The Thiyagaraja temple at Thiruvarur is one of the
ancient heritage sites of India and is a representation
of the religio-socio-cultural history of the Tamil
region for a period spanning over a millennium and a
half. Little is known about this shrine to much of
The vast temple complex today is truly a standing
monument to centuries of history and tradition.
The temple of Thiyagaraja became all the more famous
by the visit of a galaxy of Gods and Angels from heaven,
like Brahma, Dasharatha, Rama, Arjuna, Dharmaputra,
Kings Nala and Harichandra, and Maharishis like
Vashishtha and Vishwamitra.
A big temple was constructed at Thiruvarur by
Viswakarma. Then the King installed a Siva Lingam in a
portion of the temple and worshipped it for many years.
The peculiar feature about this Lingam is that its
shadow can be seen only in the eastern direction and it
is also said that this shadow will not be visible to a
man who is going to die within a period of six months.
Every year the Panguni Uttara peruvizha ends with
Thepporchavam, which is celebrated in Kamalalaya Kulam
infront of the temple.
At the time of Theppa viza hundreds of people will get
into the theppam with god then the theppam will go
continously round the kamalalaya kulam for 3 days.
Ph : 04366 - 242343, 2501037.
Jambavanodai Dargha :
53 Kms from Tiruvarur and 25 Kms from Tiruthuraipoondi.
It is a very old Darga, located near Muthupet. Jambavanodai
Dargha in Tiruthuraipoondi Taluk. It is also called as
Hakkim Sheiku Dawood Kamil Oliyullah Dargah. Built in Marata
architecture style the main Samadi is 40 ft long.
Koothanur Sri Saraswathi Temple :
22 Kms from Tiruvarur. The ancient Saraswati Ambal temple
at Koothanur is a one of its kind temple dedicated
exclusively to the Goddess of Learning Saraswati. Although
there are shrines to Saraswati in most Saivite temples as
well as niche shrines to Bhrahma, temples dedicated
exclusively to Bhrahma or Saraswati are very rare. Koothanur
is located near Poonthottam on the railway line between
Mayiladuturai and Tiruvarur. Vijaya Dasami, the day
following the 9 day Navaratri festival in the tamil month of
Purattasi here. Several stone inscriptions, validating the
antiquity of the temple are seen here. Ph : 04366-239909.
Muthupet Alaiyathi forests :
The Lagoon forests situated in Muthupet attracts ample of
tourists. The 120 Sq.Km. area Lagoon having Alaiyathi trees.
73 kinds of fish lives in this Lagoon. Different varieties
of birds migrates in Nov-Dec from all over the world here
Gothandarama Temple :
It is located in Thillaivilagam. 6 kms from
Muthupet. More than 2000 years old temple.
Sri Murugan Temple
Sri Murugan Temple is situated in Engan. Engan is 13 Kms
Sri Rajagopalaswamy Temple :
This temple is situated in Mannargudi. The nearest
railway station is Nidamangalam which is at a distance of 12
kilometers and Tanjavur is at a distance of 34 kilometers
from here. The boarding and lodging facilities are available
here. Mannargudi situated at a distance of 56 Kms from
Nagappattinam is famous for its Vaishnava temple
Rajagopalaswamy temple. After the period of Rajathi Raja
Cholan, this temple was renovated by his successor,
Kulothunga Cholan during the period of 1074-1125 A.D. and
because of this, later this sthalam is called with the other
name “Kulothunga Chola Vinnagaram”. After the Chola empire,
the Nayakar kings of Thanjavur, renovated the temple in a
grand way. After a long break, the Samprokshanam was
performed. Ph : 04366-222276.
The unique, majestic car of this temple is called
‘Aazhi Ther’ and the tank as big as the temple (six
hectares each) is called ‘Kamalalayam.’
Thirunavukkarasar in one of his verses dedicated to Sri
Tyagarajaswamy sings, “Aazhi Ther Vithagarai Yam Kandu
The structural design of the car has four
segments - the first from the ground is six metres high,
the second 1.2 metres high, the third and the fourth,
where Lord Tyagarajaswamy is seated, are 1.8 metres high
In 1969, the then Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi, who
hails from Tiruvarur, made arrangements for revival of
the car festival.
The car was fitted with giant wheels with iron rims
having a diameter of 2.59 metres, and hydraulic brakes
by the Bharath Heavy Electricals Ltd., Tiruchi. The car,
without decoration, weighs 260 tonnes.
The decorations are done with palmyra posts, bamboo
sticks, 3,000 meters of ‘Ther Cheelai’ (decorative
clothes), thombais, papier mache charioteer Bramha, four
dummy horses with a snake rearing its hood in their
The car weighs 300 tonnes after decoration and the
height becomes 30 metres. Four long ropes are provided
in the front for people to pull. It used to take even
six months for the car to reach the destination (Nilai/starting
point) as the car was pulled only by people.
Now the devotees are encouraged to have the support of
bulldozers for pushing the car from behind. The old
system of providing muttukkattai (wooden blocks) is
still used. BHEL engineers are deputed to monitor the
Description: Tirukkolili is one of the 7 Saptavitanka
shrines of Tyagarajar, enshrining Avanivitankar; the
natanam here is Bhringa Natanam. The seven
Vitankastalams are Tiruvarur, Tirukkolili,
Tirukkaaraivaasal, Tirumaraikkaadu, Tiru Naagai,
Tirunallaaru and Tiruvanmiyur. This shrine is regarded
as the 123rd in the series of Tevara Stalams in the
Chola Region south of the river Kaveri. Ettikkudi, a
shrine dedicated to Subramanya is located nearby.
Kundaiyur is a shrine located nearby, on the other shore
of the Chandra Nadhi river.
Vaduvoor Lake Bird Sanctuary :
Located 25 kms from
Thanjavur. Created in July 1999, the Sanctuary attracts
more than 40 species of water birds like Ibis, Painted
stork, Grey pelican, Pintail, Cormorant, Teals, Herons
etc.. The sanctuary is a favourite flyaway spot for
migratory birds and has recorded congregation upto 20000
birds in Nov. to Dec. The sanctuary has basic facilities
for overnight halt for a limited number of visitors.
There are two watch towers inside the sanctuary for bird
watching. Entry is free for visitors. The best time to
visit the sanctuary is during Nov. to Dec. The sanctuary
is open to visitors throughout the year. Contact:
Wildlife Warden, Point Calimere WLS, Collectorate,
Nagapattinam-611002, Ph : 04365-253092.
Samadhi of Anjugam :
Anjugam Ammaiyar is the mother of
our Chief Minister Kalaigner Karuna Nidhi. Here Samadhi
has been located is Kattur near Thiruvarur.
Lord Siva consumed the deadly poison (Ala Kala
Visham) , thus giving rise to the name Alangudi to this
sthalam and the Lord came to be called as Aabathsagayar.
Lord Ganesa subdued Gajamuhasuran who gave the Devas a
horrid time and they are worshipped in this sthalam as
‘Kalangaamal kaatha Vinayagar’. Ambal undertook severe
penance and married Lord Siva and hence this place is
hailed as Thirumana Mangalam. This sthalam is the
Parivara sthalam for Madhyarjuna Mahalinga Peruma.
Diviness of the Temple : Fame, wealth, siblings are
the beneficial aspects of Guru. Guru is the Lord of
Dhanusu and Meena Rasi and he faces South direction.
Going around about Sri Dakshinamoorthy (Guru Bagavan)
twenty four times and litting twenty four Ghee Deepams
while worshiping is believed to absolve all guru
dhoshams and bring prosperity to one’s life.
Poojas to be performed for : It is believed that
performing Sahasranama Archana , Sri Guru Homam and Milk
Abishegam will bring prosperity and fame in arts, it
will ward of all dhoshams .
Pooja Offerings : Budan Bagavan is attired in green,
offering him with full green moong dhal, white kanthal
flower and green cloth is believed to bring Sasthra
Gnanam to devotees.
Pooja Types and Tariff : Sri Guru Bagavan, who is
attired in yellow, is offered with White Mullai flowers,
yellow clothes and Bengal gram, for pooja. Sweet Pongal
is also offered to the deity.
Ph : 04366-269407.
(A. D 1762 - 1827) : He excelled in composing songs in
Anandha Bairavi ragam. Rare ragas like Chinthamani, Manjee
are identified in his some of 300 Kiruthis (a musical form
of short lyrics with excellent ornamentation). “Viloma Sappu”
a kind of tala, was introduced by him. All his songs are in
Sanskrit and Telugu.
(A.D 1776-1835) : He followed his own unique 72 melakartha
system, and composed his kirthana in 35 Tala system. He is
famous for his social kirthanas. He introduced new rich
aesthetic components into Carnatic music. His compositions
were in Telugu, Sanskrit and Tamil.
Architecture of Thiyagaraja Temple
Thiruvarur is very famous for the shrine of Thiyagaraja. The
temple is gigantic in structure. From a distance of miles
the gopurams are visible. There are four gopurams on four
sides. The tower on the west is particularly noteworthy for
the fine sculpture in brick and mortar. The colossal
structure of the temple could be well imagined from its
length of 846 feet with breadth of 666 feet.There are
several tanks attached as an adjunct to the temple wherein
devout pilgrims take their bath before entering into the
precincts of the temple. On the western side of the temple
there is a famous tank known as Kamalalayam where Goddess
Kamala (Lakshmi) took her birth.
“To die in Thiruvaiyaru is to attain certain moksha,” goes the saying, elevating this sleepy little town on the banks of the Kaveri to the same status as Varanasi. Consequently, many Hindus immerse the ashes of their dead relatives in the river here. Elderly Hindus often come to dwell in this town on the hope that they will die there and thereby attain salvation.
Yet, Thiruvaiyaru, is best known today for the memory of the devout 18th century saint-composer, Thyagaraja, who lived and died here. The composer, the best known exponent of Carnatic music, descended from one of the many Telugu families who settled in Thanjavur when the Telugu Nayaks ruled over it.
Thyagaraja himself lived during the rule of Raja Sarabhoji, the Maratha king.
Thyagaraja composed most of his songs on Lord Rama, his revered deity. Despite leading a Spartan life, Thyagaraja neither sought the patronage of the king nor accepted it when it was offered. “Of what use is wealth and fame, when compared to the love of my Rama?” he sang instead. It is this quality of total surrender to god that qualifies his Kirthanas-compositions. It can melt the hearts of even the musically uninclined, by the simple fervour of their words and the aptness of the ragas they are set in.
Ever since his death, the anniversary of this event has been observed by a gathering of musicians at his Samadhi. All day long they sing his kirthanas. In recent times, this has evolved into a major, annual Carnatic music event, thronged by musicians and rasikas from all over the South. Vidwans rub shoulders with amateurs and all sing Tyagaraja’s compositions in one voice The festival, known as Aradhana, now spans several days, with concerts being performed by major musicians. Both the house and the Samadhi of the saint are well worth a visit for the musically inclined.
The Great Music Trinities
Thiyagaraja (A.D 1767-1847) : Standardization of Sangathis (singing a lyrical structure in different styles) in kirthanas is reported to be his main contribution. Incorporation of folk and western into karnatic is a notable contribution as revealed by one of his biographers. His “Pancharathna Kirthana” (song consisting of 5 Ragas) is a great masterpiece. Rare ragas like “Navarasa Kanada”, ”Vijaya Shree” and “Bhahudari” were brilliantly handled by him.