Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Ekambareswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Snehavalli|
|Timing:||6 to 11 & 4 to 7.30||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Vaippu sthalam||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Tiruvegampattu||District:||Ramanathapuram|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Karaikudi (33 km)||Ramanathapuram (66 km)|
|Pudukkottai (74 km)||Madurai (92 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
Known variously as Tiruvegampattu, Tiruvegampet and Tiru Ekambathu, this temple is a rare Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam found in the Chettinadu region. The temple is mentioned in one of Appar’s pathigams. The temple is located on the main road from Kalayar Koil to Tiruvadanai.
There is no sthala puranam available for this temple. However, it is believed that Ravana (from the Ramayanam) installed the Siva Lingam at the original temple here.
This temple was built, and the place was named, after the Kanchipuram Ekambareswarar temple. So, Siva here (Ekambathu Nayanar) is also called Ekambareswarar, as He is at Kanchi, and in fact, this place is also called Dakshina Kanchipuram. Kanchi Maha Periyavaa has visited this temple during one of his tours of the region.
According to the inscriptions in the temple, one of the names of the moolavar also used to be Sundara Pandya Easwaramudaiyar. This, along with the content of some of the inscriptions, suggests that this temple would likely have been built in the time of Maravarman Sundara Pandyan I, which would place the temple as belonging to the early 13th century. Maravarman Sundara Pandyan I was responsible for the revival of the Pandyas after years of Chola domination.
Based on the above, the structural temple dates back to the Pandya period, and is estimated to be close to 800 years old, although the core temple is believed to be much older. The temple underwent significant renovation sometime in the 16th century, according to the temple records. At the time of our visit in December 2021 (on the day of Tiruvadhirai), the temple was undergoing another round of renovations, in preparation for kumbhabhishekam.
At the entrance to the temple is a dhwajasthambam, followed by a bali peetham and Nandi. Immediately in front is a small mandapam, from where the ardha mandapam and garbhagriham can be seen straight ahead, while Snehavalli Amman’s shrine is to the right.
On the right-hand side of the ardha mandapam is a massive vigraham of Kubera Ganapati. Just the Vinayakar is over 4 feet tall, and including the pedestal, the entire murti is more than 5 feet tall and very imposing! Worshipping Kubera Ganapati here is said to bring wealth and prosperity.
Outside the garbhagriham are two dwarapalakas, who appear to be mismatched. It may be that one (or both) of them is not original to this temple. In the garbhagriham is the Lingam said to have been installed by Ravana. For this reason, this is regarded as an aasura-Lingam. This does not necessarily mean a negative connotation, and in fact, worshipping such Lingams are said to provide prosperity to the devotee. This perhaps also explains the presence of Kubera Ganapati at this temple.
The inscriptions here also appear to make the first refences to the word “Natarajar” referring to Siva’s form as the cosmic dancer. This seems to be a Pandya period development, since during the preceding Chola period, Natarajar was usually referred to as Koothapiran.
Due to the ongoing work at the time of our visit, several portions of the temple were covered, so we could not get too many pictures of the intricate architecture here, particularly various karana poses from the Bharatanatyam. There are also several miniatures, particularly of Vinayakar. Much of the architecture here is from the later Pandya period, which is further demonstrated by the twin-fish logo of the Pandyas that continues to be represented on the dhwajasthambam even today.
In the koshtam are Vinayakar, a rather simple but elegant Dakshinamurti, Lingodhbhavar, Brahma and Durga. In the prakaram are shrines for Vinayakar, Murugan with his consorts Valli and Deivanai, Gajalakshmi, Chandikeswarar and Bhairavar, and a separate Navagraham shrine. Notably absent are the shrines for Sani, Suryan and Chandran – this also suggests that the temple is much older than the 13th century (the Navagraham shrine could always be a more recent addition).
The temple’s Teertham is the theppakulam to the rear (west) of the temple.
Other information for your visit
Contact: 94879 39793