Manakula Vinayagar Temple (Tamil: மணக்குள விநாயகர் கோவில்) is a Hindu temple in the Union Territory of Puducherry, India. Dedicated to the god Ganesa, it is a popular pilgrimage site and tourist destination in Puducherry. The temple is of considerable antiquity and predates French occupation of the territory. During the tenure of Dupleix, there were attempts to destroy the temple but the temple was finally spared owing to strong protests from the Hindu population and the threat of British and Maratha invasion of the territory.
Manakula Vinayagar Temple was in existence before the French came and settled in Pondicherry i.e. before 1666. According to mythology, Lord GANESHA is named in 16 types based on his various forms out which this god facing the east coast near Bay of Bengal it has been named as Bhuvaneshar Ganapathy, now called as Manakula Vinayagar.
In Tamil ‘Manal’ means sand and ‘Kulam’ means pond near the sea, earlierly which was full of sand around pond. So the people called the god as Manal Kulathu Vinayagar [means God near the pond of sand]. Later it is named as MANAKULA VINAYAGAR.
The Manakula Vinayagar Temple is one of the famous ancient temple is in Puducherry, a Union Territory situated in the southern part of Indian sub-continent. The temple is 400 meters West of Bay of Bengal Sea, 165 km South of Chennai (Capital of Tamil Nadu State), 23 km of North of Cuddalore and 35 km East of Viluppuram, Tamil Nadu. The main deity “Manakula Vinayagar” (Pranavamurthy) of this temple is facing east and the temple is bordered on east by Orlean Street (Now Manakula Vinayagar Koil Street), south by Jawaharlal Nehru Street, north by Law-de-Louristhon street and west by a canal running north-south.
Morning 5.45 am to 12.30 pm Evening 4.00 pm to 09.30 pm Timings are subject to change during Festival days and Holidays.