Kolanjiappar temple is a Hindu temple located in Manavalanallur, a village on the outskirts of Virudhachalam in Cuddalore district in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu God Murugan and is constructed in the Dravidian architecture.
As per Hindu legend, Sundarar, the famous Nayanmar saint in Saivite tradition belonging to the 8th century, came to Virudhachalam (called Thirumudukundram) during his old age. He sang praise of the Vriddhagiriswarar. Shiva was much pleased with his rendition and wanted to have him sing a song again. He sent his son Muruga in the form of a hunter to the Kolanji forest through which Sundarar was traversing. The hunter took away the belongings of Sundarar. He demanded the hunter to return his belongings for which the hunter wanted him to be back at Virudhachalam. Understanding that it is a divine play, Sundarar returned to Virudhachalam temple and sang praise of Shiva again. Vrida means old age and hence the place was called Virudhachalam as Sundarar came to the place during his old age. Muruga subsequently set his abode in the Kolanji forest as Kolanjiappar.
The temple’s five-tiered rajagopuram, or gateway tower, is a sight to behold and pierces the granite wall that surrounds the temple.
The temple’s sanctum sanctorum faces east and is home to a small altar that is just 3 ft (0.91 m) in size. Unlike most temples in Tamil Nadu, which have sculpted granite or stucco images of the presiding deities, this temple’s image is a simple one. There are separate shrines dedicated to Idumban and Kadamban, two other deities worshipped at the temple.
The Mahamandapam of the temple is home to two images of Muniappa, which face the sanctum. There is also a shrine of Siddhi Vinayakar in the Mahamandapam. During the temple’s consecration in 2010, a northern temple tower, a marriage hall, a shopping complex, Mani Mandap, Sidhar Mandap, and a guesthouse for devotees were added with the help of public contributions.
The temple has several festivals, of which Panguni Uthiram festival celebrated during the Tamil month of Panguni (March – April), ten-day Vasantha Utsavam during Vaikasi (May- June) and Adi festival are the most prominent. During the Panguni Uthiram, the flag hoisting is done on the first day, while the presiding deities of the temple are taken in a chariot round the streets of the temple. During Adi festival, hundreds of devotees carry pots of milk and Kavadi around the streets of the temple, which is followed by a feast attended by close to 5,000 people.
The temple is open from 6:30 am – 8:30 pm.
How to reach Kolanjiappar temple, Manavalanallur, Tamil Nadu
Kolanjiappar temple is located in Manavalanallur, in the outskirts of Virudhachalam in Cuddalore district in Tamil Nadu. Here are some ways to reach the temple:
By air: The nearest airport is Tiruchirapalli International Airport, which is located around 122 km from the temple.
By train: The nearest railway station is Virudhachalam Junction, which is located around 5 km from the temple. It is well-connected to other major cities in Tamil Nadu.
By road: The temple is well-connected by road. It is located on the road from Virudhachalam to Manavalanallur. Buses and taxis are available from Virudhachalam and other nearby towns to reach the temple.