Kaliyappatti, is a small but interesting Siva temple built entirely of well dressed granite blocks, belongs to 9th - 10th century A.D. The temple is similar to that of the famous Muvar-koil of Kodumbalur. The temple is one among the earliest temples of the Chola design, and plays an important role in the study of temple architecture in Tamilnadu. Kaliyappatti is a small village near Kunnandarkoil. It is located in the Kiranur - Killukkottai route. There are only a few buses running in this route. Taxi service is available from Kiranur, Pudukkottai and Trichy.
Kodumbalur is 36 km from Pudukkottai. Kodumbalur is the site of some structural temples of great beauty. Their merit marks them out as among the most outstanding monuments in India. Two monuments alone are survived. They are the celebrated Muvarkoil and Muchu-kundesvara-koil. There are survivals of an Aivar-koil and of another Siva temple. It is Muvar-koil, which is the centre of attraction. They were built by Boodhi Vikrama Kesari, a general of the Chola army in the 10th century A.D. One of the Irukku Velirs who ruled this place, named Idangazhi Nayanar is included n the canons of the 63 Nayanmars. This place was also a stage of fierce battles between the Pandyas and the Pallavas. The architecture of this temple is unique among the temples of south India. The sculptures of kalarimurthi, Gaja (Elephand) Samharamurthi, Gangadaramurthi etc. are unique masterpieces. Nearby is the temple dedicated to Muchukun-deswarar of the early Chola period.
Kudumiyanmalai is 20 km from Pudukkottai. Kudumiyamalai is an important site in the district famous for a few old temples of considerable beauty as well as archaeological interest. It is one of the oldest historic townships in the tract. The township was called as Thiru-nalak-kunram is earlier inscriptions and Sikhanallur in later ones. The village had extended all around a hillock, at the foot of which, on the east, is the famous Kudumiyanmalai temple complex. On and near a hillock there are four temples including a fine cave temple and a very large Siva temple, called Sikhanathasvami-koil, containing exquisite sculptures. The musical inscription found on a face of the cave-temple is important in the musical history of India. There are nearly a hundred and twenty inscriptions in Kudumiyamalai. The Anna Agricultural Farm and Agricultural Research Institute located here indicates that even today the place is not bereft of research the former was a cultural research though the present one is on agriculture.
Kumaramalai is 10 km from Pudukkottai. It is small Muruga temple at a top of small mount. The tank water of the mount is considered to be holy.
Kunnandarkoil, referred to in inscriptions as Thiruk-kunrak-kudi, has a rock cut temple, which may be assigned to the time of Nandi-varman II Pallava-malla (710 - 775 AD). In the course of the centuries, it developed, with structural additions, into a big complex. In plan it is similar to the Gokarnesvara temple at Thirugokarnam. It is a fascinating monument to study. Its main artistic gifts are a hundred and one pillared ‘ratha' mandapam, and two splendid portrait sculptures doing duty as dvara-palakas before the main shrine. The temple has some fine bronzes also.
The deserted Siva Temple is a beautiful ruin. Known by the name Madattukoil the site contains remnants of an old (probably Chola) outer Prakaram in dark Granite, enclosing a younger (most probably Vijayanagara) structure in pink gneiss. The architecture and sculptures exhibit consummate artistic skill and delicacy. Thirty-eight km from Pudukkottai and close to Marudhampatti village. The deviation at kolattur on Pudukkottai - Trichy highway lead to Pakkudi village via Madattukoil.
In Malayadippati, there are two cave temples hewn out of same rock, similar to that of Thirumayam. The bas-relief sculpture of Mahishasura-mardini in the Siva shrine is very impressive. The Sapta-matrika frieze here will interest iconographers. Practitioners of Kundalini yoga may also find it worth studying this group of sculpture for it is an authentic 1200-year old composition. There are paintings on the walls, ceiling and sculptures in the Vishnu shrine. Also there are some prehistoric burial sites near to Malayadippatti village. Malayadippatti is a small village in the northern half of the Pudukkottai district. In the early inscriptions the place was called Thiru-valatturmalai. It is 40 km away from Puddukkottai, in the Killukkottai-Kiranur route, 3 km away from Killukkottai and 20 km from Kiranur. One can reach this place by taking the diversion either from Adhanakkottai on the Thanjavur-Puddukkottai road or from Kiranur on Tiruchirappalli-Pudukkottai National highway. Town Bus facility is available from Kiranur and Killukkottai.
Situated to the north of Muvarkoil, this temple was built by Mahimalaya Irukkuvel in early tenth century A.D. The presiding deity is referred to as Tiru. Mudukunram Udaiyar in the inscription. The temple originally consisted of a grabhagriha (sanctum, 4.11m square) and an ardha-mandapa, all facing all facing all east. The adhishthana has plain mouldings and has a bhutagana frieze below the cornic and a yali freize above it. The closed maha-mandapa and the Amman shrine are later additions. Only four of the original eight sub-shrines are found intact-one is empty and the other three are dedicated to Subramanya, Chandesvara and Bhairava.
Periyur, apalmyra-shaded fertile village contains a temple of great renown. The Naganatha-swami temple is well known for Naga worship, and barren women have been making pilgrimage to this village for centuries and install stone image of Naga-s. The stone images installed over the centuries now accumulated to give a breathtaking site. Peraiyur is on the south bank of the Vellaru. Hand-fans fashioned out of Palmyr fronds an important product of this place. Men of the Isai-vellala or Melakarar community in the village make these hand-fans. Peraiyur is about 15 km from Pudukkottai, which is just three kilometers from the Pudukkottai-Kuzhipirai-Ponnamaravathi bus route. Regular bus services and taxi facility is available from Pudukkottai.
Sri Kokarneswarar Temple
The rock-cut cave Temple of Sri Kokarneswarar Brahandambal at Thirukokarnam is of Mahendraverma Pallava's period. The presiding deity is Kokarneswarar and His consort Brahadambal. Some later additions have also been made. The idols of Gangesa, Gangadhara, Saptha Kannikas are artistic creations of perennial value. An image of the saint Sadasiva Brahmendra is seen at the foot of a Bikula tree. The deity is the family deity of the Raja and in reverence of Brahadambal, coins called ‘Amman Kasu' were released by the king. The place is called Thirukkokarnam and is about 5 km from the railway station.
A Big temple, which has been expanded down the ages, dedicated to Hara-tirthesvara and Brahadambal. The main shrine dates back to 12th century. A Nataraja bronze of superlative quality from this temple is now on display at the National Museum, New Delhi. This temple of Hara-tirthesvara and is held in high veneration by devotees far and near. There are a number of inscriptions here. There are a few mythological stories associated with this temple. Thiruvarangaulam is about 15 kilometers from Pudukkottai, which is well connected with Pdukkottai, Alangaudi, Pattukkottai, Peravurani and Karambakkudi by frequent bus services. Taxi facilities are available from Pudukkottai, Pattukkottai and Peravurani.
Thiruvengaivasal (‘sacred place of gate of the Tiger') is a well-Known and ancient place of worship. Mythological linked to Gokarnesvara temple of Thirugokarnam, the temple has both chola and Pandiya styled structures. The sculptures of Gnana Dakshina-moorthi and Yoga Dakshinanoorthi are iconographic interest. There are a number of important inscriptions here. Thiruvengaivasal is about 10 km from Pudukkottai town and 2 km from Pudukkottai - Trichy highway.
Vedanpatti is 40 km from Pudukkottai on the way to Ponnamaravathi. The Nandi known as Nei Nandi in the Arulmighu Chokkeswarar Temple is very well known. Though made of black granite, it now shines like marble due to frequent abishekam with pure ghee. Another interesting feature is the absence of flies and ants in spite of the Nandi being showered with pure ghee every day. A large number of devotees flock daily to this temple.
Vishnu Temple in Thirumayam
The Sathya-Moorthi temple is a highly venerated shrine and is regarded by local Vaishnavites to be second in sanctity only to the temple at Srirangam. It is called Adhi-rangam (‘original-rangam') and is claimed to be older than the temple at srirangam. Actually there are two Vishnu shrines. One is the cave temple and contains one of the most complete and the largest Ananthasayi groups in India, conforming, almost to the detail, to agamic specifications of Anantha-sayi. The other is a structural temple in which Vishnu is worshipped in the form of Sathya-moorthi. The rock-cut shrine is a natural cavern modified and enlarged into a cave temple with the tall facade pillars inserted. It may be ascribed to a date not latter than the first half of the 8th century. The fact that the celebrated Vaishnava saint, Thiru-mangai-azhvar, sang hymns in praise of the deity at Thirumayam Vishnu temple has enhanced its sancity.
A former princely state, Pudukkottai, 50 kms from Tiruchi is one of the most ancient regions in the country.Pudukkottai district is bounded by Tiruchirappalli in the north, Thanjavur in the northeast, Bay of Bengal in the east and Ramanathapuram in the south. It has a coastline of about 39-km. The headquarters of the district is Pudukkottai.
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