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The Templenet Encyclopedia - Temples of Tamilnadu

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Temples of Tamilnadu (Contd.)

Kumbakonam Nageswarar Temple at Kumbakonam: This is one of the ancient and famous Shiva temples in Kumbakonam that has been sung by the Saivite Saints. The sanctum is designed so that the rays of the Sun touch the presiding deity on particular days during the year. The Nataraja shrine is of significance, as the hall is designed like a chariot with stone wheels, with the 12 zodiac signs inscribed on them.

Kunnakkudi Shanmukhanathan Temple at Kunnakkudi near Madurai: This is a temple built on a hill with a flight of steps leading to it. Shanmuganathar or Kartikeya is the presiding deity here. Of great archeological and artistic interest are the cave temples at the foot of the hills. These cave temples date back to the eighth century AD. The Kunnakkudi temple has been revered in the Tiruppugazh. Kunnakkudi is situated close to Karaikudi near Madurai.

Kutralanathar Temple at Kutralam near Tirunelveli: This ancient temple dedicated to Kutralanathar - Shiva is conch shaped and has been worshipped by the Saivite Saint Poets. The Cholas and Pandyas have made contributions to this shrine. Nataraja is housed in the Chitrasabha where beautiful murals can be seen.

Madurai Meenakshi Somasundareswarar Temple at Madurai: A temple of deep historical and religious significance known for its lofty towers, its corridors and its sculptural splendours in its vast campus. Parvati and Shiva are the presiding deities in this temple of worldwide fame for its splendour The beautifully crafted images adorning the lofty temple towers and the artistic pillars attract many. The origins of this temple are buried in antiquity, the current structure was a result of rebuilding by the Naik Kings of Madurai some 400 years ago.

Madurantakam Kodandaramar Temple at Madurantakam near Madras: This ancient temple is said to have been in existence prior to the reign of Rajaraja Chola. The presiding deities here are Sri Rama and Janakavalli - Sita.

Mahabalipuram Stalasayana Perumaal Temple at Mahabalipuram near Madras: This ancient temple, now renovated thoroughly during the 19th century, goes back to the Pallava period, and has been sung by the Alwar Saints. It is one of the 108 sacred Sree Vaishnavite shrines. Vishnu in his reclining posture is worshipped here.

Mangalanathaswami Temple at Uthirakosamangai near Ramanathapuram: This is an ancient temple dedicated to Shiva and it has been sung by the Saint Poet Manikkavachakar. An emerald Natarajar here is of significance.

Mannargudi Rajagopala Temple at Mannargudi near Kumbakonam: This temple features Krishna as Rajagopala and was constructed in the 12th century, This temple received patronage from the Naik Kings.

Marudamalai Murugan Temple at Marudamalai near Coimbatore: This is a well visited temple dedicated to Murugan or Kartikeya. It is built on a hill. It is said to be more than 800 years old and has been glorified in the Tiruppugazh.

Mayuranathaswami Temple at Mayiladuturai near Kumbakonam: This is an ancient Shiva temple, whose praise has been sung by the Saivite Saints.

Nagarajar Temple at Nagarkoil near Kanyakumari: This is a temple dedicated to the God of Serpents.The main shrine here is a small mud hut with a thatched roof. Nagaraja is worshipped here. In the adjoining temple Shiva and Anantakrishna are worshipped. Services in this temple are offered in the Keralite tantric practices.

Namakkal Narasimha Temple at Namakkal near Salem: The cave temples here have mammoth images of Narasimha and some of the other incarnations of Vishnu, besides an image of Ranganathar in a reclining posture. The fort contains a small temple dedicated to Vishnu. There is also a colossal statue of Hanuman in this temple.

Navapashanam Temple at Navapashanam near Ramanathapuram: The presiding deities here are Thilakeswarar and Kadaladaitha Perumaal. This resides in the Sethusthalam - the coastal region of Ramanathapuram extending upto Dhanushkoti and is closely associated with the Ramayanam. Rama is said to have worshipped Shiva and the nine celestial bodies - Navagrahams with nine pieces of rock installed in the sea.

Nellaiappar Temple at Tirunelveli: This vast and ancient 1300 year old temple sung by the Saivite Saints houses Nellaiappar - Shiva and Kanthimathi - Parvati. The temple complex has several beautiful pillared halls. The Mani Mandapam has musical pillars said to have been created in the 7th cent AD.The dance hall of Nataraja is referred to as the Tamra Sabha

Palani Murugan Temple at Palani near Madurai: This is one of the most visited shrines in Tamilnadu. It is built on a hillock and is accessed by a flight of steps or an electic winch. This shrine dedicated to Dhandayuthapani or Murugan is referred to in ancient Sangam literature. Contributions to this temple have been made by the Cheras, Pandyas and the Naik Kings. The Tiruvavinankudi temple at the foot of the hill is also considered to be a part of this complex.

Parthasarathy Temple at Madras: Dedicated to Venkatakrishnaswami, Parthasarathy and to Ranganathar (Vishnu), this ancient temple is said to have existed 1200 years ago. It is referred to in the ancient Vaishnavite works of the Alwar saints. A number of fine carvings adorn the temple The present structure of the temple is largely based on the renovations and additions carried out in the 16th century. It is one of the 108 sacred centers of Sri Vaishnavites.

Patteeswarar Temple at Patteeswaram near Kumbakonam: This ancient temple with imposing towers enshrines Shiva, and has been sung by the Saivite Saints. This temple is also known for its shrine to Durga,

Pazhamuthircholai Murugan Temple at Pazhamuthircholai near Madurai: This small temple is situated atop Solaimalai, in close proximity to the Kallazhagar Temple at Azhagar Malai.

Perur Pattiswaraswami Temple at Perur near Coimbatore: This temple dedicated to Shiva dates back to the pre Christian era of Karikal Chola. The Saivite Saints have sung its praise. The later Cholas, Hoysalas, Vijayanagar kings and the Naik kings made additions. The Kanaka Sabha or the Golden Hall has a beautiful image of Nataraja. It has rows of pillars with exquisite carvings.

Pillaiyarpatti Karpaga Vinayakar Temple at Pillaiyarpatti near Madurai: This is an ancient rock cut temple, dating back to the 7th century although it could be placed in the 2nd century AD based on some of the inscriptions. The image of the presiding deity, Ganesha is a rock cut one, carved on a wall. Pillaiyarpatti is situated close to Karaikudi near Madurai.

Rameswaram Temple at Rameswaram near Ramanathapuram: A huge temple known for its towers and its longest ornate corridor worldwide, its origins date back to the days of the epics. It is a piligrimage center of nationwide importance, as Rama is said to have worshipped Shiva here on his way back from SriLanka. The temple is in the island of Rameswaram the Banares of the South , connected to the mainland by a bridege. The deity here constitutes one of the 12 Jyotirlingams of India. Its praises have been sung by the Saivite Saint Poets.

Ranganathaswami Temple at Tiruneermalai near Madras: Two temples are associated with this shrine, marked as one of the 108 sacred Sree Vaishnavite centers - the Ranganathaswami temple on the hill and the Neervannar temple at the bottom of the hill. The Tamil word Neer refers to a mass sheet of water that surrounded the hill when the Saint Poet Tirumangai Alwar visited this shrine more than a thousand years ago.

Ratnasabhapathi Temple at Tiruvalankadu near Madras: Shiva is worshipped as the dancer UrdhvaThandavaMurthy here, along with Kali with whom he is said to have engaged in a dance contest..This is a very ancient shrine sung by the revered Saint poets. The cosmic dance hall is referred to as Ratna Sabha. Tiruvalankadu is within a couple of hours reach from Madras.

Rockfort Tayumanavar Temple at Tiruchirappalli: Built on a hill, this two storeyd temple is an engineering marvel and is accessed enroute to the Ganesha temple in the Rockfort complex and is a masterpiece of construction with several intricacies. The presiding deity here is Shiva as Matrubhooteswarar. This temple has been sung by the ancient saint poets and is very much revered.

Rockfort Uchi Pillaiyar Temple at Tiruchirappalli: This ancient temple dedicated to Ganesha resides on top of a hill with a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside. It is a well known destination in Tamilnadu. The Tayumanavar temple is also a part of this complex.

Samayapuram Mariamman Temple at Samayapuram near Tiruchirappalli: One of the most popular shrines in Tamilnadu, this temple is dedicated to the Universal mother - Mariamman, one of the forms of Kali. The origins of the temple go back in time, although the current structure dates back to the 18th century Naik rulers.

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