Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Gangajaleswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Sivakami Amman|
|Timing:||to & to||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Koothangudi||District:||Sivaganga|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Karaikudi (16 km)||Pudukkottai (48 km)|
|Madurai (78 km)||Sivaganga (81 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
This temple for Siva as Gangajaleswarar (or Tiru Gangai Nathar) and Sivakami Amman is in a very poor condition. While most of the shrines are intact, the temple premises are riddled with weeds and overgrowth, and clearly the temple lacks regular maintenance. Further, hardly anyone including the locals, visit this temple.
The name of the moolavar here is not common in this region, and one would like to believe that there is some interesting sthala puranam associated with this temple. Sadly, nobody was around – we had to get the keys from a caretaker who runs a local store. Also, no regular puja seems to be performed here – perhaps not even once a day.
Koothangudi is one of the names of the place, possibly derived from Kootran-kudi, referring to Siva as the celestial dancer. The place is also called Avanthipatti.
Going by some of the murtis, the architecture, and the inscriptions on the walls, the temple itself is clearly very old – possibly from the 13th or 14th century, if not earlier. This would make it a Pandya period temple.
While the temple faces east, the eastern entrance is shut and the lock is rusted. There is a no raja gopuram, but only a small arch featuring Siva and Parvati on the Rishabham. The only serviceable entrance is from the south.
There is no dhwajasthambam or mandapam here; instead, an east-west path with a tiled roof paves the way to the bali peetham followed by Nandi, and on to the garbhagriham. The moolavar is a small Lingam tirumeni, on a square avudai.
Except for Dakshinamurti, who has a separate outward-jutting shrine, there are no koshtam deities. In the prakaram are shrines for Vinayakar, Murugan with his consorts Valli and Deivanai, Chandikeswarar and Bhairavar.
The vimanam above the garbhagriham, though poorly maintained, appears to contain good sculptures in stucco. While the garbhagriham and the various shrines are made of granite, the vimanam is brick.
If any reader has more information or is able to throw light on this temple, please contact us. The temple is also clearly in need of maintenance and support.
Other information for your visit
Please do read this Overview on Nagarathar heritage and temples, in connection with temples in the Chettinadu region.