Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Kasi Viswanathar||Ambal / Thayar:||Visalakshi|
|Timing:||to & to||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Tiruvisanallur||District:||Thanjavur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Kumbakonam (9 km)||Mayiladuthurai (30 km)|
|Tiruvarur (41 km)||Thanjavur (50 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
Tiruvisanallur is more famous for the Yoganandeeswarar Paadal Petra Sthalam temple, and for Sridhara Ayyaval, a saint to whom several spiritual miracles are attributed. The mutt started by him is also located close by.
One of the lesser known temples in this village is that of Kasi Viswanathar and Visalakshi Amman. At the time of our visit, we could not ascertain any sthala puranam here, since the priest was busy.
The temple must have been in a terrible state of maintenance – while the structure looks good, the prakaram and surrounding areas were filled with reeds and undergrowth. The gurukkal was supervising the cleaning of the temple premises, which itself is a very noble deed. This is the reason he was kept away except for a quick deeparadhanai, and is also why we did not persist with asking for the sthala puranam.
The temple is east-facing, but the entrance is from the south. There is no raja gopuram, only a welcome arch with a stucco image of Siva and Parvati on Rishabha vahanam. To the east, are a bali peetham and Nandi facing the moolavar. There are two smartly sculpted dwarapalakas outside the garbhagriham, in their separate niches. Amman has a typical south-facing shrine (which is actually the first thing one sees when entering from the southern entrance). The mandapam has railings, and access inside (to the ardha mandapam) is restricted to the gurukkal and those performing archanais.
Because of the design of the temple and the covered pathway from the entrance to the maha mandapam, only some of the garbhagriham koshtam deities are present – in this case Dakshinamurti, Lingodhbhavar and Durga. In the prakaram, there are separate shrines for Vinayakar, Murugan with his consorts, Chandikeswarar and Bhairavar.
There are also smaller mandapams on the west and east, but these are currently used for storage. At one time, they may have housed other deities, or the palanquin on which the deities would go in procession. There is also a Navagraham shrine with the nine deities laid out with enough spacing.
While not visible from inside, it is clear when viewed from the northern side of the prakaram, that the ardha mandapam’s roof has a vavvaal-nethi design. This is indicative, though not conclusive, that this could be a Chola temple from the 10th century.