Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Chozheeswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Thampiratti|
|Timing:||to & to||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Aralikottai||District:||Sivaganga|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Karaikudi (34 km)||Pudukkottai (60 km)|
|Madurai (60 km)||Sivaganga (64 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
As is the case with many smaller temples in this region, not much – if anything – is known about the history of this temple.
Worse still is the fact that the designated priest who is supposed to perform puja once a day, does not arrive on time, or at all.
The temple is managed by a poor but pious caretaker and his family, who showed us around.
Going by the inscriptions belonging to the temple, and according to the Devasthanam’s information, this temple was built around 1020 CE, ie in the reign of Rajendra Chola I, and was in active use till about 1190 CE, during which time the Cholas ruled over the region. Later, the temple was renovated under the Pandya rule in the region.
During the time of our visit (December 2021), the temple was undergoing a complete renovation and makeover, undertaken by the Sivaganga Samasthanam Devasthanam.
The new raja gopuram is under construction. There is no dhwajasthambam or bali peetham here. A lone Nandi without a mandapam stands just outside the maha mandapam, facing Choleeswarar. Beyond the maha mandapam is the ardha madapam, where to the right is the south-facing shrine of Thampiratti Amman – an unusual name, which means one’s friend!
In the koshtam are Vinayakar, Dakshinamurti, Lingodhbhavar, Brahma and Durga. In the prakaram, there are shrines for Vinayakar, Krishna, Murugan, Chandikeswarar and Bhairavar. There is a separate Navagraham shrine, and one for Raja Ganapati.
The architecture of the pillars, vimanam and the parivara devata shrines are not new, but are not extremely old either. They are possibly about 80-100 years in age.
Most, if not all, of the murtis are new, though in one corner of the ardha mandapam, some of the older murtis are kept. These are damaged, and would need to undergo the proper process of burying them in the ground.
Opposite the temple, on the east, is a moderate-sized temple tank filled with lotuses.
Other information for your visit
Clearly the temple, and in particular its caretaker, require support.
Please do read this Overview on Nagarathar heritage and temples, in connection with temples in the Chettinadu region.