An overview of Nagarathar heritage and temples


This special feature provides an overview of of Nagarathar heritage and explores the evolution of temples in the Chettinadu region… Read More An overview of Nagarathar heritage and temples

Marutheeswarar, Pillaiyarpatti, Sivaganga


One of the 9 Nagarathar temples, the Pillaiyarpatti temple is more famous for the Karpaga Vinayakar rock-cut temple. This temple for Siva is in the same complex, and is perhaps as old as the Vinayakar shrine. The temple – regarded as one of the marudhu sthalams – features brilliant examples of Nagarathar architecture and art. But why is there virtually no sthala puranam to speak of, available about this temple? … Read More Marutheeswarar, Pillaiyarpatti, 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

Karpaga Vinayaka, Pillaiyarpatti, Sivaganga


This temple is actually a prominent shrine inside the Marutheeswarar temple, one of the 9 Nagarathar Siva temples. This ancient rock cut temple is estimated to be nearly 1600 years old, which means it was likely built in the time of the Kalabhras – of whom virtually nothing is known. But what makes the annual chariot festivals for Vinayakar at this temple, special?… Read More Karpaga Vinayaka, Pillaiyarpatti, Sivaganga