PILLAYARPATTI TEMPLE :
Karpaga Vinayagar Temple is one of the oldest Cave Temples (Rock Cut) of Tamilnadu and situated at Pillayarpatti, Which is between Pudukkottai and Karaikudi. Pillayarpatti is situated at a distance of 71kms from Madurai and 12 kms from Karaikudi on Thirupathur – Karaikudi State Highway. The village gets its name from the temple. Here Lord Vinayaga appears with 2 hands unlike in other places where he is seen with 4 hands. The six feet presiding deity is called as Karpaga Vinayagar [valampuri posture]. Over 15 inscriptions are found within the temple, that help establish the age of the temple. Vinayagar Chathurthi festival during August-September is the main festival of the temple. It is celebrated for 10 days in a grand manner. Sankata Hara Chathurthy every month is also celebrated with a festival look. Unlike other places the three Lingams Thiruveesar, Marudhesar and Senchadeswarar and the three Goddess Sivagami amman, Vadamalar Mangaiamman and Soundara Nayagiamman all appear together at the same place and bless the devotees. Cottages maintained by the trust are also available which can be booked in advance.
Timing : Morning (6 AM to 1 PM) and Evening (4 PM to 8.30 PM)
Telephone Numbers : 04577 – 264240, 264241, 264182, 264797
PIRANMALAI SEIK OLIYULLAH DARGAH
Piranmalai Seik Oliyullah Dargah holds religious significance for the Muslims. The dargah is located about 40 km from the town of Karaikudi. Many tourists, regardless of their religion, visit the dargah every year because it is believed that those who worship and pray at the dargah get their wishes fulfilled. Many people also come to the dargah after their wishes have been granted. The dargah is open to all and the local population of Karaikudi and the surrounding areas visit the dargah in large numbers everyday. According to local beliefs, if you pray at the dargah diligently then you can have any wish fulfilled including being blessed with children, getting a job, finding a suitable bride/groom or even for getting rid of the negative energy in your life. Many people suffering from various diseases and ill health also pray at the dargah for faster recovery. There are many testimonies to this and locals will tell you real stories of real people who have been blessed with good fortune and good health after visiting the dargah.
Idaikattur is a village in Sivaganga. It is at a distance of 37 kms towards the Madurai on the Madurai – Rameswaram national highway. This unique Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was built in Gothic Architectural Style in the year 1894 AD by a French missionary Fr. Ferdinand Cells SJ. This is a replica of the Rheims Cathedral in France. Since the church was said to be built by angels, Fr.Ferdinand Celle SJ has placed 153 depictions of angels in and around the church Another powerful source we have in this church to get the great divine help is the relics of 40 saints kept on the altar. It is constructed with 200 different types of moulded bricks and tiles in lime marty. They are used for its decoration. The inner gothic arches rest over the columns embedded with ribs, its corner rising up to the vaulted roof. The widows are decorated with small brick pillars adjoined with hollow flower bricks and stained glass works which depicts the events of the journey of the cross colorfully and beautifully. Since South India is a tropical country, utilization of the hollow bricks in the construction, reduces the heat and also the vacuum gap between inner vaulted roof makes and air-conditioned system below the shelter of the wall. The stucco figures and the statues of Saint, Angels and the sacred Heart of Jesus, his foster father St.Joseph and the Holy Family Statue with golden gilt and the Mother of Sorrows are of great beauty and symbol of ancient French art work.
KUNDRAKUDI TEMPLE :
Kundram means hillock and Kudi means village. Hence this village is called Kundrakudi. This Shanmuganathar Temple is an abode of Lord Murugan called “Shanmuga” with six faces and 12 hands. Kundrakudi is 10 km from Karaikudi and 12 km form Tirupathur. On the western side of the hill are three excavated shrines at the ground level. Later structures have been added to these shrines. All these caves are dedicated to lord Shiva. There are a number of old inscriptions in this region which attracts research minded historians.
The Main Festivals are:
Thai poosam (Jan-Feb), Panguni Uththiram (Mar-Apr), Visakam in May, Aadi Kirthigai (Jul-Aug), and Karthigai month Skandha Sashti (Oct-Nov). This Temple attracts large number of pilgrims throughout the year. Kundrakudi Adigalar a famous Tamilsaint lived here and served the religion and the society.He attained Samadhi here. The temple is praised in the Tirupugazh hymns of Ssaint Arunagirinadhar. The springs of the temple are Saravana Poigai, Thenaru and Mayil Theertham. The special feature of the temple is that Valli, Deivanai and Lord Muruga grace darshan individually sitting on a peacock.
The temple is open from 6.00am to 11.00am and 4.00 pm to 8.00pm.
Phone numbers :+91-4577-264227, 97905 83280
Nearby Railway station: Karaikudi
THIRUKKOSHTIYUR TEMPLE :
Thirukoshtiyur Sowmya Narayana Perumal Temple is an ancient shrine located about 10 kms from Tiruppathur in Tirupathur in Tirupathur – Sivaganga Road. It is a popular Vaishnavita Temple. It is considered as Badrinath of South India. It is one of the 108 Divya Desams of Lord Vishnu, revered by the tamil hymns of Alwars. Preiazhwar in his work “Periazhwar Thirumozhi” visualizes Thirukoshtiyur as the birth place of Sri Krishna. The vimana in this temple is Ashtanga and it rises to a height of 96 ft. Most noteworthy feature of the shrine is that the deity can be found in all three postures – standing, sitting and sleeping. Since Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva came together as a “Koshti” means group in tamil to decide about Narasimha Avatharam of Lord Vishnu, the place came to be known as “Thirukoshtiyur” wherein “Thiru” means three, “Koshti” means group and “yur” means place. The temple tower is 85 ft tall. The Golden Kalasam is 5ft tall.
The Main Festivals are:
Masi Float Festival in February-March, Vaikunda Ekadasi in December-January and Purattasi Navarathri in September – October
Phone Number: 04577 – 261122 / 261103. Temple
Timings: 6.00 am to 1.00 pm and 5.00 pm to 8.30 pm
Location : Tirupathur is 62 kms from Madurai. Buses are available only at specific hours.
Near By Railway Station: Karaikudi and Madurai.
Venkatamudayan Perumal Temple (Then Tirupati) :
Venkatamudayan Perumal Temple (Also called as Then Tirupati) is dedicated to Hindu God Vishnu located at Ariyakudi near Karaikudi in Sivaganga District of Tamilnadu. Then Tirupati is 500 years old and is considered to be a distinct change from traditional temples. Garuda, the eagle vehicle of Lord Vishnu, is shown with two lions on each side. This temple is especially associated with Garuda. The day in the month of Aadi (July-August) called Maha Swathi is considered the birthday of Garuda.A special pooja is performed on this day. Processional icons of deities used to be supplied by Srirangam temple in Sri Ramanuja’s time. Sevugan Chettiar took special efforts to get Thiruvenkamudayan worshipped by the Ramanuja Acharya for this temple.
This temple is an important abode of Lord Balaji. The Sadari (Padukas or feet of the Lord) were brought from Tirupati and Agni (fire) from Thirumayam to commence the temple work. Since then this place came to be known as Ariyakudi (rare land) and Then Tirupathi (Tirupathi of the south).Then Tirupathi temple is considered important next to Srirangam. People who are unable to go to Tirupathi to fulfill vows can alternatively visit this shrine or Uppiliappan in Kumbakonam. The 17th Century AD temple has a connection with Three Divya Desams – The idol of Srinivasa Perumal was the Abhisheka idol of Ramanuja at Srirangam, Shataari is from Tirupathi and Sacred fire (Agni) from Thirukoshtiyur. This is the biggest Vishnu Temple in the Chettinad Region with the 7 Tier Raja Gopuram measuring 80ft. It is located about 4 kms South East of Karaikudi Railway Station on a huge 3 ½ acre land.
KALAIYARKOVIL TEMPLE :
Kalayarkovil was called as Kaanapair during sangam period. This temple is called as Sorna Kaleeswara Temple. There are three shrines in this temple associated with the threefunctions of creation, preservation and completion. The shrine is regarded as the 10th of the Tevara Stalams in the Pandya region of Tamilnadu. Kalayarkovil was the strong hold of Sivaganga rulers with a well built extensive fort. It is 15kms from Sivaganga on the Devakottai-Manamadurai road. The village derived its name from Kaleeswaran Temple here. A lofty 150ft Rajagopuram and a grand tank (Teppakkulam) named Aanai Madu are two special features of this temple. Airavatam the elephant of Indra is said to have created this tank. The statues of three Maruthu Brothers are also found in this temple. Saint Gnana Sambhandar, Simdarar, Appar and Arunagirinathar have visited this temple and have sung hymns in praise of the Lord.
Vaikasi Visakam (May-June) and Thaipoosam (Jan-Feb) are the important festivals of this temple. During these festivals, pilgrims in and around converge in thousands to enjoy the festivities.
Samadhi of Marudhu brothers is opposite to the old entrance on the eastern side.
Phone number: +91-4575-232 516, 94862 12371.
Timings: Morning 6.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon. Evening 4.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.
Kalaiyarkovil is well connected by road to major cities.
Nearest Railway Station: Sivaganga Railway Station.
Lord was telling Shiva stories to stage Brungi and Nandi Deva.Kruthika maidens-Nidardani,Aparakendi,Dekanthi,Varthayendhi,Amba and Thula came there and begged Lord that they too may be gifted with the Ashtama Siddhi art. Lord Shiva was Reluctant.Mother Umadevi recommended favouring the Kruthika maidens.But the Maidens did not listen to the teaching,their attention elsewhere,thus lost a golden opportunity of learning this rate art.Angry Shiva cursed them to become rocks in Pattamangalm.The maidens fell at his feet and sought a relief from the curse.Lord said that they would be rocks for 1000 years and He wouls come there from Madurai and grant the relief.The relief came in time at pattamangal.Now the place is known as mattamangalam.While cursing the Maidens,Lord also cursed Mother Uma for Her recommendation then to the undeserved.she is gracing in the temple as Navayadi Kali.
After a severe penance,Mother too was relieved of Her curse.she appears now with all smiles.Inthe inner space behind Lord Shiva in the sanctorum,Lord muruga as shanmuganatha with five heads accompanied His consorts Valli and Deivanai blesses the devotees.
SWARNA MOORTHEESWARAR TEMPLE, KANDADEVI :
The Village Kandadevi is situated 3 kms away from Devakottai Town. Here the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and called as Arulmigu Swarna Moortheeswarar alias Siragilinathar. The Amman is called as Periya Nayaki Amman. This is a 350 years old temple. The temple is maintained by Sivaganga Raja. This temple is associated with Ramayana-the kidnapping of Sita by Ravana. Jatayu died in the hands of Rama after narrating the kidnapping of Seethe by Ravana. Lord Rama installed a sivalinga and named “Siragilinathar” meaning the lord without feathers. It is here that Hanuman said “Kanden Deviyai” to Rama, after finding Seetha at Lanka and hence this place is called as Kandadevi. Bihnd the temple, there is a big tank called the Jatayu Theertham. The tank is so huge and covers a large area. It is said that the temple tank has never dried up even during drought or intense summer seasons. The Aani Urchavam is very famous festival for this temple, which is celebrated every year, during the month of June by the people of 75 Villages. Phone numbers: +9194439 56357. Buses are available from Devakottai Bus stand. Nearest Railway Station: Devakottai located at a distance of 10 kms and Karaikudi Railway Station is located at a distance of 12 kms.
VETTUDAIYAR KALIAMMAN TEMPLE, KOLLANGUDI :
Kollangudi is a small village 10 kms east of Sivagangaon Madurai-Thondi Road. Kollan in tamil means blacksmith, Kudi means village. This is the village where arms, warfare equipments were made for Marudhu, hance derived its name Kollan Kudi. This village is famous for Vettudaiyar Kaliamman Temple. This Vettudaiyar Kali dwells in a small village, amidst paddy fields 13 kms east of Sivaganga, called Ariyakurichi, on the way to the coastal town Thoni. Ariyakurichi is 2 kms south from the village Kollangudi. The God, who can be seen through the main tower entrance, is Lord Vettudaya Ayyanar. Diagonally apposite to Ayyanar has the Sanctum sanctorum of Goddess ‘Vettudayar Kali’. The corridor next to sanctum sanctorum features the paintings of Goddess blissful advantures. The temple has the idols of Lord Anjaneya, Solamalaisamy, Lord Meenkshi Sundareshwarar and Lord Thirumal.
The annual festival of this temple falls in the month of Apr-May. Panguni Swathi Festival in March-April; Vinayaka Chaturthi in August – September; Aadi Perukku in July – August, Navarathri in September – October; Margazhi poojas in December – January and full moon day Poornima Poojas are the festivals celebrated in the temple. The temple remains open between 6.00 am and 6.00 pm.
Phone numbers: 04575-232236, +91-90479 28314, 93633 34311
Nearest Railway Station: Sivagangai – 13kms.
KANNUDAYA NAYAKI AMMAN TEMPLE, NATTARASAN KOTTAI:
Kannudaya Nayaki Amman temple is situated in Naatarasankottai at about 9 kms from Sivaganga on the Madurai Thondi Road. The temple was constructed in the 18th century by nagarathars. The temple is also efficiently managed by them. The deity, Kannathal alias Kannudaya Nayaki Amman is famous for her powers in giving the boon of eye sight to the devotees with eye defects and other ailments. There is a big pond at the front of the temple. Goddess Kannathal at this temple is a Swayambumurthi (self-emerged). The Amman is seen in a standing posture with 8hands and has an “udukkai” and “muvizhai soolam” in her hands. Her left leg stamps the Asura by name Mahishan. The Temple is famous for its architectural beauty and golden kumbhams over the temple tower. Vaikasi visakam festival is celebrated for 10 days in this temple. The other festivals include “Muzha Kalliatta Thiruvizha”, during Tamil month of Aadi, “Navarathri” during Tamil month of Purattasi and “Thailakappu Utsavam” during Tamil month of Thai.
The famous poet Kamber, who wrote Ramayanam in tamil, spent his last days in Nattarasankottai and his tomb is located here.
Timings: The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Phone Number: +91 4575 234220.
Bus services are available from Sivaganga to Nattarasankottai.
Nearest Railway Station: Sivaganga Railway Station.
BATHIRAKALIAMMAN TEMPLE, MADAPURAM:
Madapuram is a small village in Sivaganga District. Madapuram Bathra Kaliamman temple is located at a distance of 25 kms from Madurai. The main deity here is Bathra Kali Amman. This temple is 500 to 1000 years old. The Rajagopuram (the tower) fo Bathirakaliamman temple is of five tiers. The Bathirakaliamman here is considered to be the Goddess of Justice. The Goddess Bathirakaliamman appears as if she is in a procession to protect the world wearing fire an her head as crown. The goddess stands in an open space on a stone pedestal, under the shelter of a magnificient horse. The main deity Bathirkaliamman idol is thirteen feet and is guarded on both sides by two Boothas (demons). Bathirakaliamman holds a trident and has a crown of fire. She is believed to be fond of lime fruit, so the devotees offer her a lime fruit garland made of 100 limes and it is a garland of 1000 limes for the horse.
Ayyanar is the custodian deity of the temple. He is called as Adaikalam katha Ayyanar, since he is the one who gave shelter to kali and even gave one of his horses to shield her from rough weather. Neem is the Sthala Viruksham or the tree of the land here. Every Friday is a festival in this temple. On the First Tuesday of every month there will be 1008 lamp lighting festival, milk abisheka and lime lamp lighting. The temple is kept open from 6 am to 11 am and 4 pm till 8 pm.
Phone Number: 04574 – 265 305.
The templeis situated 18 kms away from Madurai on the way to Rameswaram.
Daily buses are available from Madurai Periyar Bus Stand to this temple.
Nearest Railway Station: Sivaganga and Thirubuvanam Railway Station.
MUTHUMARIAMMAN TEMPLE, THAYAMANGALAM:
Thayamangalam Kovil is a powerful temple and the primary God Muthumari Amman resolves all the problems of people who pray to her. The black stone statue of the Goddess and the temple was built in the year 1914. A big theppakulam is located near the temple. It is believed that the goddess appeared to a childless man named Muthu Chettiyar and instructed him to make a deity and worship her. The successors of Muthu Chettiyar are maintaining the temple for the past seven generations.
Kappu Kattudhal is tying a sacred rope around one’s wrist, which may be called an announcing or inauguration of the Temple Festival. Till the conclusion of the festival, the residents should not leave the village. Procession with milk pots, Theerthvari, Pookuzhi or Fire Pit Festival are the rituals during “Thiruvizha” Navarathri is celebrated in September-October, Abishekam with 108 pots of milk and special pujas in the tamil month of Aadi (July-August) and Thai (January-February) are celebrated in the temple. Panguni Pongal Festival is being celebrated on the 7th day (22nd day of the Tamil Month Panguni), Milk pot festival and Flower Pallakku is celebrated on the 23rd day of the Tamil Month. The festival will be completed on 25th day of Panguni after celebrating “Theertha vari” function. Timings: From 7.00 am to 7.00 pm. Phone Number: +91 4564 206 614.
Thayamangalam tmple is 25 kms from Sivaganga and 22 kms from Manamadurai and 27 kms from Pramakudi. During festival time Tamilnadu Transport Corporation, Karaikudi operates special buses from various places to Thayamangalam every year. Nearby railway Stations: Paramakudi, Manamadurai and Sivaganga.