Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Azhagiya Soleeswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Shenbagavalli|
|Agamam:||Age (years):||Timing:||7 to 12 & 4 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Chokkalingapuram||District:||Madurai|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Karaikudi (54 km)||Madurai (54 km)|
|Pudukkottai (60 km)||Dindigul (61 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
Despite its relatively prominent location and being sandwiched between the Madurai and Sivaganga districts, very little is known about the history of this later-Pandya period temple.
The temple was renovated a few years ago, due to patronage by the locals, particularly Nagarathars, seems to have been taken care of rather well. We also gathered that there were a reasonable number of locals and outsiders visiting the temple on a regular basis.
The structural temple dates back to the time of what are considered the Imperial Pandyas (13th and 14th century), and this temple is believed to be constructed by either Maravarman Kulasekara Pandyan I or Sundara Pandya IV.
The temple itself is located on what used to be an important trade route connecting the eastern seaport of Thondi with its west-coast twin at Muziris.
The murtis in the temple are a mix of old and new, but are so well kept that they appear to be recently crafted. Of particular note amongst these, are the murtis of Bhikshatanar and the two Nandis (one next to the bali peetham, and one in front of Siva in the garbhagriham). Amman has a separate shrine near the maha mandapam.
The temple has a dhwajasthambam, bali peetham and Nandi mandapam at the entrance, just before the maha mandapam. To the right is the shrine for Natarajar with Sivakami Amman, and at the entrance to the garbhagriham are Vinayakar and Murugan. The usual koshtam murtis of Vinayakar, Dakshinamurti, Lingodhbhavar, Brahma and Durga are present, and there are separate shrines for parivara deities – Vinayakar, Murugan with his consorts, Chandikeswarar, Navagraham, Bhairavar, Suryan and Chandran.
As this temple borders the Chettinad region, and as we enter that area, we start seeing strong indications of the prominence in worship given to Bhairavar. Suryan and Chandran are also generally present in most temples here.
Other information for your visit
Regular puja takes place twice a day, but, the timing of when the priest comes to the temple, is uncertain. However, across the road from the temple is a flower seller who is able to arrange for the massive key to get the temple opened, during normal temple timings.
Please do read this Overview on Nagarathar heritage and temples, in connection with temples in the Chettinadu region.