The temple tower of Rajagopalaswamy temple, the most prominent destination in the town
|• Municipal Chairperson||SUDHA T|
|• Total||11.55 km2 (4.46 sq mi)|
|Elevation||6 m (20 ft)|
|• Density||5,300/km2 (14,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Vehicle registration||TN 50|
Mannargudi is a town in Tiruvarur district in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the headquarters of the Mannargudi Taluk. The town is located at a distance of 20 km (12 mi) from the district headquarters Tiruvarur and 310 km (190 mi) from the state capital Chennai. Mannargudi is known for the Rajagopalaswamy Temple, a prominent Hindu temple.
Mannargudi was founded as an agraharam village by the Medieval Cholas during the 11th century. After the fall of Cholas, the city was ruled by various dynasties like Vijayanagar Empire, Delhi Sultanate, Thanjavur Nayaks, Thanjavur Marathas and the British Empire. Mannargudi was a part of the erstwhile Tanjore district till India's independence in 1947 and Thanjavur district till 1991 and subsequently a part of the newly formed Tiruvarur district. The town is known for agriculture, metal working and weaving. The region around Mannargudi also has considerable mineral deposits.
Mannargudi is administered by Mannargudi municipality established in 1866. As of 2001, the municipality covered an area of 11.55 km2 (4.46 sq mi) and had a population of 61,478. Mannargudi comes under the Mannargudi assembly constituency which elects a member to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly once every five years and it is a part of the Thanjavur constituency which elects its Member of Parliament (MP) once in five years. Roadways are the major mode of transportation to Mannargudi and the town also has rail connectivity. The nearest seaport is Nagapattinam port, located 52 km (32 mi) away, while the nearest airport is the Tiruchirappalli International Airport, located 97 km (60 mi) away from the town.
Mannargudi was founded as an agraharam village, Rajadhiraja chaturvedimangalam, by the Medieval Chola king Rajadhiraja Chola (1018-1054 CE), who constructed the Jayamkondanatha and the Rajadhirajesvara Temples. The Rajagopalaswami Temple is believed to have been constructed by Kulothunga Chola I(1070-1125 CE), with bricks and mortar, indicated by various stone inscription found in the site. The place Mannargudi is termed Sri Rajathi Raja Chathurvedhi Mangalam and the town started to grow around the temple. Successive kings of the Chola empire, Rajaraja Chola III (1216-56 CE) and Rajendra Chola III (1246-79 CE), and Thanjavur Nayak king Achyuta Deva Raya (1529–1542 CE) expanded the temple. The temple contains inscriptions of the Hoysala kings and some Vijayanagara grants, and many records of the later Nayaks and Marathas. There are also the remains of a fort constructed by the Hoysalas and Hindu temples constructed by the Pandyas and the Hoysalas.
Mannargudi was conquered by the Delhi Sultanate in 1311 CE. Following brief periods of occupation by the Madurai Sultanate and the Hoysalas, Mannargudi became a part of the Vijayanagar Empire. After the decline of Vijayanagar Empire, Mannargudi was ruled by the Thanjavur Nayaks and the Thanjavur Marathas till its annexation by the British East India Company in 1799. The current temple structure, hall of 1000 pillars, main gopuram(temple gateway tower) and the big compound wall around the temple was built by the king Vijayaraghava Nayak(1532-1575 CE). Raghunathabhyudayam, a doctrine by Nayaks explains the donation of an armour studded with precious stones to the main deity of the temple by the king. It is believed that he erected the big tower in the front of temple so that he can view the Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple located in Srirangam, from the top of tower. Thanjavur Nayak king, Vijaya Raghava Nayak (1633–1673), also called "Mannaru dasan", carried out extensive renovations of the Rajagopalaswami temple complex and is credited by some to have reclaimed the land from the surrounding forest. Mannargudi was a part of the erstwhile Tanjore district till India's independence in 1947 and Thanjavur district till 1991 and subsequently a part of the newly formed Tiruvarur district.
Mannargudi is located at Pamaniyar River, a tributary of the Vettar and is covered with fertile soil conducive for rice cultivation. The topography is completely flat and is part of the fertile Cauvery Delta. Mannargudi is situated at a distance of 300 km (190 mi) from the state capital Chennai and 28 km (17 mi) from Tiruvarur, the district headquarters. The nearest airport is at Tiruchirappalli, 90 km (56 mi) away from Mannargudi. The nearest Seaport is at Nagappattinam, located 52 km (32 mi) from Mannargudi.. It has an average elevation of 6 m (20 ft). Mannargudi is situated on the
The period from November to February in Mannargudi is pleasant, with a climate full of warm days and cool nights. The onset of summer is from March, with the mercury reaching its peak by the end of May and June. The average temperatures range from 37 °C (99 °F) in January to 22.5 °C (72.5 °F) in May and June. Summer rains are sparse and the first monsoon, the South-West monsoon, sets in June and continues till September. North-East monsoon sets in October and continues till January. The rainfall during South-West monsoon period is much lower than that of North-East monsoon. North-East monsoon is beneficial to the district at large because of the heavy rainfall and the Western ghats feeding the river Cauvery. The average rainfall is 37 inches (940 mm), most of which is contributed by the North-East monsoon. The most common trees planted in the town are jack fruit, coconut, tamarind and palmirah.
Agriculture is the principal occupation of the people of Mannargudi. Mannargudi is also known its cloth weaving and metal industries. Being an agricultural town, Mannargudi's economy largely depends on the income from agriculture. The crops cultivated include paddy, cotton, sugarcane, and pulses like urad and mung bean. The agriculture around the town mainly depends on the rivers Koraiyaru, Mullaiyar and Pamaniyar, while the other sources of irrigation are bore-wells. There are no big industries around the town, while there are a few small scale industries like a sugarcane factory, a fertilizer industry named Pamani Fertilizers, a beer factory and a chemical factory at Vadaseri. There is a gas treatment and filling plant in Edayarnatham, in the outskirts of Mannargudi. A 107.8 MW Combined Cycle Power plant of Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) functions at Thirumakottai, a village 18 km (11 mi) away from Mannargudi.
Mannargudi town has one of the largest coal reserves in the country. The total quantity of lignite reserves in Mannargudi, Tamil Nadu identified is around 19,500 million tonnes. Exploration of coal bed methane in the area was not started until 2008. The commercial exploration of the coal bed methane reserves located under built up and agricultural areas became difficult with the protest of farmers in the region.
As of the census of India 2001, Mannargudi had a population of 61,478 comprising 30,564 males and 30,914 females, making the sex ratio (number of females per thousand males) of the town to 1,011. A total of 6,318 people were under six years of age and the child sex ratio (number of females per thousand males under six years of age) stood at 986. The town had an average literacy of 86.79%, higher than the national average of 59.5%. A total of 4,355 comprising 7.9% of the population belonged to Scheduled Castes (SC) and 716 comprising 1.3% of the population belonged to Scheduled tribes (ST). There were are total of 13,729 households in the town. As of 2001, Mannargudi had a total of 16,757 main workers: 515 cultivators, 1,122 agricultural labourers, 451 in house hold industries and 14,669 other workers. There was a total of 1,988 marginal workers: 57 marginal cultivators, 596 marginal agricultural labourers, 106 marginal workers in household industries and 1,229 other marginal workers.
As of 2008, a total 4.006 km2 (990 acres) (34.68%) of the land was used for residential, 0.314 km2 (78 acres) (2.72%) for commercial, 0.35 km2 (86 acres) (3.07%) for industrial, 4,136 km2 (1,022,000 acres) (35.81%) for public & semi public purposes including educational and open spaces. As of 2008, there were a total of 28 notified slums, with 12,275 comprising 19.97% of the total population residing in those.
The town was under the rule of Chola kings and has three prominent Hindu temples, namely, Iyagondanatha temple, Rajathi Rajeswara temple and Raja Gopalaswamy temple. Rajagopalaswamy temple is the most prominent landmark in Mannargudi. During the Tamil months of Panguni (March–April), the most prominent festival of the temple, namely, Pangunith Thirivuzha, is celebrated. Theppothsavam, the float festival, celebrated during the Tamil month Aani (June–July) and Adippooram, the chariot festival, celebrated during the Tamil month of Aadi (July-Aug) are other prominent festivals of the temple that attract visitors from nearby villages and towns to Mannargudi. Haridra Nadhi, the temple tank associated with the Rajagopalaswamy Temple, is one of the largest temple tanks in the state. Hindu pilgrims take a holy dip in the tank during festive occasions.
Mannargudi has four mosques, located at Theradi, Keela Raja Veethi, Big Bazar Street and Thamari Kuzlam Vada Karai. Mallinatha Swamy Temple is a Jain temple located in Mannargudi. Mallinathar is the 19th Tirthankara of the Jainism. This is an ancient temple built during the reign of the Chola dynasty in the twelfth century and is one of the prominent ancient Jain temples of Tamilnadu. Apart from the idol of Bhagawan Mallinathar, which is considered divine, there are idols of Dharma Devi, Saraswathi Devi, Padmavathy Devi, Jawalamalini Amman among others.
The town is also a centre for brass work and handloom weaving. The Vaduvoor Bird Sanctuary, located 12 km (7.5 mi) is a prominent visitor attraction for the people of Mannargudi. The Nayak kings of the 15th century were interested in music and it was promoted in the temples. Instruments like Mukhavina, Dande, Kombu, Chandravalaya, Bheri and Nagaswaram were commonly used in the temple service.
Administration and politics
|Vice Chairman||D. Varalakshmi|
|Member of Legislative Assembly||T. R. B. Rajaa|
|Member of Parliament||S.S. Palanimanickam|
The municipality of Mannargudi was established in 1866 during British rule and had twelve members. Till the early years of the 20th century, Mannargudi remained the smallest municipality in erswhile Tanjore district. As of 2008, the municipality covered an area of 11.55 km2 (4.46 sq mi) and has a total of 33 members. The functions of the municipality is devolved into six departments: General, Engineering, Revenue, Public Health, Town planning and the Computer Wing. All these departments are under the control of a Municipal Commissioner who is the supreme executive head. The legislative powers are vested in a body of 33 members, one each from the 33 wards. The legislative body is headed by an elected Chairperson assisted by a Deputy Chairperson. The municipality has allocated a budget of Rs. 8,751,164 for the year 2010-11.
Mannargudi comes under the Mannargudi State Assembly Constituency and it elects a member to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly once every five years. From the 1977 elections, the assembly seat was won by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) twice during the 1989 and 2011 elections, the Communist Party of India five times during the 1977, 1980, 1996, 2001 and 2006 elections and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) twice during the 1984 and 1991 elections. The current Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) of the constituency is T. R. B. Rajaa from DMK Party.
Mannargudi is a part of the Thanjavur Lok Sabha constituency and elects a member to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament of India, once every five years. The Lok Sabha seat has been held by the Indian National Congress for seven terms during 1951–56, 1957–62, 1962–1967, 1980–84, 1984–1989, 1989–91 and 1991–96 elections, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam for seven terms during 1967–71, 1971–77, 1996–98, 1998–99, 1999-04, 2004–09 and 2009 elections, and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam for one term during 1977–80 elections. R. Venkataraman, who served as the President of India from 1987 to 1992, was elected from the constituency durig the 1951 elections.
Education and utility services
There are 17 schools and three arts colleges in Mannargudi. The Findlay College (now known as the Findlay Higher Secondary School), founded by the Wesleyan Mission in 1845, is the oldest educational institution in Mannargudi. Originally started as a lower secondary school, the college was upgraded to a high school and a college in 1883. It was affiliated to the Madras University in 1898. There are two engineering college and two polytechnic college in the town. The Mannai Rajagopalaswami Government Arts College, founded in 1971, and the Sengamala Thayar Educational Trust Women's College are the two colleges in the town.
Electricity supply to Mannargudi is regulated and distributed by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB). The town along with its suburbs forms the Villupuram Electricity Distribution Circle. Historically, water supply to the town was provided from a 12-kilometre long channel dug from the Vadavar canal. Water supply is provided by the municipality of Mannargudi from groundwater through feeders located in various parts of the town. In the period 2010–2011, a total of 3.53 million litres of water was supplied everyday for households in the town. About 24 metric tonnes of solid waste are collected from Mannargudi every day by door-to-door collection and subsequently the source segregation and dumping is carried out by the sanitary department of the municipality. The coverage of solid waste management had an efficiency of 83% as of 2001. There is limited underground drainage system in the town and the major sewerage system for disposal of sullage is through septic tanks, open drains and public conveniences. The municipality maintains a total of 15 km (9.3 mi) of storm water drains and 35 km (22 mi) kutcha drains in Mannargudi. There are three hospitals, two maternity centres and eight private hospitals and clinics that take care of the health care needs of the citizens. There are a total of 2,609 street lamps in Mannargudi: 584 sodium lamps, 2,013 tube lights and five high mast beam lamp. The municipality operates four markets, namely vegetable market, weekly market, farmer's market (uzhavar santhai) and fish market that cater to the needs of the town and the rural areas around it.
The State Highway SH-63 connecting Thanjavur with Kodikkarai, SH-66 connecting Kumbakonam with Adirampattinam, SH-202 connecting the district headquarters Tiruvarur with Muthupet and SH-146 connecting Mannargudi with Sethubavachatram, are the major state highways connecting Mannargudi with other towns in the state. There are two major bus stands in the town, with the major bus stand having 19 bus bays and a TNSTC ticket reservation counter. The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation operates daily services connecting various cities to Mannargudi. The Corporation operates a computerised reservation centre in the bus stand of the town. The State Express Transport Corporation operates long distance buses connecting the town to important cities like Chennai and Bengaluru. The major inter city bus routes from the town are to cities and towns like Kumbakonam, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Karaikal, Muthupet, and Pattukottai.
Mannargudi is connected to Nidamangalam rail line by a branch line covering a distance of 18 km (11 mi). The expansion of the line to broad gauge was completed and opened to passenger traffic on 27 September 2011, with an express train to Chennai. The nearest railway junction to the town is Needamangalam Junction. There are daily passenger trains to Thanjavur and Mayiladuthurai and an express train each to Coimbatore and Chennai from Mannargudi. The nearest seaport is Nagapattinam port, located 52 km (32 mi) away, while the nearest airport is the Tiruchirappalli International Airport, located 97 km (60 mi) away from the town.
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