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.
Ramanathaswamy temple,Rameshwaram , Tirupullani, Sethukarai and Navapashanam are the other famous temples nearby.