The other important paadal petra sivasthalam temples in the vicinity of Tirumananjeri are:
|Location of the temple||Tirumananjeri|
|Lord Shiva known as||Arulvallalnathar, Kalyana Sundareswarar|
|Female deity known as||Kokilambal|
|How to reach||This temple is located 6 Kms from Kutthalam. Kutthalam is situated on the Mayiladuthurai - Kumbakonam bus route. Town bus services to Tirumananjeri is available from Mayiladuthurai. By engaging an auto at Kuththalam, one can visit all the 4 temples viz., Tiruthuruthi, Tiruvelvikudi, Tiruedhirkolpadi and Tirumananjeri easily within half a day.|
|Temple address||Arulmighu Arulvallal Nathar Temple|
Map showing location of Tirumananjeri temple from Kuththalam
Map courtesy by: Google Maps
The shrine of Thirumananjeri is closely associated with legends that tell the story of Shiva's marriage to Parvati. Legend has it that Parvati once expressed her desire to have the experience of an earthly wedding to Shiva. This story is believed to be in fulfillment of that wish expressed by her. A dispute in Mount Kailash occured over a game of chess. The story goes that God Shiva in his annoyance cursed Parvati to take the form of a cow and go to live on earth.
God Vishnu, upset over the events, wanted to reconcile the couple. He went to Shiva to plead his case. Shiva told Vishnu about Parvati's wish to experience a wedding on earth and assured Vishnu that all events would lead to that end. He also told Vishnu to take Parvathi, who was in the form of a cow, to bathe in the Cauvery so she could regain her original form.
Vishnu did so and soon Parvati was herself again. She was then instructed to go and live as the daughter of Bharata Muni, a saint living nearby. The story goes that Bharata Muni approached Shiva for Hiis hand in marriage to Parvati, thereby granting her wish that she be married on earth.This episode is also associated with another Paadal Petra SthalamTiruvelvikudi which is located nearby.
It is firmly believed even today that those men and women whose marriages are getting delayed due to various circustances, will soon get married if they come to this Sthalam and worhsip God Shiva.
Thirumanancheri is where the divine marriage of Shiva and Parvati took place, and today, people flock to this temple, praying for an early marriage, thanking the lord for their marriage, and praying for children.
This temple is fairly a large one and covers an area of about 3.5 acres. A moat surrounds the main sanctum of the temple, and the waters of the moat are said to represent the seas which gathered to witness the marriage. Images of Ganapathi, Nataraja, Dakshinamurthy, Lingodbhavar, Bhramma and Durga adorn the niches of the sanctum. There is also a shrine to Varadarajar (Vishnu) with his consorts Sri Devi and Bhu Devi in this temple.The temple is crowded at all times of the year, showing the importance of marriage in hindu culture. One is supposed to offer special prayers to the lord, after which they are given the garlands worn by the god and goddess. They are supposed to keep this carefully till they get married, and then after the marriage, come back to the temple with his/her spouse, wearing the same garlands, and once again offer prayers as thanksgiving.
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