This Shivastalam is a grand temple within a couple of hours drive from Chennai on the way
to Tirupati, fallen into a state of
neglect. This is the 16th of the 32 Tevara Stalams in the Tondai region
of South India.
The Temple: As with most temples in Tondai Nadu, the Vimanam
is of the Gajaprashta style. Although the temple structure is in good condition, worship
services are offered only once a day, by a priest from Tiruvalankadu
nearby. The Vinayaka Sabhai with a multitude of Vinayaka images is a unique one.
Legends: Karikal Valavan is associated with this temple, and one of
his enemies who tried to kill him with a snake, by deciet, was vanquished by Shiva.
A legend has it that the Shivalingam was discovered in a bamboo forest by the Chola King
Karikaalan, who then proceeded to erect a temple here. There are inscriptions from the
period of the early Chola emperors here (10th century); the Ambal shrine is attributed to
Kulottunga Chola I (1075 onwards). Inscriptions from the period of Vikrama Chola (1130)
speak of grand gifts of ornaments made of gold, silver, pearls, rubies and diamonds to the