Kailasanathar, Ilayathangudi, Sivaganga

Basic information about the temple

Moolavar:KailasanatharAmbal / Thayar:Nithya Kalyani
Deity:SivaHistorical name:
Vriksham:Teertham:Pralaya Oorani

Age (years):

Timing:6 to 12 & 4.30 to 7.30Parikaram:

Temple group:
Sung by:

6, 12, 4.30, 7.30

Temple set:

Nagarathar 9 temples



City / town:IlayathangudiDistrict:Sivaganga
Maps from (click): Current location Karaikudi (25 km)Pudukkottai (32 km)

Tiruchirappalli (82 km)Madurai (83 km)


Sthala puranam and temple information

Once, in the celestial world, there was a lot of warring between the devas and the asuras. Afraid that the asuras were gaining strength, the devas sought to escape, and came to Bhulokam – specifically this place – to get some relief. They arrived here in an extremely tired state but found the peace of mind they were seeking. They immediately sculpted a Siva Lingam out of sand and worshipped it. Instantly, their tiredness vanished, and Siva helped them vanquish the asuras.

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 name of the place – Ilayathangudi – is a corruption of the original Ilaiyatrangudi, which is directly connected to the temple’s sthala puranam.

The temple dates back to the 7th century, when this region was ruled by the Pandyas. A few decades later, several of the Nagarathars moved here from Poompuhar and Chidambaram in the Chola region. The Pandya king of the time recognised them, and offered both the village and the temple to them. As a result, this was the first of the 9 Nagarathar temples of prominence, which were taken over by the community in the early 8th century, sometime between 707 and 718 CE. The community would later go on to spread their presence across the region, establishing eight other key temples, which together with this temple, today constitute the set of 9 main Nagarathar temples.

There are seven sub-sects (pirivu) of the Nagarathar community who are connected with this temple: Pattinasamiyar, Okkoorudaiyar, Perumarudurudaiyar, Kalanivasaludaiyar, Kinginikurudaiyar, Perasendurudaiyar and Sirusethurudaiyar. The Nagarathar community observes a tradition called the Pillaiyar Nonbu, which honours one of the members of the Pattina Samiyar clan who sacrificed himself for the benefit of the entire community.

At one time, Ilayathangudi is believed to have had nine temples, with nine separate Teerthams, each with its own Vinayakar by the banks of the Teerthams.

The moolavar Lingam here is not original to this temple. It is said that several centuries ago, a Lingam was found in the agricultural fields in Thanjavur, then under Chola rule (as was this place). At that time, the Lingam was brought and installed here at this temple.

At the entrance to the temple itself, are shrines for Siva and Parvati as Arasa Mangalanathar and Mangaleswari. The gopuram of the temple features beautiful stucco art depicting scenes from some of Vishnu’s Dasavataram.

The temple is a prarthana sthalam for those seeking to get married, and devotees worship Kailasanathar and Kailasa Vinayakar (whose shrine is located by the temple tank) to this end. This is also a popular place for those in the region, to celebrate their 60th and 80th birthdays (sashtiabdhapoorthi and sadabhishekam), which functions are usually conducted in the temple’s maha mandapam.

Other information for your visits

Please do read this Overview on Nagarathar heritage and temples, in connection with temples in the Chettinadu region.

Very close to the temple are:


Phone: 04577-265221

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