Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Atmanathaswami||Ambal / Thayar:||Soundaranayaki|
|Timing:||to & to||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Ilayathangudi||District:||Sivaganga|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Karaikudi (25 km)||Pudukkottai (31 km)|
|Tiruchirappalli (82 km)||Madurai (83 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
This temple is often mistaken for the Avuidayar Koil Atmanathar temple, and sometimes misquoted as one of the 9 Nagarathar clan temples (which is actually the nearby Kailasanathar temple).
Though it is regarded as having originally been built 2-3 centuries ago, one is not certain about the exact age of this temple. The temple, however, has been rebuilt in the last few decades in contemporary style. Being a new temple, there is no sthala puranam as such.
The name “Ilayathangudi” comes from the sthala puranam of the Kailasanathar temple. In Tamil, ilaippu refers to tiredness, aattram is relief, and kudi refers to any place where people live. Because this is where the devas obtained relief from their tiredness, the place got the name Ilai-atram-kudi.
The temple’s architecture exhibits all the marks of contemporary Chettinadu temples, and is managed and administered by members of the Nagarathar community.
To the immediate east of the temple is a large temple tank, which serves this temple alone. The Pralaya Oorani serves the Kailasanathar temple and Adi Kesava Perumal temple.
The temple has a small raja gopuram adorned with simple figures, also featuring Vinayakar with his mount (the mouse) and Murugan with his peacock. There is no dhwajasthambam or bali peetham inside, and we are led straight to the maha mandapam.
Beautiful sculptures adorn the pillars in the maha mandapam. The garbhagriham and the Amman sannidhi are at a slightly elevated level. Just in front of the ardha mandapam are Vinayakar and Murugan on either side. Inside the antarala are Nandi and another fairly large Vinayakar, and the Siva Lingam.
The murtis in the koshtam are not actually inside the koshtam niches, but on small platforms that protrude out from the outer wall of the garbhagriham. The koshtam deities – Nardhana Vinayakar, Dakshinamurti, Lingodhbhavar, Brahma and Durga – are all there. In the prakaram, there is a separate shrine for Valampuri Vinayakar, Nagas, Murugan with Valli and Deivanani, Gajalakshmi, Chandikeswarar, Bhairavar, Suryan and Chandran, and a separate Navagraham shrine.
Other information for your visit
Please do read this Overview on Nagarathar heritage and temples, in connection with temples in the Chettinadu region.