Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Thillaivaneswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Soundara Nayaki|
|Timing:||8 to 10 & 4 to 6||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Possible Vaippu Sthalam||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Radhanur||District:||Ramanathapuram|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Karaikudi (43 km)||Ramanathapuram (56 km)|
|Pudukkottai (84 km)||Sivaganga (92 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
This temple is located about 9 km south of Tiruvegampattu, off the Kalayar Koil – Tiruvadanai road.
This simple temple may well be of significance in Saivism, as it is one of those places that may be a Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam. The reason for this doubt, is that there apparently are two places named Radhanur (one being this, and the other in Thanjavur district), and one of these is mentioned in the Tevaram.
This temple is said to have been constructed as a nod to the Chidambaram Natarajar temple, also known as Thillai (since that place was a thillai or mangrove forest). It may also be that this place – Radhanur – was a thillai forest in times of yore. Other than this, there is no known sthala puranam for this temple.
This west-facing temple is believed to be close to 1000 years old, placing it at a time when the Pandyas were perhaps under the rule of the Cholas. Nonetheless, the architecture here seems to be late Chola, going by the design of the pillars in the mandapam.
The temple does not have a raja gopuram but has an arch with a stucco image of Siva and Parvati on the Rishabha Vahanam. The rest of the temple premises is fairly large and well-kept. There is no dhwajasthambam, but there is a bali peetham followed by a Nandi mandapam.
The small mandapam that follows houses the entrances to the fairly large ardha mandapam, and to Amman’s south-facing shrine on the left (being a west-facing temple).
Inside the ardha mandapam is Anugnai Vinayakar guarding the entrance to the garbhagriham, beside whom is a small Nandi. There are elevated stone platforms on the left side of the ardha mandapam, presumably for storage purposes. Then follow the antarala and the garbhagriham. Interestingly, the vimanam above the garbhagriham is constructed like the main gopuram one sees at temple entrances, which makes this place quite unique.
In the koshtam, one finds only Durga and Dakshinamurti, the latter’s vigraham appearing to be quite an old one. In the prakaram are shrines for Vinayakar, Murugan, Bhairavar, Chandikeswarar, and Meiyappa Nayanar (Karuppar). Karuppar’s shrine is in a niche in the inner side of the outer wall of the temple, and in addition to having a tall banam next to it, has the vigraham of an elephant below, clearly attesting to the fact that this is an Ayyanar / Karuppar. There is no Navagraham shrine, nor are there shrines or vigrahams of Suryan and Chandran, indicating this temple is perhaps much older than 1000 years.
At the nearby Tiruvirundeeswarar temple in the same village, is an inscription attesting to the history of the place. The interesting part about this is that the inscription notes that if there is a day when no fight takes place in the village, the village would burn! True to this, every day, there seems to be some fight or quarrel in the village which, counter-intuitively, keeps everyone happy!
The temple comes under the administration of the Sivaganga Samasthanam Devasthanam.
The temple’s priest lives in the house outside the temple on the right. He manages this temple, the Tiruvirundeeswarar temple in the same village, and the Tirumeninathar temple at nearby Anandur.
Other information for your visit
Sankar Sivan Gurukkal: 89735 76584
Sthala puranam and temple information by Sivacharyar: