This temple lies in the Tanjore district of TamilNadu. It is 7 miles from Kumbakonam and 3 miles from Naachiyar kovil. It can be reached by bus and staying arrangements are well furnished.
After the fall of the Vijayanagar empire in Tanjore, Azhagiya Manavala Naicker who ruled Tanjore planned to erect a temple for Rajagopala swamy in Mannarkudi. He appointged his minister Narasa Boopalan for this job. He was to get Blackstones from all possible places.
This minister was a great worshipper of Saranatha Perumal of Thirucherai and wanted to erect a temple for him too. So he ordered his men to unload one stone from each cart which passed Thirucherai. Aspy of the king caught hold of this and informed the king. The angered king came for an inspection. But before that in overnight Narasa Boopalan constructed this temple and to please the king he added a sannathi for Rajagopala swamy too and his plan worked and he was away from kings anger after that the king ordered to complete the temple with his money.
When time came to destroy the world and finish the yugam, Brahma was worried a lot. He pleaded Lord Vishnu to tell him a way to keep the tools necessary for Srishti and all vedas safetly. Lord ordered him to put all these things in a strong mud pot and after trying mud from all places Brahma finally made a pot out of the sand taken from Thirucherai and saved all vedhas and all necessary aids for srishti. Hence as this placed gave the magical mud which held a lead role this place became the reason for all living things to live even after the Maha pralaya so this place is called “Sara Shetram”.
And also as the place, Lord, Lordess, Pushkarani and Vimana all five together gave the support this place is called “Pancha Sara Shetram”.
River Cauveri wanted her status to be equal to river Ganges and performed a Tough (or) hard penance. She laid 3 wishes before the god. (a) O! Lord you should stay in this place for ever and ever (b) all the Jeevans in this place should attain your lotus feet (c) I should be treated as pious as river Ganges. Lord Vishnu granted all her wishes and to improvise her status further among all the other river he accepted her as his mother and crawled as a child in her hands.
Structure of the temple: Mudikondan river flows from the west and Kudamuruti river in the south.
Lord Hanuman (or) Aanchaneya blesses as from the west end of the pushkarani and Lord Vianayaka from the North eastern side.
The Rajagopuram is 120 feet tall and adjoining this is the first praharam and then is the Middle Gopuram. Next is the Thirukalyana Mandapam. From here Rajagopala swamy blesses us. Infront of this sannathi Thiruvenkatamudayam sannathi is situated. After this Lord Sri Rama, Narashimar and Manavala Maamunigal sannathis are there.
Inside the Moolaver’s Karbagraham, Saranathar along with his wives: Sridevi, Boomidevi, Neela devi, Mahalakshmi and Sara Naayagi gives away his heartiful blessings. To his right Markanteya Maharishi and River Cauvery are found. Santhana Gopalan and Selvar are too found in this sannadhi.
Utsavam: On every Thaipoosam day, Lord Saranatha with his 5 wives blesses us as a child in his mother Cauvery’s hand in a beautifully decorated chariot.
Specials: Lord Sri Rama gives us a very special dharshan here. Along with Devi Sita and Lakshmana, all Alwars and Sri Rama’s kolam (ie) he poses as he was found in forest for 14 years.
The Moolavar of this kshetram is Saranathan Perumal. The Moolavar is giving his seva in standing posture with his face facing the east direction. Prathyaksham for River Cauvery and Markandeya Maharishi.
The Thayaar found in this sthalam is Saranayaki (Sara Naachiyaar).
Thirumangai Alwar – 13 Paasurams. Total – 13 Paasurams.
Born on Makara Uthiradam star, native of Mukkur and brought up in Ladavaram village near Arcot and now well settled in Mumbai for over five decades. Presently, at 70, trying to run this website without any commercial expectations or profit motive, just for the sake of our future generations to understand about Sanatana Dharma & Srivaishnavam sampradayam.Within my limited knowledge that I put it here, what I learnt from the world.