Manakula Vinayagar Temple
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The temple remains open from Monday to Sunday from 5:45 AM to 12:30 PM and 4:00 PM to 9:30 PM.
The legend associated with Manakula Vinayagar Koil goes like this, some 300 years ago, there was a saint with the name Thollaikkathu Siddhar who successfully established samadhi inside this temple compound. Since then the temple of Manakula Vinayagar is considered to be auspicious when brings an infant to this temple.
Another legend that rotates around this temple tells that the French people constructed a fort at this site in the year 1688 and the Manakula Vinayagar Koil was located right behind this fort. That time, the site was engirdled with sand and shore on which the temple has got its name.
The name of the temple is derived from two Tamil words ‘Manal’ which stands for sand and ‘Kulam’ which refers to Pond near the sea. The literal meaning of the temple goes back to the time of its construction when there was a pond that was engirdled by sand, and hence, the name Manakula comes. Throughout the year, the temple is visited by a large pack of devotees to commemorate the Prabhu. Sprawls over a large area of 7913 sq ft, this shrine boasts a beautiful architectural design that includes a raja gopuram, mandapam, and a prahara – the place where the images of deities are kept. The Manakula Vinayagar Temple, in Puducherry, is a grand and beautiful temple, dedicated to the Hindu lord Ganesha. Puducherry might be a place full of churches but Manakula Vinayagar Temple is highly coveted among Hindu devotees and tourists, traveling from all parts of the country. Being more than 500 years old, it has an illustrious history and is one of the oldest temples in the region.
The temple derives its name from two Tamil words Manal meaning 'sand' and Kulam meaning 'pond near the sea'. The temple was known by the name Manal Kulathu Vinayagar earlier. A number of festivals and celebrations are conducted at the temple all throughout the year, yet Brahmothsavam, a 24-day long festival, is the most important one.While we have not heard of a night shrine for Vinayaka in any temple, there is one in the Manakula Vinayagar temple. He stays here with his consorts. The idol taken to this shrine, called Palliarai, will have the feet part alone. Vinayaka on the Well: The stage (peetam) set for the God is in a well which many may not know. This may be a well or even a tank. A six-inch radius pit runs on the left side of the peetam, the depth of which could not be measured and it is always full.
How to reach ?
- By Train: You can easily get regular trains to Pondicherry from other major cities of the country..Railway Station(s): Puducherry
- By Air: Pondicherry is not well connected to other major cities of the country via regular flights. The nearest airport is in Chennai at a distance of 124kms.Airports: Chennai International Airport
- By Bus: There are regular and air-conditioned multi-axle cosy buses to Pondicherry from Chennai, Bengaluru, Madurai, Coimbatore, Thanjavur and Tiruchirapalli.
- Self Drive: The National Highway connects Pondicherry to cities like Chennai and Bengaluru. You could drive to Pondicherry or hire a taxi. The East Coast Road running parallel to the Bay of Bengal connects Chennai to Pondicherry and is such a beautiful scenic landscape. The roads are well maintained and it would be a breezy drive down the seaside East Coast Road to Pondicherry.