Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Chidambareswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Sivakamasundari|
|Agamam:||Age (years):||Timing:||6 to 12 & 5 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Vaippu sthalam||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Kizhai||District:||Nagapattinam|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Mayiladuthurai (14 km)||Kumbakonam (44 km)|
|Tiruvarur (57 km)||Nagapattinam (68 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
Located very close to Manalmedu, on the road from Manalmedu to Mayiladuthurai, this small but gorgeous temple is just off what is called the Kiloy (Kizhaai) Road.
This unassuming temple is a Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam; however, there is no known sthala puranam for this place. The temple finds mention in the 5th song of the 12th pathigam in the 7th Tirumurai of Sundarar.
Since olden times, this temple has been regarded as a twin temple / joint temple of the Chidambaram Natarajar temple. This also explains the names of the deities here – Chidambareswarar and Sivakamasundari.
In ancient literature, the temple and place are mentioned both as Keezhaiyam and Kizhai (as opposed to Kizhaai, the current name).
The temple’s grounds are relatively large, although there is no front gate. Opposite the temple is a small shrine for Vinayakar. Surrounding the temple is a brindavanam / garden with lots of green trees.
A short path leads us to the welcome arch that makes do as a gopuram, which has a stucco image of Siva as Rishabharoodar, with Parvati.
Upon entering the temple, there is a small mandapam, also with a stucco image of Siva and Parvati – this time in Kailasam. There is no dhwajasthambam, and the mandapam houses the bali peetham and Nandi. The very cute Nandi looks quite old, which probably speaks to the age of the temple.
Straight ahead is the ardha mandapam. To the right of the ardha mandapam is the Amman shrine, while straight ahead is the garbhagriham. on the left is a standalone vigraham of Vinayakar – again, quite ancient looking – in place of the dwarapalakas. The garbhagriham itself is very simple yet captivating.
Outside, in the koshtam are only Dakshinamurti and Durga – possibly indicative of this being a very old temple (which is supported by the fact that Sundarar – from the 8th century – has referenced this temple in his pathigam).
The temple features a nice, wide prakaram, with shrines for Vinayakar, Murugan with his consorts Valli and Deivanai, a shrine for Adi Sivan (perhaps a different appellation of Kasi Viswanathar), Chandikeswarar, Bhairavar, Chandran and Suryan. There is no separate Navagraham shrine.
Though small, the temple grounds are well-kept and the place presents a verdant and serene landscape. The last kumbhabhishekam was done here in April 2017.
Other information for your visit
The temple does not have regular pujas by a priest. An elderly local and his wife take care of the temple, while another senior lady comes in every evening and sings some pathigams from the Tevaram and other songs.
The temple and the caretakers could do well with support – both visits by those interested, and financial.
Watch Sriram’s temple walk-around video here: