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Dakhshina Dwaraka: Rajagopalaswamy Temple in Mannargudi

Written by: Akshatha
Updated: Wednesday, August 24, 2016, 16:34 [IST]
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The ancient town of Mannargudi was just an Agraharam until the entry of Thanjavur Nayaks. The beautiful Agraharam derived its name from Mannarkovil or Rajamannarkovil. In Tamil, Mannar means 'Lord Vishnu' and Kovil means 'the abode of Vishnu'.

Initially, Mannargudi was bordered by the tall compound walls of Rajagopalaswamy temple. It became popular only when Thanjavur Nayaks made it their capital and Rajagopalaswamy Temple became the centre of attraction.

 Rajagopalaswamy Temple in Mannargudi

Rajagopalaswamy Temple Tower
Photo Courtesy: Harizen20


Rajagopalaswamy Temple was built during the Chola dynasty but it underwent major changes during the reign of Thanjavur Nayaks. Today, Rajagopalaswamy Temple is known as 'Dakshina Dwaraka', 'Dwaraka of the South'.

 Rajagopalaswamy Temple in Mannargudi

Rajagopalaswamy Temple
Photo Courtesy: Ssriram mt

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.

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Design and Architecture

The temple complex has intricate carvings and depicts the architecture grandeur of Cholas and Thanjavur Nayaks. The present shrine along with a 1000-pillard hall and the big compound wall was constructed by Vijaya Raghava Nayak. These later additions gave a new look the already existing temple.

 Rajagopalaswamy Temple in Mannargudi

Closer View of Gopuram 
Photo Courtesy: Harizen20

Rajagopalaswamy Temple also has temple tank which is said to be one of the largest temple tanks in India. The presiding deity of Lord Krishna is worshipped with elaborate rituals on the daily basis. Today, Rajagopalaswamy Temple is one of the famous temples in Mannargudi, Tamil Nadu.

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

 Rajagopalaswamy Temple in Mannargudi

The Mandapam of Rajagopalaswamy Temple 
Photo Courtesy: Ssrirm mt

Mannargudi, on the banks of Kaveri Delta, has undergone many invasions in the past. Hence, the town has been influenced by the rule of several dynasties.

Festivals and celebrations

Rajagopalaswamy Temple is known for Panguni Brahmotsavam and the chariot festival. A bronze idol of Lord Krishna which belonged to Chola period is taken out for the procession during the chariot festival. Panguni Brahmotsavam is a grand temple festival which includes many rituals and traditions.

 Rajagopalaswamy Temple in Mannargudi

The Idol of Krishna
Photo Courtesy: Harizen20

Panguni Brahmostavam is celebrated according to the traditional Tamil Calendar. It usually happens in the months of April or May.

Rajagopalaswamy Temple has been one of the important Vaishnava shrines in Tiruvarur, Tamil Nadu.

How to Reach Mannargudi

Mannargudi is around 350km from Chennai. It is well connected to other places in Tamil Nadu.

  • By Bus: Government buses are available to reach Mannargudi from all the major cities of Tamil Nadu.
  • By Train: Mannargudi Railway Station is the nearest railway station.
  • By Air: Mannargudi is around 95km from Trichy; Tiruchirappalli International Aiport is the nearest airport to Mannargudi.

Mannargudi has some decent stay options. However, you can find good accommodations at Tiruchirappalli.

Gokulashtami or Krishna Janmashtami is one of the prominent festivals in India. The festival is celebrated to rejoice the birth of Lord Krishna. Special poojas and rituals are performed in all Krishna temples during the time of Krishna Janmashtami.

Krishna Janmashtami 2016 is celebrated on August 25th .

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