today afternoon I happened to visit Kanchi and also fulfilled my desire of visiting the Kanchi Mahaswami Satabdhi Manimantapam lovingly built by pudu periyava and bala periyava in memory of paramacharya.
How to reach:
Oruirukkai is about 5 kms away from Kanchi as a continuation of the kamarajar salai in Kanchi. .When you reach the village look for the board on the right as in the photo below
A short ride brings you to the Mani mandapam
The kumbabishekam was performed on 28/1/2011 and it is a beautiful structure being built in the dravidian style with granite on the banks of the Palar river.
History of oruirukai
The place is connected to Thirumazisai alwar and the gurubhakthi of his shishya which forced even the lord to leave Thiruvika and spend a night at this place thus giving the name oru iravu irukkai! what a fitting tribute of gurubhakthi which is reminded to all by this act of both periyavas’s towards their guru the Paramacharya!!
here is a synopsis from the manimandapam website
The legend is a moving one.Thirumazhisai Alwar who worshipped the Lord of Thiruvekka majestically reclining on his serpentine bed,was cared for by a couple.When the son Kanikannan was born to them,he became the Alwar's steadfast devotee.One day when Kanikannan saw a woman frail and bent with age,sweeping the temple premises offering worship to the Lord,he was moved.He stroked her hunched back in appreciation.The power of his guru surged into him and the woman regained her youth and was able to continue offering worship to the Lord with fresh vigour.The king of the period who greedily desired his youth restored to him requested Kanikannan to do so.But the youngman refused outright which enraged the king and he banished Kanikannan from his kingdom.The Alwar prepared to go with him and asked Lord Thiruvekka also to come too,as he could not live without Him. The Lord rolled up his serpentine bed and obediently followed the Alwar and Kanikannan. The three travelled some distance way from Kancheepuram on the northern bank of the Paalaar river and stayed the night there.But,with the Lord's departure,the town was plunged in darkness and disorder.The ruler realized his mistake and rushed to the trio,seeking their forgiveness.The Lord returned to Kanchi with his devotees.
The place where he stayed overnight came to be known as Oriravu irukkai,which later got shortened to Orirukkai. This village deity is appropriately called 'Yatoktakari'/ 'Sonnavannam cheitha'Perumal. The Utsavar comes out once in a year to the street in this village where a Vinayaka temple exists - now at the entrance to the site of the Satabdhi ManiMantapam from the Northern side.
The temple contains a large prahara Mandapam with two halls and a sanctum with a huge idol of Mahaperiyava in a rudraksha mandabam .The walls have exquisite carvings in granite and the sculptures are breathtaking, especially the acharya parampara, the Pradosha thandavam, the navagraha with stone chains hanging from the roof and so On.
( view from the main entrance)
(Prahara mandapam from the sanctum)
Entrance to the side mandapams in the prahara
(Pradosha thandavam fresco)
( guru parampara fresco in stonewith Mahaperiyava below above him is adisankara and Mahvishnu at the top with other sages around )
( navagrahas with the stone chains hanging from the roof all from a single stone!!)
almost all figures and panels are sculpted from a single stone
( a lion with a free rolling ball inside the mouth see the pic below)
( the ref drawing used to sculpt the elephants all from a single block of granite)
Umtimatly it was a wonderful experience to see the gurubhakthi shown by our present periyavas.
ref: manimandapam web site