(Last Updated on : 21-08-2010)
The inscriptions stamped over the temple walls emphasized the traditional importance of the Sri Rajagopala Perumal Temple. The place Manimangalam was associated with the fortunes of many of the ruling dynasties of ancient Tamil Nadu. The inscriptions stamped on the temple walls relate to many facts about the temple. The place of Manimangalam is famous for the war, which was fought between the Pallava king Narasimhavarman I of Kanchipuram and the Chalukyan ruler Pulikesin II of the ancient Karnataka area in the 7th century A.D., and Narasimhavarman I won the battle. Later, the Cholas and Pandyas ruled over this area as the Tamil inscriptions found here depicts. The historical researches relate that some of the inscriptions are more than a thousand years old. The main temples are the specimen of the superb architectural skill of the contemporary artists. The walls of the main sanctum and the mandapa of the Rajagopala Perumal temple are profusely studded with a very large number of ancient historical inscriptions which belong to these ages. These inscriptions provide an idea of the association of the kings of these dynasties with this temple. The inscriptions provide information about the benefactions made to the temple by the celebrated kings of the dynasty.
The inscriptions on this temple also point to an important facet related to the temple. The inscription provides a fascinating account of the numerous names by which Rajagopala Perumal was known during different times in the ancient days. He was known as Tiruvayppadi-Krishna Perumal, Srimad-Dvarapati, Vanduvaraapati Tiruvaykkulatt-azhvar and Vanduvaraapati Emberuman. The village of Manimangalam too was known by various names. It was once called Loka-mahadevi Chaturvedimangalam, Raja-chudamani Chaturvedimangalam, Grama-shikamani Chaturvedimangalam, Pandianai-irumadivenkanda-Chola Chaturvedimangalam, Ratnagrahara and Ratnagrama. The names chaturvedimangalam and agrahara are indicative of the fact that this village was donated by royalty to scholars learned in the Vedas and other sacred literary texts.
But in the present times the village, Manimangalam has shrunk in size and affluence. The village which was once so well-populated and prosperous has nothing left of its former magnificence and the Rajagopala Perumal and Vaikunthanatha temples which once enjoyed immense royal patronage now stand isolated with only a handful of people visiting them and very few festivals celebrated.