Temples in and around Thiruvannamalai

Last updated on: 28th May 2012


The official website of Annamalaiyar temple is here:

There are huge number of temples and ashrams in the Girivala route and the most important ones are:

  • Ashta (eight) lingams at the eight directions with each one being associated with one or more birth stars.
  • Sri Ramana maharishi Ashram – the official website is here
  • Sri Seshadhri Swamigal Ashram
  • Sri Yogi Ram Surathkumar Ashram
  • Plenty of places/ caves connected with Sri Ramana Maharishi

Thiruvannamalai is very much associated with Sri Ramana Maharsihsi, Sri Seshdhri Maharishi and Yogi Ram Surathkumar. The book ‘Arunachala Mahimai’ by Bharanidharan is the book to know about these saints and Thiruvannamalai in detail.

The most detailed Blog on Thiruvannamalai is here

In and Around Vandavasi

Swayambu Jalakandeswarar, Ranganatha Perumal and Kottai Baktha Anjaneyar temples at Vandavasi Fort

All the temples are located within the Vandavasi Fort in Vandavasi town and are being maintained by Archeological Survey of India (ASI). There are stone inscriptions in LIPI language here.

Venguneswarar Temple at Vengundram

Just a km from Thennangur enroute to Vandavasi this Shiva temple at the top of a big and steep hill can be seen from the road itself. It’s a tough hill to climb most part of it don’t have proper steps. It will really be a thrilling and adventures trip for anyone to go there. Make sure to go in a group or atleast minimum of 2 people and avoid children and aged people. Nobody and nothing is available at the top. It seems there is no priest for the temple but a person comes to do pooja once in a month. It is an open temple with a Shiva lingam, Murugan, Vinayagar and some other deities. You can do pooja yourself. The ideal time to visit is in the early morning.

Sri Lakshmi Narasimhar and Lord Venkateshwarar Twin Temple at Avaniyapuram (also called Nava Narasimhar temple and Dakshina Ahobilam)

Located at Avaniyapuram 25 km from Vandavasi, en route Arani and Cheyyar Dam, this is a hill abode of two deities. One has to climb 70 steps to reach the first deity, Lord Narasimha found in a small cave (kudavarai koil), and ascend another 114 to have a dharshan of Lord Venkateswara. The unique feature in this temple is that along with Narasimhar, the Mahalakshmi Thayar also has the face of a lion(ess). There are totally nine Narasimha deities in this temple and so called Nava Narasimhar temple and Dakshina Ahobilam (the main one in Andhra Pradesh with nine Narasimhars).

The abode of Lord Venkateswara is at the top. There is a separate cave like enclosure in the prahara where we see Lord Varadaraja and Perundevi Thayar. Lord Ranganatha is seen on His serpentine bed with Ranganayaki Thayar. Sholingar Yoga Narasimha is in a sitting position along with Amirdavalli Thayar. Thus we see all the main pancha divya desa moorthies – Kanchi, Srirangam, Sholingur, Tirumala and Ahobilam. Avani means lion and the Lord is said to have obliged Brigu Maharishi by appearing before him in the forms of five divya desa deities. The temple is believed to have been built during the Pallava regime. It is heartening to note that all the shrines in the hill temple are well maintained.

Links: Location   Raju’s Temple Visits Travelogue

Avaniyapuram Avaneeswarar temple

A temple with margatha lingam installed by Sri Aadhi Sankarar is present  at the base of the avaniyapuram hill

Vandavasi – Tindivanam

Covered under ‘Villupuram‘directory

Vandavasi – Chetput – Polur

Seeyamangalam Cave temple

In the Vandavasi-Chetpat road, you have to travel for about 15 kms and at Mazhaiyur cross road, take a left turn (south) and travel further for around 8 kms via Desur to reach the beautiful Seeyamangalam cave temple facing west. Here 27 inscriptions are recorded from Pallava regime to the Pandya rule. Dwaraplakas, Nataraja and Shiva as Rishabandaka are strikingly beautiful. In front of the garbhgraha, mandapas were added during the Cholas, Pandyas and Vijayanagara periods. A few hundred meters north of this temple in the slopes of hillock Jain relief works were carved in the Pallava age.

Links: Location Weblink Photos1 Photos2

Thirumalpadi Sri Ranganathar (Hill) Temple

Sri Ranganayahi sametha Sri Ranganathar temple is located on a hill at 2 kms south-west of Seeyamangalam. There are about 100 steps to climb and was constructed in the year 1136 A.D.

Contact: 99429 37169 / 98654 54998

Links: Location Photos1 Photos2

Shiva Temple at Madam village

Located at about 5 kms North-west of Thirumalpadi Ranganathar temple, this is a very big temple and has sahasra and 108 lingam with very beautiful Nandi. But the temple gopuram was mutilated by Moghuls. Renovation and kumbabisheka work is going on.

Contact: 93448  71762

Links: Location

There is also a Jain temple nearby.


There are ancient Shiva Temple, Perumal temple and Jain temple here

Links: Location Weblink


Location: This is located at 3 kms from Peranamallur; 21 kms from Arani and 33 kms from Vandavasi in the Vandavasi to Arani route. This can also be reached through Vandavasi-Chetput (Polur-Thiruvannamalai) route wherein  one has to travel for 23 kms from Vandavasi towards Chetput and then turn right (North) towards Peranamallur/ Arani and travel further for 10 kms to reach Injimedu.

Injimedu has a good connection with Ahobila mutt. Sri Sashta Parankusha swamy, the sixth Jeeyar of the Ahobila mutt had constructed and helped almost 60 temples and had put in lots of great scholars who were well versed in vedams to maintain those temples. One such place is ‘Yagnamedu’ which later became ‘Injimedu’. This place was also called ‘Yagna vedhikai’, as lots of yagnams / Homams are performed here. Sri Injimedu Azhagiyasingar is the 42nd Jeeyar.

Sri Varadharaja Perumal Temple

Srimath Azhagiya Singar 45th Jeeyar had a great affinity towards Kanchi Sri Varadhar. So, as per his wish, Sri Varadhar and Sri Perundevi thaayar are installed in this temple.

Links: Weblink Photos

Sri Yaga Samrakshana Ramar

From the time of Sri Sashta Parankusha Yatheendra Maha Desikan, it is said that Sri Ramar of this sthalam has found lots of Yagams and Vedams. Sri Ramar is said to be found almost 1500 years back and it is said that he emerged from a yagam, so he is called as “Sri Yaga Samrakshana Ramar”. Problem in marriage, Puthra Bhagyam, etc., are said to vanish if we visit this sthalam and get the dharshan of this Sri Ramar. Specifically, if people born in Moola, Aayilyam stars have any problem in getting married, they can visit this sthalam, to get their problems solved.

Sri Thirumanicherai Udayar Temple at Perumalai

Temple: This small 200ft high hillock top temple has about 51 covered steps. So rain or sun will not affect the devotees. This is a 2500 years old temple which got ransacked about 700 years ago by various invasions. The Thirumanicherai Shiva lingam which was left alone without any pooja/ worship for nearly 700 years, finally got a facelift and the Kumbabhisheham took place in 1999. Sanghu theertham is present in the hill in the shape of Sanghu. It is said that there is a spacious cave here where Pampatti Chithar is living in the form of a snake.

Legend: Agasthiar worshipped here. Once on an ego battle between Brahma and Vishnu, they set off to reach the top and bottom of Shiva as a competition. During that time Thazamboo gave a false witness to Shiva that Brahma had reached the top of Shiva. Knowing this, Shiva cursed Thazampoo that it should not be used in any Shiva pooja. In order to get rid of the curse, it stands here as the Sthala Vruksham. Nandhi’s footsteps are seen here.

Links: Location Photos Weblink

Sri Yoga ramar temple at Raghunatha Samudhram

This small Yoga Ramar temple is present at around 8 kms from Nedungunam. The temple was built by King Ragunathar and is around 600 years old. the main deity is Sri Seetha Lakshmana Hanumath sametha Sri Ramar in sitting yoga posture. One of the very few temples where Sri Ramar is in yogic posture. Thayar is Sri Padmathri. Also Sridevi, Boodevi sametha Sri Varadharaja Perumal is present.

Contact: Sri R.V.Parathasarathy Bhattacharyar @ 98420 61688 / 04181 248224

Links: Location Weblink


Yoga Ramar Temple

This temple is located at 28 km from Arani and 27 km from Vandavasi (4 km before Chetput) in the Vandavasi – Chetput- Polur (Thiruvannamalai) route.


* One of the biggest temples for Lord Rama
* The biggest Vaishnav temple of Vellore and Thiruvannamalai districts
* Lord Rama is seen in a rare posture as Yoga Ramar in a sitting meditative posture without His usual Kothandam

Legend says that after the Vibhishana Pattabhishekam in Sri Lanka, when Rama was returning to Ayodhya, He notices on the banks of the Kaliyar, Sukha Brahmar, a saint in the form of a parrot, offering prayers to Him. The Lord alights from His chariot and just stands before the saint whose joy knows no bounds. The place where Sri Rama blessed the saint came to be known as Nedungunam, meaning noble quality. Although He was in a hurry to go to Ayodhya to save Bharata, Rama did not fail to pay heed to the prayers of a devotee.

The Kaliyar river starts from here through the waters of the nearby Dheerkachala hill and ends at the Maduranthaham lake near Chenglepat which was protected by Eri Katha Ramar. So both the temples are connected by legend.

Contact: Badhri Bhattachar 94452 15776

Links: Location   Raju’s Temple Visits Travelogue

Dheerkachala Hill

The nearby hill called Dheerkachala Hill is in the form of Parrot face and it is said that the hill is nothing but the form of Sage Sukha Brahmar. On top of the hill, the feet of Ramar is present in stone in open without any shrine and can be worshipped at any time of the day.

Dheerkachaleswarar Temple

The Dheerkachaleswar temple is situated at the Esanya corner of Nedungunam village near the Ramar temple.
Links: Location

Arulmigu Periyanayagi Amman and Kanagagreeswarar Temples at Devikapuram

Location: This twin temple is located at 40 km from Vandavasi, 40 km from Thiruvannamalai, 37 km from Arani in the Vandavasi – Chetput- Polur (Thiruvannamalai) route.

* 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 artistic marvel with excellent sculptures, edicts and mandapams

Temple: The Kanagagreeswarar Temple is located on top of a small hill called Kanagachalam or Ponnmalai and the Periyanayagi amman temple, the more popular one is located at the base of the hill in the center of the town. These temples date back to 15th Century Vijayanagara Period.

The Periyanayahi Amman temple is filled with excellent highly skilled sculptures with big mandapams, huge walls and a big Rajagopuram. There is a stone chariot fully sculpted in a single stone in such a way that it drags a mandapam with couple of horses.

In the Kanagagreeswarar temple there are three lingams in the sanctum sanctorum. One is a Swayambu lingam called Kanagagreeswarar and another one is an ancient Kasi Viswanathar lingam worshipped by Periyanayahi amman. Since there should not be two lingams, another lingam made of Rudraksha has also been installed in the wall behind the Kanagagreeswarar.

Arunagirinathar sang verses on Lord Muruga of Kanagagreeswarar temple

Links: Location    Raju’s Temple Visits Travelogue  Webink

Kotteeswarar Temple at Peruvallur / Peravlur

A Sambuvarayar temple

Links: Location

Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple at Polur

The hill is called Sampathgiri and the main deity is the Swayambu Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy facing south towards Thiruvannamalai along with Kanagavalli Thayar. Sage Pulathia Brahma worshipped here. Achutha Thasar, Sri Gnanananda Swamigal and Siddhar Vittoba (a contemporary of Sri Seshadri Swamigal) had meditated in caves here. 2 water streams (sunais) are present. There is an Anjaneyar shrine at the base of the hill and there are 840 steps to climb.

Contact: Sekar Bhattacharyar at 98423 07594;  94430 98358

Links: Location  Weblink

Polur – Thiruvannamalai

Kadina Kujambigai sametha Thirukkameshwarar Temple at Kappalur

Links: Location

Vilvarani Murugan Temple

Murugan temple on a hillock

Links: Location Weblink

Vishnu moortham at Melvanniyanur

A 70 feet unfinished Vishnu moorthy is present here. If 4 people can sit in His hand, you can imagine the magnanimity of the moortham.

Kettavarampalayam Sri Rama Navami Mandapam / Temple

This holy village is synonymous with Lord Sri Rama and Bhajans and is very popular for its Sri Rama Navami celebrations. Every year all 10 days of Sri Rama Navami is celebrated with utmost devotion by the natives. Though most of the native villagers have migrated and settled in various places, everyone gathers during these 10 days of Sri Rama Navami to celebrate Sri Rama.

It is said that this village was once called as Kashtaharampalayam (a place where ones difficulties are overcome) and in later days known as Kettavarampalayam (means granting boons as per wishes) as many devotees’ wishes were granted by Lord Sri Rama here.

This is one place where one can hear, see and feel Sri Rama Nama round the clock on all the 10 days of Sri Rama Navami.

Links: Location  Weblink


Parvathamalai is located at Thenmahadevamangalam village which is about 20 kms off Polur. Polur is about 35 kms north of Thiruvannamalai. There’s a very powerful Lord Shiva temple at the top of the Parvathamalai hill. Numerous Siddhars and spiritual beings from the celestial worlds worship here every night. Reaching the hill is somewhat difficult. Hence it is better to start early in the morning and return as early as possible. During the Full moon day, this hill attracts a lot of devotees. This is a place vested with a lot of spiritual power.

Links: Location Weblink

Kailasanathar Temple at Narthampoondy

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Thiruvannamalai – Chetpat

Avalurpet Murugan Temple
This is a temple on a very small hillock with a big temple tank at the base in a beautiful location at around 25 kms from Thiruvannamalai.
Muthalamman sametha Agastheeswarar Temple – not sure whether it is a separate temple or within the same Murugan temple campus.
Links: Location  Travelogue

Tindivanam – Gingee 

Bhuvaneshwar Temple at Peramananthur

6 kms west of Tindivanam; Goddess: Bhuvaneswari

Links: Location

Sri Nerkuthi Vinayaka temple at Theevanur

Contact: 04145 – 235265 / 94427 80813

Links: Location Weblink

Chokkanathar Temple at Anankur

Goddess: Meenakshi amman
14 kms east of Gingee

Mel Chittamur

Mel Chittamur is 20 km west of Tindivanam and 10 km east of Gingee. Head quarters of Digambara sect in Tamilnadu with the Jinakanchi Matha presided over by the Pontiff. Two temples, one dedicated to Parsvanatha and other known as ‘Mailanatha’ temple was originally a boulder containing rock cut images of Bahubali, Parsvanatha, Adinatha, Mahavira and Ambika yakshi carved in the 9th century AD. Rebuilt in the 16th century and renovated in the present century.

Links: Location

Shiva Temple at Anangur
Links: Location

Rishabapureeswarar Temple at Mel Sevur

Location: 10 kms Southeast of Gingee, on the southern bank of Sankaraparani (Varaha) river
Significances: Thevara Vaipu thalam, Swayambu lingam
Goddess: Mangalambihai
Legend: This is mentioned as Thiruvidaiyur in Sundarar’s Pathikam
Temple: 50 feet Rajagopuram with two praharams. Pandy kings worked on this temple

Links: Location

Mallinathar Jain Temple at Perumbugai

Main deity is Mallinathar. Also old Mahaveerar statue, Brammadevar with elephant and Dharadevi statues are also present. Long back when it was an small temple, Mahaveerar was the main deity. Later after renovation main deity was changed to Mallinathar. The place where the old temple was located was made as garden now and it is inside the temple

Links: Location

Around Gingee

Travelogue on heritage sites around Gingee

Gingee Fort

There is a Pachaiamman Temple in the Gingee fort half way to the hill top. This is considered to be in worship by the Siddhars. 7 Jadamuni shapes of pachaimalai are in the back side.

An ancient temple with an empty sanctum sanctorum is the top most point of Gingee fort.

There is a popular Hanuman temple at the hill base in a beautiful location with a pond by the side.

Chakkarakulam and chettikulam are the two famous ponds in this fort. Chettikulam was built by Raja shetty during the Maratha occupation of the place, towards the end of the 18th century. To the north of this pond is a platform believed to be Raja Desingh funeral pyre, where his young wife committed sati (self immolation).

The Venkataramana temple is the largest temple in the fort, built by Muthiyalu Naicker (1540 -1550 A.D). It contains a number of Tamil inscriptions. Quite a few monolithic pilliars were removed from this temple to Pondicherry and planted as a peostal around the duplex statue after the French occupation of Gingee in 1761.

Links: Location

Sri Selva Lalithambihai Temple

Located in Gingee town

Links: Weblink

Twenty four Theerthangarars at Thiru nathan kundru

It is 2 km north of Gingee town. The hillock on the western side of the road has two Jaina caverns and a huge boulder containing sculptures of all the 24 Theerthankaras in the 9th Century style. It is only place where all the 24 Theerthankaras are shown in a single large composition. An open rock nearby was the place where monk Chandranandi observed 57 days of fasting and died (5th- 6th century A.D).

Links: Location

Sri Maddileshvarar Sikhari-Pallaveshvaram Shiva Cave Temple at Melacherry

There is another village with same name, Melacheri, near Seeyamangalam and so don’t get confused with this.

Links: Location Weblink


Located at 4 km North-west of Gingee, this temple of Lord Ranganatha, the tutelary god of Raja Desingh is on a hill top with about 150 steps. It is a good specimen of South Indian type of rock cut shrine. The idol of Lord Ranganatha, in a reclining posture, measures 24 ft. in length which together with the inner sanctorum, is carved out of a single rock. It is said to be bigger than that of the idol in Srirangam. Like Thiruvananthapuram Ananthapadmanatha Swamy, the head, chest and leg portions of this Perumal have to be worshipped through 3 separate entrances. Mangalasasanam was done by Sri Ramanujar.

Links: Location Weblink


Located at about 10 kms north-west of gingee, this is a beautiful village with a small river, lake, dam, checkdam and ancient temples

a) Sri Agastheeswarar temple

This is a small ancient temple in a beautiful location

Links: Location

b) Murugan temple on a hillock

Links: Location

c) Venkatesa Perumal Temple

Murugar Temple at Mel Olakkur
Links: Location

Sri Valli Devasena sametha Sri Subramaniya Swamy Temple at Pasumalai

15 kms north-east of Gingee, this is a Murugan temple on a hill in a  beautiful location.  There are about 410 steps to climb.

Contact: 99623 44722

Links: Location

Sri Ranganathar Sculpture at Vinnamparai (Thondur)

Very old Ranganathar sculpture belong to Pallava period, is nicely carved on a single rock and is standing in the midst of green fields in a beautiful ambiance. Being maintained by Archeological Survey of India.  2500 years old Brahmmi inscriptions are also here.

Route: Tindivanam – Nattarmangalam – Panapakkam – Aviyur – Agalur – Thondur. 34 kms from Tindivanam

Links: Location Weblink 

Sri Angala Parameswari Temple at Melmalayanur

Located at 20 kms North-west of Gingee and 30 kms North-East of Thiruvannamalai, the temple of Angala Parameswari is situated here. In the inner sanctum there is a snake pit which is being worshipped. Vinayaka is present in a standing posture. There is a congregation of devotees on every new moon day.

Links: Location

Gingee – Thiruvannamalai

Aala Kaala Easwar Temple at Alampoondi

10 kms to the west of Gingee en route Thiruvannamalai, this is an ancient Shiva temple. The recently renovated temple here is Arulmigu Aalakaala Easwaran Thirukoil and His consort is A/M. Mangalambigai. This temple is around 800 years old and was fully ruined by passage of time. With some good souls, the temple was renovated in 2008.
Contact: V.Dhandapany, Secretary, Aalakaala Easwaran Thirukoil Trust, Alampoondi Village, Gingee Taluk, Villupuram Dist. Pin code 604151

Links: Location 

Sundareswarar Temple at Veeramanallur

16 kms west of Gingee, Goddess: Soundaravalli

Gingee – Villupuram

Shatru Malleswaralayam Rock cut temple at Thalavanur

This is located at 16 km from Gingee in Viluppuram District and was built by the Pallava King Mahendra varman (B.C.580 to 630). Sculptures and Tamil and sanskrit inscriptions are found here.

Links: Location Weblink


A famous Archeological Temple site is 20 kms from Villupuram and 17 kms from Gingee in the Villupuram – Gingee road. It is a 100 ft hillock, where the Mahendraverma (I) of Pallava king, (580-630 AD) made a cave temple.  Currently there are no deities here.

Links: Location Photos Weblink

Marudeeswarar (Shiva) Temple at Sangeethamangalam

A Pallava Temple

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Ramanatha Easwar temple at Anniyur

The temple with the Swayambu lingam was built by Pallavas.
Goddess: Thiripura Sundari amman
Ramar worshipped Shiva here.

Sthala Vruksham: Vilva tree
Theertham: Rama theertham

Note: There is also an ancient Perumal temple at Anniyur

Links: Location

Ramalingar Shiva Temple at Kanjanur

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Brahmmadesam – Ennayiram – Esalam

This is the area connecting Ginee-Villupuram road and Tindivanam-Villupuram highways. It can be reached either by a) branching off at Perani junction in the  Tindivanam-Villupuram highways and travelling through Periya Thachur or b) branching off at Nemur in the Gingee-Villupuram road. Note that there are many Brahmmadesams in Tamilnadu.

This is a very important location from the archaeological and historical front and most of the temples in this belt are being maintained by ASI with plenty of important inscriptions and idols unearthed.  In 1987, a big treasure trove was found containing 23 bronze images, temple utensils and copper plate charter (royal order). The Esalam copper plate grant of Rajendra Chola is the third charter of the ruler to have been found so far. The Thiruvalangadu plates issued in his sixth year, and the Karandai (Tanjore) copper plates issued in his 8th year are the two charters of this ruler found earlier. The Karandai plates is by far the biggest royal charter to have been found inscribed on copper sheets-anywhere in India.

Ennayiram in tamil means 8000.  According to local belief, 8,000 Jainas were executed here. There is another story that the Jains were not executed but they embraced Brahmanism. There is one more version that there were 8000 Brahmin- settlers from North India who were invited by Rajendra-I. In any case, there is a sect in Brahmin Iyers called Ashta Sahasram (meaning 8000) and this could be their root. Ennayiram was a flourishing educational centre during the Chola period. There are inscriptions about an university for teaching the Vedas with 270 students, hostel, hospital and doctors with their wage details. The Tamil poet, Kalamegam, famous for his puns, belonged to Ennayiram.

Brahmmapureeswarar Temple at Brahmmadesam

Brahmmadesam is very much connected with the Chalukya King Pulikesi II. This is a very big temple with the huge main deity (lingam). The temple is under control of Archelogical Survey of India (ASI) and is being renovated.

Links: Location  Photos

Padaleeswarar Temple at Brahmmadesam

This is another Chola temple under ASI control and under renovation.

Links: Location   Photos

Semmaneri Andavar Temple at Ennayiram

Located in a beautiful environment of lake, huge banyan trees in the backdrop of hill, this is the family deity for many and is a very busy temple on holidays.

Links: Location Photos

About 100 meters from here there is a small mandapam called Ramanujar Padham where the foot prints of Sri Ramanujar is being kept.

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Azhagiya Narasimha Perumal Temple at Ennayiram

The Chola temple of Narasimha swamy temple was built by Rajaraja Chola 1 (985 –1014).  When the floor of the “mukhamantapa” (entrance hall) was being removed, ASI found  the longest “meikeerthi” (various titles and exploits) of a Chola king. The inscription actually runs to 80 lines, but only lines from 54 to 80 are unearthed and lines 1 to 53 are yet to be located.

The sanctum sanctorum has the idol of Lord Paramapathavasan and Consorts Sridevi and Bhoodevi. The presiding deity is Lord Azhagiya Narasingar. The temple also has a shrine for the six-feet high idol of Lord Varahamurthy. Special puja is performed on every Thiruvatirai Nakshatram day.

Saint Ramanujar preachings converted the Jains as Vaishnavas. Koorathazhwar also visited this temple.

Darshan timings: 7-11 a.m.; 4-7 p.m.

Links: Location Photos

Sri Ramanatha Easwar Temple at Esalam

The temple was built by Rajendra Cholan I (1012) and there are inscriptions in Sanskrit with grantha characters.  The vimanam is of stone construction. This is supposed to be one of the last small temples Rajaraja built before venturing into the Tanjore Big Temple.

Links: Location Photos

Thirukkovilur – Manalurpet – Thiruvannamalai

Sri Ranganathar Temple Aadhirangam

Location: 16 km from Thirukkovilur and 28 kms from Thiruvannamalai in the Thirukkovilur -Thiruvannamalai route via Manalurpet and near Jambai.


* considered more ancient than Srirangam
* the biggest Perumal in Tamilnadu

Temple: The temple, on the banks of river Thenpennai, is called Uthira rangam and is more ancient than Srirangam. The main deity Sri Ranganathar in reclining posture is a suthai chirpam and is the biggest Perumal in Tamilnadu. Lord Vishnu takes the anantha sayanam position after every avatar. The ancientness of this temple can be well understood with the fact that this temple is believed to be after the first Vishnu avatar whereas Srirangam, Trichy is after the 7th avatar. A visit to this temple, by itself, is a great boon.

There is a musical sculpture here and if you strike it at different places, different swarams come out. This temple is not part of the 108 divya desams but many say that there are inscriptions that this place has been done mangalasasanam by Thirumangaiyashwar in 10 pasurams.

Links: Location Weblink Photos


Jambunatheswarar Temple

A Swayambu lingam; the construction of this east facing temple was started during the 9th century A.D Chola period and continued to the Vijayanagara age.

Links: Location

Sapthamathirika Temple

Sculptures here belong to 10th Century A.D

Links: Location

Jambai is an important place from the historical and archaeological front. There is a small hillock in the north east of the village. Between two split areas of this hillock there are signs of megalithic period settlement. Before this in the hillock cave there is an inscription of Athiyaman in Tamil, which is considered to be the earliest inscription in Tamil.

Links: Location

West of this hillock in a small stone boulder is an inscription of Rashtrakuta Krishna III along with the 10th century A.D relief figure  of Jyesta devi.

Links: Location

South of this inscription is a lake, in the middle of which is a stone mortar with inscription.

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Manalurpet is 25 kms from Tiruvannamalai and 15kms from Thirukkovilur. Manalurpet is famous for the River Festival taking place in the month of January every year, second day from Kanum pongal (Fifth day of Tamil month Thai). During the festival Lord Annamalaiyar will come from Tiruvannamalai.

Also this town has many temples like

  • Agastheeswara Temple – A Swayambu lingam
  • Perumal Temple
  • Sani Bhagavan Temple and
  • Around 40 feet Anjaneyar Temple

Thirukkovilur – Siddhalingamadam – Villupuram


This place is connected with Sri Krishna Premi Swamigal or Sri Sri Anna as he is affectionately called. The official site talks a lot about various spiritual activities. It seems Sri Krishna Premi Swamigal comes here on every Ekadhasi day and does Unjavridhi and the bhajans. I understand the place will be brimming with activities when he is present but otherwise is deserted as I saw during my visit. Better call up and go.

Links: Location

Shiva temple at Sidhalingamadam

  • Main deity is Vygrapathar as Swayambu lingam with Goddess NeelaVisalakshi amman. Sage Vygrapathar got the Shiva dharshan here and hence the name of the main deity.
  • Vinayagar argued with Sundarar and made him sing a hymn and so the Vinayagar is called ‘Vadhadum Vinayagar’.
  • A Thevara Vaipu Sthalam.
  • Sri Gnananandha Swamigal, before settling at Thirukkoyilur Thapovanam, stayed here for quite some time.

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Agastheeswarar Temple at C.Meyyur

A Swayambu lingam at 1 km east of Sidhalingamadam

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Murugan Temple near C.Meyyur

On a hillock right in the middle of Pennaiyar river

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Sri Idaiyatru Nathar temple at Thiru Idaiyaru

The temple is located between South Pennai and Malattaru, on the banks of South Pennai and the main deity is the Idaiyatru Nathar as a Swayambu lingam. On a Swathi star day, Shiva gave dharshan to Sukha Brahma rishi and taught Jothidam to him here.

Sukha Brahma Rishi is an expert in changing forms and once he changed into a parrot. He flew to Kailayam where he saw Lord Shiva was preaching ‘Shiva secrets’ to Parvathi devi and Sukhar wanted to know the secret. So he was flying around between Lord Shiva and Parvathi Devi. Parvathi Devi got angry and cursed him to be in the Parrot form itself. Sukhar then pleaded pardon and Shiva gave some relief to be in human form but with Parrot face. Sukhar penanced here Sukha Brahma Rishi is a devotee of Lord well and he got Ramar’s dharshan at the Yoga ramar temple at Nedungunam

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Sri Lakshmi Narayana Perumal Temple at Kappur

Located in a beautiful location

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Sri Venkata Varadaraja Perumal Temple at Perumbakkam

This 400 years old temple is at Perumbakkam, 7 km from Villupuram on the Villupuram-Thirukovilur Highway. The temple is associated with several Jeeyars of the Ahobila Mutt. Sri Injimedu Azhagiyasingar, the 42nd Jeeyar of Ahobila Mutt, has proclaimed this village as the ‘Dakshina Ahobilam’.

According to legend, Lord Varadaraja appeared in the dream of a Vedic scholar and directed him to retrieve the idols buried in his land called `Thoramaniam’ and build a temple for Him and His Consorts. Accordingly, the idols of Venkata Varadaraja Perumal with Sridevi and Bhoodevi were retrieved and the temple was built. As per the inscriptions found in the temple, the main shrine of Sri Venkata Varadaraja Perumal with His Consorts was built with special granite brought from `Kalpattu’, with ardhamandapam, mahamandapam, etc., in the year 1605 A.D., and other shrines for Perundevi Thayar, Andal, Bashyakarar, Nammazhwar, Vedantha Desikar, Adivann Satakopa Yathindra Maha Desikan, the founder and the first Jeeyar of Sri Ahobila Mutt and the front mandapam were all added later.

Perumbakkam has the unique distinction and honour of being the venue for choosing Sri U. V. Gopalacharya Swami as the 37th Peetathipathi of Sri Ahobila Math, by convening a sadas when the 36th Jeeyar, Srivann Satakopa Sri Srinivasa Yathindra Mahadesikan passed away without nominating a successor in 1898 when he camped here for nearly an year and performed Mangalasasanam to Sri Venkata Varadaraja Perumal. Sri U. V. Gopalacharya Swami assumed the thirunamam, Srivann Satakopa Sri Veeraraghava Satakopa Yathindra Maha Desikan. A staunch devotee of Sri Venkata Varadaraja Perumal, he adored Him as the replica of Kanchi Sri Varadaraja, on whom he has composed several slokas. Even though this Jeeyar adorned the peetam for only 11 months, he stayed in the village and worshipped Sri Venkata Varadaraja Perumal.

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In and Around Thirukkovilur

Athulyanadheswarar temple at Arakandanallur

Location: The temple is located at about 3 km from Thirukkovilur towards Villupuram. The temple is located in a beautiful location on a hillock adjacent to the South Pennai river and is visible from a distance across the river. There are two entrances, one through the main road and the other through the river which is very scenic.


* One of the 275 Shiva temples glorified by the Thevara hymns


* Ramanar has meditated in this temple when he was a young boy.
* It is believed that the Pandavas visited Arankandanallur and that the temple tank close to the cave in which they stayed was created with Bhima’s mace. There are two sunais (water streams) on the hillock which are said to have been used by Pandavas and Draupadi.
* There is an imprint of Thirugnana Sambandar’s feet here. Sambandar is said to have miraculously moved a huge rock that had been placed to block the shrine. Thirugnana Sambandhar worshipped Thiruvannamalai from this hillock top.
* Worshipped by Prasanda rishi

The Temple: The 160 feet high Gopuram in this shrine (dating back to the 7th century) with three prakarams Rich in inscriptions, it received Royal patronage from local chieftains, the later Cholas and the later Pandyas. This is the south most rock-cut cave temple of Pallavas, with the solitary exception of Tiruchirapalli. Thiruvannamalai is visible from this hill. There is an idol of Ramanar as a young boy in a meditative posture and the temple is visited by many Ramana Maharsishi followers.

Links: Location   Travelogue1   Travelogue2


Anthili is a village about 2 kms south of Arakanda Nallur on the banks of the river South Pennai.

Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple at Anthili

Legend: Lord Maha Vishnu in the form of Narasimha came out of a granite pillar to kill Hiranyakasibu, the father and the tormentor of Prahalad. In this avtar, the Lord rushed to help
Prahalad without calling his vahanam, Garuda. So also in Gajendra Moksha. These caused much anxiety to Garuda who felt extremely depressed on being left out. He left Vaikuntam and was doing penance at Anthili. The severe penance of Garuda pleased the Lord and He gave dharshan as Lord Narasimha with Mahalakshmi seated on His lap. Due to Garuda’s penance, Anthili thus became a sacred spot for all pilgrims.
The Madhwa seer Sri Vyasarajar visited Anthili and had dharshan of the Lord on top of a small hillock that looked liked Garuda to him. The same Vyasarajar became Sri Raghavendra in his next birth.

Temple: Subsequently, due to continuous raids by infidels, the temple lost its glory and importance. Paranur Sri Krishna Premi Swamigal renovated the temple and the kumbhabhishekam took place in 2004. At the temple, the Lord is with Mahalakshmi on his lap. The idol is small but the Lord’s glory is great.
Conatct: Baktha Jana Sabha at 04153-254098

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Veera Anjaneyar temple

The Madhwa seer Sri Vyasarajar consecrated this temple during the glorious reign of the Vijayanagar Emperors.


This is situated in the Cuddalore – Chittoor trunk road, 37 km from Villupuram and about the same distance from Thiruvannamalai. This town has two parts Kizhur and Melur. While Ulagalandha Perumal temple, one of the 108 Divya desams is located in Melur, the Veeratteswarar Temple, one of the 275 sacred Thevara temples is located in Kizhur. This is the birth place of Rajaraja chola. Meiporul Nayanar ruled this place.

Ulagalanda Perumal temple


  • One of the 108 Divya desams
  • Vamana Trivikrama Avathara Sthalam
  • One of the five Krisharanya Kshetras.
  • It was here that the three Mudal Azhwars (Poigai Azhwar, Bhoodathazhwar and Peyazhwar) met one night in a small room.

Temple: The presiding deities of the Temple are 21 feet Thiruvikrama Swami and Pushpavalli Thayar. The Moolavar is in Nindra, Nadantha (Ulagalantha) kolam facing East direction with his right leg lifted up towards the sky. Mahabali’s pride bit the dust in this kshetra. Unusually, the Sangu and Chakrams of the moolavar have changed places and is seen with Sangu on the right hand and the Chakkaram on the left hand.

The temple was built about 2000 years ago in stages. Among the four towers that adorn the temple, the biggest one is in the eastern side that scales 195 feet and is the third highest structure found in Southern India. The courtyards in the temple are very large and present an exquisite feast to the eyes. The broad mandapam in front of the Thayar Shrine, especially, throws a challenge to the modern architecture, which is built in the cantilever system and affords a surprising sight. There are several sacred theerthams in the temple.

Sri Vishnu Durga: Worshiping “Goddess Durga” in a vaishnavite temple is unique. Usually, the Durga’s sanctum will be present as Koshta God in most Shiva temples. But here, the sanctum is right in front of the sanctum of Lord Vishnu. After the Thiruvikrama Avataram, Goddess Durga sought permission from Vishnu to go back to Vindhya Mountain but Lord Vishnu advised her to stay here and bless the devotees. It was said that the Goddess is guarding the Lord Thriuvikrama shrine

Azhwars: During a dark and stormy night, the three azhwars Poigai Azhwar, Bhoodathazhwar and Peyazhwar reached Tirukkovilur separately by different routes. They found all houses shut, all choultries locked up except a narrow passage in the front portion of an ashram belonging to Mrigandu Maharshi. The first to reach was Poigaiazhwar, prepared to spend the night lay down. Sometime later, Bhoodathazhwar too discovered the same place. The space which was just enough for one to lie down is now just enough for two to sit. Later the third Azhwar, Peyazhwar also arrived in seeking shelter and now the three could at least stand comfortably. The famous phrase ‘Oruvar padukka, Iruvar amara and Moover nirka’ refers to this incident.

All of a sudden, they felt rather tight pressed. Where they were standing comfortably earlier, they now felt that the available space had diminished, as if a fourth person had entered the narrow passage and was crowding them. Apparently, someone had sneaked into the already constricted space without announcement and was standing as one with them. Later they found that it was none other than the Paramatma Sriman Narayana with Sri Mahalakshmi adorning his broad chest.

The three azhwars, inspired by the grand spectacle of Emperuman’s glorious form in their midst, poured out their devotion in a hundred beautiful verses each, brimming over with bhakthi. These are the Pasurams which served as forerunners of the “Four thousand nectarine verses” that were to be composed by the other azhwars.

Links: Location



  • One of the 8 Veeratta Stalams of Shiva
  • One of the 275 sacred temples glorified by the Thevara hymns

Location: The temple is located in a place called Kizhur or Kizhaiyur.

Legend: The eight Veeratta Sthalams are where Lord Shiva vanquished various demons. Here He vanquished Andakasuran. The Periyanai Ganapathi shrine here had been worshipped by Poet Avvaiyar. Since it was getting late for the Poet to go to Kailayam, this Vinayagar is said to have lifted her up and placed ahead of Sundarar en route Kailayam.
The Temple: The moolavar here is a big Swayambu lingam. During the Kumbabhisheha work, when the area around the lingam was dug up, the base of the lingam was going well below 25 feet and so it was left untouched further. Although much in need of repair, frescos on ceilings are of interest. The Rajagopuram is about 70 ft in height and the temple has 2 praharams. Inscriptions from the Pallava, Vijayalaya I and Paranthaka Chola I periods are found here.

Durgai koshta God is here is very special since Her eyes appear with white eyeballs as real eyes though the idol has been sculptured in black granite stone. It’s a wonder indeed! The Ambal temple is located separately.

Links: Location  Travelogue

Kabilar Kundru

This place, being maintained by the state Archaeological Department, is near the Veeratteswarar temple and is situated in the middle of the river Pennayar. After the death of Pari, the King who is said to have given his chariot to a jasmine creeper for its support to grow, his daughters Angavai and Sangavai had suffered a lot. The saint poet Kabilar, a good friend of Pari and the caretaker of the girls could not bear the pain of the sufferings of the girls had immolated himself on this rock.

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Gnananandha Thapovanam

The history of the Matam, takes us back to the times of Adhi Shankara. Adhi Shankara established four Peetams of which Jyotir Matam is one, with Thotakacharya as the main functionary (Thotakacharya was Sankara’s disciple). In this lineage the Fifth Peetathipathi was Sri Sivaratna Giri Swamiji. Sri Gnanananda Giri Swami was his principal disciple viz. Sixth Peetathipathi.

When His Guru attained Samadhi on a Chitra Pournami day, Sri Gnanananda Giri Swami was unable to bear the separation of his Guru and so left the Peetam and went to Manasarour, handing over the charge to his disciple. At Manasarovar, he practised vigorous penance for a number of years and travelled by foot to a number of places in India, Malaya (now Malaysia), Burma (now Myanmar) and Sri Lanka, and interacted and blessed his devotees. At last he reached Thirukkovilur and established the Ashram at the Thapovanam. He is a Siddha Purusha, transcending time and space.

Links: Location  Travelogue Webink

Sri Rahothama Swami Moola Brindhavan

The Samadhi of Swami Ragothama, worshipped by the followers of Madhwas and others is situated on the bank of the river South Pennai.

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Other places:

  • Kugai Namachivayar Samadhi in the North street
  • Aadhi Madalayam near the Veerateswarar temple

Thiruvannamalai – Villupuram 

SiddhanathaSwamy Temple at Veeramur

Located at about 12 kms North West of Villupuram

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Kandachipuram (Kanda Rajitha Cholapuram)

The temple is located at about 26 kms North West of Villupuram. The legend is that the Shivalingam is made up of sand and was installed by Lord Rama during his tenure in the forest.

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Aadhinathar Shiva Temple at Veerapandi

Swayambu lingam

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Villupuram – Thiruvennainallur – Thirukkoyilur

Thirumundeeswaram (Gramam)

Tirumundeeswaram village was also known as Mouli-Gramam and now simply as Gramam. It is located on the southern bank of the Pennaar river, now known as Malattaar at 3.5 kms from the Arasur Cross road at Chennai – Trichy National Highway.

1) NNT19 – Sivalokanathar Temple at Thirumundeeswaram

Significances: A Thevara Padal Petra Sthalam

Deities: The presiding deity is Mundeeswarar, Sivaloka Nathar and the Ambal Kaanaarkuzhali, Soundara Nayaki.


Brahma and Indra are said to have worshipped Shiva here.
A king Chokkalingam by name came here in Dwapara Yuga for hunting and found a strange lotus flower in a tank.  His men were not able to pick up the flower as it began to circle around the tank.  The king shot an arrow on the flower and the tank became red.  The king then realized it was a Shivalinga and immediately built a temple on the bank of the tank. Based on this, the name of the place, as in the scriptures is Mouli Gramam – Mouli meaning Head or crown.  The lingam still has a scar on its head.
It is also said that the Lord presented king Veerapandiyan a Pokkalam-bag of sacred ash (Vibhuthi) and hence known as “Pokkalam Kodutha Nayanar”.
Dwarapalakas (securities) of Lord Shiva are Thindi and Mundi and the place where Thindi worshipped Lord Shiva is called Thindeeswaram (Thindivanam) and the place where Mundi worshipped the Lord is called Mundeeswaram.
Also as the temple is on the bank of a river (Aaru), He is also known as ‘Aattruthali Mahadeva’.


Lord Dakshinamurthy is seated on His Rishaba Bull vahana on a hill instead of under the Kallala tree.
The Rajagopuram is facing east.
Lord Vinayaka and Lord Muruga have changed positions at the entrance.
Lord Muruga’s left hand shows the Naarasa Mudra.
The temple is of Somaskanda design as the shrine of Lord Muruga is in between those of Lord and Mother.
Appar composed the Pathigam; One of the temples glorified by the Thiruthandaga Thiruppathigam by Thirunavukkarasar.

Festivals: Appar Vizha is celebrated in the Tamil month of Chittirai and Arudra Darisanam during Margazhi.
Special Prayers: Those desirous of mastering music and dance pray to Mother.
Sthala vriksham: Vanni
Theertham: Mundaka Theertham
Contact: 04146-206700

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2) AadhiKesava Perumal Temple at Thirumundeeswaram

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Location: It is 20 km from Viluppuram en route Thirukkoyilur.

1) NNT14 – Sri Krupapureeswarar temple


One of the 275 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams
It is known primarily for its association with the attainment of sainthood by Sundaramoorthy Nayanar. Here he sang his first hymn ‘Pithaa Pirai Soodi’.
The Lord of this temple is believed to bless the devotees with oratory skill and excellence in education. Those dumb pray to Him to gain speech skill.
The birth place of Sadayappar, the patron of Kambar, the greatest Tamil poet and the author of the Tamil Epic Kamba Ramayanam
Meikkanda Devar the author of Sivagnanabodam lived here.

Deities: The presiding deity is Thaduttaatkonda Nathar, Kripapureeswarar as Swayambu lingam and the Ambal Verkanniyammai, Mangalambikai – both facing east.


During the period when the Lord consumed the poison, Parvati devi is said to have penanced here with Panjakni (five faced deepam) in the midst of a fortress made of butter (Vennai) and hence the name Thiruvennainallur. It is also said that She penanced to get back Her normal face from an angry face She got after killing Mahishasura.  It is here Mother bathed in the river to cool Herself off from the fury of destroying demon Mahishasura.
Shiva is said to have danced here to enunciate the details of the Natya Sastram.
The Vedas in the form of bamboo are said to have worshipped Shiva, hence the name Venuvanam. They were granted darshan in the form of Fire as requested by them and became a swayambu linga.
It is here Arjuna cleansed himself off from the guilt of interfering in the privacy of his brother Dharma with Panchali and sought child boon.
In the Bitchadanar story, the Rishis of Tharukavana were forgiven by the Lord and hence the name of the Temple ‘’Thiru Arul Thurai’’ (Place of Blessings).  As He showered His Krupa (forgiveness), the Lord is praised as Krupapureeswarar.
A Brahmin got relief in this temple from the sin of using a pregnant cow for sacrifice in a yagna, by bathing in the ‘’Arul Thurai’’ sacred spring.

The episode of ‘’Pitha Pirai Soodi’’:

Sundarar was in his wedding attire ready for the related rituals at Thirunavalur. Suddenly, an old man intervened and claimed that Sundarar had been assigned to him as his attendant by his forefathers and proved his case.  After verification of all the documents produced by the old man, the panchayat men asked Sundarar to go along with the old man as his servant.  Sundarar in his fury, called the old man a lunatic (Pitha).  The old man took Sundarar to Tiruvennainallur and disappeared at the sanctum sanctorum leaving His footwear (Padukas) at the entrance (The Padukas are still in the temple for the darshan of the devotees). Sundarar was shocked and came to realize that the old man who demanded his service was none other than the Lord Shiva Himself.  He cried apologetically and Lord asked him to sing His praise. When Sundarar asked how he could without any knowledge, Lord asked him to start with the word Pitha (lunatic). The first song of Sundarar – Pitha Pirai Soodi – thus came into being. He was one responsible for the resurgence of Saivism in south challenged by rival faiths then.

What is noteworthy in this episode is the procedure followed in settling a dispute. Divine poet Sekkizhar in his Periapuranam describes the scene. Heated arguments were exchanged between the old man and Sundarar. The judicial system in deciding a dispute should be under three main principles – Aatchi (tradition), Aavanam (documentary evidence) and Ayalar Kaatchi (eye witness). The episode is long but quite interesting and spiritually enjoyable.


The Panchayat Mandap where the case was argued by Lord Shiva and Sundarar still exists on the north of the right side of the entrance.  The pillar on which the old man was leaning during the panchayat proceedings is still warm. People use to collect the sand in the mandap and keep it in their puja rooms.
Mother Mangalambikai graces with all features of Mother Mahalakshmi with Sanga Nidhi, Padma Nidhi and also with Sri Chakra.  She is in a standing posture with with Her four hands.
Lord Vinayaka of the temple is praised as Polla Pillayar – non chiseled.
The Jyoti Linga woshipped by the Navagrahas the nine planets is in this temple.
There are three lingams in the temple – the Vijaya lingam worshipped by Arjuna seeking child boon, Sundara lingam worshipped by Devendra and Sankara lingam worshipped by Lord Vishnu.
Lord Muruga granted darshan to saint Arunagiriar in a dancing form with His peacock vahan in this temple.
God of Dharma (righteousness) himself is believed to be in the temple in the form of Nandhi (bull vehicle)


Sundarar started his hymns from here and the great Saivite Acharya Meikanda Thevar was taught by the Lord when he was 5. So the Lord of this temple is believed to bless the devotees with oratory skill and excellence in education. Those dumb pray to Him to gain speech skill.
It is when Sundarar was ready for his marriage he was taken over by the Lord. It is the staunch belief of the devotees that their wedding plans would be successful if they worship Nandhi, the bull vehicle of Lord Shiva, with a garland also wearing one themselves.

Sthala vriksham: Bamboo (Moongil)
Theertham: Pennai river, Dhanda theertham
Contact: Gurukkal Ravi – 7708638986

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2) Sri Vaikunda vasa Perumal Temple

Located by the side of the Shiva temple

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3) Meikandaar Jeeva Sammathi Koil

Meikkanda Devar, the author of Sivagnanabodam lived here and said to have been taught by the Lord when he was 5. His Jeeva Samathi is present at the back of the temple.

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Sri Vedapureeswarar Temple at Emappur

3 kms North of Thiruvennainallur

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Durgai Amman temple at Chinnasevalai

Kambar worshipped the Durgai here and so the temple is called “Kamban Vazhipatta Kaali”. Every Sunday Ragukala pooja at 4.30 – 6 PM is special here.

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Sri Sokkanathar Temple at Sirumadurai

Goddess is Meenakshi amman

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NNT13 – Sri Idaiyatru Nathar temple at Thiru Idaiyaru

Location: The temple is located between South Pennai and Malattaru rivers and hence the name Idaiyaru (between the rivers).
Deities: The main deity is the Idaiyatru Nathar, Marudheesar as a Swayambu lingam and the Ambal Sitridai nayaki, Gnanambika.


On a Swathi star day, Shiva gave dharshan to Sukha Brahma rishi and taught astrology to him here.
Sukha Brahma Rishi is an expert in changing forms and once he changed into a parrot. He flew to Kailayam where he saw Lord Shiva was preaching ‘Shiva secrets’ to Parvathi devi and Sukhar wanted to know the secret. So he flew in between Lord Shiva and Parvathi Devi. Parvathi Devi got angry and cursed him to be in the Parrot form itself. Sukhar then pleaded pardon and Shiva gave some relief to be in human form but with Parrot face. Sukhar penanced here. Sukha Brahma Rishi is a devotee of Lord Rama as well and he got Ramar’s dharshan at the Yoga ramar temple at Nedungunam in the Chetpat – Polur road


The Lord and the Goddess are in the marriage posture facing each other. While Shiva is facing west the Ambal is faceing East,
West facing 3 tier Rajagopurm
There is Agastheeswarar lingam worshipped by Sage Agasthiar and also there is a shrine for Agasthiar.
Sundarar composed the Pathigam.
MaraiGnana Sambhandhar was born here and the Vinayagar who blessed him is in a separate temple in the midst of fields.

Sthala Vruksham: Marudha tree
Theertham: Penna river, Sitridai theertham (well)
Contatct: 04146 216045 /  206515; Mobile: 9442423919 / 98847 77078

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Adhikesava Perumal Temple at Thiru Idaiyaru

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Villupuram – Mambazhapattu – Mugaiyur – Thirukkoyilur


Location: Perumbakkam is 7 km from Villupuram

1) Sri Venkata Varadaraja Perumal Temple

This temple is associated with several Jeeyars of the Ahobila Mutt. According to legend, Lord Varadaraja appeared in the dream of a Vedic scholar and directed him to retrieve the idols buried in his land called `Thoramaniam’ and build a temple. Accordingly, the idols of Venkata Varadaraja Perumal with Sridevi and Bhoodevi were retrieved and the temple was built. As per the inscriptions, the main shrine was constructed in the year 1605 A.D., and other shrines for Perundevi Thayar, Andal, Bashyakarar, Nammazhwar, Vedantha Desikar, Adivann Satakopa Yathindra Maha Desikan, the founder and the first Jeeyar of Sri Ahobila Mutt and the front mandapam were added later.

Perumbakkam has the unique distinction and honour of being the venue for choosing Sri U. V. Gopalacharya Swami as the 37th Peetathipathi of Sri Ahobila Math, by convening a sadas when the 36th Jeeyar, Srivann Satakopa Sri Srinivasa Yathindra Mahadesikan passed away without nominating a successor in 1898 when he camped here for nearly an year and performed Mangalasasanam to Sri Venkata Varadaraja Perumal. Sri U. V. Gopalacharya Swami assumed the thirunamam, Srivann Satakopa Sri Veeraraghava Satakopa Yathindra Maha Desikan. A staunch devotee of Sri Venkata Varadaraja Perumal, he adored Him as the replica of Kanchi Sri Varadaraja, on whom he has composed several slokas. Even though this Jeeyar adorned the peetam for only 11 months, he stayed in the village and worshipped Sri Venkata Varadaraja Perumal.

Links: Location

2) Sri Vedanta Desikar temple

This is just opposite the Venkata Varadharaja Perumal temple. Sri Yoga Hayavadhanar is also present in the temple (or is it a separate temple?)

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3) Srinivasa Perumal Koil on Kullakkarai

This small temple is on a kulakkarai (on the bank of a pond) and the Perumal is present with Prayoga Chakram. He liberally grants boon.

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Note: There is also Kailasanathar temple at Perumbakkam

Saneeswara Bhagawan temple at Mambalapattu

Location: 14 km from Villupuram en route Thirukkoyilur


The 21 feet Saneeswara Bhagavan called as Yoga Saneeswarar is in a standing posture with merciful eyes, left leg on the ground and the right on the gigantic crow vehicle.


This popular temple is present in a calm and serene ashram environment and was built by His Holiness Brahammananda Swamigal of Kalpattu Sri Swayam Prakasha Avadhutha Ashramam to commemorate the 50th Maha Samadhi celebrations of Sri Swayam Prakasha Saraswathy Avadhutha Swamigal.
There are also shrines for the Uchishta Ganapathi, 11 feet tall Panchmukha Easwarar (Bhuvaneswarar), Bhuvaneswari, Gopalakrishnan, 18 feet tall Ashtadasabhuja Durga (Mother Durga with 18 hands), Panchamukha Anjaneyar, 8 feet tall Dandayuthapani.  Every idol is large in size with exquisite sculptural beauty.
The Pranava Ganapathi at the entrance was found from a tank nearby and believed to have been worshipped by Desingu Raja.  The Vinayaka in the temple is Valampuri Vinayaka
There is no hundi, no archana in any personal name or any other commercial activities here. Everything including accommodation is free in the Ashramam. Since the inception from November 4, 1998 free annadhanam is being offered continuously. All activities are purely through voluntary donations only. During every Sanipeyarchi (Saturn’s transit) more than 200,000 are fed with prasadhams.


It is a known fact that one leg of Planet Saneeswara is impaired.  Ravana wished that his son should have a longevity that never ends and that death should not come to him.  He performed such penance of intensity to gain this boon for his son.  Already planets were under the control of Ravana.  Saturn could not cast his aspect on the child.  Devas were afraid.  Maharshi Narada told Saneeswara to do his best to cast his look on the child and the planet did it successfully and the child-Indrajit was born.  Frustrated Ravana broke the planet’s leg and the planet became lame.  Hence the idol is made with the planet’s leg on the crow – his vehicle- to cover up this disability.

Links: Location


  1. Sir, I learnt a lot from your blog. I shall be grateful if you could detail in what way the Brahmapureeswarar Temple at Brahmadesam near Gingee is associated with Chalukya King Pulikesin-2. Thanks again for your efforts. – I. Kaviyarasu, Deputy Tahsildar, Taluk Office, Panruti. Mobile: 9894535052.

  2. Todayzeeprogramdetails of nambinalnambu

  3. Superb bro…
    This is Very useful to me…
    மிக்க நன்றி சகோ🙏

  4. Sir I have read many of your blogs very happy .sir I need a help I don’t know my kuladeviam now I have a special child some astrologer told that my kuladeivam temple has a tortoise statute in front of it but I don’t known which god and where is the temple please can you help me in finding this temple thanking you

    • Madam, I’ve seen in many Kerala temples the dwajasthambam will be sitting on the back of the tortoise, for example the famous Vaikom temple. just fyi.

    • In Saibaba temple near kuberan temple(next to tagore engineering college,chennai) a tortoise statue is kept before sai baba, which i havent seen in any other place

  5. I want good place to stay for months with familyin tiruvanamallai
    since my wife is wheezing patient she feels better when we stayed for couple of days please give your email I’d or contact number

  6. sir, iam your follower. wherever I want to visit any temple, first iwill check your blog then only I will proceed.
    thank you sir

    • Thank you Sir

  7. Namaskaram,
    Ystrday, we had visited SelvaLalithambigai temple at Chelapirati. A must visit temple for all. History explained by Eswaran Gurukkal made us feel so divine & fortunate to stand in front of the ADHI SAKTHI. Linked wt Kollur Moogambika temple & ADHI SANKARA. SHRI CHAKRAM is placed here. Plz visit & be blessed.

  8. Great, have been at Tiruvannamalai for more than a couple of months, but never known there are so many great temples that are in the vicinity. Thanks much….

  9. Many many txs..bahu puuniya kainkaryam

  10. Sir,Is it possible to visit thiruvanamalai, padaveedu and nedungunam onthe same day from chennai. If so can you give me the travel route from chennai and temple timings also. Thank you.

  11. Happy to see we are both on the same space.

    I have built an iPhone/iPad app about Annamalai Swami and would love to hear your thoughts on it. Check it out:

    Keep up the great blog! 🙂

  12. Dear sir, I want to know about Thiruvothur near cheyyar, vedhapureeswarar temple , my email id Thanking you.

  13. very informative one.

  14. WoW…

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