Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rajagopalaswamy temple - Mannargudi, Tamil Nadu

Rajagopalaswamy temple at Mannargudi is in Tiruvarur district . This is a very small town and is around 30 Kms. from Tanjore. Cultivation is main occupation of the people here and the green paddy fields are a real visual treat to the eyes as one travels towards this town. The temple here is  very famous and ancient . Even though this is a very popular temple and  attracts pilgrims through out the year, this is not listed  among the divyadesams of Vishnu  mainly because none of the Alwars have sung mangalsanam here in praise of this Lord.

This temple has 7 prakarams and all the towers were under renovation when I visited. The Kumbabhishekam was also performed recently.

The main deity in the sanctum is a 7 foot tall idol that resembles Balaji of Tirupati and here He is flanked by his consorts Boodevi and Sreedevi.The Utsavar Rajagopalaswamy's idol is of exquisite beauty and is adorned with precious and colurful jewellery and flowers. Along with Him are  His consorts Rukmani and Satyabhama. There  are small statues of cows and calves  around him as he is  Gopala .( one who tends herd of cows) .  There is also a small idol of Bala Krishna ( baby Krishna) known here as Santhana Gopala, in a small cradle .There is a belief that offering prayers by holding this idol in hand blesses barren couples with progeny.

Thayar sannidhi and Anjaneyar snaidhi are in the outer prakaram. Thayar is known as Sengamala Thayar and Her idol is never taken out of the temple hence she is known as Padi Thaandaa Patni (One, who never crosses the threshold of the house) Thayar sannidhi has beautifully carved pillars and a Tulsi maadam. The flag post is in front of the Rajagopalaswamy sannidhi and near to it is the Patala Anjaneyar, The Anjaneyar idol half concealed in the earth.

As it was festival time Utsavar was out of the temple and could get some pictures of the deity. There is  also a 50 feet high monolithic tower in front of the temple.  I have included that also in the photos.

How to reach:
Mannargudi can be reached from Tanjore (30 Kms), Kumbakonam (30 Kms) or Tiruvarur(27 kms.)
Nearest airport is Trichy. Nearest railway station is Nidamangalam and the road bisects the railway platform which is very unique.
Accommodation -  One can find good accommodation in Trichy, Tanjore or Kumbakonam. 
Note that the most of the temples in Tamil Nadu are closed between 12noon -4pm, this temple also follows the same style.


  1. Wonderful temple , but who built this temple .

  2. Yet another great post. You are wonderful

  3. Team G Square,
    Built by Cholas. It is also known as Dakshin Dwaraka and main sanctum is about 1000years old.

  4. Lovely pictures as usual Chitra.

  5. Thank you immensely.The narration and the pictures were exquisite

  6. beautiful shots
    another good post

  7. Every time I see your post about a temple it gives me a rush of emotion and I start to miss the rich history n culture os India- beautiful temple!
    US Masala

  8. Thanks Mridula.
    KP,thank you so much.
    sm, thanks.
    aipi, I am happy you like my posts, thank you so much.

  9. I have heard of Mannarkudi and the famous temple. Nice to the photos.

  10. Aah I see that elephant and bull sculpted as I saw in Badami temples. So this temple should be around the same time - between 11th and 14th century I hope. Nice pictures Chitra. Thanks for sharing

  11. The temple is very 'colour'ful. Lovel pix and lovelier description

  12. This has been in my list Chitra..! Wonderful photos!

  13. Beautiful temple, so serene and tranquil. Great captures as usual!

  14. Insignia,
    This temple was built around 10th century. I saw a similar one in a Goa temple but that appeared quite new.

  15. Bhagya,
    It must be looking much more colourful as the renovation is complete.

  16. Sriharan, Have you visited it already or planning? This is a very nice temple. I would like to visit it again.

  17. Tamil Nadu is the land of temples right? I hope the next one should be Tripunithura when compared to the area :)

    My journey to Tirupathy balaji was very tedious.. at last I had something to say in personal to Balaji... Venkataramana govindaaa... govinda :)

    Hey chitra! is this santana gopala also in other temples. I have often heard this name and its prominence in respects to the blessings of child.

    hmm.. I forget to say one thing... when I said hey I remember arey!... we use this word often in hindi "arey kya kar raha hain tu.. and all"... amma used to say not to use "arey" as it signifies something bad.. she says in malayalam its like "arey durachara dashamsakamsa, parakramam streekalodallu vendu" ... I never understand how this hindi and malayalam words mix to give meanings... amma only knows... :)

    I think "Padi Thaandaa Patni" can also be used for woman in Tripunithura. Never saw them outside except on ulsavam :)

    Hanumanji’s idol looks very good... I saw a similar idol in Sabarimala. I was once a great bhakt of lord hanuman... “Pavan Tanay Sankat Haran , Mangal Murti Roop. Ram Lakhan Sita Sahit, Hriday Basahu Sur Bhoop, siyavar raam Chandra ki jai... pavan sut hanuman ki jai...”. That does not mean I am not his bhakt, but other gods are also in competition... entha chaiya

    Chitra you seem to be worshiping many temples. It is a great feeling and relaxation of mind. Right?

    You did not mention anything about your family... or maybe I am a bit late on reading those articles where you mentioned about them... Would be nice to know about them :)

  18. ye patti njan parayam.Here I write only about temples. Like to keep it crisp and short and easy for readers. Never write anything about my family in these posts.

    You are right when you say padi thandaa patni for Tripunithura. also know many. Kurachu kalam avide thangiyathane..

    Poornathrayeesa, is also Santhana Gopala. But in Kerala temples idols will not be given in devotees hands.

  19. @ Chitra - Thanks for sharing details about your family. I felt really happy. It helps create a bond of friendship when people discuss and respond.

    Convey my regards to your hus and mon... I will be going to meet my grandparents on Vishu.

    I never knew about the poornathreeshan being santana gopala.. Thanks for sharing Chitra. You dont mind me calling you Chitra right...

    In real would call you chechi if you prefer but in blog.. I think Chitra is better... It will help you understand that you are still young by words and heart. :)

    Amma wanted me to visit temples daily so used to go to temples on a daily basis. Actually my parents live in nagpur, maharastra and I am far... but amma is always in heart... will always be there until I die... so always amma comes in post and comments... I like every amma, because I love my amma... so coming to temples,the one I would visit at nagpur daily was "Radha krishna mandir"... That was a big krishnan with radha... Calm and peaceful atmosphere...

    We would have met if it was not a Vishu... hm... Vishuvinu ammumem appupaneyum kandilengil ... atleast my parents are not there so I should meet them often and fill the gaps. :)

    There are plenty of temples to explore.. Last time I went with muttashi to tamil Nadu yatra... visited palani, madhura, and a lot of temples...

    I am badly waiting to visit Mookambika temple. Planning since two-three years... entha chaiya... amma vilikende avide... :)

    Eee varsham vilikyuvarikyum alle?

  20. Like many others this has been on my wishlist tooo..The Utsava moorthy is mesmerising

  21. First of all you tell me how do you get time to visit so many places. Wish i can .. You know one day i am jsut going ot land in front of ur house and you will have to take me to all these places .. :)


  22. Rajagopalaswamy - what an impressive sounding name.

    The ceiling of the temple is magnificent but what really caught my attention was how many different materials went into the construction of the buiding.

  23. Lovely chitra, though I am a tanjorean by origin(mayavaram)and have visited most temples around tanjore. I am yet to visit mannargudi. Your posts takes us on a virtual tour.

  24. Thanks for this post, Chitra!

    Mannargudi was an important place in early Chola times. This temple seems to have been renovated by them.

    Sridevi and Bhudevi are the consorts inside the shrine, while Satyabhama and Rukmini are the consorts in the procession triad - that's interesting.

    I wonder why the Thayar never crosses the threshold. Is there a legend behind it?

  25. EC, The Utsvar really captivated my heart.One must see him with all finery.This was immediately after abhishekam.

  26. Bikram,Sure...sure..You come here, I would accompany you.
    There are thousands of temple in Tamil Nadu, most of them belonging to bygone eras. So weekends we just set out to explore these:)

  27. Raja Gopalaswamy is yet another name for Krishna. It is really a beautiful temple and also has an attractive pond too. Shall try to bring more time.

  28. Asha, I am in Dindigul so it becomes easy for us to visit these places when we get holidays.

  29. Archana, thanks .
    The Goddess's idol is never taken out during the festival hence she is known by that name. But I could not find any legend related to that:(

  30. Thank you Chitra
    Its sooooooooooo beautiful
    thanks for sharing the beauty from your country

    Hugs from us all
    Kareltje =^.^= ♥ Betsie >^.^<

  31. another beautiful post..... hridayam niranja vishu aashamsakal.......

  32. temples are great places to visit...there are many temples in india and so are huge number of devotees going in for blessings... its great to see your dedication and devotion in promoting the rich heritage as well as nice experience sharing as we cannot get such great insights otherwise... nice post....

  33. Am unable to see the pictures... but it sounds beautiful. Happy new year Chitra!

  34. Jayaraj, Belated Vishu greetings. Thanks for the visit.

  35. sm, thanks.
    Happy you liked my post. Thanks.
    Belated Vishu aasamsagal. I was in Kerala for Vishu:)

  36. useful post . as we donot know many templesthrugh ur post we know many new places

  37. Hi Chitra, nice to see you today - i missed you already! Hope you've had a good time and managed to take more photos. Love the colorful deities in this slideshow - another sneak-peek into magical India! Have a lovely day!

  38. I wanted to stop by to say hello and thank you for leaving such a lovely comment on yesterdays post. I truely appreciate your friendship, loyalty and support over the last two years and hope to have many more years as good blogger buddies. Here's hoping you are not in too much and your hand and shoulder are soon fully well. x

  39. Martina, thanks dear.I have a good collection. planning to post one soon.

    thanks once again.i hope my work schedule eases out and sprain on hand gets back to normal soon.

  40. As usual a good description and pretty pictures Chitra :)))

  41. Very interesting post, Chitra

  42. A,
    thank you so much.
    Sanand,long time ....thanks .

  43. this is really pretty and interesting to see. nice pictures. lg Tina


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