Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Sankara Mutt||Ambal / Thayar:||–|
|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
The Sankara Mutt / Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham has branches in various places throughout India, and this is one of them. In fact, this is the adishthanam of Sri Sudarsana Mahadevendra Saraswati, the 65th pontiff / peetadhipati of the Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt, who led the mutt from 1851 to 1891.
The place is also the samadhi of the saint, who attained siddhi here. Later, the Nagarathar community built a temple on the saint’s samadhi, and installed a Siva Lingam there, to honour the saint.
The shrine for Siva itself is rather simple, featuring just a one room mandapam with a garbhagriham facing east. On the outer wall of the garbhagriham are bas relief murtis of Vinayakar and Murugan on either side, and a simple Siva Lingam inside. Outside is a Nandi and bali peetham.
Popularly known as Ilayathangudi Periyava, His Holiness Pujyasri Sudarsana Mahadevendra Saraswati Shankaracharya Swamiji was named Mahalingam, prior to his taking up sanyasa and his anointment as the 65th Sankaracharya of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, which he led between 1851 and 1891. He toured extensively and even went on pilgrimage up to Orissa, which is quite a feat considering the limited transport and infrastructure of the time. available touching the borders of Orissa.
Ilayathangudi Periyava’s purvashrama father was Sri Seshadri Sastrigal, and his purvashrama younger brother was Sri Ganapati Sastrigal who served the matham for over 50 years as its Sri Karyam, in the time of the 64th and 65th Sankaracharyas. The latter, ie Sri Ganapati Sastrigal was the purvashrama grandfather of Kanchi Maha Periyavaa. As a result, Ilayathangudi Periyava can be regarded as the uncle (once-removed) of Kanchi Periyavaa.
He was also known as “Laddu periyava”, as he was fond of feeding the students of the patasala with large laddus, and rewarding the them for eating the laddus!
Ilayathangudi Periyava is said to have been an avid horse rider, and was known for his Siva puja performed using vilvam. He was also renowned for the various annadanam initiatives he took up during his leadership of the matham. Interestingly, Ilayathangudi Periyava arranged for the upanayanam of M Visvesvaraya, the engineer credited with building the Krishna Raja Sagara dam in Karnataka.
Other information for your visit
Also refer the website of the Ilayathankudi Sri Maha Devendra Saraswathi Swamigal Trust (ISMDSST) for more information.
N. Sundaresan (managing trustee)
Ilayathankudi Sri Maha Devendra Saraswathi Swamigal Trust
920/2 North Second Street, Pudukottai 622001, Tamil Nadu.