THANJAI MAAMANIKKOYIL (THANJAVUR),
One of the 108 Temples and Celestial Abodes of Vishnu revered by Tamil Hymns of the Alwars of the 1st millennium CE
LOCATION: Thanjavur, (Chola Naadu)
VISHNU: Three sets of deities
THAYAAR: Three sets of deities
THEERTHAM: Amrita Theertham
PAASURAM: Tirumangaialwar, Nammalwar, Bhootatalwar
VIMAANAM: Soundarya Vimanam
TRAVEL BASE: Thanjavur
DESCRIPTION: This is a actually a cluster of three temples, considered to be one Divya Desam, sung by Tirumangaialwar, Bhootattalwar and Nammalwar. Nammalwar refers to Manikkunram, while Bhootattalwar refers to Thanjai. Tirumangaialwar refers to Thanjai Maamanaikkoyil, and Manikunram.
These temples are located in the outskirts of Thanjavur (the ancient Chola capital – known for its architectural masterpiece – The Brihadeeswarar Temple) in a suburb by name Vennatrankarai.
DEITIES: The moolavar here is Vaiyamkaatta Perumaal or Jagatrakshakan in a standing posture, facing east. The Utsavar goes by the same name. Taayaar here is Padmasini or Pushpavalli. There are shrines to Varadarajaperumal, Andal and the alwars.
LEGENDS: Has it that Vishnu took the Narasimha Avataram to vanquish a demon elephant by name Tanjakan; upon his request, Vishnu took abode here, in this stalam which came to be known as Thanjavur.
The first of the three temples, the Maamanikkoyil enshrines Neelamegapperumaal in a sitting posture facing east, and his consort is Senkamalavalli. Parasarar is said to have worshipped here. Also here are shrines to Lakshmi Narasimhar and Lakshmi Hayagrivar. There is also a beautiful image of Nartana Krishnar here.
The second temple is known as Manikkunram. Manikkunrapperumaal is enshrined here in a seated posture, facing east. His consort is Ambujavalli. The theertham here is the Rama theertham and the vimanam Manikkoota Vimanam. Markandeya is believed to have worshipped here.
The third is Thanjaiyali nagar, enshrining a seated image of Narasimhar whose consort is Thanjai Nayaki. The theertham here is Surya Pushkarini, and the vimanam Vedasundara Vimanam. Markandeyar is believed to have worshipped here. The Utsavar in all of these temples is known as Narayanan.
TEMPLES: The temples date back to the period of the Nayakas of Madurai. The Veda Sundara Vimanam above the Veerasinga Perumaal shrine is of great beauty. These temples are administered by the Tanjavur palace.
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