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Timings : 7:00 AM - 12:00 PM & 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hours

Entry Fee : No entry fee

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Thanjai Mamani Koil, Thanjavur Overview

Thanjai Mamani Koil near Thanjavur is a set of three Vishnu temples, together called a Divyadesam. It is among the 108 such more temple premises in India. The temple has a local origin myth that has its roots in one of the many canonical myths about Lord Vishnu.

He is worshipped over here chiefly in his Narasimha avatar, which he mainly took to defeat the evil king Hiranyakashipu to save his devotee Prahlad. Their idols are present here as well. It a shrine loved and frequented by the devotees of Vishnu.

The temple offers the unique opportunity to witness three abodes of the Lord at the same place, along with deities of his consort and other associated gods. People visit the place for all sorts of reasons. In one of the shrines, Goddess Lakshmi sits on the right side of a furious Vishnu, which signifies that goodness cannot survive where there is uncontrolled anger. Being one of the 108 Divyadesams, the temple has a different appeal altogether.

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Legend of Thanjai Mamani Kovil

The legend of Thanjai Mamani Kovil comes from one of the stories of Indian mythology. The great sage Parasara once built an ashram here on the banks of the River Vennaru. He sprayed nectar of immortality collected from Dudhsagar or sea of milk and started doing penance here along with some other sages. However, three demons - Thanjakan, Thandakan and Tharakasura constantly created obstacles to the activities of the ashram. They were powered by Lord Shiva's boons and were not easily defeated. They also used the nectar in the river to stay alive.

Lord Vishnu had to intervene himself, and killed Thanjaka in his form of Narasimha or the lion-headed avatar. While killing him, Vishnu kept the demon on his lap, who was in an elephant form. This opened his eyes to the endless wisdom and goodness of the world, and he repented his actions. He asked for forgiveness and begged the Lord to reside in this place. Finally, when the three demons were killed, Vishnu appeared in front of sage Parasara as Neelamega Perumal, who is the presiding deity of the temples. His boar form killed the other demon Thandakan, and the last demon was finished off by Goddess Kali, sent by Shiva.

Significance and Structure of Thanjai Mamani Koil

The Thanjai Mamani Koil is one of the 108 Divyadesams which are present in India. A Divyadesam is a set of 3 Vishnu temples located near each other. Here the three Vaishnavite temples form an inverted L-shape with each other. In all three temples, he is in his Narasimha avatar, which he took when he defeated the first demon. In the Veera Narasimhar temple, he is seen wielding his discus and with an elephant on his lap which the representation of the story of the legend.

In the Neelamega Perumal temple, he sits with his consort Mahalakshmi in wedding attire inside the sanctum. However, in a shrine outside, she sits on his right instead of the usual left. This signifies the anger of Lord Vishnu which he felt while killing Hiranyakashibu, and thus the goddess of peace and prosperity could not thrive in her usual place. It discourages any form of rage or fury to be expressed. At the Neelamega temple, he is also holding the sceptre as the ruler of the world. There are idols and deities of a whole lot of other gods too, who are involved with Vishnu or his Narasimha avatar, for example, Hiranyakashibu, Prahlad and Anjaneya Hanuman.

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