Sivalokanathar, Mangudi, Mayiladuthurai


This Chola period temple is dated as being over 1000 years old, and is located in the village of Mangudi, which itself has some very interesting stories with regard to its etymology. What would have been an imposing temple in the late Chola period is, today, in a pathetic state of repair and structural failing. But what does this temple have to do with the two nearby temples for Siva as Bhulokanathar and Naganathar?… Read More Sivalokanathar, Mangudi, Mayiladuthurai

Azhagiyanathar, Sholampettai, Mayiladuthurai


One of seven temples that form part of the Mayiladuthurai Sapta Sthanam festival, this brick temple lies in shambles today. Interestingly, given the presence of two vigrahams of Sambandar, this temple is often regarded as possibly being a Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam. Suryan worshipped Amman here to be rid of his rheumatism. But what is the Mahabharatam connection here, and how is it depicted in sculptures at this temple?… Read More Azhagiyanathar, Sholampettai, Mayiladuthurai

Tirumoolanathar, Tirumoolasthanam, Cuddalore


The place and the name of the moolavar here get their names from the fact that Tirumoolar – the Saivite saint and composer of the Tirumandiram – stayed here on his way from Chidammbaram to Tiruvidaimaruthur. This ancient temple, which was built in the 10th century – is in poor state, but in active worship, and features some exceptional architecture and sculptures. But why are there 3 representations of Sani at this temple?… Read More Tirumoolanathar, Tirumoolasthanam, Cuddalore

Kailasanathar, Tirumoolasthanam, Cuddalore


This is one of the many temples where sage Agastyar visited and consecrated a Lingam, after being presented with the divine vision of Siva and Parvati’s wedding at Kailasam. This is also where the Goddess trio of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati have worshipped. Despite its heavily dilapidated situation today, the temple offers some insights into temple building styles from before the Chola period. What are some of these indications, and to what time period does this temple belong?… Read More Kailasanathar, Tirumoolasthanam, Cuddalore

Tirumeni Azhagar, Mahendrapalli, Nagapattinam


Indra was cursed to have painful sores all over him, for having lusted after Sage Gautama’s wife Ahalya. He worshipped here, and the place gets its name from him. Several gods and celestials, including Brahma and Surya, have worshipped here, and others have witnessed Siva’s tandavam here. The place also finds mention in the regional retelling of the Mahabharatam. But what is rather unusual about Lord Siva’s name here, and how is that connected to the main reason this temple has become a prarthana sthalam?… Read More Tirumeni Azhagar, Mahendrapalli, Nagapattinam

Chidambareswarar, Kizhai, Nagapattinam


This Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam does not have a sthala puranam that is known, but since the days of yore, it has been reckoned as a twin-temple of the Chidambaram Natarajar temple. The temple is at least from the 8th century CE if not earlier, given its Tevaram reference, and many of the murtis here are also clearly quite old. But who is Adi Sivan at this temple?… Read More Chidambareswarar, Kizhai, Nagapattinam

Naganathar, Manalmedu, Nagapattinam


Once a forest of Punnai trees, this is where Adiseshan – who bore the weight of the earth – worshipped Siva, because of which the Lord gets His name here. This small but beautiful temple is perhaps from the 12th century CE, and has a rare shrine for Idumban. Why is this the case, and what is the other reason related to nagas, because of which this is a prarthana sthalam for those seeking to get married?… Read More Naganathar, Manalmedu, Nagapattinam

Aadi Vaidyanathar, Radhanallur, Nagapattinam


Regarded as the foremost of the five temples for Siva as Vaidyanathar – the panacea and the physician to resolve all problems and illnesses – this temple is believed to have been constructed in the time of Rajendra Chola I. The sthala puranam here is from the Mahabharatam, where the the Pandavas worshipped at this temple for cure from some ailments. But what is the specialty of Surya Puja at this temple, for seven days in a year?… Read More Aadi Vaidyanathar, Radhanallur, Nagapattinam

Sundararaja Perumal, Sundaraperumal Koil, Thanjavur


The handsome Vishnu – Sundararajar – gives the temple and, in turn the place, their names. This temple is regarded as the Abhimana Perumal for three other temples. The sthala puranam here is about a test of will and penance that Indra, the chief of the devas, had to undergo, and how Vishnu helped him so that Indra could get rid of an illness. But who is the guardian deity of this temple and what is unusual about him?… Read More Sundararaja Perumal, Sundaraperumal Koil, Thanjavur

Viswanathar, Devankudi, Thanjavur


This is one of the temples connected to Siva’s walk from Tiruvaiyaru to Swamimalai, which journey He undertook to receive upadesam from His son Murugan, on the meaning of the Pranava Mantram. The temple is also a Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam, having been sung upon by both Appar and Sambandar. This small village temple is also unusual in its arrangement of shrines.… Read More Viswanathar, Devankudi, Thanjavur

Vajrakandeeswarar, Veeramangudi, Thanjavur


The sthala puranam here is about Vijarasura, a demon, who harassed the devas and sages, but eventually sought mercy from Siva, right before he was overcome. Heeding the asura’s request, Siva is present here as Vajrakandeswarar. Worshipping Amman here is said to help the unmarried get married soon. But why is the Navagraham shrine here unique ,and what spiritual story is it connected to?… Read More Vajrakandeeswarar, Veeramangudi, Thanjavur

Kailasanathar, Thandangorai, Thanjavur


This Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam is mentioned in one of Sundarar’s pathigams, as one of the few places most fit for Siva’s tandavams. This may itself explain the etymology of “Thandangorai”. Once a village full of vedic pundits and learned men, the village also claims its fame as the birthplace and residence of Appadurai Dikshitar, who was also given the name Appayya Dikshitar. But why was he honoured by Maha Periyavaa, and what is this village’s connection with astrology?… Read More Kailasanathar, Thandangorai, Thanjavur

Sundareswarar, V. Surakudi, Sivaganga


One of two villages named Surakkudi in the outskirts of Karaikudi, this place is Vanniya Surakkudi. A Pandya king who could not keep up with his weekly visit schedule to Madurai owing to old age, was advised by a celestial voice to build this temple for Sundareswarar and Meenakshi Amman, his favourite deities. This Pandya period temple has seen several renovations, and this is evident in the temple’s mixed but stunning architecture. But why is this place called a Pancha-Linga Kshetram?… Read More Sundareswarar, V. Surakudi, Sivaganga

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

Siva Surya Perumal, Keezhkudi, Ramanathapuram


In this temple, located in a small village that lies back of beyond nowhere, is a rather unique representation of Siva and Vishnu – both separately and together. The temple is said to celebrate the unity and oneness of Siva and Vishnu, despite what the sthala puranam of the Tiruvetriyur temple says, and re-emphasises the primacy of pillar worship. So what makes this temple fascinating, despite a total lack of any history or information available about it?… Read More Siva Surya Perumal, Keezhkudi, Ramanathapuram

Tirumeninathar, Anandur, Ramanathapuram


This temple for Siva in Anandur – also called Valanai or Valavai – near Tiruvadanai, does not have a sthala puranam that is known, but is referred to in one of Appar’s Tevaram pathigams in passing, making it a Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam. The temple’s renovation began in 2004 and was stalled for over 15 years, before resuming in 2021. But why does the king who built this temple, have a rather unusual set of titles?… Read More Tirumeninathar, Anandur, Ramanathapuram

Tiruvirundeeswarar, Radhanur, Ramanathapuram


An unusual early-Chola temple in the heart of the Pandya country, this temple lies in ruins today. But going by the architecture and detailed inscriptions at this temple, this would have possibly been a large and important temple in its day. Those who are able to support the refurbishment of this dilapidated temple may please reach out in person, to the temple priest.… Read More Tiruvirundeeswarar, Radhanur, Ramanathapuram

Thillaivaneswarar, Radhanur, Ramanathapuram


Despite no known sthala puranam, this beautiful Chola-period temple is said to have been built in honour of Siva as Natarajar at Chidambaram (or Thillai). This temple may be a Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam, but it is not clear as of now, as the place shares its name with another in the Thanjavur district. But what is the unique reason why the locals are happy because of the daily fights that take place at this village?… Read More Thillaivaneswarar, Radhanur, Ramanathapuram

Ekambareswarar, Tiruvegampattu, Ramanathapuram


Also referred to as Dakshina Kanchipuram, this is one of the rare Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam temples in the Chettinadu region. Built in the Pandya period about 800 years ago, this temple features splendid architecture from that period, particularly of karanas (dance poses from the Bharatanatyam) and several bas-relief images of Vinayakar. But what is the Ramayanam connection to this temple, where the moolavar is an aasura-Lingam?… Read More Ekambareswarar, Tiruvegampattu, Ramanathapuram

Tribhuvana Chakravartheeswarar, Unjanai, Sivaganga


Hidden away near Karaikudi is this beautiful temple for Siva as Tribhuvana Chakravarteeswarar, the ruler of the three worlds. The temple is a refreshing change from the usual Nagarathar temples of the region, and may even be one of the rare Chola temples in what is otherwise Pandya country. The architecture is simple yet mind-blowing, in this little-known Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam! Read more about this temple here.… Read More Tribhuvana Chakravartheeswarar, Unjanai, Sivaganga

Nootriettu Pillaiyar, Karaikudi, Sivaganga


This small temple outside the Karaikudi Sundareswarar temple, houses Vinayakar in 108 forms and names. Of these, the eight in the middle are larger, and have a specific aspect that people worship Vinayakar for. Each of these 108 murtis are beautifully crafted – both in terms of appearance as well as their iconographic depiction and association with the respective Vinayakar’s name and powers. Read more about this must-visit temple, here.… Read More Nootriettu Pillaiyar, Karaikudi, Sivaganga

Kailasanathar, Veliyathur, Sivaganga


Sage Vasishta and Kailaya Parvatha Maharishi wished to witness Siva’s tandavam, but instead of appearing from the Lingam, Siva performed His cosmic dance from the skies, possibly giving this place its name. This is regarded as one of the very few places to survive the great floods – pralayam. But what is the reason for Vinayakar here to be covered in vibhuti at all times, and how is that essential to the sthala puranam of this temple?… Read More Kailasanathar, Veliyathur, Sivaganga

Maruthanandeeswarar, Pennakonam, Cuddalore


Located south of the Vellar river, this Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam has no known sthala puranam as we know it. The few devotees who worship here, seek knowledge, wealth and relief from illnesses. Sambandar, one of the 63 Saiva Nayanmars, has sung about this temple in another pathigam. But the most interesting aspect of this late Chola temple is the unusual Murugan shrine here. Why is this so different?… Read More Maruthanandeeswarar, Pennakonam, Cuddalore

Kasi Viswanathar, Cholapuram, Thanjavur


Here is yet another temple virtually in ruins, thanks to the lax attitude of authorities who do not permit even willing sponsors to help renovate and rebuild this temple. Their blind eye has resulted in there being virtually nothing other than a Siva Lingam and a few assorted vigrahams. But this temple is really old, as evidenced by the unique depiction of Murugan here. How so, and how is that connected with Airavata, the celestial elephant? … Read More Kasi Viswanathar, Cholapuram, Thanjavur

Idamkondeeswarar, Kalyanapuram, Thanjavur


Sage Kashyapa wanted to see Siva and Parvati in their wedding attire, and was looking for the ideal place to worship. Guided by a celestial voice, he came here, and after performing penance, he was rewarded with the divine vision of the celestial wedding. This temple is a Vaippu Sthalam that finds mention in one of Appar’s Tevaram pathigams. But why is Siva here regarded as the elder brother of Siva at nearby Tiruvidaimaruthur?… Read More Idamkondeeswarar, Kalyanapuram, Thanjavur

Vedapureeswarar, Tirukazhithattai, Thanjavur


Said to have been built by Kodumbalur Velir, the army general of Sundara Chola, during the 10th century, this temple has several inscriptions about him, and various other important members of Chola royalty of the time. Suryan worships Siva here with his rays, twice a year, for 10 days at a time. But what is the etymology of the names of Siva and Parvati at this place?… Read More Vedapureeswarar, Tirukazhithattai, Thanjavur

Sundareswarar, Chattiram Karuppur, Thanjavur


Once known as Pathirivanam due to being a forest of pathiri trees, this Chola period temple is one of the Kumbakonam Pancha Krosha Sthalam temples, and is possibly adjunct to the Koranattu Karuppur temple, also for Siva as Sundareswarar. The local belief is that Yama does not bother those those who have seen Sundareswarar here. But why was this small and non-descript temple, and indeed this whole place, important to the celestials? … Read More Sundareswarar, Chattiram Karuppur, Thanjavur

Kachabeswarar, Eachangudi, Thanjavur


Prior to the churning of the ocean, Siva asked Vishnu to take on the Kurma Avataram. The tortoise is called Kachabam in Sanskrit, which gives Siva His name here. The temple also has a Mahabharatam connection, which is one of four stories of how the place gets is name. But what is the fascinating story of how this temple, as it stands today, came into existence?… Read More Kachabeswarar, Eachangudi, Thanjavur

Veerabhadrar, Darasuram, Thanjavur


This temple is presided over by Veerabhadrar, the fierce aspect of Siva, who also destroyed Daksha’s yagam, after Sati immolated herself at the sacrificial fire for her father’s disrespect towards her husband Siva. The temple also has a significant connection to the poet Ottakoothar, the author of Thakkayaga Parani, who was gifted the village of Koothanur (famous for the Saraswati temple there). But how did the Parani work come to be written?… Read More Veerabhadrar, Darasuram, Thanjavur

Brahma Gnana Pureeswarar, Keezha Korkkai, Thanjavur


The sthala puranam of this temple is about Brahma losing the Vedas to the demons Madhu and Kaitabha, and regaining them with Vishnu’s help, and also regaining his wisdom after worshipping Siva here. This Chola temple from the time of Kulothunga Chola III has some excellent examples of Chola sculptures, including Adhikara Nandi and Siva as Kirata Murti. But how is this temple connected to the annual ritual of Avani Avittam?… Read More Brahma Gnana Pureeswarar, Keezha Korkkai, Thanjavur

Brahmapureeswarar, Pozhakudi, Tiruvarur


This village temple is located very close to the Paadal Petra Sthalam and naga dosham nivritti sthalam at Tirupampuram. Brahma worshipped here, and was relieved of the curse he had suffered for having forgotten his duties of creation. The temple needs more visitors to help it regain its lost prominence, and to support the locals who offer their services to the temple. But why is there a vigraham of a snake next to the Nandi?… Read More Brahmapureeswarar, Pozhakudi, Tiruvarur

Pippilakadeeswarar, Alathur, Nagapattinam


This early 13th century Chola temple from the time of Kulothunga Chola III is a village temple in need of funds for construction of a raja gopuram. After centuries, the last kumbhabhishekam was performed in 2014 at this Vata-Aranya-Kshetram, where celestials worshipped here, to be rid of the curses and harassment of the demons Kara and Dooshana. But why is Siva here called Pippilakadeeswarar? … Read More Pippilakadeeswarar, Alathur, Nagapattinam

Veetrirundha Varadaraja Perumal, Tirukodiyalur, Tiruvarur


This village temple located near Tirumeyachur, close to the Meghanathar-Lalithambigai temple, is poorly visited, but decently maintained. The sthala puranam here is about Vishnu waiting for Lakshmi, while She was worshipping at the Tirumeyachur temple. But what important aspects of Saivism are celebrated at this Perumal temple?… Read More Veetrirundha Varadaraja Perumal, Tirukodiyalur, Tiruvarur

Sivalokanathar, Keeranur, Tiruvarur


When the king’s horse trod on an object which started bleeding, the shocked king and his entourage saw a cow come over and pour its milk on the wounded object, which later turned out to be a Siva Lingam. Parvati had Herself come in the form of a cow, and because of her action, She is called Ksheerambigai here. But how is this temple’s other sthala puranam connected to one of ashta Veerattanam temples?… Read More Sivalokanathar, Keeranur, Tiruvarur

Veerabhadrar, Vazhuvur, Nagapattinam


Vazhuvur is regarded as the birthplace of Ayyappan. This village temple for Veerabhadrar – often regarded as an aspect of Siva Himself – is closely connected with the Vazhuvur Veeratteswarar temple located nearby, and also to Ayyappan. The temple stands in ruins, but has two very unusual aspects to it, on the depiction of the presiding deity. What are these?… Read More Veerabhadrar, Vazhuvur, Nagapattinam

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

Vyaghrapureeswarar, Veeraperumal Nallur, Cuddalore


This small, yet serene village temple from the 14th century Pandya period has been maintained well despite the challenges it faces. As part of his visits to various Siva temples, Sage Vyaghrapada came and worshipped Siva here. This temple is also replete with architectural and sculptural masterpieces, including Bhikshatanar, Chandikeswarar, and the Nandi mandapam. The village of Veeraperumal Nallur itself has an interesting history, connected with the Perumal temple nearby. … Read More Vyaghrapureeswarar, Veeraperumal Nallur, Cuddalore

Kailasanathar, Tirumetrali, Thanjavur


When the Cholas had their capital at Pazhaiyarai near Kumbakonam, there were four main temples in the four cardinal directions. Of these, this temple is the one on the western side, and hence also called Metrali. This Tevaram Vaippu Sthalam’s puranam is about Sabali – one of the daughters of the celestial cow Patti (after whom Patteeswaram is named) – who worshipped here. The temple would have been much larger in the Chola period, but lies uncared for today. … Read More Kailasanathar, Tirumetrali, Thanjavur

Agasteeswarar, Vidangalur, Nagapattinam


This small temple in a nondescript village is actually a Vaippu Sthalam that features in the Tevaram, mentioned by the Saivite saint Sundarar in one of his pathigams. Sages Agastyar and Vitangar worshipped here. But despite the fine examples of Chola architecture, the temple lies uncared for, except by the residents of the village. This is one of several such temples that needs our collective support.… Read More Agasteeswarar, Vidangalur, Nagapattinam

Kutram Poruttha Naathar, Thalaignaayiru, Nagapattinam


This puranam of this Kulothunga Chola III era temple is closely linked to that of the nearby Kundala Karneswarar temple, and also a Ramayanam connection. As it is at Sirkazhi, there is a separate shrine for Siva as Sattanathar here. Siva here is believed to have forgiven Indra, but what bad deed (kutram / aparatham) did Hanuman commit, for him to be forgiven here by Aparatha-Kshameswarar? … Read More Kutram Poruttha Naathar, Thalaignaayiru, Nagapattinam

குற்றம் பொறுத்த நாதர், தலைஞாயிறு, நாகப்பட்டினம்


This puranam of this Kulothunga Chola III era temple is closely linked to that of the nearby Kundala Karneswarar temple, and also a Ramayanam connection. As it is at Sirkazhi, there is a separate shrine for Siva as Sattanathar here. Siva here is believed to have forgiven Indra, but what bad deed (kutram / aparatham) did Hanuman commit, for him to be forgiven here by Aparatha-Kshameswarar? … Read More குற்றம் பொறுத்த நாதர், தலைஞாயிறு, நாகப்பட்டினம்

Neelneri Nathar, Thandalacherry, Tiruvarur


This Paadal petra sthalam’s sthala puranam speak of Nandi, who is said to have taken away and eaten the grass brought for worship by a devotee! This temple is regarded as one of the 78 maadakoils built by Kochchenga Chola. This temple is also connected with Arivatta Nayanar, as his birthplace is located very close to the temple. But why does the neivedyam here consist of cooked rice, greens/spinach, and mango pickle? … Read More Neelneri Nathar, Thandalacherry, Tiruvarur

தண்டலச்சேரி நீலநெறி நாதர், திருவாரூர்


ஒரு சோழ மன்னன் (சில புராணங்களின்படி, இது கோச்செங்க சோழன்) தொழுநோயால் பாதிக்கப்பட்டு, குணமடைய பல சிவாலயங்களில் பிரார்த்தனை செய்தார். ஒருமுறை, நந்தி ஒரு மன்னன் கொண்டு வந்த புல்லைத் தின்னும் கோவிலில் வழிபாடு செய்யும்படி பரலோகக் குரல் கேட்டது. மன்னன் அதையெல்லாம் மறந்தான், ஒரு நாள் வரை, ஒரு புல் கொத்துக்களுடன் இந்த கோவிலுக்குள் நுழைந்தான், நந்தியின் கல் மூர்த்தி அதை அவனிடமிருந்து இழுத்து சாப்பிடத் தொடங்கினான். காலப்போக்கில் மன்னன் குணமடைந்து, இந்தக் கோயிலைக் கட்டினான்.… Read More தண்டலச்சேரி நீலநெறி நாதர், திருவாரூர்

அக்னிபுரீஸ்வரர், வன்னியூர் , திருவாரூர்


தாக்ஷாயணி தக்ஷனின் யாகத்தில் கலந்து கொண்டார், மேலும் சிவன் மீது அவளது தந்தை மற்றும் யாகத்தில் கலந்து கொண்டவர்கள் செய்த அவமதிப்பு காரணமாக, யாகத்தில் தன்னைத்தானே எரித்துக் கொண்டார். இந்த காரணத்திற்காக, சிவன் யாகத்தில் கலந்து கொண்டதற்காக அக்னியை தண்டித்தார், மேலும் இந்த சாபத்தால் அக்னி எந்த சடங்குகளிலும் பங்கேற்க முடியாது. இயற்கையாகவே, அக்னி இல்லாமல் எந்த யாகமும் செய்ய முடியாது என்பதால், இது பல சிக்கல்களை உருவாக்கியது. இதனால் மழை பொய்த்து, பரவலாக வறட்சி மற்றும்… Read More அக்னிபுரீஸ்வரர், வன்னியூர் , திருவாரூர்

Krishnan, Vanathirajapuram, Nagapattinam


Basic information about the temple Moolavar: Krishnan Ambal / Thayar: x Deity: Perumal Historical name: Vriksham: Teertham: Agamam: Age (years): Timing: to & to Parikaram: Temple group: – Sung by: Temple set: Navagraham: Nakshatram: City / town: Kshetrapalapuram District: Nagapattinam Maps from (click): Current location Mayiladuthurai (5 km) Kumbakonam (34 km) Thiruvarur (44 km) Nagapattinam… Read More Krishnan, Vanathirajapuram, Nagapattinam

Gnanaparameswarar, Tirumeignanam, Thanjavur


Generally, four temples (Kanchipuram, Tirukadaiyur, Sirkazhi and this temple) are regarded as Mayana Koils, referring to cremation grounds where Siva is believed to reside with His ganas. But the spiritual meaning is connected to the burning (ridding oneself) of one’s ego, just as Siva did to Brahma’s fifth head. The four Vedas got their knowledge from Siva here, giving the place its ancient name. But what does this temple have with Sage Apasthamba and how he got that name?… Read More Gnanaparameswarar, Tirumeignanam, Thanjavur

Brahma Nandeeswarar, Patteeswaram, Thanjavur


This small, dilapidated temple has recently found prominence amongst followers of Chola history and Chola temples. Mostly made of brick, this temple today is a shadow of what would likely have been an imposing temple in Chola times. Brahma and the naga kannikas are said to have worshipped here. But why is the location of this temple important in Chola history?… Read More Brahma Nandeeswarar, Patteeswaram, Thanjavur

Abhimukteeswarar, Kodaganallur, Tirunelveli


This small but beautiful, unique west-facing Siva temple in Kodaganallur, near one of the Nava Kailasam temples, is regarded as highly powerful, owing to it being a west-facing Siva temple. The village of Kodaganallur gets its name from the fact that Karkotaka, the snake, attained liberation here. However, the most interesting part of this temple is the placement of various deities, despite this being a west-facing temple. How so?… Read More Abhimukteeswarar, Kodaganallur, Tirunelveli