The Tirumanancheri Temple, located in Thanjavur district, is considered as one of the important temples of Lord Shiva. He is worshipped here as Kalyansundareswarar with his consort Parvathi called as Kokilambal. The temple is said to hold divine blessings for marriages because it is said to have been the holy ground where the marriage of Shiva and Parvathi had been celebrated.
When devotees pray to the divine couple for grace and blessings for a happy marriage, the prayers are answered. Thousands of people till today have received boon for visiting the temple and offering archanas for happy marriage.
Tirumanancheri Temple style=
If you devote yourself completely to these deities of the inner sanctum and make a wish during the parihara poojas performed here, your wish will be fulfilled. Those desirous of marriage and those who want to overcome problems in marital life, both are blessed with fulfillment of their desires. Those who pray for a suitable life-partner, the divine couple helps them in manifesting their desires within a short time.
Never fail to observe the mood and posture of Shiva and Parvathi as the groom and bride. Parvathi stands on right side of Shiva unassertive and shy, her eyes cast down on kalyana kolam, the geometrical and colorful drawings made on the floor at marriage celebrations. They represent the ideal gesture for a groom and his bride during a Hindu marriage. Intently observing and savoring the beauty of the image of the couple triggers a divine force within a devotee.
According to the Sthala Purana, once Goddess Parvathi was possessed with a desire to rebond with her husband Shiva through the rituals of earthly marriage. And to fulfill her desire, she was sent to earth and incarnated herself as the daughter of the saint Bharata, whom Shiva married again. This holy ceremony of tying the nuptial knot is said to have taken place in Tirumanancheri filling the air with divinity. Till today, Shiva & Parvathi in this temple answer the prayers of their devotees who are unable to find a suitable partner for marriage as well as those who have marital relationship problems.
There is a popular anecdote about Shiva-Parvathi granting boons. Once, two friends decided that when they have children, they will get them married to each other to seal their friendship. In due course of time, one of them had a beautiful daughter and the other a boy with resemblance of a tortoise. The mother of the girl began to repent the promise she had made to her friend. She refused to get her daughter married to her friend’s son because of his appearance. However, the daughter desired to marry the boy despite his looks and sought mercy of Lord Shiva in Thirumanancheri. Shiva, being pleased with her, blessed the boy to gain a healthy form who was united to her beloved through marriage. Hence, it is also believed that Kalyanasundareswarar and Kokilaambal even improves physical appearance of a person or grants him or her a partner who can look beyond outward appearance, in order to remove obstacle for marriage.
If you are in search of your partner, do offer a pooja to the divine couple Lord Kalyanasunderaswarar and Devi Kokilambal and receive their grace. The fruits of their grace will always provide you reasons to be happy and grateful to the Divine.
Step-1: Go into the temple; you will see Selva Ganapathy on the left; pray him first.
Step-2: Then pray Lord Shiva (Sri Uthvaganatha Swami) and go to (Parvathi) Amman Sannithi on the right. Meenakshi Amman here appears as a 13-year old Kokilambal, head slanted to her right, with three bends (“naanikkoni’). This posture is before her marriage.
Step-3: On the left side of this huge Main mandapam is the most important Kalyana Sundareswarar Sannithi and Mandapam. Enter the mandapam and turn left; light the ghee deepams here, right opposite to the Kalyana Sundareswarar Sannithi (but do not light Raghu dosham’s deepams here; Mangala Raagu has a separate place for ghee dheepams); Kalyana Sundareswarar deities are in marriage kolam; Meenakshi is on his right looking at the floor in kalyana kolam; hence married girls should always stand on the right hand side of the groom during all auspicious functions; the priests perform the rituals here to remove our marriage obstacles. Details are given below.
Step-4: As soon as you light the dheepams, wait for the next batch; only girls and boys concerned are seated inside the enclosure and those accompanying should sit around this enclosure; couples who come after marriage to complete the rituals (and the parents of boys/girls who are unable to come in person also can sit inside the enclosure; if you are parent(s) inform the priest as soon as you enter the enclosure).
The priests brief you first regarding the Do’s and Don’ts; then collect all the garlands and the archana tickets first; they keep all garlands at the feet of the god, return one garland each to the spouse to be worn; [parents must keep it in their hands]; sangalpam is done and the thattu is taken away; [parents should tell the boy/girl’s gothram/name/star and not theirs]; archana follows, coconuts are broken, thattus are returned after aarthi as usual; drop Rs.10 or Rs.20 in the plate (thattu) for the priests.
Do’s and Don’ts as informed by priests here:
Vibuthi, kumkum (plus manjal for girls) are to be used, after prayers, for one mandalam (45 days or till they last) by the boys/girls only and NOT by others in the family.
Lemon should be drunk, without adding salt or sugar, by the boys/girls only and NOT by others; the next morning after bathing the boy/girl should pray wearing this garland and then drink the lemon juice with a little water.
Then retain the garland in a cloth bag (manjal pai), not in plastic bag, till marriage is over and come again with spouse; the same garland is finally put in the temple tank here.
Coconuts can be used by the entire family for cooking.
Step-5: After these rituals at the Kalyana sundareswarar sannithi, go and pray Shiva again. Normally no separate archana is done here.
Step-6: The kalyana melam/Nadhaswaram party collects Rs.10/boyor girl while coming out of the sanctum sanctorum, though not compulsory.
Step-7: Pray Raagu. Mangala Raagu here in the north of inner praharam is special for puthira dosha nivarthi; normal ghee dheepam (5 for Rs.10) available near Raagu, should be lit only by the boy or the girl or one of the parents if the boy/girl has not come;