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History and Significance of Sri Manathunai Nathar Temple, Valivalam 

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. Lord Muruga in the temple is praised by saint Arunagiriar in his Tirupugazh hymns.

History of Sri Manathunai Nathar Temple, Valivalam

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.

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