Manakanchara Nayanar was a Nayanar saint, and he is considered as one among the 63 Nayanars. He was a staunch devotee of Lord Shiva. It is believed that he lived in the 8th century AD.
Manakanchara Nayanar was born in Kancharur, in Tamil Nadu. He served Lord Shiva and his devotees in a good manner. He was the army chief of the chola kingdom. Manakanchara was a brave and sincere person and won in several battles due to the grace of Lord Shiva. He conducted regular worship in shiva temples and donated clothes and food to the poor and the devotees of Lord Shiva.
He was blessed with a beautiful and dutiful daughter by the name Punniya Vardhini. She was sincerely devoted to Lord Shiva from her young age. As she grew up, her family members arranged her marriage to Eyarkon Kalikkama Nayanar, who was also an army chief of the Chola kingdom. He was also a sincere devotee similar to his father in law Manakanchara Nayanar.
On the day of the Punniya Vardhini’s wedding, Lord Shiva transformed himself as a shaivite saint and wore sacred thread made of human hair called as panchavati. Manakanchara Nayanar attended to him with great respect. The saint (Lord Shiva) had blessed him and his daughter, and asked to donate her long hair to him in order for making his panchavati. Immediately, Manakanchara Nayanar removed the hair of his daughter and given it to the saint. Nobody will be interested in removing their daughter’s hair and that too at the time of her wedding. Such a holy and a pious Nayanar he is. And his daughter was very pious and a good girl who had sacrificed her hair with much pleasure in her mind, and she didn’t thought about her marriage life. The saint was vanished from that place, and Lord Shiva along with his consort Parvati appeared before the family of Manakanchara Nayanar, and blessed them for a prosperous life.
Due to the grace of Lord Shiva, the bride's hair was also grown within few seconds. His son in law Kalikkama Nayanar had arrived at that wedding place and got to know about the divine incidents. Kalikkama was over joyed and married Punniya Vardhina and lived a long life with the blessings of Lord Shiva.
The temple of Sri Panchavateeswarar, highlights the appearance of Lord Shiva and his blessings to Manakanchara Nayanar. It is located in Nagapattinam district, Tamil Nadu. Manakanchara Nayanar is worshipped in the Tamil month of Margazhi, and he is also worshipped as one among the 63 Nayanars.
Manakanchara Nayanar and his son in law Kalikkama were ardent devotees of Lord Shiva and done services to the god as well as to his devotees. But of them were very brave and contained wisdom, knowledge and courage. They spent their entire life towards devoting Lord Shiva by singing songs on him and reciting his various names and slokas and lived a simple and a noble life. They were very humble and soft spoken persons, who never allowed themselves luxuries and comforts in their life.
Let us worship the nayanmars and be blessed.
“OM SREE MANAKANCHARA NAYANMARE NAMAHA”
“OM SREE PUNNIYA VARDHINI DEVIYE NAMAHA”
“OM SREE KALIKKAMARE NAMAHA”