Ishvara is God (Isha/eesha= master,lord; vara=great, supreme).But we have a large number of place names that end with the suffix of -Ishvara .The list includes Pandesvara, Manjesvara, Neelesvara, Rāmesvara, Lakshmesvara, Dharesvara, Murudesvara, Mahabalesvara etc. The names are obviously among the numerous epithets for the Lord Shiva, and especially for the temples dedicated to Shiva at various places but their application as place-names in various parts of South India may have evolved out of a different word origin.
Pandi and Manji
There is one interesting analogy between the two place names Pandeswara and Manjeswara. Apart from the fact that both of these places are on the coast, they carry the names of the country cargo boats (Pandi and Manji) that were popular in the past. It can be deduced that the Shiva (Iswara) temples in these two port towns were built by the cargo boat owners,and the 'Ishvara '(isha-avara? =divine temple) were built after the names of cargo boats!
Compare the place name Brahmāvara with Pandesvara or Manjesvara. Āvara (<.ār) is large yard and thus Brahmāvara is an open-yard or place dedicated to the Lord Brahma.
Similarly, the various 'Isha-avara'-s should have been originally the places or yards dedicated to Manjesha-, Pandesha, Murudesha- Rāmesha- etc.
A temple dedicated to Ishvara by the Pandya King, Pandesha must have been Pandeshavara. A temple dedicated to Manjesha should have been Manjeshavara.
However, It appears that the original 'Ishāvara' places were misinterpreted, reinterpreted or stylized later as -'Ishvara' and the places were referred to as 'Manjesvara' (alternate spellings: Manjeshvara or Manjeswara), 'Pandesvara' and so on instead of Manjeshavara, Pandeshavara etc..
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