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Mannarkudi SriRajagopalaswamy

This temple is also known as ” Dakshina Dwaraka “. Here Lord Krishna is worshipped as Rajagopalaswamy and there is a big statue of Krishna in the sanctum . The large temple premises consists of majestic gopurams, seven halls along with several small shrines .

As per the legends, Lord Krishna appeared in the dreams of sages Gopillar and Gopralayar. This led to the creation of this beautiful temple.

The Lord appears here as a shepherd boy with whip on one hand and butter on the other hand wearing dhothi and turban . Wearing earrings bangles and ornaments in his hip and key bunch with a cow and calf near his legs .

Rajagoplaswamy temple has not been glorified by Alwars, though it is classified as one of the Abimana Sthalam which are considered holy temples in Vaishnavite tradition . 

When cruel Kamsa put his own sister Devaki and her husband Vasudeva in prison , Lord Vishnu appeared before them and assured that he would be born to them .This is his first Leela-divine play Krishna Leela .

The procession deity is also called Rajamannar, hence the name of the place Mannargudi.

Kamsa engaged a wild elephant named Kuvalaya Peetam to kill Balarama . Lord Krishna killed that elephant . Remembering the event, Lord is holding a tusk in his left hand.

Lord Krishna arranged a competition among the Gopikas bathing in Yamuna River . The contest was that they should dress properly and wear the jewels after the bath . One Gopika could not find one of her ear ring . They found it at last in the ear of Krishna and were excited with joy to see its beauty in his ears . Based on this event, Lord in the temple has a Thadanga – ear ring in one ear and Kundalam – ring in the other ear .

During the Krishnavatara , there were two sages in the south named Gopilar and Gopralayar . Hearing the Leelas of Lord Krishna they set out to see him in Dwaraka . Maharshi Narada met them on the way and told them that Krishnavatara had ended and Lord had returned to his abode . The sages fell fainted on hearing this news . Maharshi Narada woke them up and consoled them . As advised by Narada, they began penance to have lord’s darshan. Lord appeared before them as Krishna in all his 32 Leelas . As requested by the sages , Lord stayed in this place .
These 32 forms are displayed in a colourful form around the main Sannidhi at this temple .

It is said that Thirumangai Azhvaar did visit this place . He came up to the entrance of the temple , lifted the Dwaja Sthambam (Flag Post) at the entrance of the temple that was lying on the floor and went away .

It is said that the Lord gave darshan to Brahma , Brighu Maharishi and Goddess Mahalakshmi in Tretha Yugam , to Agni, Gopila and Gopralaya Rishi (children of Rishi Vahnimugar) in Dwapara Yugam and to King Rajasekhar in Kali Yugam .

In the Mahabharata , Pulasthya tells Bheeshma that anyone staying for a night at Mannarkoil earns the merit of having gifted a 1000 cows , such is the significance of this .

This temple elephant Shengamalam is famous for its hair do .

Mannarkudi Srirajagopalswamy Rajagopuram
The temple elephant Sengamalam

Published by Ranjini Madhavan

Iam a homemaker who like to travel to spiritual places and like to share my spiritual tours , pictures and my personal tour experiences .Though am not expressive to put it in words thought it would be easy for others who likes to travel these places so that they may know what all places to be covered and a sweet memories for myself.

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