Visit to Periyanayahi Amman Temple at Devikapuram

Visit to the Periyanayaki Amman Temple at Devikapuram

Vandavasi-Chetput 1 Vandavasi-Chetput 2


Devikapuram is to the West of Vandavasi; to the East of Polur; to the South of Arani and to the North-East of Thiruvannamalai. While going from Vandavasi, after Nedungunam (covered in my just previous post), you will reach Chetput and go beyond in the same road towards Polur to reach Devikapuram. The temple is located by the right side of the main road.


From Vandavasi:
Chennai (Adayar) to Vandavasi (via Uthiramerur/Thennangur) – 108 km
Vandavasi to Chetput – 27 km
Chetput to Devikapuram – 13 km

From Arani:
Arani to Chetput – 24 km
Chetput to Devikapuram – 13 km

From Polur:
Polur to Devikapuram – 15 km

Quick facts:

Amman: Periyanayahi amman, also called Periya Nachiyar and Brahathambal (associated with Kanagagreeswarar in the nearby hilltop temple)
Theertham: Sivaganga Theertham


Once Parvathi devi came to Devikapuram during the pralaya period. She saw a small hill was coming down with a golden shine floating in the pralaya floods which stayed here as Golden hill. Parvathi devi then stayed here and worshipped Lord Shiva at the hill with the Kasi Viswanathar lingam on a Shivarathri day and Shiva appeared to Her as a Swayambu lingam. Devi stayed at the Periyanayahi amman temple exclusively.


  • The 2nd biggest temple of Thiruvannamalai district, next only to Thiruvannamalai temple
  • One of the few exclusive (big) temples of Amman like Kanchi Kamakshi and Madurai Meenakshi
  • An exquisite sculptural marvel

Temple Car Peeping through the entrance door
Entrance Raja Gopuram


The temple had its Kumbabhisheham in 2003 after the one in 1889. It measures 475 feet east-west and 450 feet north-south with 30 feet temple walls and 150 feet 7 tier Rajagopuram. There is a big open space in front where there is a 4 pillar high-ceiling Urchav mandapam and another one in the form of a chariot by the side of which the temple car is standing by. Both the mandapams house many sculptures. The big temple with the vast empty space, the mandapams in front and the village streets present a picturesque atmosphere. I visited the temple in the afternoon and saw plenty of cows were being brought to this open space for milking. The other 3 sides of the temple are heavily encroached upon with shops. Once these 4 streets must have been used very freely for running the temple car and the huge and beautiful temple walls should have been visible. Now we can only be consoled that at least the front empty space is spared.

From inside the temple Rajagopura Sculpture - Dwara Balahar

We are welcomed by the big Dwarabalahas on either side of the Rajagopuram entrance and as you enter there are beautiful sculptures on either side of the inner walls of the Rajagopuram.

Rajagopura Sculpture 1 Rajagopura Sculpture 4
Rajagopura Sculpture 5
Rajagopura Sculpture 6 Adhikara Nandhi at the entrance, the best of all

There are sculptures of Lingothbavar, Narasimhar, Kaala Bairavar, Dancing girls etc., and the most beautiful one of them is the huge and stunningly beautiful Adhikara Nandhi. What a great sculptural work it is!

Vandalised Sculptures of the Rajagopuram

Ironically, some of the sculptures have been vandalized also. It is said that this vandalisation was by the foreign invasions but I strongly doubt it since they would not have left this beautiful temple untouched except for this front portion. These should have been the handiwork of our own people especially due to the fact that these have happened only outside the main entrance door.

Honey Combs at the Ceiling of the Rajagopuram Entrance

There were plenty of honeycombs (about 20) in the ceiling. It is said that sages live as birds, bees and snakes in the temple to protect the temple treasures and worship.

Inner Gopuram and the  Dwajasthambam
Panoramic View
Variyar Arangam Temple Tank
Kalyana Mandapam Kalyana Mandapa Sculpture

There are three praharams inside the temple. As you enter the 3rd praharam, on the left side there is a temple tank and a 4 pillared mandapam and on the right side there is an Open air Auditorium called Variyar Mandapam and a Kalyana mandapam in the form of a Chariot being pulled by the horses. In the Kalyana mandapam there are sculptures explaining the story of Manuneethi Chola who killed his son under the wheels of his chariot just to keep up the justice as a King. Dwajasthambam, Balipeetam and Nandhi Devars are present here. One Nandhi is present at an elevated height and just below another one is sitting on the ground. Maybe, the abhishehams are taking place to the Nandhi at the ground?

Maha Mandapam at the Inner Entrance

As we go further, we enter the 36 pillared Maha mandapam with a 5 tier, 2nd stage Rajagopuram. The fact that each pillar houses sculptures on all the four sides and also there are exquisite carving works on the ceiling and the pillar tops indicates the magnanimity of the sculptural works of the temple. After crossing the Maha mandapam we enter the 2nd praharam which houses Navarathri kolu Mandapam and Artha Mandapam which again houses plenty of sculptures. There are about 55 inscriptions, most of which belong to the Vijayanagara Empire and are in the 2nd praharam. As we go further the Dwarabalahis are present on either side of the entrance and you will enter the 1st praharam and the sanctum sanctorum. Periyanayahi Amman is present majestically in standing posture with Pasa Angusam in her upper hands and Abhaya and Varatha mudhras in the lower hands.
Dwara Balahis of the Amman Shrine Ardha Mandapam
Navarathri Kolu Mandapam 2nd Praharam
Sekkizhar, Nalvar, Vinayahar



3rd Praharam in the backdrop of the Hilltop Temle 3rd Praharam 1
3rd Praharam 2 Navagraha Shrine at the 3rd Praharam
2nd Praharam 3 2nd Praharam 2
2nd Praharam 1

Maha Mandapa Sculptures

Maha Mandapa Sculpture - Lakshmi Narasimhar Maha Mandapa Sculpture - Kaala Bairavar Maha Mandapa Sculpture - Durgai Maha Mandapa Sculpture - Brahma Maha Mandapa Sculpture - Tapas Kamkshi Maha Mandapa Sculpture 1

Kanagagreeswarar hilltop temple

The temple is associated with the nearby Kanagagreeswarar temple at the hillock top. The Gurukkal was not all that helpful to show me this temple and so I could not visit it. Maybe the Lord wants me to keep coming over there. At 8AM everyday, there is an abhisheham for Kanagagreeswarar with ghee and hot water and so it is better to go in the morning so that you can visit both the temples. There is a Murugan shrine in this temple on whom Arunagirinadhar has sung Thiruppugazh. The sanctum sanctorum houses 3 lingams – one Kasi Viswanathar installed and worshipped by Parvathi Devi, another Swayambu lingam and the third one made of Rudhrakshas (since two lingams should not be there).

Hilltop Temple


  1. Dear Mr. Raju,

    Marvellous !!!!! Great Photographs !!!!!

    It’s totally impressive, more excellent, causing a great surprise.
    A pat on your back from my side, not only me, through my entire family.
    Why ?……..Of course, there is a big story behind this.
    I was born In Devikapuram, but still not able to have a thorough round up(PRAHARAM) of the Temple. I had been shifted to Mumbai, at baby stage, by my Parents, to earn livelyhood.
    Still I am praying to Goddess Periyanayagi Amman to bless me to Have, a permanent residence in Devikapuram itself to have her Daily sight on me.
    Once again, Thanks for the Live Photographs of the temple of, My soil of Birth.


    Ambarnath, Maharashtra.

  2. I thank mr raju for describing world throughbehalf of our Wonderful temple in devikapuram. God siva wife periyanayaki amman biggest temple and beautiful sculptures. I m really proud to b a citizen of Devikapuram…

  3. Am in sudan. I went to Kanagagreeswarar and Periyanayaki amman temple i visit there three times. Wonderful temple in devikapuram. God siva wife periyanayaki amman biggest temple and beautiful sculptures.I am really proud of that my wife native place. No words to say it is wonderful temple.




  4. Hi Sir, I am planning to host a website on tamilnadu temples… I need your help. Please reply to my mail id with your contact number. I will get in touch with you.

    Thank you sir.

  5. Am really proud 2 b a citizen of Devikapuram… Invincible Devikapuram clippings… Always Devikapuram Rockz!!! Great Job Mr.Raju…

    B Sangameshwaran

  6. What else is there that i can say about this site, as everyone above have mentioned the need a site like this? I wish mr. Raju for doing a great service for almost Hinduism.


  7. Dear Sri Raju,
    You have done a wonderful job. Really I felt that Devikapuram Temple images should be brought in net and also the temple should brought under tourism board. While visiting Thiruvannamalai the devotees can also visit Devikapuram. Sri Periyanayagi Amman temple, I feel it is a wonderful temple for the architecture skill and also for the place to inauguate/ release the books and other devotional materials. Now presently I am working in Union Bank of India as Branch Manager nearby Devikapuaram, the place is Modaiyur, where stone carving/statue making profession is going on. I am staying at Devikapuram. For the past three years I enjoyed and the opportunity of seeing the 10 days Panguni Uththira Brahmotchavam at Devikapuram. Well done Raju. Keepit up. I expect your next may at Modaiyur studying the stone carving project. Well done. If you want anything more, kindly contact me through Email.
    ….Ka Na Kalyanasundaram….

  8. i din’t even think that dhevikapuram a small village’s temple has an great style of god “periyanayahi” .dhevikapuram is my native place. Iam very proud of it.

    you sincearly
    T. S. KAVIN

  9. Hi raju
    It is very interesting to note how many temples there are in the south of India. I am writing to you for a reason. I am a South African Indian who’s grandmother came from Chingleput – village Ponneri. Her name was Kanniammah and her fathers name was Kuppusawmi Naiken. They left India during November 1890. Please check if there is an organisation that can help me to trace my ancestors.

  10. Sir,
    while giving information about the temple pl. include the telephone Nos. of the contact person and also the timings during which the temple will be open. this will make your temple guide book complete.

  11. Hey… this is my native place too…now we are settled in bangalore….there is belief that there is a cave inside the temple which is filled with lot of snakes. Apparently this cave leads to a big treasure…these stories were to my dad by his dad and to him by his dad and so on….does anyone have an idea about this?

  12. Dear Raju,

    Iam from the same village, but my born and bought is in Mumbai. I rearly go to my native place. Good to see this wonderful images. Thank you for updating in the website. We wish you to continue the same progress.

  13. Happy to see The great periyanayagi amman temple, with your good photograph.
    Thanks for the endorsement.
    best wishes to explore & give us more.

  14. Mr.Raju

    Iam extremly happy to see my native temple through your endeaovur. i request you to give more useful information about temples in and around vellore. i hope you will give the valuable heritage status to our village.

    Thank you.

    Singarapettai street.

  15. Mr. Raju,

    Thankyou for giving information about my native village temple into the world. After reading the comments of persons of various places they have keen to see the Periyanayagi temple, Devikapuram, Once again thankyou , on behalf of our villagers.

  16. Hi m
    Mr.Raju i feel immense pleasure in thanking you as you have brought our temple in to limelight by your wonderful photo.I pray to periyanayagi amman to bless you .

  17. Iam extremely happy to see my native place shown in such a beautiful scenario, and its worht a watch in real too. Do also specify that the Lingam at the Hill top is being bathed with hot water, as per sacred sayings
    thank you


  18. Thank you very much for the excellent pictures & other information.

    We wish you to visit many such temples and write about them.

    Have a wonderful time.

    N Guruvelavan

  19. We are expatriates living now in Chennai for 3 years and we are very much interested in discovering temples. Your Web site is therefore of particular interest for us. Very much informative. We have discovered Devikapuram last Sunday and it is really a marvel.

    Thanks a lot for this very relevant information. We hope to discover more “unknown” temples with the help of your Web site.

  20. Wonderful write-up and excellent pictures. You are doing a magnificent job which, besides benefitting this generation, would serve as a reference material for future generations especially for those abroad. Keep it up.

    May God Bless you !

  21. Thankyou sir, the narration was excellent. Yesterday (01-05-2007) I visited this temple and had a good dharshan

  22. Raju;

    You have compiled an excellant piece of information. This will help lot of first visitors like me.

    Thanks for sharing this.


  23. Despite the fact that I work 24/7 for my employer, I cannot dedicate quality time to visit temples away from chennai. I would like to thank you for making me witness online darshan of various temples through your service. I recollect the famous saying “Gopura darisanam Kodi puniyam”

    Thank you very much for all your efforts….My sincere prayers are with you to continue this excellent work…

  24. Interesting compilation. I am from Delhi and make an annual trip to South to visit various temples. Last trip covered in Sep 2007 I had visited the Temples in Tanjore belt. This present one interests me and hope to cover it later sometime. Thanks. Keep posting. This would help me to update my interest and knowledge for further visits.

  25. Very very useful information, I’ve been to chetput many times, but did not about the temple. Thanks a lot you are doing a great service. You are enlighting us. Your pic’s are very nice.

  26. Hi Raju,

    Interesting….i went this to this place many times but i never visted, certainly i wil be visting this temple in a couple month.

    Thank you for supplying more information…..

    All the best…


  27. Dear sir,
    This is Hariharan giving response that the visit of the temples in & arround Vellore Town & district have been Enriching to me.Can you details of temples in arround Chennai Including the temples dedicated to Angalaamman of Malayanoor & Temples dedicated To Lord Kartikeya In tamil nadu along withe the Pictures the important features (Karya siddhi,Rog nivrana & sarva siddhi). If you have the knowledge about these temples Please do give the list of these temples sites.

  28. You are doing a good seva for all of us by giving dtails like this. yes we have to remember there are many temples which are to be visted near chennai. i once again thank you for the information

  29. Thank you so much for revealing to us so many treasures of our land. We are able to enjoy the sight of all these Temples thanks to your coverage.

  30. Wonderful pictures and the detailed information given by Mr. Raju. We would like to know about the Rameshwaram temple so that we would be mentally prepared for the visit during the month of June for performing the obsequies of my father-in-law. Thank you.

  31. Wonderful coverage of this unknown temple. Though I have visited Vandavasi, Tiruvannamalai and Chetpet quite regularly when I was working for Sundaram Finance I am not aware of the existence of this great temple or otherwise I would have derived the pleasure of worshiping the Ambal. Thanks to Mr Raju for this service to the fellow devotees.

  32. Thanks for the pictures and the write ups. Did you ever face difficulties from staff for taking pictures in the temple. How did you handle them?


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