Salem

Temples in and around Salem

Salem region has the largest number of hill temples of Murugan, Perumal & Shiva and so is a trekker’s paradise. Since there are large no of hills, there are also plenty of lakes and dams. This is the birth place of Avviayar, the famous Tamil poet.

Last Updated: 28th Nov 2012

Salem

Sri Raja Ganapathy Temple

It is located at 1st Agraharam, one of the primary market areas of the town near the Sugavaneswarar temple and is always bustling. This is a small but highly popular and powerful temple. It is a sub temple of Sugavaneswarar temple and both have a legend connection. As the Lord graces the devotees with his royal appearance, He is named Rajaganapathy, (Ganapathy the King).

Links: Location Weblink

Five temples worshipped by Beema

Beema, a Pancha pandava, worshipped Lord Shiva on the banks of Manimuthar river at five places and they are:
Salem Sukavaneswarar, Uthamachozhapuram Karapuranathar, Pillur Veeratteswarar, Paramathi Beemeswarar and Nan Sei Idayaru Eyilinathar.

Sri Sugavaneswarar Shiva Temple

This temple within Salem town is one of the primary landmarks of the town.
The Siva is said to have emerged on His own (swayambu). This is one of the five temples with Swayambu lingams on the banks of Manimuthar river  that were worshipped by Beema.
The main linga is in a slightly slanted position.
Goddess Swarnambikai is housed in a separate sanctum.
The temple has a East facing 3 tier Rajagopuram with single praharam.
The place has many names in ancient literatures. Sukha Brahmma rishi worshipped and so has the name Sukha vanam; Has cleared off the sins of Devars and so called Papanasam; Worshipped by Kamadhenu and so called Patteeswaram; Worshipped by Aadhiseshan and so called Nageeswaram
Legend has it that Avvaiyar went to Kailayam with the help of this Vinayagar
Arunagirinathar sang Thiruppugazh on this Murugan
Apart from the usual shrines of a Lord Shiva temple, there are shrines for Gangala moorthy, Kasi Viswanathar, Pancha bootha lingams, Saraswathy, Gaja Lakshmi, Saptha Kannigas and 63 Nayanmars.

Theertham: Mainmuthar river, Papanasam, Thenu, Amanduga, Manusarana, Manatha
Sthala Vruksham: Peeple tree

Links: Location Weblink

Sri Kasi Viswanathar Temple

This is a sub temple of Sugavaneswarar temple located in the 2nd Agraharm.

Links: Location

Sri Kottai Mariamman Temple

The Kottai region is within the heart of the city near the Old Bus stand.
Kottai Mariamman is believed to be the primary Goddess protecting the Salem town. Pilgrims and locals alike throng this temple in big numbers. The Goddess here is small but beautiful. Unlike in a typical Mariamman temple, at the feet of the Goddess one would not find a skull or a devil, but rather just a lotus bud, making it quite unique.

Links: Location Weblink

Sri Azhaagirinatha Perumal Temple

The temple is located near the Kottai Mariamman temple

Links: Location Weblink

Chinna Thirupathi Lord Prasanna Venkatachalapathy Temple

Links: Location Weblink

Sri VeerabhadhraSwamy Temple

The temple is about 1 km from Salem old bus stand. The temple is close to Guhai Palam bus stop

Veera badhrar is the angry form of Lord Shiva when He burnt His father in law Dhatchan.Veera badhrar normally found in a sub shrine in the praharam of a Shiva temple is having the main place here.
Veera bhadhrar is worshipped here in both linga form and human form.
The main deity Jangameswarar in linga form is being worshipped as a Veera badhrar.
Normally Shiva faces only East or West direction. Here he faces North, the direction of Guberan, the Lord of wealth. Shiva blessed Guberan with all wealth and so worshipping Lord Shiva here is believed to clear off all wealth related problems.
Ambal Vedhanayagi is having a separate shrine.
To the left of the Jangameswar, Veera badhrar in human form is present along with Mahakali and His father in law, Dhatchan. So worshipping the Lord here is believed to clear off all family relational issues.

Links: Location Weblink

Around Salem

Kandasramam at Udaiyapatti

Location: About 10 kms from Salem town. It is located on top of a small hill called Skandagiri. A couple of small hairpin bends would take you to the main entrance of the temple.

This is one of the primary landmarks of Salem and is a modern day temple. The same foundation that constructed the Skandasramam at Selaiyur in Tambaram, Chennai has constructed this also in 1970s. As the name indicates, it is the temple dedicated to Lord Muruga. Like Selaiyur Skandashramam, this temple is also very famous for the sheer size of idols of various Gods and Goddesses in its premises. There are Pancha Mukha Vinayaka, Anjeneya, Danvantiri, Dattareyar, various renowned sages and saints across India, Navagrahas with their spouses.

Links: Location Weblink

Kariyaperumal Karadu, Nethimedu

There are two temples Subramania swamy temple and Kariaperumal temple here. Steps are available till Murugan temple. But further up there is a huge temple for Kariya Perumal but no proper paved steps are available.

Liniks: Location

Sri Murugan Temple at Kumaragiri

The temple is located on a hill top and is dedicated to Lord Muruga. One needs to climb 700+ steps to reach Kumaragiri hill top. Unfortunately, we cannot take vehicle along and will have to climb only by steps.

Links: Location Weblink

Sri Siddeswar Temple at Kanjamalai

Location: 14 kms West of Salem near Salem Steel Plant at the base of the Kanjamalai hill.

It is said that Kanjamalai Siddhar, in the clan of Thirumoolar lived here and He only became the Siddeswar here. The main deity is facing East with a Chin mudhra with a big Nandhi facing Him. Siddhars are believed to live here even now. The temple has a small Rajagopuram with a Maha mandapam.

Legend: As per the Karabura nathar puranam, Moolan, an age old Brahmin came to Kanjamalai once along with his aged Sishya. When the Sishsya was preparing food for his Guru, he stirred the food with a stick and it became black. Thinking that it became unusable for his Guru, he ate all the food himself. Surprisingly he became very young then. When the Guru returned and understood all that had happened, he asked for the stick but it was already burnt in the fire while cooking food. So the Guru made the Sishya to vomit some food, ate himself and he also became young. It is believed that there are plenty of rare medicinal plants in the hill.

Theertham: Gantha theertham at the back of the temple.

Note: Near the temple, there is another temple for Lord Muruga in the name of Sri Gnana Sarguru Balamurugan on a small hill with 100 steps. There are many ancient scriptures about this Lord Muruga.

Links: Location Weblink

Salem – Omalur

Sri Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal  (Chinna Tirupathi) Temple at Karuvalli

Omalur is about 10 kms from Taramangalam and from Omalur, the Chinna Tirupathi temple is about another 10kms. This is an ancient temple but renovated fully. Note that there is one more place called Chinna Tirupathi near Salem town as well.

Links: Location Weblink

Salem – Tharamangalam

Sri Kailasanathar Temple at Tharamangalam

Location: Tharamangalam is located at about 30 kms west of Salem and 10 kms South West of Omalur and the temple is present just opposite the bus stand.

Significances: The temple is highly popular as an art gallery of sculptures

  • One of the specialties of the temple being that both the main deity Kailasanathar’s shrine (facing West) and the Ambal Sivagamasundari’s shrine (facing East) are facing each other.
  • Just above the Shiva shrine there is a beautiful sculpture depicting Lord Vishnu handing over His sister Parvathi to Shiva for marriage which is called “Tharai varthal” in tamil and hence the name of the place as Thara mangalam.
  • There is also a Pathala linga in the underground in the inner praharam that can be reached by a series of few steps under ground  It is a small stone linga, just bigger than one’s thumb standing on a peeta.
  • Seven stone Vinayagar in the inner praharam is popular. There are shrines for Sahasra lingam, Pancha lingam, Natarajar and Avinasiappar.
  • The temple, constructed by Gatti Mudaliyar (a local king) in 13th century is one of the highly popular temples of Tamilnadu for its art gallery of sculptures. One would be mesmerised with the beautiful sculptures of various Gods, Goddesses in varying postures and emotions in the inner praharam like voluptuous Rishi pathni  (Sage’s wife), Manmathan and Rathi, Urthuva Thandavar, Bitchadanar, Kodungai , Ramar killing Vaali .
  • The God and Goddess of Love, Manmathan and Rathi are considered very unique where Manmathan is looking at There are statue of Rathi and Manmadhan; from the statue of Rathi we can see Manmadhan but Rathi is invisible if you look at from the statue of Manmadhan (not sure of this, so pls check yourself).
  • Also depicted at the temple is a scene of Ramayan. Here Vali & Sukrivan fighting is depicted on one pillar, and Lord Ram with bow and arrow aiming to kill Vali is depicted on another pillar. If we look from Rama’s side Vali will be visible but from Vali’s side Rama will not be visible.
  • A freely rolling stone ball inside the yazhi’s mouth (a mythical dragon combining the lion and the elephant) is a testimony to the sculptural talent showcased in some of our temples. The Tharamangalam temple has two such sculptures. The one in the outer praharam has one such stone ball whereas the one in the inner praharam has amazingly three stone balls inside the Yazhi’s mouth. Possibly this is the only temple which has more than one rolling stone inside Yazhi’s mouth.
  • The West facing temple has a 5 tier Rajagopuram of 90 feet high that is conceived as a chariot on wheels, drawn by two elephants. It is said that these two elephants were the ones that helped building this temple and the sculptures were created in memory of them.
  • The huge entrance doors, made of vengai (pterocarpus marsupium) wood, are studded with unrusting iron knobs each of a different pattern. Their panels are decorated with wooden carvings depicting incarnations of Vishnu.
  • The temple has two praharams. The entrance to the inner sanctum is through a portico supported by six sumptuously carved stone pillars. The scenes of tiger hunting by princes seated on horses and accompanied by footmen are depicted very realistically and with great sensitivity.
  • The wooden doors of the portico are adorned with twenty four panels of excellent carving, some of which have been vandalized. The motifs for these carvings are drawn from the divine exploits of Siva and scenes from the daily lives of ordinary people.
  • The ceiling is supported by rows of stone pillars from whose capitals hang elegant chains carved out of solid stone. The ceiling in front of the main shrine is covered by a block of stone seven feet in diameter carved in the shape of an inverted open lotus with parrots. This carving is surrounded by the Gatti Mudhali insignia. The outer walls of the inner most sanctum are covered with inscriptions.
  • Several gigantic monolithic pillars of pink granite carved, polished, and ready for erection in the proposed Thousand Pillar Hall lie outside the temple. More are said to be under the ground. Before this project could be completed, Vanangamudi Gatti Mudaliyar was killed in 1667, leaving the foreground of the temple littered with ruins of a noble dream.
  • During the days of 9 to 13 of Tamil month Maasi, the Sun rays fall on the Lord during sunset. The rays of the sun travel down through the front Gopura at the temple’s entrance gate and through a small hole travels across the front plane to fall directly onto the statue of Siva. The movement of the sun beam can be witnessed as it progresses across the front of the temple, making the lingam appear to glow.
  • A temple tank (about 180 by 180 feet) is one of the finest of its kind in South India. Thirty-six Nandhi sculptures (two feet high) of black stone sit at intervals on top of the parapet wall whose inside holds 365 lamp niches, one for every day of the year.

Theertham: Sivagangai, Brahmma theertham
Sthala Vruksham: Vilvam, Kadalaathi tree

Links: Location  Photos  Weblink  Video  360deg view

Ilameswarar Temple at Tharamangalam

The temple has a a big nandhi with Rameswar as the main deity

Links: Location Weblink

Salem-Rasipuram-Namakkal (Trichy)

Oothumalai

Located at about 6 kms from Salem, this is another hill with temples and vehicles can go all the way to the temples at hilltop. In this hill, the Sidhars like Agasthair, Pambatti Sithar, Bogar and many others are believed to visit often.

1) Sri Balasubramaniar Temple

This hill top temple too is dedicated to Lord Muruga. It is a small temple, but Lord Muruga is present in a very unique posture of holding the neck of His vahana, peacock. Also, the view of the Salem town from the hill top is amazing.

Links: Location Weblink

2) Shiva Temple

As you descend a few meters, you would notice a small Shiva temple. Next to the linga, on the rocks one would find wonderful engravings of Gods and Goddesses along with a Swayambu Sudharshana chakra. This small section of engravings is fenced and is worth a visit.

3) Sathyanarayana Siddhar Peedam

Opposite to the small Shiva temple, a climb through a series of steps would take you to this Vishnu temple. It is one of the very few temples dedicated to Satyanarayana in Tamil Nadu and hence assumes significance. The flight of steps are few, probably less than 60, but slightly steep in nature. The temple is a small one but the statue of the main deity is just beautiful.

Links: Location

4) Sri Sowdeswari Amman Temple

Links: Location

Sri Surya Lingeswarar Temple at Kottaikaradu

Links: Location

Athanoor

1) Sri Athayee amman temple

A community Temple of Kongu Vellala Goundars.
It is said that per Ramayana, the Goddes Sri Athayee and Her sister Azhiya Ilankai Amman (the undestroyable Lankan amman) were in Sri Lanka and came to this place on Sri Hanuman’s request. That is why Sri Hanuman while moving the Sanjeeva giri stayed one moment near Sri Athanoor Amman Temple and worshiped the Goddess  Sri Hanuman temple near Sri Athayee temple is called Sri Sanjeeva Rayar Temple.

Links: Location Weblink

2) Shiva Temple

Links: Location

Sri Subramanya Swamy Temple at Alavaimalai

Links: Location

Sri Azhiya Ilangai Amman Temple (Aya Kovil)

A community Temple of Kongu Vellala Goundars.

Links: Location

Sri Bala Subramanyar Temple at Alavaipatty

Location: 12 kms North-West of Rasipuram
This is another hill temple  in this region with 1500 steps spreading 2 kms distance
Main deity is Swayambu lingam Ekambaranathar with Kamakshi amman
Bala Subramanyar is present in a separate shrine
Siddhars are considered to worship the Lord here
Sthala Vriksham: Ilanthai and Vilvam

Links: Location

Rasipuram

Location: Rasipuram is about 27 kms from Salem.

1) Sri Kailasanathar Temple

This is a fairly big and ancient temple with a 35 feet high Rajagopuram.
The main deity is a Swayambu lingam facing West and the Goddess Dharma Samvardhini is facing East.
Murugan sitting on peacock with consorts is present in a separate shrine. Arunagiri nathar sang Thiruppugazh on this Murugar.
Valvil Ori renovated this temple
Sthala Vruksham: Vilvam

Links: Location Weblink

2) Sri Pon Varadharaja Perumal Temple

Links: Location

Sri Veerakeswar Shiva Temple at Pattanam

Located at 3 kms North-East of Rasipuram

Links: Location

Perumal Temple at Ponkaradu

The temple is on a small hill near Patnam village at about 4 kms North-East of Rasipuram

Links: Location

Sri Sevvantheeswarar Temple at Seerapalli

Located at 7 kms East of Rasipuram

Links: Location

Sri Kasi Viswanathar Temple at Oduvankurichi

7 kms East of Rasipuram

Links: Location

Sri Thiruneeswar Temple at Singalanthapuram

7 kms South-East of Rasipuram

Links: Location

Murugan Temple at Onakkaradu

Located at around 3 kms South East of Rasipuram

Links: Location

Ezhur

Location: Around 20 kms North-West of Namakkal

1) Sri Kailasa nathar Shiva Temple

The main deity is a Swayambu lingam.
The temple is a Thevara Vaipu Sthalam and Thirunavukkarasar sung pathikam on this Shiva.

Links: Location

2) Perumal Temple

Links: Location

Sri Kamakshi amman Temple at Minnampalli

Around 13 kms North of Namakkal

Links: Location

Sri Varadhraja Perumal Temple at Nainamalai

Location: Around 20 kms South of Rasipuram and 15 kms North of Namakkal
The temple is on a 3 kms high hill with 3700 steep steps. The temple building covers the entire hill top. The temple is considered to be present in all the 4 yugas in various names like Indhra Jalam, Padma jalam, Yadhava jalam and Naina jalam. Perumal is present along with Kuvalaya valli Thayar.
In the maha mandapam, the sculptures of Ramar, Seetha, Lakshmanan, Krishnan with butter pot, Narasimhar, Veera Anjaneyar, Manmadhan, Rathi, Ayyappan and Dasavatharams are present.,
From the 1st of Tamil month Aani to the 30th of Aadi, Sun rays fall on the Lord.
There are 3 water streams.

Contact: Soundaraja Battachariar @ 94434 99854 or 04286 – 271330
email:  soundararajan26@gmail.com / vararajar2012@gmail.com

Links: Location

Karumalai Murugan Temple at Karungal Palayam

Links: Location

Namakkal

1) Sri Anjeneyar Temple

This is the most popular temple of the town. The Lord Hanuman idol here is one of the largest in this region. Several larger idols of Lord Hanuman are now seen across the state, but clearly this is among the oldest and hence carries its own charm and significance. The temple, by size is quite a small one with just the Hanuman shrine. The idol is however not covered on top, as the legend has it that any efforts to place a roof on top of the Lord has been unsuccessful in the past, either lost to fire or otherwise. The idol is wonderfully sculpted in such a way that the eyesight of Hanuman directly falls on the feet of Narasimha sculpture located quite a few meters away at the foot of the Namagiri fort.

Links: Location Photos Weblink

2) Sri Narasimhar Temple at Namagiri fort

This is a typical rock cut temple of Narasimhar inside the Namagiri fort just opposite the Anjaneyar temple. In the sanctum sanctorum, Lord Narasimhar is present along with Shiva, Brahma and his sons beautifully carved out on all the 3 walls of the sanctum. Interesting aspect is the red mark on Lord Narasimha’s hands, reflecting the legend that the Lord presented Himself at Namakkal, after killing Hiranya Kashipu. The Goddess here is known by the name Namagiri thayar in a separate shrine.

Links: Location Photos Weblink1 Weblink2

3) Sri Ranganathar Temple

This is another beautiful rock cut temple on the opposite side of the Narasimhar temple.

Links: Location Weblink

4) Namagiri Fort

It is s a tourist attraction

Shiva Temple at Valipuram

Location: 6 kms west of Namakkal
Main deity Thanthondreeswarar is a Swayambu lingam with Goddess Valliammai

Links: Location

Thozhur

Location: 9 kms South-West of Namakkal

1) Sri Choleeswarar Temple

Main deity Choleeswarar is a Swayambu lingam with Ambal Visalakshi.
The temple is a Thevara vaipu sthalam and Thirunavukkarasar sung pathikam on this Lord.

Links: Location

2) Perumal Temple

Links: Location

3) Sri Kaliamman Temple

A community Temple of Kongu Vellala Goundars

Links: Location

Muthusamy Temple at Aariyur

A popular community Temple of Kongu Vellala Goundars

Links: Location

Mohanur

Location: 18 kms South of Namakkal on the Northern bank of river Cauvery.

1) Sri Asala Deepeswarar Shiva Temple

The main deity is a West facing Swayambu lingam and Ambal is Madhukaraveni facing East.

Significances:

  • The deepam in the sanctum sanctorum does not get disturbed by any force of wind and burns still freely. So the deity is called Asala Deepeswarar.
  • When Lord Muruga got angry with His parents when He was not spared with the mango, He disappeared somewhere. When Shiva and Parvathi were searching for Him everywhere, they found Him here and so the place was called Mahanur (Mahan means son in Tamil) and became Mohanur.
  • The temple is a Thevara vaipu sthalam and Thirunavukkarasar and Sundarar sang hymns on this Lord.

A curd seller lady Thenayee at Kaumari palayam was helped in her child birth by this Lord and so He is called Kumareeswarar and the place was called Mahavanur.
The temple has a single praharam
The cauvery is very wide here and the bathing ghat of this place is called Kumarithurai and is considered as scared as Ganga.
AadiPerukku is the most colourful and popular festival here.

Sthala Vruksham: Vivam
Theertham: Cauvery

Links: Location Weblink1 Weblink

2) Sri Kalyana Prasanna Venkataramanar temple

Links: Location Weblink1 Weblink2

3) Sri Valliamman Temple

Links: Location Weblink

4) Sri Kandamalai Murugan Temple

Links: Location

5) Sri Navaladi Karuppannaswamy Temple

This highly popular temple is located on the bank of river Cauvery. Karuppannaswami is also known as Navaladian and Judge Durai. Sri Navaladi Karuppuswami is in the form of a Peeta or a platform in a small pit.  This peeta is drawn with eyes, nose and tilak with sandal and dressed (Alankara) as a deity. A turban is also placed on the peeta. Since the main deity is near the Naval tree is He is called Navaladian. The Chellandiamman shrine in the temple is very popular among devotees.  The temple is noted for its architectural and sculptural beauty.
Here people submit their prayers to Lord Karuppannaswami in writing like an official petition and tie them in the Pattamaram Naval tree in the temple. The devotees have the privilege to speak face to face with the deity. A special puja is held in the midnight called ‘Sathya Puja’. It is considered very important by the devotees.

Links: Location Weblink1 Weblink2

Rasipuram – Kolli Hills

Sri Annamar Swamy Temple at Arasapalayam (Kakkaveri)

A community Temple of Kongu Vellala Goundars

Links: Location

Murugan Temple at Belukkurichi

The village is right below the Kolli Hills. The name Belukurichi has its root from ‘Velavan Kurunji’, meaning the land and hills that belong to Velavan (Lord Muruga) known as Palaniyappar for whom there is a beautiful temple in the name of Palaniyappar Temple. This is the place where Lord Muruga disguised himself as a handsome hunter youth to lure and marry Valli.
This temple has got a historical significance, where several kings have visited.
It is also said that the Tamil saint poetess, Avvaiyar whenever visited her friend, Valvil Ori, the then chieftain of the Kolli hills, never left the region without offering her prayers to this Lord Muruga.
The idol is found with His hair knotted atop his head like a hunter. This idol has got a unique feature wherein Lord Muruga holds a rooster (Cheval) in His left hand though resting on His hip. In His right hand He holds the vajra vel (the sacred spear). He has also got a pichuva katthi (a hunter’s dagger) in his waist band. This is a unique posture of Lord Muruga which is not seen in the sanctum sanctorum anywhere in the world though it can be seen in temples like Sikkal etc.in the sub shrines. The Lord is also depicted as wearing sandals in his feet which is another unique feature (This is also seen in Sikkal)

Note: Belukurichi is also famous for Indian spices like mustard,pulses,turmeric,garlic etc. People from all over South India throng the weekly market of this small village on all Saturdays every year from February to May.

Links: Location Weblink

Karumalai Murugan Temple at Kalappanaickenpatti

On a small hill

Links: Location

Namakkal – Kolli Hills

Senthamangalam

Note: There are many Senthamangalams in Tamilnadu

1) Sri Lakshmi Narayana Swamy Temple

The temple is located just adjacent to the main bus stand of the town and is an ancient one.
Main deities: Sri LakshmiNarayanan and Perundevi thayar.
Contact:  Soundararajan Battachariar @ 94434 99854

Links: Location

2) Shiva Temple

Links: Location

3) Sri Dattareyar Temple at Dattagiri

Quite close to Senthamangalam, there is a small hill top called Dattagiri. The temple is primarily dedicated to Dattareyar, unison of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. There is also a sanctum for Muruga here and that is what most of the locals associate with the temple rather than Dattareyar. The same foundation of Skandasramam is also credited with construction of the Dattagiri temple. One would have to climb about 50 steps to reach the temple. The temple primarily has two deities at the top, Lord Muruga and Lord Dattareya, both being quite magnificent structures as is the case with the Skandhashramams of both Salem and Chennai (Selaiyur).
There is also a small temple at the foot hill. Although small, this houses four sanctums for Vana Durgai, Ayyapa, Dakshinamoorthy and Saneeswara. One has to take a round trip of the premise to catch sight of the four wonderful sculptures. As though to say it has been set up by the same foundation as Skandasramam, the four sculptures are quite big in size and the artistry is spell binding. In specific, the statue of Vana Durgai is such a wonderful sight and is worth the effort.

Links: Location

Kolli Hills

Location: 40 Kms South East of Namakkal. The hill is around 4700 feet height with 70 hairpin bends.

1) Sri Arappalleeswarar Temple at Kolli hills

Significance: Thevara Vaipu Sthalam; ThriruGnana Sambandhar and Thirunavukkarasar sang hymns on this Lord

The main deity is a Swayambu lingam facing East and the Ambal is Thayammai facing South.
There are shrines for Vinayagar, Murugar, Naalvar, Kasi Viswanathar with Visalakshi, Mahalakshmi, Sawarswathi, Durgai, Bairavar and Navagraha.
Sage Kaalaangi  and many Siddhars worshipped Lord here
The nearby water stream is called Ayyaru and fishes in this stream are considered very sacred. The main Lord Arappalleeswarar and many Siddhars are considered to be present here in the form of fishes. Only after feeding the fishes here, the main Lord at the temple is offered food.
Arunagiri nathar sang hymns on this Lord Muruga. The significance of this place has been written in many ancient Tamil literatures.

There is Ahaya Gangai water falls nearby where water is falling from about 600 feet.

Links: Location Photos Weblink

2) Sri Ettukai Amman temple at Poonthottam

The deity Ettu kai amman or Kolli pavai is the Goddess of the Kolli hills and the temple is located in a beautiful atmosphere.

Links: Location Photos 360 deg view

3) Masi Periyasamy Temple

Masila falls is a cascading falls of 200 feet and Masi Periyasamy temple is on top of Masila falls

Links: Location Weblink

Note: 360 degree view of Kolli hills is here

Namakkal – Paramathi Velur

Ettukai Amman temple at Keerambur

A community Temple of Kongu Vellala Goundars

Links: Location

Pillur

1) Sri Veeratteswarar Shiva Temple

This is one of the five temples with Swayambu lingams on the banks of Manimuthar river  that were worshipped by Pancha Pandava Beema.

Links: Location

2) Padaivetti Amman-Muthusamy Temple

A community Temple of Kongu Vellala Goundars

Links: Location

Sri Veemeswarar Shiva Temple at Mavureddy

Location: 2 kms North of Paramathi
This is one of the five temples with Swayambu lingams on the banks of Manimuthar river  that were worshipped by Pancha Pandava Beema.

Links: Location

Sri Bheemeswara Temple at Paramathi

Location: About 18 kms South-West of Namakkal
This is one of the five temples with Swayambu lingams on the banks of Manimuthar river  that were worshipped by Pancha Pandava Beema. This is quite a small temple, but the pillars and carvings tell a great story of how they have stood the test of times.

Links: Location Weblink

Mohanur – Paramathi Velur – Pandamangalam – Jedarpalayam

Nanjai  Edaiyar

1) Raasa Koil

A community Temple of Kongu Vellala Goundars

Links: Location

2) Sri Eyilinathar / Thirumaaleeswarar Shiva temple

A Swayambu lingam and one of the five temples with Swayambu lingams on the banks of Manimuthar river  that were worshipped by Pancha Pandava Beema.

Links: Location Weblink

Oonchakattu Karrupanna samy Temple near Ooncha Palayam

A community Temple of Kongu Vellala Goundars.

Links: Location

Kasi Viswanathar Temple at Paramathi Velur

Location: About 25 kms South-West of Namakkal

Links: Location

Sri Prasanna Varadharaja Perumal Temple at Pandamangalam

Links: Location

Sri Vengarai Kaliamman Temple at Vengarai

This is a highly popular and powerful temple. People from far off places throng this temple.

Links: Location

Paramathi – Jedarpalayam

Murugan Temple at Kabilar malai

Links: Location

Salem – Thiruchengode

Sri Kandhaswamy Temple at Kalipatti

Location: About 25 kms North-East of Tiruchengode and 25 kms South West of Salem
This is a popular Murugan temple at Kalipatti. The temple is backed by significant history and is considered as sacred as Arupadai Veedu Murugan shrines. Here, instead of the Vibhooti (holy ash), devotees are given black ash made of sugarcane. This is supposed to have medicinal properties and supposedly been used for snake bites even,  historically.

Links: Location

Sri Soleeswarar Shiva Temple at Malla Samudhram

Location: 21 kms North-East of Tiruchengode and 28 kms South-West of Salem.

Soleeswara Temples are always in honour of Chola kings

Links: Location

Tiruchengode

Location: Tiruchengode is about 40 kms South-West of Salem and 35 kms North-West of Namakkal.

1) Sri Kailasanathar Temple

Before visiting the main Tiruchengode hill top temple, one could visit the Kailasanathar temple located at the foot hill. It is a reasonably spacious temple facing East with a 5 tier 76 feet Rajagopuram. The Goddess is Elavar Kuzhali ammai. The temple is well maintained and the entrance door carvings are a great treat for the eyes.

Links: Location

2) Sri Arthanareeswarar Temple

Significance: One of the 275 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams

The historically famous Arthanareeswarar temple on hill top is undoubtedly the main attraction in this region. Ilangovadigal sang on this temple 2000 years back itself.
Arthanareeswarar represents union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi in one human form. Goddess Baham Priyal ammai penanced here and became the half part of Lord Shiva.
The main deity is a Swayambu lingam facing West. There are also shrines for Vinayagar, Lord Murugar in the name of Sengottu velavar, Lord Vishnu in the name of Aadhi Kesava Perumal. The premise also holds a huge putru (sand pit), probably among the biggest.
The hill is 1200 feet high with 1200 steps but a road also has been laid to the hill top to drive through vehicles. There is a 5 headed 100 feet long Nagar engraved on the rock by the side of the foot path for climbing. On the 60th step, Sathya Vakkiya Perumal shrine is present
The temple has a North facing 5 tier Rajagopuram with two praharams. There are beautiful carvings on pillars and ceilings.
Since this is a hill of red soil, it is called Sengode.
Sage Bringi is seen worhsipping the deity in standing posture with the support of a stick under the shadow of a tree
Arunagiri nathar sang 27 Thiruppugazh hymns on this Murugar
One of the 63 Nayanmars Viranminda Nayanar was born and lived here.
When the adiyar group of Thirugnana Sambhandhar was suffering with severe cold, he  sang Thiruneelakanda Pathigam and got rid of their suffering.

Theertham: Dheva Theertham
Sthala Vruksham:  Iluppai tree

Links: Location Weblink1 Weblink2

Perumal Temple at Kovilpalayam

Location: Around 8 kms East of Thiruchengode

Links: Location

Perumal Temple at Thimirathampatty

Location: Around 10 kms East of Thiruchengode

Links: Location

Thiruchengode – Rasipuram

KonKaliamman temple at Kokkalai (Gokilai)

A community Temple of Kongu Vellala Goundars.

Links: Location

Azhagu Nachiamman Temple at Paruthipalli

A community Temple of Kongu Vellala Goundars.

Links: Location

Selliamman temple at Konnayar

A community Temple of Kongu Vellala Goundars.

Links: Location

Murugan Temple at Vaiyappa malai

A Hill temple

Links: Location

Sri Siva Subramanyar Temple at Pillanallur

Links: Location

Salem – Sankagiri

Sri Karabureeswarar Shiva Temple at Uthama Cholapuram (Periyur)

Location: The town is located on the western bank of the Manimuthar river at around 8 kms South-West of Salem city. It was known variously as “Karapuram”, “Kaveri Poompattinam,” and is still known as “Periyur.” During the Chozha period, the town flourished as one of the main commercial places of the Kongu Nadu.

Significances:

  • One of the Thevara Vaipu Sthalams
  • One of the five temples with Swayambu lingams on the banks of Manimuthar river  that were worshipped by Pancha Pandava Beema.

Legend:

The presiding deity of this famous and historic Shiva temple is called Karabureeswarar and is said to have emerged on His own (swayambu). The linga is present in a slightly tilted position towards North to accept the garlands from a small boy. Goddess is Periya Nayahi amman in a separate shrine.
One of Ravana’s brothers Karan worshipped the Lord here and so the Lord is called Karabura nathar or Karabureeswarar.
It is believed that the famous Tamil poet Aavaiyar arranged the marriage of Angavai and Sangavai here, the two daughters of King Pari, extensively covered in Tamil history to the  King of Thirukkovilur, Deiveegan. The Vinayagar of this temple is believed to have written down the marriage document. Chera, Chozha and Pandya kings attended the marriage. Karadi Siddhar lived in Kanjamalai was present at the marriage in the form of a bear. There is a separate shrine for Karadi Siddhar.
Chera, Chola, Pandya Kings, Seekizhar, Pattinathar, Arunagiri nathar worshipped the Lord here.

Temple:

The temple is over 1200 years old and was built by Cholas as the name of the town suggests.
The temple has a 5 tier Rajagopuram facing East with a single praharam. There is a life-size sculpture of Avvaiyar placed at the entrance of the temple.
There are shrines for Vinai Theertha Vinayagar, Natarajar, Naalvar, Amarneethi Nayanar, Karaikkal Ammaiyar, Vanthi ammai, Karadi Siddhar, Pancha lingams, Gnana Bairavar and Navagrahas.Sthala Vruksham: Vilvam

Note: The village also contains temples dedicated to Azhagiri Perumal and Mariamman.

Links: Location Weblink

Kariya Perumal (Dasavathara) Temple at Ariyaanur

Location: Around 15 kms from Salem in the Kanjamalai area.

The place of Hari (Vishnu) is called Ariyaanur. Karadi Siddhar found two stones here and identified them as the twins of Lord Rama, Lava and Kucha. A devotee of Karadi Siddhar built a temple for Kariya Perumal and Rama’s son Kuchan is giving dharshan here as Kariya Perumal. Dasavathara sudai sculptures are found over the mandapam. Garudazhwar and Anjaneyar are present as Dwara balahars. Danvanthri, Lakshmi Hayagreevar and Vishnu Durgai are present as Koshta Gods around the sanctum. There is also a Gubera lingam and the idols of 18 Siddhars.
The doors of the temple are never closed and the devotees can do abhsihegam and pooja on their own.

Note: There is also a modern day Dhasavathara temple nearby and don’t confuse that with this ancient temple and make sure that you visit the right temple!

Links: Location

Perumal temple at Periya Seeragapadi

Location: Around 15 kms from Salem
The temple is located on the Kavagiri hill

Links: Location

Sri Senraya Perumal Temple at Rakkipatti

Location: Around 18 kms from Salem
The temple is located on a beautiful hill

Links: Location

Sri Varadharaja Perumal Temple at Orukkamalai

Location: Around 6 kms from Sankagiri

Links: Location Weblink

Sri Manja Malai Perumal Temple

Location: Around 4 kms from Sankagiri

Links: Location

Sankagiri Hill

Location: Around 37 kms SouthWest of Salem.

The hill is located at 2345 feet above sea level with 1500 steps to the top.
The great Kongu King Theeran Chinnamalai was placed in noose at this place by the English army. On event of this, there is a memorial for Theeran Chinnamalai with his statue in this hill. Sankagiri hill also houses a fort built by Tippu sultan

Links: Location

1) Sri Someswarar Temple

The main deity is a Swayambu lingam with Goddess Soundara Nayagi. There are shrines for Vinayagar, Arumugar, Natarajar, Sellandi amman, Kamkshi amman and Somaskandar.

2) Sri Varatha Raja Perumal Temple at Sangagiri hill (upper)

There are Varatharaja Perumal temple both at the hill top and the hill base. The temples were built by Vijayanagara empire. After completing the pooja at the hill top temple only pooja in the lower hill Varatha Raja temple starts.

Links: Location

3) Sri Varatha Raja Perumal Temple at Sangagiri hill (lower)

Links: Location

Perumal Temple at Mangamalai

Location: Around 10 kms North-West of Sankagiri

Links: Location

Sankagiri – Thiruchengode

Sri Pujaneswarar Temple at Morur

A Swayambu lingam at 6 kms South of Sangagiri

Links: Location

Salem – Athur

Sri Kothanda Ramar Temple at Ayodhiapattinam

Location: About 10 kms East of Salem

As the name of the town suggests, this is a temple dedicated to Lord Rama. It is quite an old temple with wonderful sculptural works. The temple sanctum ceilings are filled with paintings depicting various mythological scenes, although it has got slightly eroded over time. The walls and pillars of the sanctum are beautifully decorated with intricate carvings and sculptures. This temple’s pillars are made of phonolitic rock, so they give different sounds when we strike them at different places.
Legend has it that given the delay in time for Rama to reach Ayodhya from Sri Lanka in time for his Pattabhisheka, Lord Rama had his Pattabhisheka done at Ayodhiapattinam, when the auspicious time was still available and later did it in Ayodhya with all necessary procedures. So, we find Rama and Sita in pattabisheha posture – Rama with his left leg folded and Sita Devi with her right leg folded seated to the left of Ramar.
Ayodhya was not only the birthplace of Lord Rama and therefore sacred to the Hindus, but was also sacred to the Jains and Buddhists.  It was the birthplace of Rishaba, Ajitha, and other Jain theerthankarars. It was the place where the celebrated Toothbrush tree of the Buddha grew.  The naming of this village may possibly have roots in the local Jain Buddhist traditions, not just the Hindu epic, Ramayana.

Links: Location Weblink Photos

Panch bootha Shiva Temples on the banks of Vasishta Nadhi

There are 12 Shiva temples located on villages through which Vasishta Nadhi flows. These include the following pancha boodha (Five Classical Elements or Tattva) sthalams:

  • Belur Thandodreswarar (Land),
  • Ethapur Sambavamoortheswarar (Water),
  • Attur Kottai Kayanirmeshwarar (Fire),
  • Aragalur Kamanadeshwarar (Air) and
  • Koogaiyur Swarnapurieswarar (Sky).

Sri Thanthondreeswarar Temple at Belur

Location: About 18kms from Ayodhiapattinam and 32 kms from Salem.

Significance: This is one of the Pancha bootha Sthalams installed by Vasishtar on the banks of the Vasishta river representing the land element.

This 12th century temple is fairly big and grand.  Thanthondree means emerging on its own and as the name indicates, this is a swayambu linga. For a swayambu linga, one would be surprised by the relatively large size of the linga. The Rajagopuram of the temple is quite an imposing one and is a 7-tier structure facing East and the temple has a single praharam. The temple pillar carvings are also a wonderful work of art. The Goddess is known by the name Dharma Samvardhini. One would also find a sanctum for Kalyana Ganapathy, which houses two Vinayaka statues within the same sanctum, one large and one slightly smaller. People offer prayers here for early marriage.
Narathar, Vasishtar, Dhurvasar, Indhran, Romasar, Kabilar, Sambugan, Sunanthan worshipped the Lord here.
Kanampullar, one of 63 Nayanmars, belongs to this place.

Sthala Vruksham: Jack fruit tree
Theertham: Vasishta Theertham

Links: Location Weblink

Yethapur

Location: 35 kms East of Salem and 15 kms West of Athur

1) Sri Samba Murtheeswarar temple

Significance: This is one of the Pancha bootha sthalams installed by Vasishtar on the banks of the Vasishta river representing the water(Appu)  element.

The temple with 3 praharams is located on the northern bank of the Vasishta river.
The main deity is a Swayambu lingam with the Goddess Manonmani ammai.

Links: Location Weblink

2) Sri Lakshmi Gopala Temple

Links: Location Weblink

Sri Athakondeeswarar Temple at Pethanaicken Palayam

Links: Location

Athur

Location: Athur is located at 50 kms East of Salem

There is an ASI maintained Fort here. A nice article on Athur here.

1) Sri Kaya Nirmaleswarar Sivan Temple at Athur Fort (Ananthagiri)

The temple is located in the Athur Fort region near Athur town.
Significance: This is one of the Pancha bootha sthalams installed by Vasishtar on the banks of the Vasishta river representing Fire (Agni) element.
The main deity is a Swayambu lingam in the name of Kayanirmaleswarar / Vasishteswar with Goddess Akilandeswari.
Ananthan worshipped the main deity and so He is also called Anantheswar

Sthala Vruksham: Vilvam
Theertham: Vasishta

Links: Location Weblink

2) Sri Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal Temple at Athur Fort

Links: Location

3) Sri Thalayatti Vinayakar temple

Links: Location Webink

4) Sri Veera Anjaneyar temple

Links: Location Weblink

Sri Bala Subramanyar Temple at Vada Chennimalai

A hill temple at about 9 kms East of Athur

Links: Location Weblink

Aragalur

Aragalur is about 20 kms East of Athur. Aragalur means in Tamil – village of six trenches and it speaks of its militant nature.

1) Sri Kaamanatheeswarar / Kala Bairavar Temple

Location: 21 kms East of Athur towards Veppur  and 4 kms of South-East Thalaivasal on the Southern bank of Vasishta river.

Significance:

  • This is one of the Pancha bootha sthalams installed by Vasishtar on the banks of the Vasishta river representing the Air (Vayu) element.
  • The temple with 5 praharams is the biggest temple of the Salem district.
  • The main deity is a Swayambu lingam with Goddess Periya Nayahi
  • Natarajar of this temple is very big and beautiful
  • The temple has the following Ashta Bairavaras as below:
    Ajitanga Bhairavar, Ruru Bhairavar, Chanda Bhairavar, Krodha Bhairavar, Beeshana Bhairavar, Kapala Bhairavar, Unmatta Bhairavar and Kala Bhiravar

On every Ashtami day after the full moon special poojas are conducted at midnight. People worship Ashtabairavar here to get remedy for all their problems.

Links: Location

2) Sri Karivarada Perumal Temple

The Karivarada Perumal Kovil is equally famous and is a treasure house of beautiful sculptures. It receives a steady stream of devotees throughout the year.
Rajaraja Vanar Kovaraiyan built this temple facing West in the 12th century. There are nice Dasavatara murals with the 9th avatar as Budha! This is a parikara sthalam for people with stars Uthiradam, Thiruvonam, Avittam & Moolam. The vimana is of 3 levels.

Note: The temple cars donated by Eramanchi Tulukanna Nayaka 1518 under Vijayanagara Empire are in ruins but the art work is brilliant even in the current condition.

Links: Location

3) Solesvaran Temple

This temple gives the old name for the village as ‘Thayinum nalla chozhiswaram’. The temple is constructed using Granite stones with no mortar. Nandi is in separate Mandapa. There is another small temple for the Goddess adjacent to the Solesvaran temple and the construction is similar to the main temple. Locals believe that this was constructed by / in honor of Kulothunga Chola III.

4) Anbairamman temple

The temple on the bank of Vasishta Nadi, has 2 Vinayakars that’s not a common feature.

Links: Location

Buddha temple at Thiyaganur

The Budha temple and Buddha statues in the neighbouring village is another attraction to the visitors.

Links: Location

Sitheri

Location: Around 2 kms South of Aragalur

1) Shiva Temple

Links: Location

2) Perumal Temple

Links: Location

Sri Swarnapurieswarar Temple at Koogaiyur

Location: Around 11 kms East of Aragalur; 6 km South of Kural village Chinna Salem junction in the Salem-Athur-Vridhachalam road.

Significance: This is one of the Pancha bootha sthalams installed by Vasishtar on the banks of the Vasishta river representing the Sky (space) element.
A Thevara Vaipu Sthalam

The main deity Swarnapureeswarar is a Swayambu lingam and the Ambal name is Periyanayahi
When the son of the Sthapathy of this temple died due to snake poison, the Lord of this temple came in the form a Siddhar and brought the life of the boy.
There are musical pillars in this temple

Contact: 0427-2400415 / 93450 65727

Links: Location

Note: A nice links on Salem Tourism here: http://salemtourism.blogspot.in/

Responses

  1. A great work . This blog wl help very much for those who want visit or to know temples in and around of the salem district. Fantastic. As a native of salem town, myself also din’t visit many of these temples.
    I once again thank you for your detailed posting.

  2. I am from Salem and I fondly remember the days I lived there. The temples in and around Shevapet Agraharam were my favourite visit-spots. I am grateful to you for the nice way you have put across the details. Hve y ou mentioned about Lakshminarasimar temple and Koppu-konda Royan temple in Pethanaickenpalayam, Attur Taluk?

  3. Hello there,

    I would love to visit the Aragalur Sivan temple when I visit Tamil Nadu in April. Does anyone have a contact number to the temple? Thank you.

    Regards,
    Vanan

  4. A small correction: The chakra in Shiva Temple at Oothumalai is “Sri Chakra” and not Sudharshana Chakra. This chakra is believed to be offered prayers by Sage Agasthya. The cave next to it is where many siddha purushas and rishis have done penance.

  5. sir I am lord shiva grace thanks for your service

  6. Respected Sir, remarkable…… no word to praise the work for natives … my sincere mamaskaram.

    viswam on 14th August 2013

  7. excellent work.I really appreciate for your sincere efforts
    By.A.K.Sreenivasan

  8. Thank you

    Very well done
    Wish you all the very best

    Regards
    SELVARAJ

  9. Dear Raju Sir,

    This is a priceless service to mankind by you. God bless you always for this wonderful philanthrophy. Just one small suggestion, if you do mention the timings during which the temple would be open, it would be of very great help.

    Cordially,
    Madhan Mohan. M

  10. Mr Raju,
    Very Interesting and very useful. Can yoou suggest good and decent accommadation at Salem for a day this weekend. We are 2 and purpose of our visit is pilgrimage.

  11. good work. eventhough born and grow in salem town i could not know all these. thanks sir

  12. It seems Viranminda Nayanar was born in Tiruchenguntrur(Chengannur), kerala(ref:shaivam.org). But here given as Tiruchengodu (Kodimadachenguntrur).Which is correct?

  13. Very nice to read devine news about my Birth place Salem and its nearby places including Vengarai which is our native place.Thanks for bringing out such a detailed study of various locations.

  14. Excellent and painstaking write ups with photos highlighting their importance tempting for visits .Thank you very much nad good wishes for your continued research and postings.
    Vaidyanathan from Mumbai

  15. Wonderful job.The sthala vritcham of Ardhanareeswarar temple at Tiruchengode is Iluppai tree.

  16. Excellent work. Only you can do it due to HIS grace. Appropriate web link/ location adds weight to your write-up. Our prayers for your good health and long life.

    Love & Regards – K.N. Sankara Narayanan, Bangalore

  17. God Bless you and your family healthy long long life to enable yourself
    to continue the holly service to humanity to enable them to visit the temples.

  18. Good post, I had lived in Salem for 20 years, I had not seen may of them. Thanks for sharing this valuable information.

  19. Many thanks for the Salem Temples blog. I was very much useful for our visit to Salem by the description of various temples in and around Salem. May your divine service continue.Like this send in and around Kathiramangal near aduthurai temples.

  20. Sir, Thanks for the compilation which is very useful. You can also add the Maasi Periyasaami temple at the top of kolli hills which is a very famous one.

  21. This ia good collection. As a alemite I found it very informative/

  22. Many thanks for the Salem Temples blog. As it is the town/district where I grew up, I was very touched by the description of various temples in and around Salem. May your divine service continue.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,011 other followers

%d bloggers like this: