Location:Manakkal, 3 kms from Lalgudi, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights:The birthplace of Manakkal Nambi
Nearest Railway Station:Lalgudi
How to reach:Well connected by road from Lalgudi and Trichy; public transport is not dependable
Hotel: No good hotels nearby; better to stay in Trichy or Lalgudi
Restaurants: No good restaurants nearby; it is better to go to Lalgudi
Manakkal is a small village located close to Lalgudi town in Tamil Nadu state of India. The village is the birthplace of Manakkal Nambi. There is a temple named after him located in this village. Let us explore about this temple in this article.
About Manakal Nambigal:
Manakkal Nambigal was an important Vaishnavite Guru. His original name was Rama Misrar. He was born in this village, which is called as Manakkal (named after him nowadays) in the 10th century CE. His Guru was Uyyakondar. After the demise of Uyyakondar's wife, Rama Misrar took charge of attending the personal needs of his Guru and his two young daughters.
One day, the young daughters of Uyyakondar, after taking bath in the river, had to cross the muddy way. Rama Misrar lied down forming himself as a human bridge. He made the young girls to cross over the path by walking on his back. As the sandy footprints of the girls were found on his back, Rama Misrar was called as Manakkal Nambigal from that particular day onwards. The word Manakkal means sandy footprints.
Uyyakondar entrusted the task of finding his Guru Nathamuni's grandson to Manakkal Nambi. Manakkal Nambi traced Alavandar. Alavandar was leading a royal life. Manakkal Nambi met him, convinced him and turned him into spiritual path. Thus, due to the attempts of Manakkal Nambi, Alavandar a.k.a. Yamunacharya came to Sri Rangam and he also became a Vaishnavite Guru in the future.
The temple is very small. It does not have tower. The presiding deity of the temple is Varadarajar in the standing posture. He has his two consorts, Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi, on his either sides.
The temple has simple layout. It has one prakara around the sanctum.
The utsava idols of Varadarajar and his consorts are also found in the sanctum. In the Maha mandap, in a separate shrine, a lot of bronze idols of located. It includes the idols from the nearby Kailasanathar temple such as Nataraja, Sivakami, etc.
In the Maha Mandap, there is another sub-shrine which enshrines the idols of Vishwaksena, Ramanuja and Lakshmi Narayana.
Garud is found facing towards the direction of the sanctum. Near Garud, there is a shrine for Manakkal Nambi. Although the presiding deity of the temple is Varadarajar, people call the temple as Manakkal Nambigal Temple.