Uttirakosamangai is an ancient Shivastalam, closely associated with Maanikkavacakar, one of the revered
saints in the Tamil Saivite tradition. Although it has not been revered by the hymns of
the Nayanmars, it has been addressed by the tamil hymns of
Manikkavacakar. Maanikkavacakar is the author of the celebrated
Tamil works Tiruvaacakam, Tiruvempaavai, Tiruppalliezhuchi, Sivapuraanam
Uttirakosamangai, Tiruvaadavur are shrines in the Pandya
Kingdom closely connected with the life of Maanikkavacakar.
Uttirakosamangai is located at a distance of 16 km south west of Ramanathapuram,
and it has been patronized by the royal family of Ramanathapuram. This
temple is rich in legend tradition and history.
Legend has it that
upon Parvati (Mangai)'s request, Shiva (Nayakar) recited the Vedas
and hence Uttarakosamangai. Subramanyar is said to have hidden himself in
the form of a bee, in her hair and overheard the conversation. An enraged Shiva's curse
turned Subramanya into a fish and Parvati into a
mermaid. Parvati as a mermaid was discovered in the sea in the Ramanathapuram
area by King Vikrama, who raised her as his own daughter. In the
meanwhile, Shiva came down in the guise of a fisherman, when Mangai reached adulthood,
absolved the fish of its curse, and sought Mangai's hand in marriage. (Tiruvilaiyaadal).
Deities: Shiva is referred to
as Mangalanaathar and as Kalyananayakan, and
Uttirakosamangai as Kalyanamangalam and Parvati as Kalyananayaki.
The Natarajar shrine here is of
great significance. The emerald Natarajar is kept covered with sandalpaste which is
removed only on the day of Margazhi Tiruvaadirai.
Tirukkalyanam is celebrated in the month of Chittirai. The Maargazhi festival and the
abhishekam to the emerald Natarajar are of great significance here.