Kottai Muneeswarar, Tirumayam, Pudukkottai


This small temple adjoining the Tirumayam fort, serves as the guardian of the southern entrance to the fort. The temple is itself just a shrine for Muneeswarar, worshipped by the locals. But the historical and iconographic wonders lie beyond the Muneeswarar and into the ancient fort beyond. What are these?… Read More Kottai Muneeswarar, Tirumayam, Pudukkottai

Ramar Padam, Idayanvayal, Pudukkottai


Located on the coastal path from Vedaranyam to Rameswaram are several sites connected with the Ramayanam. This is one of them, and happens to also be one of only three places in Tamil Nadu where the footprints of Rama are said to exist (the other two being a small shrine between Vedaranyam and Kodiakkarai, and at Rameswaram). Also nearby is a dilapidated temple from what appears to be the Chola period.… Read More Ramar Padam, Idayanvayal, Pudukkottai

Sankara Mutt, Ilayathangudi, Sivaganga


This small outpost of the Sankara Matham / Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham is located at the adishthanam and siddhi sthalam of the 65th peetadhipati of the Matham, Sri Sudarsana Mahadevendra Saraswati. The Siva temple here is built on the saint’s samadhi. But what are some of the interesting aspects of his life, and how is he connected to Kanchi Maha Periyavaa?… Read More Sankara Mutt, Ilayathangudi, Sivaganga

Idankazhi Nayanar Koil, Kodumbalur, Tiruchirappalli


To readers of Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan, Kodumbalur may ring a bell as the hometown of Vanathi, who later became Raja Raja Chola I’s wife. It is also the avatara sthalam of Idankazhi Nayanar, a chieftain and a feudatory of the Cholas, who is variously said to have descended from the Yadavas, or from the Kalabhras. The temple today is an upgrade of a smaller temple built only 300 years ago – a long overdue temple for the Nayanar. But what is his life story, and why did he refuse to punish the man who stole from the royal granary? … Read More Idankazhi Nayanar Koil, Kodumbalur, Tiruchirappalli

Sundaramurti Swami, Tirunavalur, Viluppuram


While Tirunavalur is better known for the Bhaktajaneswarar Paadal Petra Sthalam temple, very close to that temple is this place which was once the house in which Sundaramurti Nayanar (Sundarar) was born. The place has been totally transformed into a beautiful temple, with exquisitely carved bas-relief sculptures, depicting various events from the saint’s life. Read about the temple and also a short version of his very interesting life story, here.… Read More Sundaramurti Swami, Tirunavalur, Viluppuram

Tirunavukkarasar Koil, Tiruvamur, Cuddalore


This temple is built at the very place where the Tamil bhakti saint Appar was born, and is closely connected to the Pasupateeswarar temple in the same village. Appar is the author of the Tevaram, which represents volumes 4-6 of the Tirumurai, in the Tamil bhakti literary tradition. Read about the shrine, and also the very engrossing life history of Appar, here.… Read More Tirunavukkarasar Koil, Tiruvamur, Cuddalore