The town of Polur is located in between Vellore and Tiruvannamalai in Northern Tamilnadu. 20 km east
of Polur is the remote town of Devikapuram, with a magnificient temple to Periyanayaki
(Brihadeeswari) now in a state of disrepair. This town also hosts a
hill temple to Shiva (Kanakagireeswarar, Ponmalainathar) , whose consort
The Temple: This east facing temple
is surrounded by a 30 feet high fortress like wall. The fortress like wall is
pierced with three entrances (in the north, south and east). Even in its current state,
covered with vegetation and bee hives, this temple exhibits a sense of
grandeur. A seven tiered Rajagopuram adorns the entrance to the
temple.There are three prakarams within the temple.
Antiquity: This temple is said to
have been built by the Chola king Tondaiman Chakravarti, while the more ancient
Kanakagireeswarar temple on the hill is said to date back to the Pallava period. The
current structure dates back to the Vijayanagar period as testified by
the inscriptions seen in the Periyanayaki temple.
Temple layout: Within the outer
prakaram are shrines to Bhairavar and Veerabhadrar. The Kalyana Mandapam is designed in
the form of a horse drawn chariot. There are several carvings within the temple,
depcicting scenes from mythology.
A nandi faces the Periyanayaki shrine. In front of it
is the 36 pillared hall. There are shrines to Vinayakar, Shanmukhar, Kaasi Viswanathar.
Processional images of deities are housed in the Maha Mandapam in the 2nd prakaram, while
the sanctum is located in the innermost prakaram.
Both this temple and the Kanakagireeswarar temple have
been held in reverence for centuries. Local belief has it that circumambulation of the
hill on Tuesdays results in curing deadly diseases.