Shikanathar, Kudumiyanmalai, Pudukkottai

Basic information about the temple

Moolavar:ShikhanatharAmbal / Thayar:Akhilandeswari
Deity:Historical name:Tiru Nala Kundram

Age (years):


Timing:7 to 12 & 5 to 8.30Parikaram:

Temple group:
Sung by:

Temple set:



City / town:KudumiyanmalaiDistrict:Pudukottai
Maps from (click): Current location Pudukottai (20 km)Tiruchirappalli (52 km)

Thanjavur (82 km)Dindigul (92 km)


Sthala puranam and temple information

The priest of this temple was a staunch Siva devotee, and extremely committed to Siva worship and his daily duties at the temple. He was also in love with a girl, and the two would often meet at the temple. On one such occasion, the priest was lost in his conversation with the girl and so had forgotten to garland the Lord, when the king walked into the temple unannounced. Not knowing how to handle the situation, the priest took the flowers off the girl’s head, and used that to give to the king. When the king returned to the palace, he noticed strands of hair in the garland. The furious king summoned the priest to punish him, but the latter – to get out of trouble – said that it must have been Siva’s hair. Naturally this was not a believable story, but the king knew of the priest’s devotion, and so had his guards check the Siva Lingam – which indeed sported a tuft of hair (shikha in Sanskrit, kudumi in Tamil). Even today, devotees can ask to be shown the little tuft of hair on the Lingam.

On the hill (which is Kudumiyanmalai, named for the moolavar here), is a carving of the 63 Nayanmars with Siva and Parvati seated on Nandi. The unusual and astounding thing is, this carving is on a flat face of the rock, and quite high up, with no means of standing nearby to do the carving itself! This masterpiece can be clearly seen from the southern side of the outer prakaram of the main temple.

Though the temple is located in the Chola heartland, it is a Pallava temple, and one might even say it is the epitome of Pallava architecture. Some parts of the temple complex have been dated to as early as the 4th century. To the west of the main temple complex, is a separate area accessible through a gate. Inside this are:

  • On the left: a standalone mandapam;
  • On the right: a cave temple housing a Siva Lingam (called Melakovil by locals), dug 30 feet into the rock, with its own dwarapalakas sculpted on the walls. The dwarapalakas face north and south (instead of in the same direction as the moolavar), one of them smiling and the other one sporting an angry look. This shrine is called Tirumoolattanam.; and
  • In the middle: a tall mandapam with a rock panel inscription 14 feet in height, of a musical treatise, which mentions several ragams, etc (see end of this post, after the photo gallery).

The inscription is believed to be from the time of the king Parama Maheswaran, a disciple of Rudracharyar. (Previously, because of the language and script, it was believed to be from the time of Mahendravarman I, but this is now disproved.) The mandapam has a huge bee-hive, and the bees are believed to protect the structure from miscreants. There is also a 4-foot tall Vinayakar on one side of this mandapam.

Much of the structural temple, including the garbhagriham, are said to date back to the 12th century, and built by the Pallavas. There are subsequent renovations or additions up until the mid-13th century, by the Pandyas and the Vijayanagara Dynasty. While the main shrine houses the moolavar, Amman has a separate east-facing shrine to the north of the garbhagriham. Near the Amman shrine is a separate 24 pillar mandapam known as the Chokkattan mandapam, used for temple functions.

The temple is a treasure trove of architecture and sculptures, including many of Vishnu’s Dasavataram portrayed in the form of standalone carvings, in the Vasanta mandapam at the entrance of the temple. Inside the temple, the outer walls of the main shrine as well as pillars and other walls throughout the temple are filled with intricate and fascinating architecture. Outside the main gopuram is a separate mandapam, which appears to have been larger in earlier times, going by the four free-standing pillars next to it.

There are also inscriptions from that time, as well as from the Pandya and Chola periods. These in the temple include a 10th century inscription referring to the place as Tirunalakundram, a 14th century inscription referring to it as Shikhanallur, and a 17th or 18th century inscription calling the place, Kudumiyanmalai. Though the general belief is that Tirunalakundram probably refers to this being a beneficial place to visit (nala, நல – nalam), it is also believed that there could be a connection with Nala (நள) of Tirunallaru fame. Inscriptions also describe donations to the temple, taxes, punishments for various offences, and endowments for lighting lamps and feeding devotees (annadanam).

Other information for your visit

The temple is considered a Sani-sthalam. Also on the hill behind the temple are remnants of an ancient settlement of Jain monks.

The temple is an ASI site, and there is a small ASI office to the right, at the entrance of the temple. Typically the officers here are very helpful, and often, without their approval, one cannot access the Tirumoolattanam shrine and the musical treatise inscription.


Phone: 04322 221084; 98423 90416

Full text of inscription

Here is the full text of the inscription (in Sanskrit) of the musical treatise, in the mandapam to the rear of the temple.

Section I
मध्यमग्रामे चतुष्प्रहार स्वरागमा:

१ संनेपुंस  गिनेगिस नेधुनेस मुंपुंनेस
मिरगिस रुंगेंनुंसुं  सगिनेस नेगुंपेसुं
मिगनेस पेंमुंनेस  रमिगसे धुनेगिस
नेपुंनेस  पिमपिसे गधुनेस मुंनेपु

२ नपेंरुंगे  मिगरेग नेसरगि  धुनेरगि
सगिनेंगु  पेंमुंरगि  [मुं] पेंरुंगें गिसरगि
सनेरगि रुंगेंनुंगें  पिगरेग नेपुंरगि
सुंगेंरुंगें गरेमिग पिनेरगि सेरमिग ॥

३ पुंस [मुं] पें गिसनेपुं नेसनेपुं मनिमपि
धुनें [मुं] पें संमुंनेपुं  निमानिप रेगमुंपें
धुसु [ने] पुं  मिधनेपुं सधुनेंपु नेसंमुंपे
गुंपेंमुंपें सगिनेपुं नेधुनेपुं गिसमुंपें

४ नेंपुंधुने मुंसधुने रगिधुने गिसधुने
निमपनि नेसधुने मुंनेधुने समिधुने
मिगसेनु सेगमेनु गसेमुंने पुंसगुने
सनेधुन [मुं] गिधुने निमधेन पेसुंगिने

५ मुंसपेंमुं गिनेसमुं नेमिसमि सधुनेमुं
नेगिसमि मुंपेसमि रगिपेंमुं गिसंपेंमुं
धेंसनेमुं गसेपिम सुंगेंसुंमं  मिधुनेंमुं
रगिसेगुं नेसनेमुं निसेपिमं रुंमेंगुंमे

Section II
षड्जग्रामे चतुष्प्रहारस्वरागमाह्
६ सगिधेस सुंरुंगेंसुं  मिगधेस धेसेपेंसुं
गिनेधुसे पुंसधेस पेंनपेमुं सगिपेंसुं
सुमुंगिस पुंधुनेस नेरगिस धिनेपंस
रुंगेंधुंसें धिमगेंसुं सुपं [धेसु] नेपुंगिस

७ सुंरुंगेंरुं गेंधुसरें गिधगिर गसेगिर
पुंनेगिर धेसनेर धिगगेंरुं रधेगिर
धेसगिर पिसेगिर पुंगिधेरु न [पें] गिर
धुनेसिर नेपुंसेर धेरुंगिर गिरधेरुं

८ गुपेंरुंगें गिधेरगि सधेरगि धेमुंरगि
धेसुरगि सपेंरुंगें  मिरमिग धेगरागि
रुंगेंसुंगें पिसेरगि समिरगि धेगिरगि
धुसेमिग नेपुंरोग धिपसुंगें गपेसुगें

९ नेपुंरगि पुंधुनेपुं गिधु [नेपुं]  नपेंगुपें
मुंधेनपें रगिनेपुं गिरनेपुं नेसरपि
पुंसेनेपुं धेनगुंपें [संरं] गिपें पिरगुंपे
पसेगपि धुंसेगपि धेसगुंपें  गिसगंपें

१० धिनेपुंधे गपिगधे गिसनेधु [नेपुं] गिधे
गुंपेंनधे पिसेगधे सेगनेधु समिगधे
धुंसुंगेंधुं  पेंसुंन [धे] रगिपुंधे  पिरगिधे
सुंरुंगेंधुं गेंसुंगेंधुं सगिपुंधे मिर [गिधे]

११ नेगिधुने धुसेधुने गिपुंधुंने सपुंधुने
पुंगिधेन धेगिधेन गिधुसने र [धे] सने
पुंधुसेनु रेगसेनु गिसगिने गसेपुंने
पुं [नु] धुने गपिधेन पेंसगिने पिगधुने

१२ गुंनधेमुं सगि [धे] मुं गिधेसमि सेरगंमि
रुंमेंसुंमे गिसधेमुं  नेसधेमुं मरेगमि
गेंरुगुंमे  रुंगुंधेमुं गधुनेमुं मिगधेमुं
पिरेगमि मुंगिधेमुं रेगधेमुं सपुंधेमुं
समा [प्ता] [स्वरागमा:]

Section III
षाडवे चतुष्प्रहारस्वर [|] गमा:
१३ सधुनेस मुंधुनेस नेधुरसे मिनेधुस
रुंउंमेंसुं मेसुंपंस अमिपेमुं रिसधुसे
मुंनेधुसे रघुनेश धेमुंरिसं रिधेरिस
धेनरिसे मुंधेरसे सुरेंधुसे मिरधुसे

१४ रुंधेसरि धेनधेरुं मिरधेरुं सरिधेरुं
अमिधेर धुंसुंमेंरु मेंसुंमेंरु रिमधेरुं
नेधुसेर मुंधेसरि समुं [धे] रुं धिएमरे
धेनेसेरि धेरुंमिर मिरमेरुं रमिसेर

१५ मेंसुंरेंधुं सुंरुंनधे सधुनेधु रिममुंधे
सनेमुंधें  [रुं] मेंनेंधे मिरनेधु सेमुंनेधु
से [र] मुंधे नधेमुंध उमेंनधे मि [र] मुंधे
मुंधेनधे रिसनेधे नेमुंनेधु सधेमुंधे

१६ नेधुने [मुं]  रिधेनमुं मसेअगि धुसेअगि
धुनेउंमें [अ] सेअमि मेरुंउंमें धिमसेमुं
पधिएम [रे] सुएम धुनेउंमें धिसुएम
पुंधेनमुं नधेउंमे मिधुसेमुं धे [रुंउंमें ]

Section IV
साधारिते चतुष्प्रहारस्वरागमा:
१७ संपुंकेस  मुंधेपुंस धेपुंकेस रिसपें [सु]
कसिपेंस सुंरुंपेंस धेरुंपेंस रिधेपुंस
पुंधुकेस मेंरुंमेंसुं मिसेरसे रपुंकेस
मेंरंपेंसुं मिर [कु] से अमिरसे पुंधेर [सें]

१८ सेंपुंधेरु समेंसुंरें मिमेधुरे पुंधेसरि
उंमेंसुंरें धसिधेर धेरधेरु सधेसरि
पुंधेमिर धेपुंधेरु मिपुंधेरु सधेमिर
मिरसुंरें सुंरुंमेंरु धि [म] धेर धेंपुंसरि

१९ धेसंपुंधे पुंकेसधे सपुंसधे रिसपुंधे
सुंरुंसधे रिकेसधे मिरसेधु केसपुंधे
रपुंसेधु  केरि [प] धे मुसपुंधे धिरेपंधि
सेरपुंधे रुंधेपुंधे सधेपुंधे मिरपुंधे

२० पुंसधेमुं धेसधे [पुं] मएधिप  रिसधेपुं
संधेरुंपें रुंपेंरपि धेरुंधेपुं गएमपि
सपुंधेपुं धेसरुंपें उंमुंधेपुं धिपरेपुं
मि [रे] धेपुं केसधेपुं अमिरुंपें मुंस [धे]

२१ पुंसधेमुं  मिरसेमुं सेमुंअमि अमिसेमुं
सधेउंमें  रिसधेमुं पुंधे [स] मि धेपुं –
– [पि] एम सुरेधिम रेपुंधेमुं मि [सुं] धेमु
सुधसेम पुंके [से] मि मेसुंधेमुं  धि–[मु]

Section V
पञ्चमे चतुष्प्रहारखरागमा:
२२ पुंनेधुसे रपिमसे पिमुंपेंसुं ने [उं] मेसुं
रामिरसे धुनेमिस नेसपेंसुं रिसमेंसुं
सधेरिसं नेपुंरिस पुंसेरसे धिअमिसे
नरुंपेंसुं नेरमिसे धुरापि [से] मिअमें [सु]

२३ मुंपेंसरि नेमुंपेरुं सधुनेर पिमसेर
रुउंमेंरुं मधेनरि नेधुनेर पिरसेर
धेनपेरुं रिसमेरुं गपिमेरु पुंधुनेर
रनपेरुं धेन [में] रुं पिअमिरे स [उं] मेरुं

२४ पेसुंरमि रुंगेउमे मपिअमि नेरसेमुं
पिरपेंमुं पिमसेमुं नपेरुंमें रुंधउंमें
रुंपेसुंमे नषेउमे मिसेरमि नेपुंनेमुं
सरेअमि रसेरमि धुसेपिम पिरसेमुं

२५ धुनेसधे नधेपुंधे पिरमिधु नेपुंनेधु
रधुनेधु नेरिसधे मुपेमुंधे रिसरिधे
अमिरधे मुंपुंनेधु सेरमुंधे पिसनेधु
से [मुं] पुंधे रुंमेंसधे  रमिपुंधे धिनेमुंधे

२६ नेस्धेन उंमुंधेन रिसधुने रनेधुने
पुंरंधुने सुरिधेन पेमुंधेन मिरधुने
[र] मिधेन रिपुंधेन धेरुंधेन रुंउंमेंन
मुंपुंधेन धेरुंसने धिपुंधुने सरिधेन:

२७ [रु] एमपि मेंउंमेंपें रिसनेपुं रधुनेपुं
मपिरेपुं नेउंगुंपे रुंपेउंपें  धिएमपि
[र] मिउंपें रुंनगुंपें मिएमपि धेनरिपें
रिपुंनेपुं धेरुंनपे सुपमपि र [ने] मु [पें]

Section VI
कैशिकमध्यमे चतुष्प्रहारस्वरागमा:
२८  समुंकेस मुंधकसि  धेमुंकेस मिरमिसे
रि [स] केस सुंगेंधसि धेमुंकेस अमिकेस
धुंसेंरिस धैरिकेस रिसरेंसुं संधंकेस
सुंरुंकेस मिरकेस रमिकेस में [सि]–

२९ धिमसेर धेंरिसरि  रुंधेसरि सरिसुंरें
सकेसरि मुंधेमिर केसमिर मिकेसरि
धुकेसरि केसधेरु रिकेसरि धेरुसरि
संएंमरें रमिधेरुं रिधंमुंरुं सके–

३० धुकेसधे मि [सं] मुंधे मधिसेधु सेकुसेधु
केसमुंधे उंमुंसधे रिधेसधे सउंमुंधे
समुंसधे धिएमपि धेसमुंधे सुंधेसधे
धिरेमधि धेरुंसधे मुंकेसधे मधि–

३१ संमेंरुंमैं रिसधेमुं केसउंमें धुंरेंधुंमें
समुंधेमुं केसधेमुं धिमएम धुसेधुम
रुंमेधमें सधेरुंमें रिंकेसमुं धेकसिमुं
मधिरुंमें धुंमैरुंमें मिकेसमुं धे [स]–

Section VII
कैशिके चतुष्प्रहार [स्व] रागमा:
३२ सउंमेंसुं   रिकेरिस धेमुंधेस मुंकेरिस
रिधुकेस धुकेरिस केसधुसे अमिकेस
रुंमेंधसि  मेंधमेंसुं सिंधमेंसुं सकेरिस
केसरिस उंमंधेस धिसुंमेंसुं क [मि] —

३३ मुंधेमिर  पिसेमिर मेंउंमेंरुं अमिमरे
मिरमेंरुं सकेमिर सुमेपरु धेपुंसरि
उंमुंकेर मिअधिर अपिसेर पेरुंधेर
केरसेर मिसेधिर सुंपेंसुं [रं] म [पि] —

३४ [सुं] रुंमेंउं   सिधमेंउं मेंधगेंउं मिअकेउं
मपिमए धुसमि [अ] धि [मके] उं धेरुंमेंउं
रसेमिअ कुंसेमिअ मिअमेंउं मेंरुंमेंउं
रपमए रुंउंमेंउं मस– —–

३५ सेकुंसेमुं रपेंउमें [सुरेंसूं] में पिएषिम
सेमपें [मुं] रपेंउंमें  पिरे [अ] मि रुंधसुंमें
उंमेंरुंमें  सरिपेंमुं धिपएग एमपिग
उंमुं [धेमु] रिधेरुंमें  अपिए- —-

३६ समिरधे रुंकेसंधे  मिअमि [धि]    [पे] मुंरधे
रुं [में] रधे   मिअ [प] धु   [रस] रिधे   रमिरधे
रुंउंमेंध  सिधेसुंधे  अपिमधि धेमुंस [ध]
[पु] एमधि  धेपुंगधि  —-    —–

३७ केरसे [कु]   समुंसके   सुंरुंसके  रिधुसके
सुंरुं [मं] कु    रमिसके रिकसेके एमसेकु
मधिसेकु धिमसेकु  [से] अमिके  धुरसेकु
सधु [सके]    मिरसे [क]   —-   —–

३८ धु [कें] सपुं    [के] समुंपें    सरिमुंपें   रसिरुपें
मुं [कें] समुं     [के] सउंपें     सम [ए] पुं   रिकेसपुं
सधेसपुं मिधुरेपुं    [के[ सरुंपें  मुंपेंरपि
सेकुंसेपुं मिसेमपि   —–     —–

श्रीरुद्राचार्य्य शिष्येण परम-
माहेश्वरेण रा [ज्ञा] शिष्य-
हितार्त्तः क्रता: स्वरागमा:

Please do leave a comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s