Sri Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar temple lies in the heart of Pondicherry.
The temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Ganesha.
Manakula Vinayagar Temple was is existence before the French came and settled in Pondicherry, the temple is more than 500 years old.
The Manakula Vinayagar Temple seems to be the only temple in the French occupied White Town.
According to Sasthra, Lord GANESHA is named in 16 types based on his various forms, 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, earlierly it is said that the pond was filled with sand.
So the people called the god as Manal Kulathu Vinayagar [means Ganesha near the pond of sand].
Later people lovingly named as MANAKULA VINAYAGAR.
The temple has a rich mythology associated with it and it is believed that during the French rule, attempts had been made to remove the temple from where it stands!
The Frenchmen threw the idol into the sea in order to demolish the temple.
Every time the idol was thrown into the sea, surprisingly the idol used to reappear where it stood,
This had continued many times, after which the Frenchmen finally gave up.
The temple today stands over the pond and amazingly the stage in which God is placed has a well underneath.
This well still springs freshwater, though its few metres away from the sea!
The monumental interiors of the temple are decorated with forty incarnations and forms of Lord Ganesha, carved on the stone walls of the temple.
The golden spire forms the superstructure of the temple and is the steeple that crowns the place of worship.
An ancient story associated with the temple states that almost 300 years ago, a saint named Thollaikkathu Siddhar attained samadhi in the premises of this pious site.
Since then, it is believed that bringing newborn babies to this shrine before taking them to any other shrine is auspicious.
Devotees and tourists come here from all corners of the country to seek blessings of the deity and to admire the splendour of this prominent place of worship