Located 15kms from Mannargudi on the Thiruthuraipoondi road is the Varadaraja Perumal temple in Rayanallur. It is believed that the RAYAS of Vijayanagaram established theses villages in the Thanjavur area and built Siva, Vishnu and village deity temples and made the villages self sustaining. Nallur means “nalla oor” populated by the Brahmins. Hence the name Rayanallur. These vigrahams are therefore estimated to be about 800 years old. The temple is located in one acre of land registered in the name of Varadaraja Perumal.
There was a long agraharam on the eastern side of the temple occupied at one time by Vaishnavas and Smarthas. Brahmins from Andhra used to take care of the ‘bajanai mandabam’ at the Eastern end of the Agraharam.
During the last century, it appears that the original temple had become dilapidated and with no money to rebuild, the vigrahams were initially located under a thatched shed and worshipped for some years. Around 60 to 70 years ago, with further migration of brahmin families to the cities, this worship also stopped and the vigrahams moved back to the original temple site and left as it is. Some ten or fifteen years ago, the moolavar vigraham as well as the vigraham of Sri Garudan was found in an anthill inside the ruined temple. After multiple attempts a completely new temple was built on the same location as the earlier temple – construction started in 2013 and was completed in 2014. Now the renovated temple has Varadaraja Perumal with Sridevi and Bhu Devi as moolavar, a newly created anjaneyar sannidhi, chakratazhwar sannidhi and lakshmi Narasimhar, Lakshmi hayagreevar, lakshmi varahar vigrahams on the sannidhi walls. Recently Ramar, seetha vigrahams have also been brought.
A portion of the temple land is occupied illegally preventing a thorough search for a thayar vigraham which some believe will be located once the illegal occupants are evacuated and the land is checked. It is a also learnt that the temple had ramar and anjaneyar vigrahams that were moved to the neighboring Vilakkudi and Adichyapuram villages respectively for safe keeping a few decades ago where they still reside.
The Rayanallur temple is run as per the Pancharathra Agamas and has uthsavar tirumanjanams for the pancha parvams and moolavar tirumanjanams for Hastha star. The temple is open 7 A.M. to 11 AM and 4 PM to 8 PM everyday. The temple priest can be reached on +91 72990 74482.