Today I had an opportunity to go to the great Mani Mandapam of Orikkai with a team of devotees. We started from Chennai at 6:40 AM and reached Orikkai at about 8:40 AM (nearly 2 hours drive) in a tourist van. Though it is a peak summer, sun has just started showing its heat and it was bearable.
About the temple
The village Orikkai is blessed to have the Mani mandapam or a great temple built to commemorate the sacred memory of Pujyasri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swamiji, 68th Shankaracharya of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam.
The construction of temple is not yet fully over. For example the installation of nandhi is in progress now.. However the Kumbabishegam (consecration ceremony) was performed by Sri Sri Jayendra Swamigal of Kanchi Kamakodi peedam on 28th January 2011. Please view the video in youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KYh5hMtoFM)
This temple is built with one material (Granite stone alone, no mix of stone with other materials like bricks etc) like ancient temples built by emperors like Cholas.
- The Manimandapam has a 100 feet vimana
- a 100 pillared hall
- Paduka mandapa and Rudraksha mandapa
- Statue and padukas of maha Periyavaal
About 5 KM from Kanchi, on the banks of the river Palaar. The manimandapam is located in a calm place away from the rush of the town.
Once a king in a fit of anger exiled a very devoted servant of a sage called Kanikannan which was an undeserving punishment. The master also followed him and on seeing this the Lord too went with them and halted in Orikkai for one night. Realising his mistake the king apologised to all of them and requested them to come back, which they did. Thereafter the village was called as Orikkai (oru iravu irukkai - place of overnight stay)
Chatur masya vrata was performed by Pujyasri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swamiji at this place only.
- As a matte of respect, gents are expected to remove their shirt and go with a angavasthram (towel) around the shoulder.
- Taking snaps inside the temple is not allowed.