Rajagopalaswamy, Mannarkudi

Rajagopalaswamy, Mannarkudi

Vaishnavite Temples


Vasudevar (main deity), facing east. Rajagopalaswamy (processional deity)


Sengamalavalli Thaayar, facing east with two elephants on the sides

Other Deities

Garuda, his wife Subarni, Veera Anjaneya, Durga

Rajagopalaswamy, Mannarkudi is one of the largest and glorious temples of Tamilnadu. It has the largest temple tank (Haridra Theertham) with the sides measuring a total of 1.3 kilometers encompassing an area of over 10 hectares. The temple has 16 gopurams, 18 Vimaanas, 7 Prakarams, 7 Mantapas and 10 Theerthams some of which are large tanks and outside the temple. The temple walls run for a kilometer in length and is adorned with 4 beautiful Gopurams facing the four directions. The main eastern Rajagopuram is a massive 11 tiered structure, the south 7, west 9 and the north are 5 tiered gopurams. Apart from this there are other Gopurams leading to the inner Prakarams. After you enter the Rajagopuram you have the large open corridors – Nachiyar Prakaram, Sambaga Prakaram and Kasi Prakaram. There is a 1000 pillared and a 100 pillared mantapa. Outside the eastern Rajagopuram is the wonderful 54 feet tall Monolith Garudasthambam with a small shrine for Garuda on top. On the base of this are sculptures including Hanuman, Rajagopalaswamy, Achuthappa Naicker and his wife Moorthimamba. Many depictions from the Ramayana can be seen in the temple. The sculptures here are best described by an expert as they are so many and so beautiful. The Brahmotsavam which is for 10 days in other temples is celebrated grandly here for 18 days said to represent the 18 days of the Kurukshetra war and the 18 chapters of the Gita. The temple walls here are legendary in reference – ‘Mannarkudi Mathil Azhagu’ (Beauty of the Mannarkudi Walls).

Holy Water (Theertham) – 10 Theerthams – Haridra River, Durvasa Theertham, Thiruparkadal, Gopika Theertham, Rukmani Theertham, Agnikunda Theertham, Krishna Theertham, Sangu Theertham, Chakra Theertham and Pambani River.

Vimaana – Swambuva Vimaana


This place was called Rajadiraja Chaturvedamangalam in the ancient past. A similar name is also mentioned in the stone inscription of Kulothunga Chola. This temple is said to have been enhanced after the death of Rajadiraja Chola 1 in a war up north (CE 1054) by his brother Rajendra Chola II. After this Kulothunga Chola contributed to the development. The temple was developed more grandly later by the Thanjavur Nayaks and several literary works in Tamil and Telugu were launched from here. For some reason none of the 12 Azhwars have sung praise for the Lord here.


Sages Gopralayar and Gopilar were blessed with the divine sight of Lord Krishna’s 32 Leelas here. The lord deployed his chakra to kill the wife of Sage Brigu when she cursed the Devas after they defeated the Asuras. The sage cursed whoever killed her without realising it was the lord himself and the curse rebounded on him. He was advised by other sages to reach here and do penance in the Senthamarai Poigai (Thiruparkadal Tank) to get the godess as his daughter and later give her in marriage to the lord. After this was done he was releived of the curse. Across the Yugas (ages) Brahma, Mahalakshmi, Sage Brigu, Agni, Kulothunga, Achuthappa Naicker, Manavala Mamunigal, Muthuswamy Dikshithar and Thyaganrahmam have worshiped here and hence the lord is also called ‘Yugam Kanda Perumal’. Sourashtra King Rajasekaran’s daughter Swarnasigamani, to get progeny was brought here, the Santhana Krishna idol placed in her lap, sang the Mukundashtagam Hymns and was blessed with a child. This ritual is performed even today.


Rajagopalaswamy, Mannarkudi is in the center of Mannarkudi town which is about 25 kilometers south west of Thiruvarur.

Stay and Food

Mannarkudi is fine for food, but stay is not advisable. Udupi Sree Krishna Bhavan in Gandhi Road is a decent place to eat.

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