Mannarkoil was also in a quaint little village. However the roads were too good.
The temple is called Rajagopalaswamy Kulasekara Perumal temple, after Kulasekara Azhwar, one of the 12 Vaishnavite saints found enlightened here, after waging several wars!!! Reminds of Samrat Ashok, right??!!!
The God here is Veda Narayana Perumal and his consort is Vedavalli & Bhuvanavalli. The temple has ashtanga vimana, meaning it has 3 floors of sanctum sanctorum. On the ground is a standing, 1st floor is He's seated and 2nd floor where he's reclining in Ananta Sayana posture!
Here again very similar to most temples in this region, this too was patronized by all Chera, Chola, Pandya and Vijayanagara kings! The foundation inscriptions give away a lot of information about it all. By 11th C, Rajendra Chola had made great contributions to this temple, that this region was called Rajendra Vinnagaram. Later on Rajasimman Cheran & Jatavarma Chozha Pandta have also contributed for this temple.
Just above the foundation inscriptions at regular intervals are little squares of about 5" x 5", which have scenes of Ramayana sculpted on them, like Gopurapatti. A few other scenes were are present.
The yaali row was indeed exquisite. Some of them had riders on them! In their midst were some elephants as well!
Some elaborate sculptures are in the mandapam.
Wooden detailing are here in the 1st and 2nd floor - the ceiling, entrance of sanctum sanctorum, window sill etc...
As I came out of the temple, was this really ruined house in the main street. Couldn't help but get a pic of myself at that house too!!!
TO GET THERE:
Dedicated to Prof.Swaminathan & Co..