Lord in the temple is a swayambumurthy. Valivalam Valampuri Vinayaka, blessing the devotees coming to the temple is praised in the Thevarm hymn of Saint Sambandar. The hymn begins with the line "Pidi athan uruvumai kolamigu kariathu''.
As a rule, chanting Thevaram hymns in any Shiva temple should begin with this song only. The glory of Lord Valivalam Valampuri Vinayaka is great. This is one of the Mada type temples built by Kochengat Cholan. The temple is praised in Thevaram hymns of saints Gananasambandar, Appar and Sundarar. This is the 121st Shiva temple on the southern bank of Cauvery praised by saints.
Sun, Valian, Sage Karanamamunivar, Pandavas, Kochengatcholan and saint Arunagiriar had worshipped Lord in this temple.
Moolavar:Manathunai Nathar (Hrudaya Kamala Nathar)
Amman / Thayar: Maazhai Onkanni
Thala Virutcham: Punnai
Old year:1000-2000 years old
Manathunai Temple is one of the famous ancient temple in south part of tamil nadu situated in Nagapatinam.A man though noted for his high characters, committed some sins. As a result, he was born as a Karikuruvi-black sparrow in his next birth.
This small bird had to face the harassment of its big counterparts. In one such attack, it was bleeding. It flew and took shelter in the hole of a tree. A Shivayogi was teaching his disciples under the tree.
The sparrow listened carefully. The yogi was telling his disciples, "Of all Shiva Sthalas (places) Madurai is great.'' Of the sacred springs, Pottramarai in the temple is great. Of Shiva Murthis, Chokkanatha is great. There is none to equal Madurai. Lord Somasundara-Chokkanathar is all merciful granting boons to His devotees.
The sparrow heard the advice of the Yogi with all attention. It also gained wisdom and enlightenment and understood the cause of its birth as a sparrow. The bird few to Madurai and circumambulated the temple and had a dip in the Pottramarai tank in the temple.
It very sincerely prayed to Lord Somasundara for three days continuously. Pleased Lord called the bird and taught the Mrutyunjaya Mantra. The bird was further enlightened.
It appealed to Shiva to protect it from the attack of bigger birds as it was too tiny in size and prayed for strength to face such incidents. Lord said that it would be stronger than all bigger birds. The sparrow begged the boon for all sparrow species.
It got the name Valian-strong. Based on this event, the place came to be known as Valivalam. A hair of this sparrow came to this temple, worshipped Manathunai Nathar and attained salvation.
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Chithirai Brahmmotsavam in April-May; Thai Poosam in January-February; Maha Shivrathri in February-March; Panguni Uthiram in March-April; Vaikasi Visakam in May-June; Aavani Sundays in August-September; Purattasi Navarathri in September-October; Aipasi Annabishekam in October-November; Tirukarthikai in November-December and Margazhi Tiruvadhirai were the festivals celebrated grandly.