Some of the images do look very old, it is so difficult to image 3000 years old! And that rose bunch on the right hand side of your sidebar looks very pretty too.

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  9. thanks Chitra for this post. This is again an interesting temple. the emerald Nataraja is interesting as Chidambaram has a ruby Nataraja. The carved reliefs in this temple of dancing Shiva, Rama, Krishna, Kalyana Sundara Murti etc point to a date of 11th-12th centuries, although the original shrine could be much older (not older than the early decades of the Common Era though when it may have been a wood, mud and brick structure), which got renovated several times later.

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  10. Statue of emerald you said? :-o
    I wonder how much of security should go in for securing the temple. As usual excellent pictures and a new information

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  11. Mridula,
    The main idol in the temple may be the one which is 3000 years old.The temple may be just few hundred years old.

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  12. Archana,
    Thanks for the information. The temple structure could be from 11- 12 the century and the idol could be dating back to a very old era. Shall post that too. yet another beautiful temple.

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  13. Interesting Pictures Specially those pillars.

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  14. Beautiful temple. The gopuram and the carvings are very nice.

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  15. You have visited some really beautiful places but I have to say I think this must be my favourite so far. Picture 17(?) The Way To Amman's Shrine took my breath away.

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  16. Insignia, It is emerald. The shrine is always under lock and key, is opened only at 12 noon just for the pooja,

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  17. Jagruti, thanks, Happy New year to you also.

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  18. Hi Chitra,wish you and your family a very happy and a prosperous new year

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  19. PW, It is indeed beautiful but I could not get all the pictures in the corridor due to poor lighting.

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  20. The temple is very beautiful... the Nandi bull, the colourful yellow spire and the black pillars...all contrasting and very pleasing to the eyes!

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  21. Happy New Year Chitra. Keep showing us your beautiful pilgrimage pictures.

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  22. Beautiful as always...why did they dress those two statues...is it because of the male organ?

    Why do some people feel art is something to hide? Shame on those who see anything else on those statues...

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  23. Sushma,Happy New year to you and your family too.

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  24. Arti,happy you liked the pics.

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  25. Kiran,thanks a lot.Happy you are enjoying along with me.

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  26. Stranger,It is not like that,adorning statues with silk and jewels are part of any temple custom.All these- that is 99 % of the statues I have seen have well carved costumes and jewels on the stone itself and nothing is seen and nothing to hide.Each has its own beauty.May be a a piece of coloured cloth makes it bright. At least that way they get attention which other wise remains neglected.

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  27. How peaceful! Love those carvings. Happy New Year!

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  28. Just looked ar your pix again Chitra - so pretty! I just love India for being so colorful and spiritual. Have a splendid evening!

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  29. i had been to Madurai last year.... could not visit this very place, bcoz didn't had any idea about it.... next time i will be there for sure, thnx for sharing...
    Regards...irfan

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  30. I have heard a lot about this temple, though have not visited it yet... Have u seen the Maragatha Natarjar? Incidentally, after seeing the Maragatha Lingams at Thiruvarur and Thirunallar, I think Maragatham is Jade and not Emerald as we have been told...no confirmation, of course.. just a thought!

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  31. Anu,The News paper and the sthala puranam book says it is emeralad.I have a picture of that . I couldn't go inside the shrine as I was there before 12 . May be next visit we would plan at that time. Even if visit on regular days we would see sandal smeared idol. On Thiruvathira day in Dec, about 5 lakh devotees visit this temple. I don't think I would ever visit during that time.

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  32. Nice to come across this blog, Madam. Well written and nice photos. There are plenty of temples which I haven't visited yet. Our religious treasure is so vast that we need plenty of people to write about them. Keep blogging and I am adding your link to my blog...

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  33. Shantiraju, Thanks for the visit , I have also subscribed to your blog.

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  34. I read your comment and when I deleted the post and embeded the slide show your comment also got deleted. I am sorry about that.

    Thanks for you comments Chitra! Have a nice week end!

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  35. I was there at this temple last month,it was a normal sunday evening around 4pm. The sivachaarya said the story of the temple, i really eager to see that aarudhra darishnam. I heard this is the first temple in the earth and lingam was suyambhu really awesome, i lost myself when i saw the eyes of maragadha natarajar. When i sat around the pond there was a huge silence prevailing really astonished to hear the sound of fish in the pond. I felt my birth gets satisfied on this trip.

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  36. Sades, that was a nice experience for you...You are blessed one...

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  37. Chitra,
    is it psble to send me the temple incharge tel.no,enable to visit and to arrange a rudhra abhishekam.

    Rgds.
    Sridhar.
    Email: srisai56@gmail.com

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  38. Sridhar, let me try. I had their sthalapuranam book.Shall let you know soon.

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  39. Hai chithra madam,

    I am geetha. I like to see the arudhra abhishekam this year, but i could not locate the phone number of temple office to get some details regarding route, stay etc... Also to see abhishekam on arudhra day, should i go on previous day to temple or else...

    Kindly help me to know the details

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  40. hai chitra madam this uthragosamangai executive officer cell no 9443131215

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  41. Thanks Mohan, I am sure this would help a lot of devotees. thanks to you.Nice you posted it here.

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  42. subhashini ajeethMarch 16, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    chitra ,at uthira cosa mangai did you see a beautiful carving of a lion, opening its mouth wide and a huge stone ball is carved into its mouth and is held tight with its claws we can put our hands inside the mouth and play with the ball but cannot be removed its a marvelous piece it shows the skill of the sculptor.

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  43. Subhashini
    I have seen such a lion in some temple but do not remember where.

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  44. it is the very first temple for lord siva in south india.... the sculpture are very excellent.... stone ball in yali, nearly 3000 years old tree, stone chain, story behind this every thing makes a excitement and etc... dont miss it to see in your life time....

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  45. its really good

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