In search of imprints of Buddhism: Manambadi

Among others P.R.Srinivasan (1960) and Sivaramalingam (1997) discussed about the Buddha statue found in Manambadi. French Institute of Pondicherry has in its collection the photograph of Manambadi Buddha. ) There is reference in Tamil Nattu Varalaru: Chola Peruvendar Kaalam (1998) published by Government of Tamil Nadu. During my first field visit the statue which was found in neglected condition is now in worship. 

APRIL 1995
When I had discussion with scholars and friends many of them informed me of the Buddha found in Manambdi which was near Tiruppanandal. During my tete-a-tete with historian Mr Kumbakonam Sethuraman he talked about   the inscription found in Kumbakonam Kumbeswarar Temple which speaks about the Buddha temple in Elanthurai and hinted about Manambadi Buddha. I waited for a suitable date to see the Buddha.

After three years I had a chance of visiting Manambadi. My elder son Mr Bharath accompanied me.  After searching the relevant sources on Buddha temple in Elanthurai, we went to Perunjeri and then arrived Kumbakonam. Before leaving for Thanjavur while I thought of any other Buddha statues found in the area, Manambadi Buddha came to my mind. My son also wanted to see the Buddha. We reached Manambadi, by Kumabkonam-Pandanallur bus, which was near Cholapuram. I gave  my camera to him. He started photographing the Buddha. While I informed him that the Buddha photographed by him would find a place in my Ph.D., Thesis, he felt very happy. After taking notes about the Buddha we started from Manambadi.

Manambadi Buddha (1998), Photograph: J.Bharath
Of the Buddha statues found in the Chola country, this Buddha was very beautiful. Among the bushes the Buddha was found in a neglected condition. The Buddha was in sitting dhyana posture. 

MAY 2002
On Buddha Poornima (26.5.2002) the place in which the Buddha was found cleaned by the local people and special pujas were held to the Buddha. 

On Buddha Poornima, Courtesy: The Hindu, 31.5.2002 (In this newsitem the information given by me about the Buddha was found)

At attempt to steal the statue was foiled in Keeranur in Pudukottai district and the statue was returned to Manambadi. Once again pujas were conducted to the Buddha by the local people. 

JULY 2007
Through subsequent field visits it was found that the place was properly maintained for some time. Proper fencing was done and the Buddha was found exhibited. Thus the place also got a facelift.

Manambadi Buddha, Courtesy: Dinamalar, 16.7.2007

MARCH 2010
After covering Kutthalam, Perunjeri, Pandanallur and Chickanayakkanpettai I had a chance of going to Manambadi. After getting down from the bus I was shocked. The Buddha was not found there. I started searching the Buddha in and around the area and also near the bushes. No trace of Buddha was found there. The local people who noticed me asked me about my search. I informed them about my search of Buddha and also my research on Buddha. They informed me that there were some attempts to steal the Buddha and felt sorry. They said that in order to keep the statue in good condition and shape they placed the Buddha in the Vadabadra Kaliamman temple. I felt very happy on seeing the Buddha in the temple. The statue which was in neglected condition got a suitable place, courtesy the locals. The attempts made by the locals and some private organizations to save the Buddha statue was laudable.  

I express my thanks to Mr Martin of Star Manithaneya Sangamam, Mr Navanith Sethya of Valkkai 2000, NSS Cadets of Govt Women's College and the people of Manambadi.
Symbolic of Harmony, The Hindu, 31.5.2002 
The stolen Buddha statue near Kumbakonam was recovered, Dina Thanthi, Tamil Daily,  4.1.2005
Appeal to protect the Buddha found at Manambadi near Kumbakonam, Dinamalar, Tamil Daily, 16.7.2007

பௌத்த சுவட்டைத் தேடி: மானம்பாடி
முதன்முதலாக மானம்பாடியில் நான் பார்த்த புத்தர் சிலை பராமரிப்பின்றி இருந்தது. தற்போது அச்சிலை அருகிலுள்ள அம்மன் கோயிலில் வைக்கப்பட்டு வழிபாடு நடத்தப்படுகிறது. களப்பணியில் தொடர்ந்து பார்த்துக்கொண்டிருக்கும் இந்த புத்தரைப் பார்த்த அனுபவம் பற்றிய தமிழ் வடிவம் இம்மாதம் 1ஆம் தேதி வெளியாகியுள்ளது. 

Here he is happy, hereafter he is happy. In both states the well-doer is happy. "Good have I done" (thinking thus), he is happy. Furthermore, is he happy, having gone to a blissful state.  - The Dhammapada 18

Sumana, the youngest daughter of Anathapindika, the chief supporter of Buddha, lying on her death-bed, addressed her father as "younger brother" and passed away peacefully. The father was grieved to hear his devout daugter utter such incoherent words at the moment of death. When he mentioned this matter to the Buddha He explained that she addressed him thus because she had attained the second stage of Sainthood-Sakdagami (Once-Returner) while the father had attained only the first stage Sotapatti (Stream-Winner).
(The Dhammapada, Narada Thera, The Corporate Body of the Buddha Educational Foundation, Taiwan, ROC, 1993)


  1. The attempts made by the locals and some private organizations to save the Buddha statue is to be appreciated. If all people are like this people, a lot of statues and inscriptions may be saved/

    1. In many places, during my field study, I have seen such kind of people and organizations. Their services are to be appreciated.

  2. // If all people are like this people,
    a lot of statues and inscriptions may be saved.. //

    Yes.. True!..

  3. தங்கள் முயற்சியால் புத்தர் சிலை பராமரிப்புக்குள்ளாகியதை நினைத்து வாழ்த்துகிறேன்./ அ.கலைமணி

    1. தங்களின் வருகைக்கும் வாழ்த்துக்கும் நன்றி.

  4. நன்றி அய்யா

  5. அன்பு நண்பரே தாங்கள் எப்பொழுது கொச்சின் வருவதாக இருந்தால் தகவல் தாருங்கள்.தங்களுக்கு வேண்டிய உதவிகளையும் மனமுவந்து செய்து தருகிறேன்.
    வாழ்க வளமுடன்
    கொச்சின் தேவதாஸ்
    எனது மெயில்

  6. வரும்போது தெரிவிப்பேன். தங்களின் அன்புக்கு நன்றி.


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