In India, temples are always considered as a part of life and the people believe that visiting temples and worshipping Gods is a way of life. It is evident that worshipping Gods and meditating in the shrines increase our concentration and peace of mind. Each and every temple in India is unique and has interesting histories behind them. Here, we are going to explore the Uthirakosamangai alias Mangalanatha Swamy Temple and its history.
Why is this Temple called Uthirakosamangai?
Uthiram – Sermon, Kosam – Secrets and Mangai – Goddess Parvati. The place got this name Uthirakosamangai from the fact that Lord Shiva taught Parvati the secrets of the Vedas.
Uthirakosamangai Temple is also known as Mangalanatha Swamy Temple and is located in Ramanathapuram District in Tamil Nadu. It is one of the most ancient Shiva temples. It comes under the Ramanathapuram Samasthanam Devasthanam and the Sethupathi Maharaja family is the hereditary trustee.
A popular proverb in the region says about the antiquity of the temple – “When the soil appeared, the Mangai appeared” and the antiquity of the temple is also evident from the fact that the name of Mandodari, wife of Ravana (Emperor of Sri Lanka) is engraved on the wall of the temple.
This temple is believed to be the native of Lord Shiva and the place where the world’s first Natarajar appeared. This temple is worshipped by all the Rishis, sages and Siddhars of the world.
The temple was built even before the appearance of the Navagrahas. The temple dates back to four eras. The temple was built by a thousand Shiva servants who attained Moksha at the same time.
This place is where the Tamil phrase “Thennadudaya Sivane Potri; Ennatavarkum Iraiva Potri” originated.
The temple has the Emerald Nataraja Statue (Maragatha Natarajar). The Main deities of the temple are Goddess Mangalaleswari alongside Lord Mangalanathar Swamy.
60 Special Information about the Uthirakosamangai Temple
The age of the Moolavar (Suyambu Lingam) in this temple dates back to three thousand years.
Uthirakosamangai Temple is built in an area of about 20 acres.
It is believed to be the hometown of the Lord Shiva
The unity of the couple will be strengthened if they stand in front of the Lord Uma Maheswarar shrine and worship the deities.
In the legend of Thiruvilaiyatal, the scene catching fish by throwing net (valai veesiya puranam) took place at this place.
The major renovations at the Uthirakosamangai Temple were done by the Pandya kings. When the reign of Pandyan kings was at its best in power, this place served as the capital for some time.
In ancient times this place was known by different names like Sivapuram, Thatchina Kailayam, Chaturvedi Mangalam, Ilandi Kaipalli, Badrika Kshetra, Brahmapuram, Vyakrapuram, Mangalapuri, Badrisayana Chatram, Adi Chidambaram.
Before worshiping both Mangala Nathar and Mangala Nayaki, if we offer prayers to the Pana Lingam there, we will get the full benefit of our worship.
For those who worship the deities of the temple, receive all the benefits at this life and attain Moksha after life.
It is believed that if people get married at this place, their relationship will be long lasting and hence a lot of marriages take place at this temple during auspicious days.
The main deity Mangalanathar is also called as Mangalesuvarar and Pralayakesuvar.
The Goddess Mangaleswari is also known by the names Mangalambikai and Sundaranayaki.
In the name of Goddess Mangaleswari. Subramaniam Pillai has sung Pillai Tami and the book was published in 1901 and reprinted in 1956.
The name of Mandodari, the wife of Ravana, is mentioned in the inscriptions of the temple. Therefore, this inscription is considered to be the proof that this place appeared before the time of Ramayana.
This is the place where Vedaviyasar, Kaga Bujander, Mirukandu Sage, Vanasuran, Mayan, Manikkavasagar and Arunigirinathar worshiped the almighty and got blessed by the Lord Shiva.
The Panchaloka Natarajar of this temple is very different and it is a masterpiece consisting of men’s dance moves on the right and women’s dance moves on the left of the statue.
At the entrance of the temple, Lord Ganesha and Lord Murugan have changed their places.
The elephant is the vehicle of Lord Murugan. According to the Adi Chidambara Mahatmyam, the King of Devas – Indra gave his elephant “Iravatham” to Lord Murugan.
This temple is located at a distance of 83 km from Rameswaram and 18 km from Ramanathapuram.
In ancient Literature, the term “Ilavanthigai Palli” represents Uthirakosamangai Temple.
This is the place where Lord Shiva appeared in front of the Tamil poet Manikkavasagar.
The temple is also called Mangaiperuman who arose under the locust tree.
It is believed that at this temple Goddess Mangalanayaki worships the Lord Mangalanathar.
It is stated in the Madurai Purana that the place got this name Uthirakosamangai from the fact that Lord Shiva taught Parvati the secrets of the Vedas.
The temple was in the possession of the Adi saivars which was later handed over to the King of Ramanathapuram and it has been under the rule of Ramanathapuram Samasthanam ever since.
Two of the Yaali were found with beautiful carvings in the entrance have a ball of stone in their mouths. We can move the ball with our hand inserted in their mouths.
The fishes that live in the pond of this temple are not fresh water fishes but are the fishes that live in seawater.
On the day of Pradhosham, people used to worship the deities of the temple by offering screw-pine flowers (Thazhampoo). It is believed that if people worship the deities by offering a garland of screw-pine flowers all the obstacles in a marriage can be eliminated.
Here is the ancient Varahi temple and when worshipped every Friday, Tuesday and Sunday during the Rahu Kalam, all the incurable problems including marriage ban will go away.
People visiting Rameshwaram can also visit this temple.
The famous Mughal King Alauddin Khilji, who ruled Delhi in the year 1300, found out that there was an emerald Natarajar statue in Uthirakosamangai and tried to loot it but by the grace of the Lord Mangalanathar he did not succeed in his attempt.
The chief minister’s alms program is held daily at this temple and if you donate Rs.700 you can donate food to 50 people.
The curse of Sage Gautama on Sage Kagabujandar was removed at this place.
60 thousand Shivanadiyars received enlightenment at this place.
The Mangalanathar Shrine, the Mangaleswari Shrine, the Emerald Natarajar Shrine and the Sagasralinga Shrine at this temple have separate sanctorum, puja hall, maha hall and flag tree.
As the Natarajar here is made of emerald stone some people call this place Ratna Sabha. But since it is believed to be the first temple in the world, it is said that it does not belong to any Sabha.
Karaikal Ammaiyar also came here and worshipped Lord Shiva.
The architecture of the Uttarakosamangai temple is based on Dravidian architecture.
Special pujas are conducted every month on the days of Amavasai (no moon day), Pournami (full moon day), Pradosham , Krithigai and Chathurthi.
Major festivals of the Temple
Tamil Month Chithirai (Mid – April) – Thirukalyanam
Tamil Month Vaikasi (Mid – May) – Vasantha Urchavam
Tamil Month Aani (Mid – June) – 10 days Shiva Urchavam
Tamil Month Aippasi (Mid – October) – Annabishekam
Tamil Month Margazhi (Mid – December) – Thiruvathirai festival
Tamil Month Maasi (Mid – February) – Shivarathiri
Uthirakosamangai Temple Pooja Timings
Daily at this Temple, Morning 5.30 AM – Ushad Puja, 8.00 AM – Shanti Puja, 10.00 AM – Uchchi Kala Puja, Evening 5.00 PM – Sayaratchai Puja, 7.00 PM Irandam Kala Puja and 8.00 PM – Arthajama Puja will be held.
Anointing of the Mangalanathar is done daily at 6 AM, 12.30 PM and 5.30 PM.
People can worship the deities of the temple from Morning 5.00 AM to 1.00 PM and from Evening 4.00 PM to 8.00 PM.
It is believed that even incurable diseases can be cured by dissolving the sandalwood taken from the statue of the Natarajar made of Emerald in hot water and drinking it.
There are a total of 11 Ganeshas in this temple.
One can worship Mahalakshmi in the left side corner while coming around the Lord Mangalanathar shrine.
There is a statue of Sarveshwar at the royal tower of the temple.