My Favourites

My favourite temple locations

Following are some of the temples/ locations which we enjoyed a little more than the others for various reasons like beauty of the location, divine power, the alankaram/ beauty of the divine, sculptures etc., This doesn’t mean that the other temples/places are mean ones but it is just that these locations gave us some extra pleasure/ surprises, may be due to the ‘mood of the day’ also. If you want to cultivate the temple going culture to the disinterested kids/youths, these could be the best places since they can be enjoyed by them also. Remember this is only a list within Tamilnadu among the very limited places which we have visited so far. Also, my objective was to give a list of ‘not so familiar’ locations.

Being a holiday season, I thought this could be very useful to many.


This is a place near Vellore with both heritage and spiritual importance. Per legend this is the birth place of Valli, one of the two consorts of Lord Muruga. At the base of the hill there is a Subramanyar temple and at the back of it there is a big and beautiful Saravana Poihai temple tank, where the hill steps starts. The location of the combination of the hill, the Saravana poihai, hill steps, the base temple and the greenery is something which might have crossed in one of your dreams. There is also a small park like setup for children to play. There are about 500 steps to the Subramanyar cave temple on top which is being maintained by ASI. There are caves where Jain saints stayed and Jain sculptures are present in the rocks which are also being maintained by ASI. If you go further on top of the hill, there is Thiruppugazh ashram of Vallimalai Swamigal and plenty of sacred spots connected with various saints, Valli, Subrmanyar and Vinyagar. Vallimalai has become a picnic spot already and you can easily spend half a day here.

Photos are available here: hillbase and hilltop

Ponnai Sorna vinyagar temple nearby can also be visited for its rich, colourful and unusual paintings. Photos are available here


This is another favourite place for me due to many reasons. There are plenty of sacred/ pleasure spots around and even after my 3 trips so far, I still have places to explore.

  • location – another awesome village location with hills, full of green fields and temples
  • Spiritual importance: This is the avatara sthalam of Parasuramar, one of the 10 Vishnu avatars, whose parents are Sage Jamathgini and Renukambal. The Renukambal temple is the most popular one here.
  • There are more than 10 ancient temples which are being maintained by TVS group very cleanly – a model of how temples are to be maintained – our HR & CE must visit this place and take a lesson or two. The temple praharams are filled with clean river sand with brick foot path. Just to sit in the river sand at the praharam and relax is by itself an enjoyment.
  • An adventurous trip to Kottamalai at a nearby hill which opens only on Saturdays is a great pleasure. Travelogue is available here
  • Padavedu dam is a nice location
  • You get very nice Devasthana lodge for just Rs 150 / day. Take a room at the 1st floor which are newly built and clean. The early morning view from there of the clean backside of the Renukambal temple,  the subramanyar hill temple and hills all around – it’s something not to be missed. Take the  help of Sri Vasudeva Bhattacharyar who is very kind and helping – contact details available in the travelogue here
  • Photos are available here
  • Purchase: This is a land of very rich fertility and so whatever natural produce you buy here will be tastier and healthier than most other places. Once we bought some pappayas which were small in size but were really mangoes in taste. Thorny Brinjal (seasonal) is very famous.
  • The Lakshmi Narasimhar temple at Sigiri koil, about 10 kms from here is another beautiful temple in a beautiful location. Travelogue is available here

Andal at Yadhothakari temple at Kanchipuram

This is one of the Divya desams and the Perumal here is in a sayana posture unusually with his head to the right side of the devotees and legs to the left and is very beautiful but it is Andal in a separate shrine to whom I fell flat. She is like real life in height and simply no word in the literature can describe Her beauty – Imagine the real life most beautiful Iyengar girl with the typical andal hair styling (kondai) and the plait (pinnal) hanging in front, beautifully dressed up in silk cloths standing in front of you (imagine yourself in youth as well, if you are notl!) – sorry for describing the divine personality like this but it’s a fact She is ‘lively’. I have never seen such a beautiful Andal in my visits so far in any of the temples including Srivilliputhur, Her birth place. Full credit to the devoted Bhattar and the sculptor!. Additionaly, this Andal is a parihara sthalam for marriage and child boons. Poigai Azhwar appeared from the adjacent temple tank.

Photos are available here (only the temple photos and not that of Andal)

Thiruvanthipuram and Thirumaanakkuzhi

a) Thiruvanthipuram

Located in the Cuddalore to Panruti route, around 6 kms from Cuddalore. There are two temples, Devanatha perumal at the base and the Hayagreevar at the hillock with about 100 steps to climb, at the banks of the river Gadilam. I like the location very much.

Photos are available here Hayagreevar (hillock) temple and the Devanatha Perumal temple

b) Thirumaanakkuzhi
About 4 kms from Thiruvanthipuram further in the Cuddalore – Panruti route. Nothing special about the temple and the location but I like this for the sheer spiritual vibrations I experienced. Since it is considered that Lord Shiva is in privacy with Shakthi here, there is a screen in front of the lingam always. For the devotees,  the screen will be opened for a few seconds and the deepaaradhanai will be shown. I felt very strong vibrations here, may be  also due to the fact that I visited towards the end of my Sabarimalai vradham. It’s a place must be visited by people who can feel the vibrations.

Photos are available here

Trichy Rockfort

The area of Theppakulam, NSC Bose road and the Rockfort is another one which gives me pleasure always. Especially the bird’s eye view of the Trichy town, the cauvery and the Srirangam temple from the Uchi Pillayar shrine with the blow of cool breeze – it’s a real great pleasure. The beautiful and huge Thayumaanavar is not to be missed.

Photos are available here

Thirukkazhukundram hilltop temple

This is a hill temple with about 500 steps. There was no artificial light in the sanctum and it was lit up bright just with deepams. The Lord was present as a real agni (fire). I like this for the spiritual experience.

Photos are available here

Thiruvenkadu (Budhan sthalam)

We recently went there, took a dip in all the three temple tanks, lit ghee lamps in all the shrines, did 17 pradhakshanams as per procedure very peacefully without any hurry, enjoying every moment inside the temple. Only on coming out, we noticed that we spent 3 solid hours inside the temple (unconscious of time) and it was a big surprise even for us that we could spend such a long time inside a single temple without any feeling of boredom and without any thought absolutely about the mundane life and the outside world.

Photos are available here

Arappalleeswarar temple and Ettukai amman temple at Kollimalai

Kollimalai is becoming a very popular tourist destination and Mr.Iraiyanbu IAS is making all out effort to popularize it. No doubt, this is a very beautiful destination, not yet crowded and so can be enjoyed all the more. There are two water falls near Arappalleeswarar temple, short one nearby and the longer one at a distance. Photos are available here

The location of Ettukai amman temple is awesome and the photos are available here

Photos of Kollimalai are available here


A wonderful location of rockfort temples. The places to be seen are:

  • Viswa roopa Anjaneyar temple, a very popular one
  • Namagiri fort
  • The Narasimhar cave/fort temple
  • Ranganathar cave/fort temple

Photos are available here: Anjaneyar temple and the rock fort temple

Kanchipuram Ulagalandha Perumal temple

From quite a distance it looked as if just another temple since there was a smoke of Sambrani all over but as I went near I was taken aback with the massiveness and the sculptural beauty of the Ulagalandha perumal with his left leg raised up to his head level. First time visitors will be really stunned, for sure.

Photos are available here

Kanchipuram Pandava thootha perumal temple

The same massiveness and sculptural beauty as Ulagalandha Perumal but here Krishnar is in sitting posture as an envoy of the Pandavas. But be watchful here with an angry and disinterested Bhattar irritating the devotees. I received bad comments from 4 different people including an incident in my presence.

Photos are available here

Thanks to Diwakar, I got a photo just yesterday and you will certainly not like to miss this temple after seeing this photo (remember He touches the ceiling of the tall sanctum)


This is a heaven like adobe and you will feel like entering the Krishna’s palace in Sri Vaikundam. The specialty of this temple being that Pandurangan and Rahumayee are beautifully adorned, differently on each day. For example, every Saturday, they are dressed up like Thirupathy Balaji and His concert.

A travelogue with my full experience is already available here


This is one of the Divya desams and a massive fort like temple. Another beautiful temple in a beautiful location with great heritage importance. Again, be watchful with the bhattars here – some are too good and some are just the opposites. There is an ancient Swastik tank being maintained by ASI, not to be missed.

Travelogue is available here


Between Pudukkottai and Karaikudi, this location contains a fort, a Perumal Temple (Divya Desam) and a Shiva temple.  The location, the temple tank, the magnificent deities, the beautifully carved sculptures are all awesome. We can see the magnificent Ranganathar very close in the sanctum. In the same way, the Shiva lingam is too beautiful.

Photos: Perumal Temple Shiva Temple


Vittalapuram Premika Vittala Temple near Mahabalipuram

Built by the representative of the Vijayanagara King Krishna Dhevarayar (1507-1529), this is being maintained by Archeological Survey of India (ASI). A beautiful temple, very neatly maintained, sincere bhattars, highly vibrant bajans and poojas – what else we need? Though the temple is open from 7 AM to 11 AM in the morning, it is best to visit by 9 AM for the morning pooja and be there till it is over by 9:45 or so. The namasankeerthans and bajans are sung during everyday pooja and everyone will love it. On every Ekadasi day, poojas are taking place in a grand scale from morning 9AM to 1PM with Samprdhaya nama sankeerthana bhajans. Muralidhara Swamigal is closely associated with this temple.

Photos are available here


Theni Allinagaram Veerappa Ayyanar Temple

Near Theni, this is another temple in a beautiful location at the base of the Western ghat, in the midst of the massive forest trees. Each tree should have been several hundred years old.

Links: Photos


Theertha thotti Murugan Temple near Theni

A Murugan temple and a perennial, clear and sweet water stream from somewhere throughout the year. An awesome picnic spot indeed.

Links: Photos

Kailasanathar Temple at Tharamangalam

A sculptural gallery at Tharamangalam near Salem. I was not allowed to take the photos of the sculptures.

Links: Photos


Karpaga Vinayagar Temple at Pillayarpatti

Wonderful and powerful temple with beautiful sculptures

Links: Photos

Brahma-vishnu-Shiva temple at kodumudi

A beautiful temple at the banks of Cauvery, a powerful parihara sthalam

Travelogue available here


Well, the list is growing:

  • Nadu palani
  • Perumber kandigai murugan Temple
  • Perumber Kandigai Thanthondreeswarar temple
  • Thiruvidaimarudhur
  • Thirubhuvanam
  • Thiruvalanchuzhi
  • Natham Parameswara mangalam
  • Coimbatore Perur Patteeswarar Temple
  • Coimbatore Puliakulam Vinayagar Temple
  • Coimbatore Poondy Velliangiri Shiva temple at hill base





during our various temple tours


    • Poomparai Murugan made of Dasa Pashanam 20 kms from Kodaikanal. Temple under the control of Palani Devasthanam.

  1. Dear Sir,

    Thank you for the wealth of information here. Every time I need to lookup something about temples in Tamil Nadu, I almost always find myself browsing your blog, a recent example was the Venguneswarar temple near Vandavasi/Eachur.

    You are doing great service to the country and and to it’s people, heritage and culture by exhaustively documenting all these. The most important thing is that all your posts are very detailed ( having visited many of the places many times, we are frequently surprised after reading your posts that we didn’t know a lot of details about the place(s) that we thought we knew very well ).

    Thank you, once again.

    • Thank you very much Arun on knowing that you are enjoying the blog and thanks also for letting me know about it.

      • My name is sambasivam, I must admit that whenever I plan to visit temples either beloved Vishnu and admired Shiva, I have been immensely benefitted by your blog. Frankly I imagined Raju to be a adult boy of my age 29 years old, I’m surprised an elder devotee is actually behind this blog. Thank you very much Ayya.

  2. Dear Rajugaru,

    Suggested for the benefit of asthikas, adhishtanams like Vadavambalam, Govindapuram, nerur etc can be compiled in separate tag.



  3. Dear Sir
    You are providing invaluable help to all those who are interested in temples. I have personally benefited from your blog by visiting very old but unknown temples. There are two things that sadden me:
    1) While very old and sacred temples are languishing in several parts of the State, we spend money in building new temples on encroached land like pavements in city. Such money spent on upkeep of old temples will serve a more worthy cause.
    2) We pay very scant respect to heritage – going in for toilet tiles and granite and marble to replace the old stone flooring in many old temples, including the famous Kapaleeswarar temple in Mylapore. I do not know when we will start respecting heritage. I am willing to join any group that is prepared to fight this menace – if necessary legally – by making some financial contribution also.

    • Dear Sri krishnamoorthy, yes indeed what u have said are the sad part of our religion. We have not yet taken pride of our religion but it is becoming better slowly.
      Regarding the associations, I suggest you join reach foundation headed by dr sathyamoorthy, ex asi director and the temple worshippers society in facebook which is doing a wonderful service in fighting against the hr&ce.

  4. Sir,

    For experiencing vibrations Thavasimadai en route Dindigul to Natham is a good place where Bharadwaj Maharishi on a lying position as a step before SundaraMahalingeswarar Diety and one has to put his feet on Bharadwaj Maharishi for entering the small sanctum sanctorum.
    Stories of many visits by all Rishis Bharadwaj, Vyasar, Viswamithrar to this place are there. Lord Rama, Shitha , Lakshmanan and hanuman stayed here and had Food offered by Bharadwaj Maharishi.
    In fact there are many places in and around Dindigul,Palani,Theni Areas
    known as land of Siththars by this area people. These area people experienced Siththars and their Leelaas till recently and still there are living people who has seen Kasavanampatti Mownaguru,Otha swamigal . There are many places like Poyman karadu ( Where Sitha saw False Deer) and Ponmanthurai ( where False Deer drank water in the pond) connected with Ramayana.
    Still there are many sithars with peculiar names like ashukkumuttai sithar near Chatrapatti or Sakkadai Kalvai Sithar in Palani.These Sithars may not look what they should be. But they do miracles.Even now you can see devotees coming to see them and have their blessings with the Sithar’s unusual utterings. No sithar will demand anything. Maximum they may ask is a cup of tea, bun or like .They also never accept , if we present anything on our own.
    Surprising is they do not have any dwelling place for them. they also never dress like normal for winter etc. But they survive as a normal human beings
    with some abnormalities.

    R Swaminathan

  5. Recently we had been to Thirukurungudi Nambi temple near Ervadi in Tirunelveli District. The temple is maintained by the TVS Group. In the Nambi temple in the hills which is about 30 minutes drive in Heep from the surface, it is very clearly requested in Name Boards not to use soap in the running water and not to use Non vegetarian food. But I could find hundreds of people not only eating cooked NV items but also brought raw mutton and chicken ready for cooling and kept in the temple premises which is a very sorrowful sign. It is not only against the sentiments of the people who come there for worship but also fraught with serious risks as wild animals like Tiger are reportedly residing there and should they smell the flesh and blood of the animals which are cut for cooking. It is high time that the Temple authorities, TVS group and also the forest Officials to prevent use of Non vegetarian food items in places of worship


    • Sirs,

      These type of unwanted things which are against God Loving people
      in particular in the places around Madurai and south of Madurai. It will be worse in Usilampatty surroundings, theni SuruliEswarar near Suruli falls which is a pithru tharpana sthalam for the nearby village people.
      Just like in Tirumala or Golden Temple surroundings our Government shall take forceful steps by a strong legislature avoiding Liquor Shops , Smokings and other such things , NV Items etc. One shall be prosecuted if violate these.
      It is very pitiable to see NV Hotels in the Temple Sannathi Itself in few places. All faithful Hindus who believe in God should oppose and try to regularise.

      R Swaminathan

  6. Please let me know the name and contact number of the archakar of Thirukkalikundram temple if you have

    Your work is a remarkable service for those who are interested in visiting temples and spend a lot of time in every temple.

    R Mahadevan
    Chennai 9894180885

  7. Dear Raju Sir,
    The temple mentioned by you as Thirumanakuzhi is actually Thirumaanikuzhi near Thiruvaheendrapuram. It is the sacred place where Sri Vishnu after crushing King Mahabali in the Vaamana Avatar praying to Lord Shiva to obsolve himself from the sin of doing so. The sanctum Sanctorium is also covered as Shiva is in Bheemarudhra roopa. Once Sage Agasthya came to worship at this temple and as he could not see the Lord was very disappointed and prayed to him. Lord Shiva told him that he would give darshan at the panchamalai ( also known as Jothimalai) near by. Saint Agasthya has installed a lingam at the spot where he got darshan of the Lord which is about two kms away in the open air. Maani means brahmachari – Vaamana as a young brahmachari had prayed her so the name Thirumaanikuzhi.

  8. Dear Raju Sir,

    Cud pls let me have the contact details (address, telephone no., location,) and also the significance of one Shiva & Parvati temple (probably – not sure – known as Maheswaran temple) which located on the chennai-kolkata highway, near puzhal jail. I believe this temple is for the people who are suffering from ‘mental illness’ problem.

    look forwrd to hearing from you soon.

    Thanks & regards,

  9. i visited thennakur on 16th and see panduranga in raja alangaram. On the way we make a visit to sree nagaram temple with sri chakras. on return we visit kancheepuram = there we visit vaikundavasa perumal, ekambareshwarar, ulaganda perumal , kamatchi temple. a great day in life

  10. dear Raju, I’ve just been looking at an excellent stone Nataraja in a niche and a Bhiksatana in this blog, and can’t find them again to note the name of the temple. Can you help me? They look 9th or 10th century. Siva Natraj has that little blissful smile. Thanks

    • Hi Injamaven, they are in Thiruvalanchuzhi Vellai Vinayagar temple near Swamimalai near Kumbakonam. Yes, it should be atleast 9/10 th century since it is a Thevara Padal Petra Sthalam. To find the photos go to my flickr site and go through Collections / Sets.

  11. sir,
    we our family plan a trip to thennakur on 16th jan. please inform us whom to contact for temple timings and what other temples we can visit on return

  12. Dear Sir,
    I am glad about this site. But i would like to let you know that you mentioned here one of the kollimalai temple ‘Ettukai Amman’ actually its called ‘Ettigai Amman’. just before one month we visited that place

    Thank you

  13. Dear Raju,

    Pray to God that you be blessed with all that is necessary for your wonderful service to humanity.
    Pl keep it going.
    I am curious to know abt the temple picture in the home page – which temple is this? Superb photograph !

  14. Hi sir,

    I have been reading your blog, for somedays.

    Could you please inform me regarding the rooms available in Vallimalai or nearby to that,since some of my friends been planning to visit the temple and staying there.

    We had gone thru the sites based on it, but never fetched any results.

    So, kindly let us know the availability of rooms either ac or non ac, in or around vallimalai.

    Warm regards,

  15. Dear Sir,

    Thank you so much for your feedback and immediate response. I am deeply honoured. I will try to incorporate the suggestions in my upcoming posts. Do visit the blog whenever time permits.
    Thank you for your noble service.
    Warm regards,

  16. Can you please help me find Ambal, called “Madhubyari” (could be
    Madhubhairavi, or locally muthumari???, tayi???), seated on a Sphatika
    (linga), on which Surya Kiranas fall during a particular month. Ambal
    presides over an old temple in and around Chennai, in the general direction
    of Puducherry.

  17. Mr Raju
    what to say any appreciation is very less to you
    very very superlative job
    May god give you a long long life to explore each and every nook and corner of INDIA and share your temple visits to all and May your name enter in the GUINEES BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS

  18. Dear Raju
    Your website has opened the door and windows for those temple lovers all over the world and is highly informaive. U would love to invite you to the Dharmasastha temple in the dense forest in the Kadayam Village in Tirunelveli District near Tenkasi where the Kumbashekam is to be performed on 17th of June 2010. The location the natural beauty and the power and grace of Sastha are to be experienced to be believed. Please take pains to visit the temple and grace the occasions and give side coverage for the function. You may also help in mobilisng necessary funds for the function and the contibutions may be sent to SB account No:8128 with Pandian Grama Bank, Kadayam Village in Tirunelveli District. I wish that your efforts to continue in a bigger way and as a regular visitor to the famous and anicient temples I would love to be associated with you efforts

    • hi,

      Dear Mr.Hariharan.. Good day..
      Can you please send me the detailed address of Pandian Grama Bank, including the IFSC code. I need to contribute some money to the Dharmasastha temple there. Also please tell me if any other method is available.

  19. Interesting.
    I wish to add 3 more places – (a) The mandapam at Jalakhandeswarar temple, inside Vellore fort (b) Devarayana Durga around 60 Kms from Bangalore – Off Dobbspet on Bangalore to Tumkur Road – again maintain beautifully well by TVS group and (c) Magadi temple – 50 Kms west of Bangalore.

    BTW – how to reach Padavedu from Chennai and can children be taken there?

  20. dear raju

    you have created a wonderful website. you are doing a yomen service to the mankind particularly hindus. those who are unable to visit the temples you are giving a beatiful write up for the temples you have visited. hats off.

    i am the secretary of a spritual organisation (Sri Rama Baktha Jana samaj, KK Nagar, Chennai – 78 )
    Every year we are bringing out a beautiful souvenir which contains many slpkas. this year souvenir has been reviewed b the hindu also
    ( Friday review April 2nd 2010). I am thinking of bringing out a souvenir for next year with all details of Temples on Rama in India and abroad. If you have any details please forward the same to me so that i can include in the souvenir. you can also mention about this proposal through your web for others also to send details.


  21. thank you sir. you are sending beautiful locations in and around chennai and also it is commonly knowing place to all. but no body is giving this much type of details. thank you for ur very dedicative job and excellent team work. thanks once again.

  22. Thank u very much. I have visited some only..
    Manam ulladhu but didam illai. I am also a senior citizen..Thank u again Seenu

  23. Dear Raju
    Thanks for the interesting places of worship you visited. I hope you have viisied PARIKKAL VILLAGE (location: 21 kms from Villupuram to Trichy Highway turn right opposite to the huge Hanuman Statue on your left travel 3 kms to reach the village) where LAKSHMINARASIMHA SWAMI temple is located. This is our kuladaivam and I used to visit the temple every year and we visited the temple last month and performed ABHISHEKHAM.

  24. Excellent collection indeed. OUr age late seventies will not allow us to visit these great and sacred temples.

  25. thanks a lot..Nice collections……In thiruvenkadu, apart from Budhan’s sthalam,we must also recall Saint Sambandar’s hymns (2nd song) very clearly envisaging the importance of 3 theertham and getting a knowledgeable son rest assured by people who (example Meikandaar) worship lord shiva and Ambal after bath at 3 tanks.
    Even today people are witnessing this success episode……..
    thanks – Siva Meiyappan

  26. hello Rajendran sir,

    You forgot to say about the temple you visited Thiruvirinchipuram Arulmigu Sri Margabandeeswara Udanurai Sri Maragathambigai Temple.

    may be while you visit the temple the construction work is going on because of the Kumbabisegam. after finish the gumbabisegam you visit the temple again. you will realise the power of Sri Vazhithunai Margabandeeswarar Power.

    I realise many times Lord shiva power in many temple across India. but all this happend its because of Margabandeeswarar magimai.

    1987 Kangeyanallur subramaniya swami arulthiru Kirubananda variyar done the koil gumbabisegam, now 2010 gumbabisegam is going to done by Rathinagiri thavaththiru swamigal.


  27. PADAVEDU became a familiar place in my life only after reading your blog. i got so taken up by the beauty and calmness prevailing there that i visited the location twice within a short gap. i visited all the temples there excepting Natchathira malai. the people there were so helpful especially Vaudeva battar. In fact a few of my friends are actively on the look out for some land there !!!.
    by the by, the temple on the top of the blog is it thiruvengadu


  28. Dear sir,
    Thanks for the details and photos of your temple visits, it is very informative. I request you to vist the SREE AGORA VIRABADHRA TEMPLE, at anumanthapuram village, near singaperumal koil village, on the bus route of TAMBARAM TO CHENGULPET, and there will be special buses on pournami days. Near by I have constructed an 18 feet temple for MADURAI VEERAN,and there are shrines for PACHAI AMMAN, AND KARUPPANNASAMY. They are kaval deivangal, and kuladeivam for most of our villagers in TAMIL NADU

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