Mangalanathar Uthirakosamangai

Mangalanathar, Uthirakosamangai

Saivite Temples - Ramanathapuram District


Mangalanathar, facing east


Mangaleshwari, facing east

Other Deities

Outside Rajagopuram – Narthana Vinayaka, Muruga. Outer Prakaram – Sahasra Lingam, Manickavasagar, Maragadha Natarajar, Kannimoola Ganapathi, Arumuga with consorts. Inner Prakaram – Suryan, 63 Nayanmar, Vinayaka, Kasturi Kaviraja, Chandrakantha, Somanatha Rajagopala, Sankara Lingam, Subramanya with consorts, Mahalakshmi, Bhairava, Navagraha, Chandran. Sanctum niches – Dakshinamurthy, Lingotbavar, Durga, Chandikeswara. Goddess Prakaram – Vinayaka, Muruga with consorts, Santhana Vinayaka, Bala Muruga, Chandikeswari

Mangalanathar Uthirakosamangai is a large east-facing temple with two large gopurams on the east side, one leading to the main deity and one towards the goddess. The Rajagopuram before the main deity is the one that is normally open. There is a large ground outside with a mandapam in front and further east is a misused Temple Tank. The Rajagopuram is 7 tiered. The gopuram before the goddess is wider and has 5 tiers. Both of them have nice ornamental carvings all around the lower portion. The Rajagopuram leads into the large and spacious outer Prakaram. On the northwest side of the Prakaram is a separate shrine for Nataraja. The entrance to this shrine is from the south and the shrine faces east. There are small gopurams in the four cardinal directions. Inside is a beautiful 6 feet tall Emerald idol of Lord Nataraja, which is an important aspect of this grand old temple. This Nataraja idol is fragile and could be vulnerable to vibrations of sound. Hence no musical instruments are performed inside. It is always covered with Sandal paste except for the one day of Arudra Festival in the Tamil month of Margazhi (December-January). The idol is covered with sandal paste again the next day morning. On the northeast side of the prakaram is a shrine for Sahasralingam. East of this shrine is a large well-maintained temple tank (Agni Theertham) with the shrine of Saint Manickavasagar on the bank. The entrance to the inner prakaram has 2 Gopurams, one with 5 tiers before the main deity and one with 3 tiers before the goddess. The sanctum sanctorum of the main deity is reached after crossing a large Maha Mandapam, a smaller mandapam, and the Ardha Mandapam. A circumambulation path runs around the sanctum sanctorum. The main deity here is also called Pralayakeswaran, Duridhabagan, Katchi Kodutha Nayakan and Kalyanasundaran. The shrine of the goddess is reached after crossing a long mandapam. This shrine has a separate circumambulatory path running around. The goddess here is seen standing with a string of Rudraksha in her hand. There are many beautiful pillars in all the mandapams including Yaali Pillars with a rolling ball in the mouth. The holy tree, Ilandhai, here at Mangalanathar Uthirakosamangai is said to be 3000 years old. This is the only temple where Thazhampoo (Screwpine flower – Pandanus odorifer) is used in the pooja for Lord Shiva.

Holy Water (Theertham) – Agni Theertham, Brahma Theertham, Indra Theertham, Paduma Theertham, Seethala Theertham, Devi Theertham

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Ilandhai (Ziziphus mauritiana)


Manickavasagar (8th Century CE) has rendered Thiruvasakam Hymns for the lord here at Mangalanathar Uthirakosamangai. The temple finds prime place and mention in the Thiruvasakam Hymns in 38 places. Saint Arunagirinathar (15th Century CE) has sung the praise of Lord Muruga here at Mangalanathar Uthirakosamangai. The temple was renovated to its present form by the Pandya Kings, Achyutappa Nayak of Thanjavur (1560 to 1614 CE), Muttu Veerappa Nayak of Madurai (1609–1623 CE), and other kings of Ramanthapuram.


A thousand sages came to worship the lord here at Mangalanathar Uthirakosamangai once. The Lord also preached them on the Agamas at the time. At the same time Mandodari, wife of Sri Lanka King Ravana wanted to worship the Lord and he decided to go there. While departing he told the sages to protect the sacred Agama texts. Seeing Ravana in Sri Lanka the lord took the form of a small and beautiful child. Ravana fascinated by the child’s beauty fondly touched it. At the same time, a pillar of fire occurred to stand endlessly in the Agni Theertham temple tank here at Mangalanathar Uthirakosamangai. All the sages except one entered the tank and were blessed with the vision of the lord with his consort and they disappeared into it. That one Sage who stood to protect the Agama texts as instructed by the Lord was believed to have born as Saint Manickavasagar. This is the significance of the shrine for the sages as Sahasralingam (1000 Lingams in one) and Manickavasagar near the Agni Theertham tank. The lord is believed to have preached the secrets of the Agamas to the goddess here at Mangalanathar Uthirakosamangai. Hence the name of the village is Uthira (secret) Kosa (to preach) Mangai (goddess). Thazhampoo (flower of screwpine) is not used in pooja for Lord Shiva because it stood as a witness when Brahma lied to Shiva while searching for his head in the skies. But since Brahma worshiped the lord here seeking an apology, in Mangalanathar Uthirakosamangai alone the flower is used.


Mangalanathar Uthirakosamangai is 17 kilometers southwest of Ramanathapuram. At about 11 kilometers in the highway going towards Madurai, take a left towards the west at Mohamediyapuram to reach Mangalanathar Uthirakosamangai. Mangalanathar Uthirakosamangai is also connected by direct road with Thirupullani which is about 11 kilometers southeast.

Stay and Food

None locally. The closest is Ramanathapuram.

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