Born in Thiru Mandangudi, Thondaradipodi Azhvaar (his original name was Vipra Narayanan) was lost in love for Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam. Very early in his life, he moved from Thiru Mandangudi to Srirangam and mastered himself in Vedas. His devotion was so enduring that he thought of none but Ranganatha. This devotion meant that he decided to sing praise only of the Lord of Srirangam and of no other Lord. Dedicating his life to the service of Lord Ranganatha, he created a beautiful Nandavanam in Srirangam and with a basket in hand immersed himself in collecting flowers and making beautiful garlands for the Lord every day.
Ranganatha’s Special Standing darshan at Thiru Mandangudi
Having heard of the Lord accepting Thirumazhisai Azhvaar’s request to come out of the kingdom in Thiruvekka near Kanchipuram and provide a special Maaru Sayanam posture there on his return, and another special posture in Kumbakonam with his Uththana Sayanam as Aaravamuthan, Thondaradipodi was keen that he too be given a special darshan from his favourite Lord Ranganatha.
Ranganatha promised him to provide such a darshan but asked him to go to his birth place at Thiru Mandangudi. Unwillingly, he left Srirangam and reached Thiru Mandangudi. To his surprise, he saw Lord Rangantha waiting for him in a special and rare standing posture to provide darshan along with Sri and Bhoo devi.
As Lord Ranganatha surprised Thondaradi Podi Azhvaar with this special standing darshan at his very own birth place, he is referred to as ‘ Varam Tharum’ Perumal and is believed to accede to and grant sincere prayers of the devotees who visit this temple at Thiru Mandangudi.
Maaliruncholai Soundararajan and Tirupathi Balaji at Thiru Mandangudi
In a separate Sannidhi, Thondaradipodi Azhvaar is seen alongside Lords of two different Divya Desams – Tirupati Srinivasan and Thiru Maaliruncholai Soundararajan Perumal.
The story goes that both of them had heard of some beautiful early morning songs in praise of Ranganatha and wanted to listen to Thondaradipodi Azhvaar’s Thirupalli Ezhuchi and are believed to have made a trip to Thiru Mandangudi to be treated to those sweet ‘wake up’ verses of Thondaradipodi.
Thondaradipodi’s 55 verses in praise of Lord Ranganatha
Thondaradipodi Azhvaar was ever in thought of Lord Ranganatha and composed 55Pasurams – 10verses of Thiru Palli Yezhuchi and 45verses of Thiru Maalai. Acceding to Lord Ranganatha’s request of wanting to listen to the praise from his very own son, in his very first Paasuram, Thondaradipodi sang praise of the fame behind the Lord’s own name. One who listens to Thiru Maalai has a tendency to change dramatically for the good.
Refuses Vaikunta Moksham
Thondaradipodi refused Lord Ranganatha’s offer to go to SriVaikuntam and also refused the offer to go to the any other 14 logams (7+7 logams). Azhwaar just wanted his place in the third world – Srirangam. Nothing could move him out of here. He did not want to be denied the opportunity and the joy of singing praise of Lord Ranganatha.
Thondaradipodi Azhvaar says that he does not desire another birth for in the 100years that one is granted, half the time is spent sleeping. The balance time is wasted away in Childhood and adolescence (when we are clueless on what we do), disease and hunger and later old age.
வேத நூற் பிராயம் நூறு மனிசர் தாம் புகவ்றேய்ளும்
பாதியும் உறங்கப் போகும்
நின்றதிர் பதினை யாண்டு
பேதை பாலகன் அது ஆகும் பிணி பசி முப்பத் துன்பம்
ஆதலால் பிறவி வேண்டாம் அரங்க மா நகருளானே
Through his 10 verses of Thiru Palli Yezhuchi, Thondaradipodi Azhvaar praises the greatness of Lord Ranganatha and asks him to wake up now that the great rishis are waiting for him, with the elephant having arrived at the temple, with devotees thronging the temple very early in the morning for his darshan leaving no place even to stand- such is the devotion of everyone towards Lord Ranganatha.
அந்தரத்து அமரர்கள் கூடங்கள் இவையோ
அருந்துவா முனிவரும் மருதரும் இவரோ
இந்திரன் ஆணையும் தானும் வந்து இவனோ
எம்பெருமான் உன் கோயிலின் வாசல்
சுந்தரர் நேருக்க விச்சாதரர் நோக்க
இயக்கரும் மயங்கினர் திருவடி தொழுவான்
அந்தரம் பார் இடம் இல்ல மற்று இதுவோ
அரங்கத்தம்மா பள்ளி எழுந்தருளாயே
Prarthana Sthalam for Unmarried people
This is believed to be a prarthana sthalam for unmarried people. Those who perform Thirumanjana here and offer their sincere prayers are said to get married immediately.
KG Giri Bhattar is very special taking care of both the pooja formalities as well as the Madapalli. His versatile rendering of the relevant verses of the Prabhandham and his sincere devotion and performance of daily poojas for the Lord of Thiru Mandangudi is very impressive.
4day Pavitrotsavam in Aadi
Azhwar Utsavam on Margazhi Kettai – Lord Ranganatha and Thondaradi Podi Azhvaar together go on a procession to Koonanjeri for the only outside procession of the year.
Moolavar: Ranganatha East Facing Standing Posture with Sri and Bhoo Devi
Goddess : Ranganayaki Thaayar ( Separate Sannidhi)
Utsavar : Azhagiya Manavalan / Varan Tharum Perumal
Separate Sannidhi for Thondaradipodi Azhvaar who is seen facing South
Temple time: 7am-8pm
Contact: KG Giri Bhattar @ 90956 38765
How to reach
Thirumandangudi is on the Kumbakonam- Thiruvaikavur road west of Thiru Adhanur and Thiru Pulla Bhoothangudi Divya Desams and off Koonanjeri main Road.
Town Bus Numbers 30 and 12 ply every hour from Kumbakonam (Thiruvaikavur bound bus). One should get down at Koonanjeri and walk about 10minutes west to reach the temple
The temple is just under 10kms East of Kapisthalam Divya Desam
Mini buses from Papanasam (Adhanur bound)