Ma Manigal at the Vennar River Bank

வெண்ணாற்றங்கரையில் மாமணிகள்

Keywords: Tamil Nadu History, Architecture, Vennar, Thanjavur, Mamani temple, Manimutha river, avatar, Neelamega Perumal, Varaha, Narasimha, Vimanam


Thanjai Mamani Koil near Thanjavur is a set of three Vishnu temples. The legend of Thanjavur District vennatrankarai Mamani temple states that a sage called Parasara sprayed nectar that he obtained from the ocean of milk in the Manimutha river. Then he built an ashram on the banks of the river and started performing penances and yagnas with other sages. In the vicinity were three demons- Thanjakan, Thandakan and Tharakasura. They had received deadly boons from lord Shiva. They began to create obstacles to the penance. The sage requested them to stop this but the demons would not listen to him. Sage Parasara then approached lord Shiva for protection. Lord Shiva sent Kalidevi to destroy them. However the demons drank the river water which was mixed with the nectar and came alive again. Then the sage approached lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu took the the avatar of Narasimha (lion headed ) and defeated Thanjaka who took the elephant form. The Lord placed the demon on his lap to kill him when the demon gained wisdom, repented and promised to shed his cruel ways. He also begged the Lord to stay in the place and bless everyone. Hence this place was named as Thanjamapuri. Thandakan hid himself under the earth, after seeing the defeat of Thanjaka. The Lord took the form of Varaha (boar) entered the hiding place and killed the demon. Tharaka was killed by Kali. After the destruction of the three demons, the Lord appeared before sage Parasara as Neelamega Perumal. At this place, the Lord has three names in three separate Hindu temples. In the Veera Narasimha temple, lord Vishnu  appears with a discus as Chakrathazhwar. In the Neelamega Perumal temple, Mahalakshmi is found to the left of Lord Narasimha. This Narasimha is also called Valavandhai (right side) Narasimha. It is advised that those of short tempered nature should correct themselves if they wish to have the grace of Mahalakshmi. Vishnu is considered as to be the king of this whole universe and he has the sengol (baton) in his hand. Thaayar Senkamalavalli Nachiyar has a seperate shrine. Outside the Thaayar shrine, there is a pillar, on one side Narasimha is portrayed whereas on the other side Lord Hanuman is found. The vimanam (vehicle) of this temple in India is called Soundarya vimanam.

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