Mangalanathaswamy Temple Uthirakosamangai Ramanathapuram - History, Timings, Festivals & Address!

Mangalanathaswamy Temple Uthirakosamangai

Mangalanathaswamy Temple Uthirakosamangai Ramanathapuram

Mangalanathaswamy Temple, Uthirakosamangai is a Shaiva temple situated near Ramanathapuram in the Ramanathapuram district of Tamilnadu. The temple is believed to be built by the Pandya kings, Achuthappa (1529–1542 A.D.), a Hindu ruler of Thanjavur, Muthuveerappar and other kings of Ramanathapuram district and Sedhupathy dynasty at various times.

The temple houses a 6 ft. (1.8 m) tall ancient Maragatha Nataraja idol carved out of emerald, being the one of its kind. The temple is considered sacred along the lines of Ramanathapuram, Sethu Madhava Theertham and Lakshmana Theertham. The temple has numerous shrines, with those of Mangalanathar, Mangalambikai and Natarajar being the most prominent. The temple has six daily rituals at various times from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and six yearly festivals on its calendar.

The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu. The temple has been glorified by the hymns of 9th-century saint Manickavasagar and 15th-century saint Arunagirinathar. The famous pilgrim center Rameswaram is just 83 km from this place.

Mangalanathaswamy Temple at Uthirakosamangai, near Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu is a Shiva temple. The Nataraja icon is an antique carved out of the stone Maragatham (emerald).

Mangalanathaswamy Temple Uthirakosamangai Ramanathapuram Legends


Legend says that this is the place where Siva transferred the knowledge of the Vedas to Parvathi, his consort. Uthiram means upadesam or teaching and kosam is secrets or in depth knowledge. Parvati was the Mangai or lady and so the place became known as Uthira Kosa Mangai.

Manickavasagar saving Vedas

Mandodhari, a princess wanted to marry only a Shiva devotee and waited patiently and prayed to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva decided to meet her and asked the sages in the ashrams to take care of the Agamas, a part of the Vedas, and said that he would collect them on his return. The Lord appeared before Mandodhari as a child. The ten-headed Ravana, a great Shiva Bhaktha (believer), came there and touched the child, knowing that it was a manifestation of Lord Shiva.

The Lord wanted to test Ravana and became a ball of fire that scorched the earth. The sages, unable to protect the holy book given by the Shiva, jumped into the tank nearby, the Agni Theertham and died. However, Manickavasagar, the Tamil saint and poet, courageously withstood the fire and saved the scriptures. The Lord blessed Mandodhari and fulfilled her wish and helped her to marry Ravana.

The Lord also graced Manickavasagar in this Linga form. The sage is supposed to still be present in the temple in the Linga form. This temple is the 22nd sthalam (holy place) which is mentioned in the songs of the Thevaram, the first seven volumes of the Thirumurai, the twelve-volume collection of Tamil Saivite devotional poetry.

Lord Shiva cursing Manickavasagar in his previous Birth

Manickavasagar was a Gandharva, a semi-divine being in his previous birth. While Lord Shiva was explaining some important piece of the Vedas, this Gandharva was distracted by a beautiful flying object in the sky. Shiva cursed him to take a human birth. Then Manickavasagar came to this place, worshipped Shiva and sung 16 beautiful songs which are known as Ponnunjal, the golden swing.

Mangalanathaswamy Temple Uthirakosamangai History

The temple is believed to be built by the Pandya kings. Achuthappa Nayak (1529–1542 A.D.), a Hindu ruler of Thanjavur, Muthuveerappar and other kings of Ramanathapuram and Sedhupathy Kings had contributed to the temple. The last renovation was carried out by the queen of Ramanathapuram. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

Uthira Kosa Mangai is a tiny hamlet, famous for the Siva temple considered to be 3000 years old. It is considered to be one of the very ancient Hindu temples which Tamil literature describes as "Mann Mundhiyo Mangai Mundhiyo?" meaning "Did the mud (mann) come first or is the Mangai(The Female Deity of the Temple)?". This is the place where Siva transferred the secrets of Vedas to Parvati. Uthiram means (upadesam) kosam (secrets) Parvati (Mangai) hence this place is known as Uthira Kosa Mangai.

Temple Speciality

The presiding deity is a Swayambulinga from the Ilandhai tree here. The Emerald Nataraja Idol in the temple is the rare one not to be seen in any other temple. Sage Manickavasagar graces in the temple in the form of a Linga. This is the only temple where Thazhambu (a fragrant flower) is permitted for the deity dressing while it is banned in other Shiva temples.

Greatness of Temple

Generally, people visit a temple, worship once and turn back. This is a temple where people worship thrice a day and gain more benefits. This is one such temple in Uthirakosamangai in Ramanathapuram district.

This is the only temple where an Emerald Nataraja idol is available for darshan of the devotees. Also this is the only temple where the fragrant flower Thazhambu is permitted for worship whereas the flower is forbidden for use in worship in other Shiva temples as this flower gave false evidence in favour of Brhamma as if he found the head of Lord Shiva. Brahmma also got relieved from the curse by worshipping the Lord from this temple. The Lord is a swayambumurthy appearing from the Ilandha tree which still exists in the temple.

The Temple

The temple is located 32 km East from Paramakudi and 10 km west from Ramanathapuram. There is a 6 ft. (1.8 m) tall ancient Maragatha Nataraja idol carved out of emerald inside the temple. The temple has a seven-tiered Rajagopuram (gateway tower). There are separate shrines for Mangalanathar (Shiva) in the form of lingam and Mangalambikai. A hall of Sahasralingam has thousand lingams enshrined in it.

At the entrance of the main precinct, the temple features exquisite stone carvings of Yali (mythological dragon), depicted with a rolling stone ball inside its mouth. The granite images of the deities Ganesha (son of Shiva and god of wisdom), Murugan (son of Shiva), Nandi (Representative of all our Souls) are located in the hall leading to the sanctum.

As in other Shiva temples of Tamil Nadu, the first precinct or the walls around the sanctum of Erumbeeswarar has images of Thenmugaparaman (Dakshinamurthy-Shiva as the Teacher), Durga (warrior-goddess) and Chandikeswarar (a saint and devotee of Shiva).

Mangalanathaswamy Temple is an old temple with 16 gopurams (towers) and is spread over 20 acres of land with a large pond called Agni Theertham.

Entering the temple complex through the Rajagopuram and then the second and third gates, there are many pillars carved with figures of deities, famous devotees and demons. After crossing the third gate, a great Nandi welcomes devotees and, unusually, this vehicle of Lord Shiva is housed in a separate mandapam with a gopuram.

Inside the Garbagraham or sanctum, the main deity, called Mangalanathar, is installed as a swayambu linga, a self-manifested form, along with his consort Mangala Nayagi Ambal shown in a devotional pose, bent low as a pious student with folded hands towards Shiva.

On the way to Natarajar temple we find other sub shrines dedicated to Sahasra Lingam, which has thousands of tiny Lingams carved on a single Shiva Linga and a separate shrine for Manikka Vasagar (the saint poet who was a regular visitor to this temple) near the Agnitheertham (tank). The sthala Vriksham is also considered as old as the temple. The base of this tree has a huge hollow in which you could find some images of serpents.

The beautiful temple to the west of the Mangalanathar Temple is the Nataraja temple where the deity is known as Maragatha Natarajar. The main attraction of this temple is a statue of Natarajar made of emerald which is about 51/2 feet tall. This idol is known as Maragatha Natarajar and the deity is always covered with sandal paste. Only in the Tamil month of Margazhi on Thiruvathirai nakshatram the sandal paste gets removed and there is Abhishekam for the idol and this special darshan is known as Arudhra Dharisanam. Lakhs of devotees visit the temple on this day and on the next day again the idol gets smeared with sandal paste. To have a darshan of this deity, one must be there around 12.00 noon on regular days.

The sons of Shiva and Parvathi, Skantha or Muruga and Ganesha and other deities commonly found in a Shiva temple, have their presence here. The Navagrahas, nine planet icons, are not found in this temple. There is a single figure of Saneeswara, Saturn. The experts say that the custom of worshipping Navagrahas came into practice after Ramanuja, the 11th century Vaishnava theologian, philosopher and scriptural guru acharya. Mangalanathaswamy Temple is older than his period.

The main deity here is Mangalanathar (Siva) and his consort is Mangaleswari. There is a Nandi just outside the sanctum and a bigger Nandi in the outer prakaram known here as Pradosha Nandi. Special poojas are conducted here on Pradosham days in the evenings as it is believed that Siva dances between the horns of Nandi during that time. There are also shrines for Kalabhairavar and Saneeswarar here. Each pillar in this temple has beautiful carvings and the ceiling is painted in myriad hues.

Mangalanathaswamy Temple Uthirakosamangai Opening Time

The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.

Religious Significance

The temple is considered sacred along the lines of Ramanathapuram, Sethu Madhava Theertham and Lakshmana Theertham. The emerald image of Nataraja is anointed with sandal paste round the year except on Tiruvathidirai festival day when special worship is practised. It is believed that even small vibrations can damage the image and hence no percussion instruments are used during worship practises. The front hall has lingams made of Padigam (Spatika) that are anointed with cooked rice every afternoon.

As per Hindu legend, Vishnu and Brahma contested for superiority, Shiva appeared as a flame, and challenged them to find his source. Brahma took the form of a swan, and flew to the sky to see the top of the flame, while Vishnu became the boar Varaha, and sought its base. Neither Brahma nor Vishnu could find the source, and while Vishnu conceded his defeat, Brahma lied with the help of a thazhambu (a type of flower) and said he had found the pinnacle.

In punishment, Shiva ordained that Brahma would never have temples on earth in his worship and all Shiva temples do not use thazhambu during worship practises. This is one such temple where thazhambu is still used for worship practises. Manickavasagar, the 9th century Tamil Saivite saint poet and nayanar has revered Mangalanathar and the temple in his verses in Thiruvasagam, compiled as the Eighth Thirumurai.

Arunagirinathar, a 15th-century Tamil poet has composed Tamil hymns glorifying Murugan in the temple. As per Hindu legend, Muruga was awarded the Airavata (white elephant) of celestial deity Indra at this place.

Worship & Festivals

The temple priests perform the puja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. Like other Shiva temples of Tamil Nadu, the priests belong to the Shaiva community, a Brahmin sub-caste.
The temple rituals are performed six times a day; Ushathkalam at 5:30 a.m., Kalasanthi at 8:00 a.m., Uchikalam at 10:00 a.m., Sayarakshai at 5:00 p.m., Irandamkalam at 7:00 p.m. and Ardha Jamam at 8:00 p.m.

Each ritual comprises four steps: Abhisheka (sacred bath), Alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) & Deeparadhana (waving of lamps) for all the deities in the temple.

The worship is held amidst music with nagaswaram (pipe instrument), religious instructions in the Vedas (sacred texts) read by priests and prostration by worshippers in front of the temple mast.

There are weekly rituals like Somavaram (Monday) and sukravaram (Friday), fortnightly rituals like Pradosham and monthly festivals like Amavasai (new moon day), Kiruthigai, Pournami (full moon day) and sathurthi.

The major festival of the temple are Tirukalyana Vaibhavam (sacred marriage) during the Tamil month of Chittirai(April–May), Vasanthorsavam during Vaigasi (May–June), Pathunal Siva Uthsavam during Aaani (July–August), Annabishekam during Aipasi (October–November), Tiruvathidirai during Margazhi (December–January) and Sivarathri during Masi (February–March). The Tiruvathidirai festival in December attracts a large number of tourists.

Arudhra Festival

The annual Arudra festival of Lord Shiva that occurs in Margazhi (December – January) attracts a large number of devotees. Only on this day, the sandalwood paste is removed and all the abhishekams (ablutions) and poojas are performed to the original emerald icon. When milk is poured over the Maragatham linga, it glitters like a green diamond. On all other days the abhishekams and poojas are performed to the 6” Urchavar lingam (processional icon) made of spatikam (crystal).

Mangalanathaswamy Temple Uthirakosamangai Prayers

This Mangalanathar, the provider of all mangalam or good things to devotees, attracts hoards of worshippers. Mother Mangaleswari helps to remove obstacles in fixing marriage alliances.

Usually people visit a temple and perform worship either in the morning or evening. Mangalanathaswamy Temple is one temple where people worship three times in one day to gain more benefits. Worship of the Lord and his Lady in the morning removes the sins carried over from the previous birth. When you pray in the afternoon, it removes sins of the present birth. Worship in the evening grants the devotee longevity, progress in profession and profitability in business.

Mother Mangaleswari helps removal of obstacles in marriage alliance efforts.

Worshipping the God and Goddess in the morning will remove the sins brought from the previous birth, praying in the afternoon removes sins of the present birth while worshipping the Lord and the mother in the evening grants the devotee longevity, progress in profession and profitability. 
Devotees offer abishek and Vastras (clothing) to the God and Goddess.

How to Reach Mangalanathaswamy Temple Uthirakosamangai?

Uthirakosamangai is located in Ramanathapuram district located 17 km away from district capital Ramanathapuram. If you are planning to reach Uthirakosamangai by bus you can get buses from Ramanathapuram New Bus stand. The Mofussil buses going to Mudukulathoor, Sayalgudi, Aruppukkottai, Kamuthi, Thiruchendur, and Town buses (Bus No: 24, 6B, 1A, 14) are connecting this holy place to District capital.

Nearest Airport is located at Madurai & Nearest Railway Station is located at Ramanathapuram.

Accommodation – There is no accommodation facilities in Uthirakosamangai. It is better to stay in Madurai which has good hotels or in Ramanathapuram.

Mangalanathaswamy Temple Uthirakosamangai Address

Sri Mangalanathar-Mangaleswari Temple,
Uthirakosamangai – 623 533,
Ramanathapuram district
Phone: +91- 4567 221 213, 94427 57691.

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