Visit to Somangalam and Manimangalam temples

1) Sri Somnatheswarar Temple at Somangalam

Location: Somangalam is in the Kundrathur – Padappai road and can be reached from Tambaram as well. It is 6 kms from Kishkintha. After Kishkintha, while proceeding straight the road divides into two and you have to take the road at the left. Go beyond Sairam Engineering College and you will see a road to the left to Dhanalakshmi Engineering College. Go straight further and you will reach Somangalam and the temple. Somangalam is a Chathurvedimangalam, a village donated by the Kings to the Pundits of the four vedas to conduct various yagnas and regular poojas.

2.Panaramic View - Front
9.Panaramic View - Back side
4.Main Shrine 8.Goddess Shrine
6.Nandhi and Bali Peetam 7. Nandhi looking opposite side
10.Gajaprashta Vimanam 11.Vimanam
12.Main Sthala God - Moon 13.Main Sthala God - Moon
14.Koshta God - Vinayahar 15.Koshta God - Dhakshinamoorthy

Significance: Chandra (Moon) sthalam of the Navagraha worship; Nandhi is looking the opposite side.

Main deity: Somnatheswarar with Kamkshi amman in separate shrines

Legend: Once Moon God (Soman) was cursed by King Dakshan and lost his beauty. Distressed by this, Soman penanced here towards Lord Shiva, took bath in the ‘Vinai Theerthan Kulam’ (the tank that eliminates all bad karmas) at half a km to the west of this temple and worshipped Shiva to regain his lost charm.
When the temple was being built, invaders came and the King prayed to God, who then asked Nandhi to go out and counter the enemies. Nandhi, without getting up from his place, vanquished the invaders just by blowing out his breath in force. With this, Nandhi got over-confident and thought that he was better than the Lord Himself. So he was made to be in the same position (looking at the opposite side) permanently by the Lord.
Sources say that a sage named Somanathar attained Jeeva Samadhi at the feet of Lord Nandhikeswarar, who is believed to have guarded Soman against any disturbances while doing penance.

Temple: This ancient tempe was built by the Chola king, Klothunga, in 1073 A.D. This has the Gajaprashta (look of the back of an elephant) vimanam. It is believed that 108 shiva temples have been built by the same king. Thirumazhisai, Somangalam, Manimangalam Dharmeshvarar and Mannivakkam (maniaandi, as it is called) are some of the temples of that group in this region. This has Somanatheeswarar as the main deity with the Chandra adorning Shiva.
Inside the main sanctum, there is an unique statue of Lord Muruga in Brahma sastha form with gindi in one hand and aksha mala in another hand. Once Brahma was put behind bars by Subramania himself and he took charge of the work of creation for 3.75 nazhi. During that period babies were born beautifully and so Murugar is also called Azahan. It is said that there was a seprate Kandaswamy temple housing this Subramaniar and when the temple became dilapidated in due course, He was brought into this temple. There is also another shrine for Murugar with His consorts in the outer praharam built later in 1935.
Natarajar as ‘Chathura thandava moorthy’ is present in the sanctum. Chathuram (square) is the shape of moon god that coincides with the Chathura thandavam of Natarajar. There are separate shrines for Ganesha, Surya, Bairavar, Dhakshinamurthy, Vishnu and Goddess Durga. There are inscriptions belonging to 5 different time periods but some of them have been painted over in the process of renovation.
20.Inscriptions - Fortunately intact 19. We don't know the value of the Inscriptions
In the outer praharam there are idols of Saptha mathars, the first in the row being Jeshta devi, the ambal of Lord Saturn, a rare idol. Also present is Maandhi with buffalo head born to Jeshta devi and Saniswaran.

23.Parivara Gods

Worship Benefits:
People with Chandra and water related dhoshams, mind and water related problems like Cold, Asthma, mental sickness etc., can worship Somnatheswarar and Chandra here to come out of their problems. Also it is believed that Lord Somanatheeswarar blesses people with timely marriage, progeny, peaceful and healthy life.

25.Sthala Vruksham - Sarakonrai
Sthala vriksham: Sarakondrai

21.Chandeeswara Theertham as seen from inside 22.Chandeeswara Theertham

Theertham: Soma theertham (Vinai theerthan kulam) at half a km to the west of the temple, created by Moon God and Chandeeswara Theertham adjacent to the temple created by Chandeeswarar.
Contact: Suresh Kurukkal – 044 – 2717 8330 (lives near the temple)
Temple Timing: 8 AM – 10 AM and 5 PM – 7 PM – It is preferred to visit the temple only in the mornings since the evening timing is not sure.

2) Sri Dharmeshvarar Temple at Manimangalam

Manimangalam is about 10 kms to the west of Tambaram and 20 km to the east of Sriperumbudur. From Tambaram, it can be reached through Mudichur. Like Somangalam, Manimangalam was also a Chathurvedimangalam, a village donated by the Kings to the pundits of the four vedas to conduct yagnas and poojas regularly. It finds a place in the history of Tamil Nadu as the place where Narasimha Varma Pallava defeated the Chalukyas in the 7th century A.D. This fact is mentioned in the copper plates discovered at Kooram. Kalki has written about the Manimangalam battle in his book ‘Sivagamiyin Sabatham’. He describes how Mahendra Varma Pallava was injured in the battle at Manimangalam, and how his son Narasimha Varma Pallava and his trusted lieutenant Paranjoti vanquished Pulikesi’s army.
Narasimha Varma Pallavan also defeated decisively the withdrawing forces of Pulikesi II which had tried to conquer the Pallavas under Mahendra Varman.

Sri Dharmeshvarar Temple at Manimangalam is an Archelogical Soceity of India maintained temple and so, as with other ASI temples, this is also nicely fenced and landscaped. The temple is very beautiful and is present in a nice environment with a mammoth Peepul tree in the huge open space in front. Priest lives in the ‘Kurukkal street’ nearby and since he was not there at that time, I was shown around by other people. Unusually Nandhi and Bali peetam are present outside the inner prahara wall. Nandhi was looking at the prahara wall without even a window in the compund wall. There is a small mandapam in front of the sanctum sanctorum with some nice sculptures. Ganesha is sitting under the Sthala Vruksham. The Koshta gods are beautifully done. This temple was also built by the same Klothunga king who built the Somangalam temple and so this also has the Gajaprashta Vimanam. Shiva is present in the sanctum sanctorum as Dharmeeswarar in linga form with Ambal in a separate shrine.

One is assured of immense satisfaction and peace with the serene atmosphere of the temple and the village.

2.Beautiful entrance 1.Mammooth Peepul tree
3.Tank adjacent 4.Gajaprashta vimanam
5.Temple Well 6. Goddess Shrine
7.Goddess Shrine and the outside Nandhi 8.Inside Entrance
9.Inner Corridor 10.Right side Corridor
12.Vimanam 13.The First Dharshan to Vinayahar at the entrance
16.Kala Bairavara shrine at the Praharam 19.Sthala Vruksham 17.Inside Mandapam 18.Vinayahar at the Pillar

23.Koshta God - Durga 22.Koshta God
25.Parivara idols

Date of visits: 24th Feb 2008

Note: Since this is not a temple visited frequently by people, you may have to get the kurukkal from the next street when it is closed.

Other ancient temples at Manimangalam:

Sri Rajagopalar Temple
The presiding deity at this ancient temple is Sri Rajagopalar, who is seen in a standing posture facing east, with His consorts Sridevi and Bhoodevi. There is a separate shrine for Senkamalavalli Thayar. A peculiarity of the deity here is that He holds the conch in His right hand and the Sudarsana Chakram in His left hand.
Note: I could not visit the temple since the priest was not available.

Sri Vaikuntanathar temple as old as the Rajagopala temple

Sri Kailasanathar temple built by Rajendra chola 1200 years ago, renovated recently.


  1. Dear All,
    Yesterday (27.09.13) i went to the Manimanagalam Dharmeshwarar Temple, one govt watchman is maintaining the surrounding neet & clean, also he is doing the pooja in the absence of kurukal.

  2. Dear Mr Raju

    The Astabhandhana Mahakumbabhisekam of Lord Kailayanathar temple was performed on 30th November 2012. Around 5000 – 6000 people attended the function. The temple now has Lord Vinayakar, Lord Arumugar with Godess Devanai and Valli and Godess Gnanambigai. Also we have construced the sannadhis for Chandikeswarar, Navagrahams and Bairavar. Kosta devadais like Nardhana vinayakar, Lingothbhavar, Dhakshinamoorthy, Brahma and Vishnu Durgai. Thro your blog pl post this msg and request all the devotees of Lord Shiva to visit this temple and get the blessings of Lord Kailayanathar.

    Still lot of things are tobe done like flooring, solar plant, nandavanam, madapalli to name a few.

  3. Dear Raju,

    The kumbabishegam of kailasanathar/Gnanamibka temple at Manimangalam took place on 30th Nov, 2012 and thousands of devotees
    attended the same. Devotees can now visit the temple. Sivan, Ambal, Vinayagar, Murugan sannidhis have been constructed. They have maintained the old stones with tamil scriptures. The Tambaram-Manimangalam road is now good and one can have a comfortable drive.


  4. Dear Raju

    My family has been using your blogs on several temples and was searching for one on Somangalam. I came across your blog which is very useful. In fact I hv a bought a plot in close vicinity of this great village. Will try visiting the temple on March 2, 2011, a Sivarathri day. Please go on with your good work.

    Will pray God for his help in guiding us to propagate good to humanity.


  5. Dear Raju,
    It is very nice to see your photographs and writings about Somangalam Siva temple. I am a native of Somangalam and am glad to see my village in the website with so much information. I wish to inform that there is one another temple called SRI SUNDARARAJA PERUMAL temple in Somangalam. I wish you visited this temple also and published your experiences and photographs on it. Also, i have with me some other photographs of the Siva temple which i would happily want to share with you through email. Kindly send me your email id for that.
    Thanking you, and best wishes for your service.

  6. Dear Sirs,

    There is a small correction in my statement posted on 27th Jan 2011. As per the then proposal in the year of 80’s, Somangalam was selected for adoption by the central govt. to make it a model village and later somehow it did not materialise. I very much regret the mistake in my earlier statement due to wrong usage of words.

    With thanks,

    V. Ganesan

  7. Dear Sir,
    Though late, I would like to share my experience with regard to my Somangalam visit. About ten years back, I had been to Somangalam temple on the occasion of Maha Shivarathri from Kundrathur route. From there I wanted to go to Madambakkam and asked the temple Gurukkal about the shortest possible route. He guided me to go to Naduveerapattu by walk which is just a km and catch bus No. 18 H to go to Tambaram and proceed further. I just walked the distance in the morning hours enjoying the beautiful greenary and village cum citylike atmosphere. Somangalam has no bus connectivity from Tambaram at that time (even now I believe) and I only thought that If a bus service was introduced from Tambaram to Kunrathur or Poonamalle via Somangalam, the area and the temple would become more popular among the passing travellers. I also remember to have read a news item long back that Somangalam was selected as a model village by the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and before its official declaration she died and no further development has taken place for some reason or the other. If any other detail is recorded about this it is welcome.

    Thanks from

  8. Dear Mr Raju,

    A very informative and useful content are available in your blog. Thank you for your efforts in making the information available to all with the maximum possible details.

    May I please request you to give details of the temple photo on your home page.


  9. Dear Raju,

    There is another shiva temple in manimangalam. named vaiyaleeshwara between dharmeshwarar and kailasanather temple. only the statue of shivalinga is remaining there. Its comes under HR&ce . its located at back side of a house. can u please update on that.
    if you have any quiries let me know through mail..

  10. Nice photos. I am a resident of manimangalam. My family is residing here for the past 100 years. if i could help you in any means i can do it to popularise the temple.

  11. Namasthe Raju,

    It is indeed a great pleasure to view the photos of Somanatheeshwarar temple in Somangalam which is my native. Looking at the pictures of the temple made me nostalgic since I have performed pujaas out there along with Suresh Gurukkal who is a close relative of mine. I learned mantras from Devasenapathy Gurukkal [Suresh’s father] in the very same temple about 15 years ago. He is a legendary priest who devoted his whole life in perfoming poojas and temple kumbabishekams. Thanks a lot for posting this wonderful article. I would request you to visit this temple during “Pradhosham”, Shiva Raathri, Aaruthra, Skanda Shashti days to get the blessings of Somanatheeswarar. Once again thank you so much and I really appreciate your work.

  12. can any body tell the correct name of the Goddess and give some photos if any of Manimangalam Sri Kailasanathar temple.

  13. dear mr. raju,
    your way of furnishing details of the sanctity, speciality of the temples with clear route details makes me feel that you are either a nayanar as the 63 nayanmars or an alwar who is born again and bestowed with a chance of going to so many temples. i pray god almighty to give strngh and all to continue such tours.

  14. Dear Raju

    first of all thankyou about our village temple
    you shown very beautyfull photos and the message

    J. Sankar

  15. Dear Raju,
    Thank you very much. I am searching the particulars of manimangalam temple. It is wonderful work with good pictures. thank you dear
    Dr L Kailasam

  16. Visited the Dharmeshwarar & Sri Rajagopalar Temples at Manimangalam. Very nice & neatly maintained temples. Thanks raju.

    Sri Rajagopalar cures eye related health problems.

  17. This post is really useful. Was searching the internet for information on Somnatheswarar Temple at Somangalam. This post has all the necessary information. Planning to visit the temple shortly. Thanks for posting this info.

  18. Dear Raju,

    That was great, Manimangalam temples photos are nice. Good work. Pallava Kings regained the Kanchi during the manimangalam battle. Even today, manimangalam people speaks about the pallava war. The native of village are palli. Thanks.

  19. Dear Raju:

    A nice piece of work with pictorial information and guiding people to the reach of the temple. Please continue your efforts which make all of us enriched with knowledge on ancient past and our culture.

  20. Thank you Mr.Sasidharan for your comment. Yes, I have seen the village is very beautiful but since I don’t know anybody out there, I didn’t go to any other place. If you have some good photos and details of the places to go and enjoy with kids, pls inform me so that I go and enjoy myself and also I can publish so that others can also enjoy. A nice place within Chennai is so little known to people.

  21. i am very much native of somangalam. now i am a reporter in tamil paper. bcos of my job, i ve shifted my residence to chennai, i had to shift from there. this village has 2 beautiful lakes and beautiful paddy fields and much more to watch

  22. you are in the process of doing a great job.I wish you all success. Nice photographs and good notes
    Dr.palani Dorai

  23. Nice effort. Salutes to you. May i know what camera and lenses you use. do you use a tripod?
    How do write up? How do research?
    I am from coastal andhra pradesh and have been dreaming of doing similar projects on temples in my area. Hope you will share your experiences

  24. That was a wonderful note on Somangalam and Manimangalam….. With macro details…
    Excellent.. Donno whether to admire or envy your Camera… Lovely photos…

  25. Hello Raju Sir,

    The Temples history narration and photos are excellent. I appreciate & thank you for your time & effort. Wish you to go to many more temples & write about them.

    Have a nice time.

    N Guruvelavan

  26. You are awesome & source of inspiration. The one & only I know utilising this media rightfully aesthetically. I was searching Manimangalam after reading Sivagamiyin Sabadam, You have showed it. Thanks a lot. I feel we may have the facility of visiting Navagraha Shetras around Chennai itself instead of going all the way to Kudanthai.

  27. Hi,
    That was great, I am collecting a list of temples within or outside chennai, criteria should be pariharasthalam only. If anybody could sent any kind of information, it will be very helpful to me.

  28. Hi Raju,

    You beat me to it 🙂

    I had gone to the Somangalam temple and was waiting to get freetime to write about it 🙂

    Anyways, good info ..

  29. Dear Raju,
    Manimangalam is also famous for the battle in which Narasimha Varma Pallavan defeated decisively the withdrawing forces of Pulikesi II which had tried to conquer the Pallavas under Mahendra Varman.

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