Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Ladan||Ambal / Thayar:||x|
|Timing:||to & to||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Narasingam||District:||Madurai|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Madurai (13 km)||Sivaganga (19 km)|
|Dindigul (60 km)||Virudhunagar (61 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
Locally known as the Ladan Koil, this is a cave-temple shrine for Murugan and Devasena, carved into the western face of the Anaimalai hills at Narasingam, near Othakadai, Madurai. The temple / shrine is located very close to the Yoga Narasimhar temple in Narasingam, and can be accessed via a path to the south, from the small mandapam outside the Narasimhar temple.
The site – which includes Jain beds and bas-relief sculptures of many tirthankaras – is of archaeological importance and is maintained by the ASI.
This simple structure consists of a single shrine, with three arched openings. In the middle, one can see Murugan seated in sukhasana, with his consort Devasena. The shrine was built in the early Pandya period from the 8th century. According to some sources, this is the site of the wedding of Murugan and Devasena, but there is no literary evidence to support this. On either side of the couple are sculptures of saints.
The main shrine itself is elevated by a few feet, and is accessible by stone steps with a balustrade, from either side of the shrine. The entire shrine has most, if not all, of the elements of a typical temple, such as upanam, kumudham, pilasters, adishtanam, garbhagriham, etc, although some of these are complete while some others remain unfinished.
The term Ladan is regarded in two ways. One is that it was the name of a Siddhar who lived in these parts. The other is that Ladan or Lathan is an ancient Tamil word (typically used in the Pandya and Chera region) which means a king.
Murugan is depicted with a Kannimalai on his head and channaveeram on his chest. Devasena is also depicted with an elaborate and intricate hairdo. There are bas-relief images of a peacock and a rooster herald, on the wall. There is also an inscription in Vattezhuthu, on the eastern side of the shrine. There are other Vattezhuthu and also Brahmi inscriptions on the hills.
According to the inscriptions here, the temple was renovated by Vattakurichi Thambiran Parivarajakar.
Other information for your visit
Adjacent to this temple is the famous Yoga Narasimhar temple, after which the place gets is name as Narasingam.
Very close by is a Jain site also maintained by the ASI, which is clearly signposted near the temple.
On the other end and other side of Yanaimalai, closer to the NH45 highway, is the village of Kodikulam, which has two important sites – the Veda Narayana temple (where the utsava murti of Srirangam was stored during the Islamic invasion), and Pillai Lokacharyar’s Tiruvarasu right next to it. Both are must visit places. There is also a Vinayakar temple which is considered the guardian of these two shrines.
The Kalamegha Perumal Divya Desam temple at Tirumohur is also less than 10km away.