Temples in and around Thiruvannamalai

Last updated on: 20th Sep 2017

All the temples listed in this directory are marked out in this map:


Sri Unnamulai amman sametha Sri Arunachaleswarar Temple

  • One of the Pancha bootha sthalams representing Agni.
  • Connected with the legend of Lingothbavar. Once when Vishnu and Brahma contested for superiority, Shiva appeared as a flame, and challenged them to find his source. Brahma took the form of a swan, and flew to the sky to see the top of the flame, while Vishnu became the boar Varaha, and sought its base. The scene is called lingothbava, and is represented s Goshta moorthy in the western wall at the back of the sanctum of most Shiva temples. Neither Brahma nor Vishnu could find the source, and while Vishnu conceded his defeat, Brahma lied and said he had found the pinnacle. In punishment, Shiva ordained that Brahma would never have temples on earth in his worship.

Links: Location Weblink

There are large number of temples and ashrams in the Girivala route around Sri Arunachaleswarar temple and the most important ones are:

Ashta (eight) lingams representing the eight directions with each one being associated with one or more birth stars. Each lingam addresses different aspects of man’s life and they bless the devotees with different types of benefits. It is believed to be installed by various gods. Also these lingams have a dominant navagraha and praying to each lingam brings forth various benefits that is being bestowed by that navagraha on the devotees.

Indhra Lingam

This is the first lingam of the Ashta lingams around the Girivala path representing East direction. It is said to be installed by lord Indran, the celestial king. The dominant navagraha of this lingam are the Sun and Sukiran. Worshipping this lingam blesses the devotees with long life and abundant prosperity.

Links: Location

Agni Lingam

This is the second lingam of the Ashta lingams around  the Girivala path representing the South-East direction. The uniqueness of this lingam is that it is the only lingam that is placed on the right side of the Girivala path. The dominant navagraha of this lingam is Chandran (moon). Praying to this lingam helps one to keep away sickness and to maintain good health. This lingam is located near the lotus tank.

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Sri Ramanashram
The sacred place of Sri Ramana Maharishi
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Sri Seshadhri Swamigal Ashram
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Sri Yogi Ram Surathkumar Ashram
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Yama Lingam

The third lingam on the Girivalam is the Yama lingam representing the South direction. It is said to be installed by the God of death, Yama. The dominant graham of this lingam is Sevvai. It has a holy tank known as Simma theertham. Worshipping this Yama lingam relieves the devotees of their financial constraints.

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Niruthi Lingam

The fourth lingam on the Girivalam is the Niruthi lingam representing the South East direction. The dominant graham of this lingam is the Raghu. This was installed by the king of the giants. This lingam also has a holy tank called as Sani theertha. Devotees worshipping this Niruthi lingam are freed of their problems.

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Thiru Ner Annamalai Temple
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Surya Lingam
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Varuna Lingam

The fifth lingam on the Girivalam is the Varuna lingam representing the the West direction. This lingam is installed by the Varuna (rain) God. The dominant graham of this lingam is the Sani. There is a holy tank named as Varuna theertham. Devotees worshipping this lingam are protected from all critical illness and are taken care to get elevated in their social development.

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Sri Adi Annamalai Temple
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Vayu Lingam

The sixth lingam on the Girivalam is the Vayu lingam representing the North West direction. Vayu lingam is installed by the God of Air, himself known as Vayu baghavan. The graham that is dominant is the Kedhu. Offering prayers to this Vayu lingam gives strength to fight all heart ailments, stomach problems, lung problems and general illness.

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Gubera Lingam

The seventh lingam on the Girivalam is the Guperalingam representing the North direction. The dominant graham is the Guru. And the Guperan or the God of Wealth has installed this lingam. Offering prayers to this lingam regularly helps the devotees to achieve prosperity.

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Sri Pachaiyamman Temple
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Eesanya Lingam

The last lingam on the Girivalam is the Esanya lingam representing the North East direction. The god that installed this lingam is the Esanyan. The graham that dominates this lingam is the Budhan. Praying to this lingam gives peace of mind to devotees and develops a positive attitude in them to achieve success in all their pursuits.

Links: Location

Plenty of places/ caves connected with Sri Ramana Maharishi like Virupaksha Cave

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

The most detailed Blog on Thiruvannamalai is here

Saptha Karai Kanda Sthalangal and Saptha Kailaya Sthalangals

Saptha (7) Karai Kanda Sthalangal and Saptha (7) Kailaya Sthalangals are the 14 Shiva temples on either side of Cheyyar river where the Shiva lingams were installed and worshipped by Lord Muruga Himself to absolve Himself of the sins for killing the rishis while creating Cheyyar (Sei aaru) for his mother Goddess Parvathi.

Parvathi Devi was proceeding from Kanchipuram to Thiruvannamalai with the aim of getting into Lord Shiva’s one half (Ardhanareeswara). On her way, at Vazhaipandhal, She made a Shiva lingam out of sand but had no water for abhishegam. So She asked Her son, Lord Muruga to make arrangement for water. Lord Muruga threw his spear (Vel) towards West to create a pond but water from the hills there flew in red. It was because of the blood whoozing out from seven sages – Puthirandan, Puruhudan, Pandurangan, Bodhavan, Bodhan, Koman and Vaman – who were performing penance there. While the sages got relieved of the curses they were undergoing, Lord Muruga was caught with the sin of killing the sages. As advised by Mother Paravthi, Lord Muruga established these 14 Shiva temples on either side of Cheyyar river and worshipped to get relieved of His sin. Most of these temples are located in the Polur – Thiruvannamalai and Polur – Sengam route apart from the 2 Saptha Kailaya temples (Karaipoondi and MandaKalathur) in the Polur – Vandavasi route.

The Saptha Karai Kanda Sthalangals (referred as SKR1 to SKR7 in this directory) established by Lord Muruga on the northern bank of Cheyyar river are:

1) Kanji (Not Kanchipuram), 2) Kadaladi, 3) Mambakkam, 4) Madhi mangalam, 5) Elathur, 6) Poondi and 7) Kuruvimalai.

The Saptha Kailaya Sthalangals (referred as SKL1 to SKL7 in this directory) established by Lord Muruga on the southern bank of Cheyyar river are:

1) Vasudevampattu, 2) Thamaraipakkam, 3) Narthampoondi, 4) Then Pallipattu, 5) Pazhankovil, 6) Karaipoondi and 7) MandaKolathur

While all the Karaikandeswarar temples maintain the deities name as Sri Karaikandeswarar and Ambal Brahan nayagi / Periya nayagi, only a few of the Saptha Kailaya temples maintain the name Kailasanathar.

Note: There is an exclusive handbook released by Sri Saikumar on “Saptha Karai kanda Sthalangalum Saptha Kailasangalum” which is available in any ‘Giri Trading’ shops.

For more details refer here

In and Around Vandavasi


1) Swayambu Sri Jalakandeswarar and Sri Ranganatha Perumal temple
Both the temples are within the same campus
Links: Location

2) Kottai Baktha Anjaneyar temples at Vandavasi Fort

The temple is located within the Vandavasi Fort in Vandavasi town and all the 3 temples are being maintained by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). There are stone inscriptions in LIPI language here.

Links: Location

Sri Thavalagireeswarar / Sri 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.

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Sri Kailasanathar Temple at Vengundram
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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 Sri Avaneeswarar temple

A temple with maragatha 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

Sri Thadagapureeswarar 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.


1) Sri Thirukaraieswarar Shiva Temple
Links: Location Weblink

2) Sri Sridevi Sri Budevi Sameadha Sri Veetrirundha Perumal Temple
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3) Digambar Jain temple
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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.

1) 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: Location Weblink Photos

2) 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.

3) 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


Sri 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.

Sri Dheerkachaleswarar Temple

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

Links: Location

Sri Kotteeswarar Temple at Peruvallur / Peravlur
A Sambuvarayar temple
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Sri Periyanayagi Amman and Sri 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
  • The birth place of King Krishnadevaraya

The 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

Sri Mangalambikai sametha Sri Runahareswarar Temple at Pernambakkam

The temple was once buried under ground and from the precise details of an astrologer from Hyderabad, the temple was unearthed.

Contact: Sri V.Viswanathan @ 044 24422163 / 87544 05387

Links: Location Weblink

SKL7 – Sri Dharmasamvardhini Amman sametha Sri Dharmanatheswarar temple at Mandakolathur

One of the Saptha Kailaya Sthalangals established and worshipped by Lord Muruga on the southern bank of river Cheyyar. The Lord was believed to have been worshipped by Dharmar of Pancha Padavas. Sri Varadharaja Perumal is also present in the Artha mandapam. The paintings of the Ashta Veeratta Sthalams on the compound walls by the specialist painters from Thiruvarur are very beautiful.
Contact: Sri Bharadwaj, Trustee @ 96000 14199

Links: Location Weblink Photos

SKL6 – Sri Balasundari amman sametha Sri Karaikandeswarar temple at Karaipoondi

One of the Saptha Kailaya Sthalangals established and worshipped by Lord Muruga on the southern bank of river Cheyyar
River Cheyyar is flowing towards North and hence considered equivalent to Kasi.
Contact: Sri Soundararaja Sivacharyar @ 94440 34735 / Sri Thirugnanam @ 95853 03925

Note: Sri Anjaneyar installed by Sri Vyasarajar is also nearby

Links: Location Photos

Sri Sankarshana Udayaru Jeeva Brindavanam at Karaipoondi

The Jeeva Samadhi of the Madhwa saint is located just at the back of the Karaipoondi Shiva Temple. He was a great Lakshmi Narasimha worshipper and gave away big golden gangalam. He ordered to make an adhishtanam for him at the shadow point of the tip of the Polur Narasimha Swamy Hill and attained Jeeva Samadhi. When his sishyas opened up his Samadhi place after a few days in the process of making his adhishtanam, he was found to have grown hair and nails and so immediately closed it.

Links: Location


1) Sri Vinayagar Temple
A highly powerful Vinayagar
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2) Sri Arunachaleswarar Temple
Links: Location


Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple

Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Temple atop a small and steep hillock with about 840 steps is very powerful. The hill is called Sampathgiri and the main deity is the Swayambu Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy facing south towards Thiruvannamalai along with Sri 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.

The temple is currently served by a single priest called Sekhar Bhattachariar who also looks after a small Perumal temple below. He goes atop the hill at 4:30 AM and returns back by 8:30 AM. A chowkidar remains on the hillock opening the temple for visitors who come later. The priest also visits the hill atop temple in the evenings.

Contact: Sri Sekar Bhattacharyar at 98423 07594;  94430 98358

Links: Location Weblink

Other Temples within Polur town:

Kalasapakkam – Poondi – Vilvarani


1) Sri Thiripura Sundari sametha Sri Thirumamudi Eswar Temple
2) Sri Sorga Narayanar Temple


1) SKR6 – Sri Karaikandeswarar Temple

One of the Saptha Karai Kanda Sthalangals established and worshipped by Lord Muruga on the northern bank of river Cheyyar
Sri Karthikeyan @97870 51251 / Sri Sundaramoorthy Gurukkal @ 94872 29930 / Sri S. Babu Gurukkal @ 99521 50303 / Sri A.Sivaprakasam @ 94876 01866

Links: Location Photos

2) Sri Yogeeswari Ambal sametha Sri Agastheeswarar Temple

This small single shrine temple is located just adjacent to the Karaikandeswarar temple. The main deity lingam is huge.

Links: Location Photos

3) Sri Poondi Mahan ashram

Poondi Mahan Swamigal is a recently lived Siddhar. The origin of the Swamigal was unknown but he is believed to have lived for 150 years. In 1959, Poondi mahan  Swamigal stopped roaming and started sitting in a small home until his samadhi day of 1978. This generation of people won’t believe that a saint was sitting in the same place for 19 years without walking.
Timing: 5:30 AM to 1 PM and 3 to 8:30 PM
Contact: 04181 241336 / 94430 39558

Links: Location Weblink Photos

3) Sri Kailasanathar Temple

4) Sri Pattabiramar Temple

Sri Vazhithunai Vinayagar Temple Priyampattu
Links: Location

(Vellore) Polur – Thiruvannamalai


One of the Saptha Karai Kanda Sthalangals established and worshipped by Lord Muruga on the northern bank of river Cheyyar. There are two temples here – Sri Aadhi Karai Kandeswarar Temple and Sri Karai Kandeswarar Temple within about 300 meters distance.

SKR7a – Sri Brahan nayagi sametha Sri Aadhi Karaikandeswarar Temple
Contact: Sri Arun @ 97870 73260 / 99444 16571
Links: Location Photos

SKR7b – Sri Brahan nayagi sametha Sri Karaikandeswarar Temple

Sri Vishnu moortham at Melvanniyanur

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


1) Sri Kadina Kujambigai sametha Thirukkameshwarar Temple
Links: Location

2) Perumal Temple
Links: Location

SKL4 – Sri Kanakambigai Amman sametha Sri Kailasanathar temple at Then pallipattu

One of the Saptha Kailaya Sthalangals established and worshipped by Lord Muruga on the southern bank of river Cheyyar
Cheyyar flows towards North and hence this place is conaidered equivalent to Kasi.
Contact: Sri Nagarajan @ 99439 35048 / Sri Ramanan Sivacharyar @ 98431 44261

Note: Mahan Sabapathi Swamigal also lived here and had done many miracles. His adhishtanam is also nearby.

Links: Location Photos

SKL5 – Sri Balambigai sametha Sri Balakradeswarar temple at Pazhankovil

One of the Saptha Kailaya Sthalangals established and worshipped by Lord Muruga on the southern bank of river Cheyyar
Sri Radha Rukmani sametha Sri Venugopalar is also present.
There are inscriptions of Uthama Chola period.
It is said that a King who lost his hand prayed to this Lord Shiva and got his hand back. The God got His name as Balakradeeswar since He gives back lost energy to the devotees.
Also Poondi Mahan initially lived here and then only relocated to Poondi due to the disturbances by the Children here.
Contact: Sri Pasupathi Gurukkal @ 90476 15588 / Sri Venkatesa Gurukkal @ 96556 76224 / Sri Jagadeepan Sivanadiyar @98948 93088

Links: Location Photos


1) SKL3 – Sri Periyanayahi Amman sametha Sri Kailasanathar temple

One of the Saptha Kailaya Sthalangals established and worshipped by Lord Muruga on the southern bank of river Cheyyar
Naradhar did penance for 12 years to get absolved of the curse from Dakshan and got liberated.
The place was called “Naradhar Poondi” which then became Narthampoondi.
Mentioned in the Kandha puranam.
The Sthala Vruksham is 4000 years old Elanthai tree.
Sri Sridevi and Sri Boodevi sametha Sri Varadharja Perumal is also present.
Next to Thiruvannamalai, this temple has the highest no of inscriptions from Sambuvaraya Kings, Vallala Kings and Vijayanagara Kings.

Contact: Sri Subramani Sivacharyar @ 74184 12660

Links: Location Weblink Photos

2) Sri Shridevi Bhoodevi Samedha Sri Kalyana Venkatesa Perumal Temple
Links: Location

Polur – Sengam

SKR5 – Sri Karaikandeswarar Temple at Elathur

One of the Saptha Karai Kanda Sthalangals established and worshipped by Lord Muruga on the northern bank of river Cheyyar.
The temple can be reached either from Polur-Chengam road or from Kalasapakkam Vilvarani road.
While coming from Polur on the Sengam road, around 650 meters after Vilvarani Murugan temple, you have to take a left turn and travel further for another 1.5 kms to reach the temple. While coming from Kalasapakkam -Poondy, after Poondy, Priyampattu and Kannikoil, just before a small bridge on a water channel, you have to take a left village road and travel further for another 2 kms
Contact: Sri Venkatesa Gurukkal @ 96556 76224 / Sri Arumugam @ 80563 16727

Links: Location Photos

Sri Sridevi Sri Boodevi sametha Sri Kesava Perumal Temple at Elatuhur
Very close to the Karaikandeswarar Temple
Contact: Sri Kannan Bhattacharyar @ 95972 18516
Links: Location

Vilvarani Sri Murugan Temple on a hillock (Nakshatra / Star Temple)

Around 1200 years back, a Sivacharyar used to go to Thiruthani every year with Kavadi. Once when he was unable to go and felt very sad, Lord Murugan appeared in his dream and showed Himself through a snake. It is considered that all the 27 stars and Siva sarbam (snake)  are worhsipping this Swayambu Lord Muruga here. By worhsipping on one’s birth star day, one can free off from Naga dhaosham.
There are 186 steps to climb.
Vannacharabam Sri Dhandabani Swamigal sang on this Lord Murugar.
Contact: Sri Pasupathi Gurukkal @ 90476 15588

Links: Location Weblink


1) Shiva Temple
2) Sri Kothanda Ramar Temple


1) 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.

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2) Sri Simheswarar Temple
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Sri Kumkuma Nayagi sametha Sri Somanatheswarar Temple at Seenanthal

When there was a disruption for Pooja during the Nawab’s rule, the Somanatheswarar Himself appeared as a Sivanadiyar and did the pooja
Also many miracles by various Siddhars and Sivanadiyars had taken place. Once a chopped off Karampasu was brought to live, a stone Nandhi was made to eat grass.
800 years old Nayakka period temple.
Contact: Sri Jagannathan @ 94452 81378

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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.

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Parvathamalai Mounayogi Sri Vidobanadha Ashram

SKR4 – Sri Karaikandeswarar Temple at Madhimangalam Then Mahadeva mangalam

One of the Saptha Karai Kanda Sthalangals established and worshipped by Lord Muruga on the northern bank of river Cheyyar
This is central place in Arani – Sengam route. The temple has a mandapam facility to stay and this could be a convenient point from where all the 14 temples can be visited easily.
Contact: Sri A.K.Rajasekar Sivacharyar @ 75300 73006 / 96887 34295

Links: Location Photos

SKL2 – Sri Thiripura Sundari sametha Sri Agneeswarar temple at Thamaraipakkam

One of the Saptha Kailaya Sthalangals established and worshipped by Lord Muruga on the southern bank of river Cheyyar
Sri Chandikeswarar is very big.
All the vimanams of shrines are shining with gold plating.
Sri Lakshmi Narayanar is in Koshtam.

Contact: S.Krubahara Gurukkal @ 94446 88734 / Sri Manikandan Sivanadiyar @ 96265 07082

Links: Location Photos


There are two Shiva temples in Kadaladi and if you are on a Saptha Karai kandeswarar temple trip don’t get confused between them (I did and I missed the actual Karai Kandeswarar Temple!).

1) Sri Kamakshi Ambal sametha Sri Vanneeswarar Temple
This is within about 100 meters from the main road. This is not part of the Karai Kandeswarar temples but an ancient one. To get rid of the dhosham of killing Soorapadman, Lord Muruga established Sri Vanneeswarar under the Vanni tree and worshipped him as per the advice of Mother Parvathi Devi.

Links: Location Photos

2) SKR2 – Sri Brahannayagi sametha Sri Karaikandeswarar Temple

One of the Saptha Karai Kanda Sthalangals established and worshipped by Lord Muruga on the northern bank of river Cheyyar. The temple is located close to the Cheyyar river and about a km from the main road.
Contact: Sri Krubakara Gurukkal @ 94446 88734

Links: Location

SKR3 – Sri Brahannayagi sametha Sri Karaikandeswarar Temple at Mambakkam

One of the Saptha Karai Kanda Sthalangals established and worshipped by Lord Muruga on the northern bank of river Cheyyar
Contact: Sri Krubakara Gurukkal @ 94446 88734

Links: Location Photos

Shiva Temple at Singarvadi

Sri Murugan Temple at Kanji

SKR1 – Sri Periyanayahi amman sametha Sri Karaikandeswarar Temple at Kanji

One of the Saptha Karai Kanda Sthalangals established and worshipped by Lord Muruga on the northern bank of river Cheyyar.

Like the other Karaikandeswarar Temple, here also Cheyyar river flows towards North and hence this is considered equivalent to Kasi.
The Karaikandeswara moorthies of the other Saptha Karai kandeswara temples are also present here. Also Lakshmi Narayana Perumal, Thiripatha moorthy and Saptha kannikas are also present.

Contact: Sri S.V.K. Devan Chettiar @  97876 90824 / Sri Jagannathan @ 94452 81378

Links: Location  Weblink  Photos

Sage Kousigar Temple at Kavuthi malai

There seems to be a very sacred and surprising spot at Kavuthi malai where Sage Kousigar worshipped. It is said that water springs from the bottom of a tree is filled in a cavity in full. It neither overflows nor reduce in level. We can drink the holy water. Don’t have more information as of now.

Links: Location

SKL1 – Sri Soundarya nayagi sametha Sri Aatkondeeswarar temple at Vasudevampattu

One of the Saptha Kailaya Sthalangals established and worshipped by Lord Muruga on the southern bank of river Cheyyar
There are shrines for Chithragupthan and Vichithragupthan. They had worshipped Lord Shiva here since they made some mistakes in the birth / death records they keep. By worshipping them devotees are blessed with long and healthy life.
Vilvam is the Sthala vruksham.
The place was this name in memory of the King Vasudevan who ruled this place. There are remains of ruined ruined fort, 8 feet tall Anjaneyar and Perumal temple here.
Note: There is also Sri Margasahayeswarar Temple on the northern bank of Cheyyar in Vasudevampattu.

Contact: Sarathkumar @ 84890 86309

Links: Location Photos

Thiruvannamalai – Chetpat

Sri Murugan Temple Avalurpet

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 

Sri Nerkuthi Vinayaka temple at Theevanur

Contact: 04145 – 235265 / 94427 80813

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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

Sri Meenakshi amman sametha Sri Chokkanathar Temple at Anangoor
14 kms east of Gingee
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Sri 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

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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

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Around Gingee

Travelogue on heritage sites around Gingee

Raja Fort at Gingee

  • 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.
  • Rajagiri Fort is at the hill base
  • 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.
  • The 16th century Pattabiramar Temple located separately at the side of the Gingee Fort is a beautiful place to be visited.

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Sri Arunachaleswarar Temple at Gingee town
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Sri Kothanda Ramar Temple at the entrance to Gingee town
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Sri Selva Lalithambihai Temple at Chellapiratti
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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).

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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.

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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
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b) Murugan temple on a hillock
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c) Venkatesa Perumal Temple

Murugar Temple at Mel Olakkur
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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 belonging to the 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

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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.

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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 

Sri Soundaravalli sametha Sundareswarar Temple at Veeramanallur
16 kms west of Gingee.
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Sri Balasubramania Swamy Temple at Somasipadi

The temple is on a small hillock and Balamurugan is present with Valli and Deivanai.This is a sub temple of Thiruvannamalai temple. The temple has various theerthams like Saravanabava Theertham, Sengazhuneer Theertham and Kumara theertham (sunai)

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Gingee – Villupuram

Sri 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.

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Murugan Temple at Ananthapuram
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Sri Thalagireeswarar Temple at Panamalai

An ancient temple with lots of heritage importance. One of the most ancient paintings of South India are available here.

Links: Location  Photos


1) Sri Marudeeswarar (Shiva) Temple
A Pallava Temple
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2) Murugan Temple
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Shiva Temple at Nangathur
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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.

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1) Sri Ramalingeshwarar Temple
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2) Sri Lakshmi Narayana Perumal Temple
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Sri Varadharaja Perumal Temple at Ezhusempon (Sitheri)
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1) Sri Thiripura Sundari sametha Sri Ramanatheswar temple

The temple with the Swayambu lingam was built by Pallavas.
Ramar worshipped Shiva here.

Sthala Vruksham: Vilva tree
Theertham: Rama theertham

Links: Location

2) Sreedevi Boothevi Sametha Sri Varatharaja Perumal temple
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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.

Sri 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

Sri Padaleeswarar Temple at Brahmmadesam

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

Links: Location   Photos

Sri 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.

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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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Sri 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.

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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.

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In and Around Thirukkovilur

Sri 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


* Ramana Maharishi had 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.

1) 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

Links: Location Weblink

2) Sri 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.

DD042 – Sri Ulagalanda Perumal temple (Divya Desam)


  • 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

Sri VeeratteswararTemple


  • 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.

Links: Location

Other places:

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

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


1) Sri 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

2) Sri 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.

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.

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

Links: Location


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

Thirukkovilur – Siddhalingamadam – Thiruvennainallur – Villupuram

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.

Links: Location


1 km east of Sidhalingamadam

1) Sri Agastheeswarar Temple
A Swayambu lingam
Links: Location

2) Sri Murugan Temple
On a hillock right in the middle of Pennaiyar river
Links: Location

Thiru Idaiyaru

1) NNT13 – Sri Idaiyatru Nathar temple

The temple is located between South Pennai and Malattaru rivers and hence the name Idaiyaru (between the rivers).

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. Once he changed into a parrot and flew to Kailayam where he saw Lord Shiva 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

Links: Location

2) Sri Adhikesava Perumal Temple
Links: Location

Sri Meenakshi amman sametha Sri Chokkanathar Temple at Sirumadurai
A 17th century temple
Links: Location


1) Sri Durgai Amman temple

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.

Links: Location Weblink

2) Sri Anjaneyar Temple
Links: Location


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 Temple:

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

Links: Location Weblink1 Weblink2 Photos

2) Sri Janakavalli Thayar sametha Sri Vaikunda vasa Perumal Temple

Located by the side of the Shiva temple. A rishi is doing penance in front of the Perumal in the usual place of Garudazhar, a rare scene.  Beautiful temple tank is sandwiched between Shiva and Perumal temples.

Links: Location Photos

3) Sri Meikanda Nayanar Jeeva Sammathi Temple

Meikkanda Nayanar, 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 Shiva temple.

Links: Location

Sri Vedapureeswarar Temple at Emappur

3 kms North of Thiruvennainallur
There are also Ramar temple and a Jain temple here.

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Sri Lakshmi Narayana Perumal Temple at Kappur

Located in a beautiful location.
There are are also Shiva temple and Anjaneyar temple.

Links: Location

Thirukkoyilur – Mugaiyur – Mambazhapattu – 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

Sri 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


Location: Perumbakkam is 7 km from Villupuram

1) Sri Venkata Varadaraja Perumal Temple

This 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. 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?)

Links: Location

3) Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple on Kullakkarai

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

Links: Location

4) Sri Kailasanathar temple
Links:  Location

Thiruvannamalai – Vettavalam – Villupuram 


1) Sri Athulyanatheswar / Sri Aadhinathar Shiva Temple
Swayambu lingam
Links: Location

2) Sri Karivaradharaja Perumal Temple
Links: Location

Sri Ramanatheswarar Temple at 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.

Links: Location

Sri SiddhanathaSwamy Temple at Veeramur
Located at about 12 kms North West of Villupuram
Links: Location



  1. Sir, we have been facing a lot of problems, delays in childbirth etc, All medical reports are normal, when my hubby met a siddha doctor he asked about our kula deivam … We are worshipping malayanoor angalamman as kuladeivam till now… My father in law was born in washermenprt but his forefathers were in Auschpakkam , singarakovilur he said … The doctor said that if that is the case , angalamman is not ur kuladeivam and to search for our kuladeivam in those areas… Searched in records but could find the areas named abishegapakkam, and song singirikudi near pondicherry as they mentioned… In a doubt whether that is our ancestral village and lakshminarasimmhar is famous there… Is that our kuladeivam? People saying that those in the villages mentioned worship narasimmhar as kula deivam. How to know it for sure sir?

    • Monisha, my observation is now astrologer using this new way as telling that you are not worshipping your kuladeivam. Don’t trust. I have also come across this kind of words. All have equal power

  2. Sir, I am an ardent admirer of your blog. What a wonderful service you have been doing. Amazing to see the amount of efforts you have put in.
    A humble suggestion:
    Can you please add the Saptha Karai kanda sthalangal and saptha kailaya sthalangal on the either side of River Cheyyar where the lingams were installed by Lord Muruga himself to absolve himself of the sins for killing the rishis while creating Cheyyar (Sei aaru) for his mother Goddess Parvathi. All are amazing temples which I was blessed to visit last year around the same time.
    Once again my humble pranams for your yeoman service.

  3. 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.

  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

  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. 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.

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