February 20, 2016

Dharmeswarar Temple - Manimangalam

Site Name: Dharmeswarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu ancient temple
Location:   Manimangalam, Near Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: 1000 years old temple
Nearest Railway Station: Tambaram
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road from Tambaram and Chennai
Hotel: A lot of options across Chennai
Restaurants:  A lot of options across Chennai and Tambaram

Manimangalam is a small locality located near Tambaram, which in turn is located near Chennai in Tamil Nadu state of India . Manimangalam is a historical site. The great battle between the Chalukya King Pulikesi and the Pallava King Narasimha Pallava was fought in Manimangalam in the 7th century CE. The locality has few ancient temples. Let us explore about an ancient and beautiful temple in this locality called as Dharmeswarar temple in this article.



History:

The temple belongs to the Chola period. It is believed that Kulotunga Chola might have built this temple.

Temple Layout:

The east facing temple is well maintained by ASI and looks neat and clean. A huge peepul tree is found near the temple entrance and the locality gives a typical village look.

The temple does not have tower (Raja gopuram). The temple complex is surrounded by a thick fortress wall.

The temple is built on a high granite plinth. The steps to reach the temple as well as the pillars at the entrance of the main shrine have beautiful carvings. In this front side mandap, the idols of Ganesha and Murugan are found.

The sanctum sanctorum enshrines very big Shiva Linga called as Dharmeswarar.

At the entrance of the moolasthan, there is a small Ganesha idol. The entrance of ardha mandap (middle mandap) has the idols of Ganesha and Kartikeya with his two wives on either sides. In Maha mandap, there is a small Nandi idol facing towards Shiva.

The vimana looks great and the sculptures are attractive. The main shrine is built in granite stone. Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are present as the Koshta (niche) idols. All the niche idols look neat and beautiful. The beautiful Chandikeshwara idol is located in its usual location near Durga.

In the Maha mandap area of the main shrine, Shaneeswar with four arms along with his mount crow is found. Navagrahas are also located in maha mandap.

The outer prakara has two Ganesha idols, Bhairav and few scattered idols. Some of the idols are interesting such as a man sacrificing his own head.

The Goddess Vedambikai is enshrined in a separate south facing shrine. This shrine is located in the prakara. Vedambika idol is tall. She is found in the standing posture and has four arms.

Nandi mandap and bali peetha are found facing towards the main shrine.

A sculpted window with openings in the exterior wall is an interesting thing to watch.

The temple pond is found outside the temple complex.

The temple is artistically beautiful and the locality is peaceful.

Happy travelling.





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