Adhanakkottai : Historical importance
: It is here a famous battle was waged. In 1780
and 1781 Hider Ali overran the Tamil country.
After taking over Thanjavur he was entering the
Tondaiman territory. The village could keep the
invader at bay, thanks to the cunning strategy
of an inhabitant of the village. Gandhara was an
enterprising, widely travelled Brahmin. Being a
linguist, he spoke to the leader of the army in
Hindustani and invited the army for a grand
feast arranged in its honour. The exhausted army
readily agreed. During the feast and the repast,
the Tondaiman army surrounded them and they had
no other way except to retreat. But when the
army returned after a few days the Pudukkottai
army was well prepared. A man concealed himself
in the hollow trunk of a tree and shot the
commander of the Hider force. This contributed
to the defeate of Hider Ali. The British were
overjoyed. In the 18th century the Tondaiman
ruler gave away the village to the Brahmins as
Brahmadeyam. There exists an agraharam as a
result. The traveller’s bungalow was built in
1833 for the use of the Collector of Thanjavur,
who was, at the time, ex-officio political agent
of the Pudukkottai State.
The monuments : Siva
and Sastha temples The presiding deity of the
Siva temple is named Kulottungesvara after King
Kulottunga Chozha who installed the lingam.
Adhanakkottai finds mention in a partially
defaced inscription on the walls of a ruined
Sastha temple. This inscription refers to the
village as Adan-oor-kottai, meaning the fort of
Adan’s village. There is, however, no trace of a
fort. The inscription also mentions a Siva
temple built during the reign of Kulottunga III,
a Mariamman temple and a temple for Ayyanar,
none of which could be found today.
The second largest town in Pudukkottai district after the headquarters.
Aranthangi was the most populor locality in the
south of the Thanjavur district till it was
added to Pudukkottai. The main centre of
attraction is a ruined fort.
Avudaiyar Temple :
40 kms. from Pudukkottai. The
Athmanathaswami temple situated here contains
graceful life-size sculptures which are of
absorbing interest. The car of this temple is
renowned for its wood carvings. The temple is
noted for zephyr (granite roof) work. The
sanctum sanctorum is covered with copper plate
and is similar to the Chidambaram Natarajar
temple. Ph : 04371-233301.
28 kms. from Pudukkottai. The old
chapel here was constructed in 1547 A.D. by Fr,
John Venantius Bouchet and the new Roman
Catholic Church was constructed in 1747 A.D.
Tamil Scholar Rev. Father Joseph Beschi (Veerama
Munivar) also served in this Church. The Easter
Passion play followed by Car Festival, takes
place in summer which attracts people of all
Government Museum :
Situated at Thirrukokarnam, the museum is at
a distance of 5 kms. from Pudukkottai railway
Station. The wide range of collections in the
Sections of Geology, Zoology, Paintings.
Anthropology, Epigraphy, Historical records,
etc. are very interesting. The fine Sculptures
and bronzes of various periods are the
attractive items of the Museum. Timings 9 a.m to
5. p.m Entrance fee: Free. Holidays FridayPhone
Close to the village, Kaliyappatti, is
a small but interesting Siva temple built
entirely of well dressed granite blocks,
belonging to 9th –10th century A.D. The temple
is similar to that of the famous Muvar-koil of
Kodumbalur. The temple is one among the earliest
temples of the Chozha design, and plays an
important role in the study of temple
architecture in Tamilnadu.
Approach : Kaliyappatti is a small
village near Kunnandarkoil. It is located in the
Kiranur-Killukkottai route. There are only a few
buses running in this route. Taxi service is
available from Kiranur, Pudukkottai and Tiruchi.
Kattubava Pallivasal :
30 kms. from Pudukkottai. One of the
Islamic centres, this is located on the
Thirumayam-Madurai Highway. Both Hindus and
Muslims visit this place. Annual “Urs” takes
place in the month of Rabiyul Ahir.
A place that shows traces of occupation from
very early times and has pre-historic burial
sites. There is a 9th century AD Siva temple
with many important inscriptions. It is an
important Muslim centre. Presently a business
centre and also an important junction in the
Pudukkottai - Tiruchi road.
Approach : Kiranur lies on the
Pudukkottai-Tiruchirappalli Road and 25 km away
from Pudukkottai. It is the headquarters of the
Kolattur Taluk. It is well connected with Tiruchirappalli, Pudukkottai, Karaikkudi with
regular transport services.
The place, Kizhanilai contains a
dilapidated fort. From the days of the imperial
Chozha-s and the Pandya-s upto the 19th century,
Kizhanilai was an important military station.
The name Kizhanilai means ‘the eastern gate’, as
distinguished from the adjacent village called
Mela-nilai. Between them is Pudhunilai.
Approach : Kizhanilai is a village, 33 km
from Pudukkottai. One can reach this place via
Thirumayam and Kanadukaththaan.
Manamelkudi is a village Panchayat in
Avudaiyarkoil Taluk of Pudukkottai District with
a population of 10072 as per 1991 census. It
extended over an area of 1135.24 hect. It is
situated along the Bay of Bengal and well
connected by a major district, road leading form
Aranthangi which is 43 kms. away and passing
through the Taluk headquarters Avudaiyarkoil
which is 32 kms. to the west.
Kodumbalur is the site of some structural
temples of great beauty. Their merit marks them
out as among the most outstanding monuments in
India. Two monuments alone are survived. They
are the celebrated Muvar-koil and
Muchu-kundesvara-koil. There are survivals of an
Aivar-koil and of another Siva temple. It is
Muvar-koil, which is the centre of attraction.
These temples are considered to be the
forerunners of the great Imperial chozha
temples. Some important inscriptions are also
Approach : Kodumbalur is located on
Pudukkottai-Kudumiyamalai-Manapparai main road
about 35 kilometres from Pudukkottai. And it
lies 5 kilometres away from Tiruchi - Madurai
highway. Bus facility is available from
Viralimalai and Manapparai.
Kudumiyamalai is an important site in the
district famous for a few old temples of
considerable beauty as well as archaeological
interest. It is one of the oldest historic
townships in the tract. The township was called
as Thiru-nalak-kunram in earlier inscriptions
and Sikhanallur in later ones. The village had
extended all around a hillock, at the foot of
which, on the east, is the famous Kudumiyamalai
temple complex. On and near a hillock there are
four temples including a fine cave temple and a
very large Siva temple, called
Sikhanathasvami-koil, containing exquisite
sculptures. The musical inscription found on a
face of the cave-temple is important in the
musical history of India. There are nearly a
hundred and twenty inscriptions in Kudumiyamalai.
Approach : Kudumiyamalai is located on
Pudukkottai-Kodumbalur-Manapparai road about 20
Kilometers from Pudukkottai. Following the road
off the main road one reaches the foothills of
the hillock where the temple complex is
situated. Town Bus facility is available from
Kumaramalai : It is 10 kms from Pudukkottai. A top a
small mount is a Murugan temple. The tank water
of the mount is considered to be holy.
The monument - cave temple Kunnandarkoil,
referred to in inscriptions as
Thiruk-kunrak-kudi, has a rock cut temple, which
may be assigned to the time of Nandi-varman II
Pallava-malla (710-775 AD). In the course of the
centuries, it developed, with structural
additions, into a big complex. In plan it is
similar to the Gokarnesvara temple at
Thirugokarnam. It is a fascinating monument to
study. Its main artistic gifts are a hundred and
one pillared ‘ratha’ mandapam, and two splendid
portrait sculptures doing duty as dvara-palaka-s
before the main shrine. The temple has some fine
This cave temple is also called Padhinen-bhumi Vinnagaram. ‘Padinen’ refers to the ‘eighteen regions’. Vinnagaram means temple for Vishnu.
Perhaps, it was originally a Jaina cave
in the 7th century AD, but converted into a
Vishnu shrine in 12th or 13th century AD.
The date of this conversion is still under
After this conversion it came to be
called as Thirumer-koil or Merrali and
Padhinen-bhumi Vinnagaram. Presently it
looks like a Vaishanavite shrine.
It consists of a rectangular
garbha-griham and an ardha-mandapam in
front, both excavated from the living rock.
Presently the garbha-griham is empty, except
for a broken stone pitham. This pitham is
also carved out of the living rock.
The ardha-mandapam has two massive
pillars and two pilasters in the front, also
carved out of the rock. It houses twelve
identical but wonderful relief sculptures of
Vishnu on the walls.
The twelve figures perhaps represent
those of the twelve common names of Vishnu -
Kesava, Narayana, Madhava, Govinda,
Trivikrama, Vamana, Achyuta, Sridhara,
Padmanabha, Damodara, Vasudeva and
In front of this cave temple is a stone
plinth of the maha-mandapam. Judging from
the remains, this mandapam must have been a
closed one supported by square pillars, with
walls ornamented with pilasters crowned with
There are a number of loose sculptures
broken parts sculptures kept on this plinth
and also inside the ardha-mandapam. Those on
the plinth include two dvara-palaka-s, a
Sapta-matrika group and an Ayyanar. Those
inside the ardha-mandapam include two Ganesa-s.
All these sculptures are excavated in and
The deserted Siva Temple is a beautiful ruin.
Known by the name Madattukoil the site contains
remnants of an old (probably Chozha) outer
Prakaram in dark Granite, enclosing a younger
(most probably Vijayanagara) structure in pink
gneiss. The architecture and sculptures exhibit
consummate artistic skill and delicacy. Approach
: Thirty-eight kilometres from Pudukkottai and
close to Marudhampatti village. The deviation at
Kolattur on Pudukkottai-Tiruchirappalli Highway
leads to Pakkudi village via Madattukoil.
In Malayadippatti, there are two cave
temples hewn out of same rock, similar to that
of Thirumayam. The bas-relief sculpture of
Mahishasura-mardini in the Siva shrine is very
impressive. The Sapta-matrika frieze here will
interest iconographers. Practitioners of
Kundalini yoga may also find it worth studying
this group of sculpture for it is an authentic
1200-year old composition. There are paintings
on the walls, ceiling and sculptures in the
Vishnu shrine. Also there are some prehistoric
burial sites near to Malayadippatti village.
Approach : Malayadippatti is a small village in
the northern half of the Pudukkottai district.
In the early inscriptions the place was called
Thiru-valattur-malai. It is 40 km away from
Pudukkottai, in the Killukkottai–Kiranur route,
3 km away from Killukkottai and 20 km from
Kiranur. One can reach this place by taking the
diversion either from Adhanakkottai on the
Thanjavur-Pudukkottai road or from Kiranur on
the Tiruchirappalli-Pudukkottai National
highway. Town Bus facility is available from
Kiranur and Killukkottai.
Muchukundesvara Temple :
Situated to the north of Muvarkoil,
this temple was built by Mahimalaya Irukkuvel in
early tenth century A.D. The presiding deity is
referred to as Tiru. Mudukunram Udaiyar in the
inscription. The temple originally consisted of
a garbhagriha (sanctum, 4.11m square) and an
ardha-mandapa, all facing all east. The
adhishthana has plain mouldings and has a
bhutagana frieze below the cornic and a yali
freize above it. The closed maha-mandapa and the
Amman shrine are later additions. Only four of
the original eight sub-shrines are found
intact-one is empty and the other three are
dedicated to Subramanya, Chandesvara and
Peraiyur, a palmyra-shaded fertile village
contains a temple of great renown. The Naganatha-swami
temple is well known for Naga worship, and
barren women have been making pilgrimage to this
village for centuries and install stone image of
Naga-s. The stone images installed over the
centuries now accumulated to give a breathtaking
site. Peraiyur is on the south bank of the
Vellaru. Hand-fans fashioned out of Palmyra
fronds are an important product of this place.
Men of the Isai-vellala or Melakarar community
in the village make these hand-fans. Approach :
Peraiyur is about 15 km from Pudukkottai, which
is just three kilometers from the
Pudukkottai-Kuzhipirai-Ponnamaravathi bus route.
Regular bus services and taxi facility is
available from Pudukkottai.
Sri Kokarneswarar Temple :
The rock-cut cave Temple of Sri
Kokarneswarar Brahadambal at Thirukokarnam is of
Mahendraverma Pallava’s period. Ph :
19 kms. from Pudukkottai. The Fort, the Siva
and Vishnu temples are the tourist attractions.
The Fort played an important role in the history
of Tondaiman rulers of Pudukkottai and the
British. The erection of this 40 acre-wide Fort
in 1687 A.D. is attributed to Sethupathi Vijaya
Ragunatha Thevar, the Sethupathi of
Ramanathapuram. On the hill there is a Rock Cut
Siva temple with Music inscription and the
relics of a Fort. At the foot of the hill Vishnu
and Siva Shrines are found. The Vishnu temple is
one of the most complete and the largest
Anantasayi groups in India. It is a natural
Cavern which has been changed into a shrine.
Sittannavasal (‘sith-than-na-vaa-sal’) is the best-known archeological site in Pudukkottai. It is famous for its cave paintings, which are second only in importance after Ajanta paintings in the art history of India.
It is perhaps the only place where you
can find inscriptions in Tamil from the 3rd
century BC to the 13th century AD. Also
there are megalithic monuments such as
stone-circles, urn and cists burials spread
in the plains around the hill. Sittannavasal
is a corruption of Sit-tan-na-va-yil, which
means ‘the abode of great saints’.
Approach : Sittannavasal is located on
Pudukkottai-Annavasal-Viralimalai main road
about 16 Kilometers from Pudukkottai. The
village lies to the right of the road from
Pudukkottai to Annavasal. An arch put up by
the Government welcomes the visitors. On the
main road before one takes a turn to enter
Sittannavasal and on the roads leading to
the monuments, there are remains of
prehistoric burial sites.
Most of the monuments of this place are
in and around a hill, which runs along the
north-south direction. The hill itself is
not very tall, reaching to about 70 meters.
Following this road off main road one
reaches the foothills of the hillock at
which the road takes a left turn. It is from
here one starts the climb to the Jain
caverns, called Ezhadippattam.
The cavern contains a number of stone
beds and inscriptions. Further traveling on
the road would take you to the western slope
of the central hillock. From here one makes
a short climb of some steps to reach the
Jain cave temple, and its world famous mural
paintings. Town Bus and taxi services are
available from Pudukkottai.
The Siva temple is a good specimen of
early chozha architecture of the second half of
the 9th century. This is a parivara complex type
with sub-shrines around the main shrine. The
inscriptions in the temple help to understand
the history of the temple. Approach :
Thirukkattalai is about 15 kilometers from
Pudukkottai town. Taxi service and Town bus
services is available from Pudukkottai.
A big temple, which has been expanded down
the ages, dedicated to Hara-tirthesvara and
Brahadambal. The main shrine dates back to 12th
century. A Nataraja bronze of superlative
quality from this temple is now on display at
the National Museum, New Delhi. This temple of
Hara-tirthesvara and is held in high veneration
by devotees far and near. There are a number of
inscriptions here. There are a few mythological
stories associated with this temple.
Approach : Thiruvarangulam is about 15
kilometers from Pudukkottai, which is well
connected with Pudukkottai, Alangudi,
Pattukkottai, Peravurani and Karambakkudi by
frequent bus services. Taxi facilities is
available from Pudukkottai, Pattukkottai and
Thiruvengaivasal (‘Sacred place of gate of
the Tiger’) is a well-known and ancient place of
worship. Mythologically linked to Gokarnesvara
temple of Thirugokarnam, the temple has both
Chozha and Pandya styled structures. The
sculptures of Gnana Dakshina-moorthi and Yoga
Dakshina-moorthi are of iconographic interest.
There are a number of important inscriptions
Approach : Thiruvengaivasal is about 10
kilometers from Pudukkottai town and 2
kilometers from Pudukkottai-Tiruchirappalli
40 kms. from Pudukkottai via
Ponnamaravathi. The Nandi known as Nei Nandi in
the Arulmighu Meenakshi Chokkeswarar Temple is
very well known. Though made of black granite,
it now shines like marble due to frequent
abishekam with pure ghee. Another interesting
feature is the absence of flies and ants inspite
of the Nandi being showered with pure ghee every
day. A large number of devotees flock daily to
According to the tradition, the temple owes its origin to Jnana Varodaya, who belonged to Vayalur, ten km west of Tiruchi.
He induced a Perambur chief, Azhagiya-manavaalan,
to build it. This was in the 15th century.
In later times, other chiefs expanded the
Arunagiri, the great saint who is believed to have lived in the middle of the 15th century, visited Viralimalai and sang in praise of the God here, expressing some of his mystic experiences.
The deity presiding over this temple is offered by way of neyvedhya every evening at the day’s last puja, the most curious of objects: a country cigar (suruttu kalanji).
The Temple Architecture: The ascent to the top of the hill is made by a series of flights commencing at an entrance close to the vahana-mandapam. To the north of the first landing, about half-way up, there is a natural cavern in which there is now a shrine containing a lingam, an Amman, Ganesa, etc.
At the top is mandapam, from which one enters the main gopuram facing south. More steps lead to the northern prakaram.
The idol of Sri Subrahmanya has six faces and twelve hands. The God is seated on a peacock, with the two Amman-s, Valli and Devasena, standing on either side.
The mandapam-s are of the Madurai style, and the one on the extreme east affords a panoramic view of the country round as far as the Tiruchirappalli rock. Some panels containing dancing figures in bas-relief, evidently belonging to a ruined early Chozha temple at Kodumbalur, have been built into the walls of the northern prakaram.
The two lion-pillars in the vahana-mandapam at the foot of the hill are of the Pallava type, and probably belonged to the Ainthali or Aivar-koil at Kodumbalur.
The hill crowned with famous Subrahmanya
Temple, which is a prominent landmark for miles,
presents a great show of beautifully banded
granite gneiss. There is a famous peacock
Approach : Viralimalai is situated at the
Trichy-Madurai Highway and its about 25 km from
Trichy. From Pudukkottai, Viralimalai is about
40 km and can be reached via Eluppuron
Vishnu Temple in Thirumayam :
The Sathya-moorthi temple is a highly
venerated shrine and is regarded by local
Vaishnavites to be second in sanctity only to
the temple at Srirangam. It is called
Adhi-rangam (‘original-Rangam’) and is claimed
to be older than the temple at Srirangam.
Actually there are two Vishnu shrines. One is
the cave temple and contains one of the most
complete and the largest Anantha-sayi groups in
India, conforming, almost to the detail, to
agamic specifications of Anantha-sayi. The other
is a structural temple in which Vishnu is
worshipped in the form of Sathya-moorthi. The
rock-cut shrine is a natural cavern modified and
enlarged into a cave temple with the tall facade
pillars inserted. It may be ascribed to a date
not latter than the first half of the 8th
century. The fact that the celebrated Vaishnava
saint, Thiru-mangai-azhvar, sang hymns in praise
of the deity at Thirumayam Vishnu temple has
enhanced its sanctity.
Size of the pot does
civilization in parts of Tamilnadu...
Dead people are kept in these kind of
pots along with some food, garments and
sealed and buried... In tamil its known
as “MUDUMAKKAL THALZHI” In the recent
past, Archalelogy team has found the
remains these kind pots in various
historical sites in Tamilnadu...