Saturday Jun 15, 2024

Malaiya Kovil Temple Complex, Pudukottai

Address

Malaiya Kovil Temple Complex, Malaikoilpatti, Thirumayam Taluk Pudukottai district, Tamil Nadu 622404

Diety

Shiva, Murugan

Introduction

Malaiya Kovil Temple Complex is a group of Temples located in Malaiya Kovil Village near Nachandupatti in Thirumayam Taluk in Pudukottai District of Tamil Nadu, India. The temple complex mainly consists of two temple groups namely Hill Temples (Mela Kovil) and Foot Hill Temples (Keezha Kovil). The Foot Hill Temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva while the hill temple is dedicated to Murugan. The Temple is located at about 2 Kms from Nachandupatti Bus Stop, 69 Kms from Trichy. The Temple is situated at about 3 Kms from Nachandupatti on Pudukkottai – Namanasamudram – Ponnamaravathi route.

Puranic Significance

Malaiya kovil is considered as the border between Chola and Pandyan Kingdom. It is said that the southern cave temple is facing towards Chola country (west) as it was built by the Cholas and the eastern cave temple is facing towards Pandyan country (east) as it was built by the Pandyas. There are about three inscriptions in the southern rock cut cave temple. The earliest inscription is dated to the 10th year of Kulothunga Chola II (1143 CE) records a sale deed. The Village was mentioned as Kulamangalam and the presiding deity as Thiruvokalisvaramudaiya Nayanar in the inscription. The inscription on the western wall of the maha mandapa belongs to 18th Century CE records an endowment made to the deity. The Village was mentioned as Navalur and the presiding deity as Kaliswaramudya Nayanar in the inscription. The other inscription on the western pillar is illegible. There is an inscription written in grantha script can be seen on the southern side of the eastern cave temple. It mentions about a musical instrument Veena named Parivathini. An inscription of Kulasekara Pandya can be seen on the door steps of the eastern cave temple. Lord Shiva was called as Srivaramudaiya Nayanar in the inscription. The hill temple was built by a native of Nachandupatti towards the close of the 19th century as per the inscription near the flight of steps. The Temple was called as Malayil Kovil (Temple in the hill) in ancient times. Now, it got corrupted to Malaiya Kovil. Malaiya Kovil was also called as Orukkombu Malai. Kurinchi Kotha Naaval Kurichi, Thirunavalangiri, Thiruvothikkaal in ancient times.

Beliefs

It is believed that by worshipping west facing Lord Shiva in southern cave temple will relieve one from Brahmmahathi dosha. By worshipping Lord Shiva along with Valampuri Vinayaga on Pradosham days would remove obstacles in their works. Devotees pray to Lord Murugan for child birth.

Special Features

The temple complex mainly consists of two temple groups namely Hill Temples (Mela Kovil) and Foot Hill Temples (Keezha Kovil). The Foot Hill Temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva while the hill temple is dedicated to Murugan. The hillock is oblong in shape and measures 40 meters in the north south direction, 80 meters in the east west direction. Hill Temples (Mela Kovil): The temple complex has temples for Lord Murugan and Idumban on top of the hill. Both these temples are enclosed within same compound but separated by a dividing wall. This temple complex is called as Mela Kovil as it is located on top of the hill. The temple can be reached by a paved incline on the western slope of the hill and a narrow flight of steps on the south. The Murugan Temple is facing towards east. Peacock, mount of Lord Murugan, Balipeedam and Dhwaja Sthambam can be found in front of the mukha mandapam facing towards the sanctum. The temple consists of sanctum, ardha mandapam and open pillared mukha mandapam. Vinayagar and Utsava idols can be seen in the ardha mandapam. The sanctum enshrines an image of Lord Murugan along with his consorts Valli & Deivanai. There is a south facing shrine for Jadamuneeswar in the prakaram. This idol might be a Jain idol later got incorporated into this temple. Idumban temple is situated to the southern side of the Murugan Temple. There is water hole called as Saravana Poigai near Murugan Temple. Foot Hill Temples (Keezha Kovil): The temple located at the foothills is called as Keezha Kovil. There are two rock cut cave temples located at the foothills. One cave temple is located on the southern side of the cliff while the other cave temple is located on the eastern side of the cliff. There are also four other structural shrines in and around the southern rock cut cave which are all of later origin. Southern Cave Temple (Okkaliswara Shrine) The southern cave temple (Okkaliswara shrine) is a rock cut cave shrine excavated on the southern cliff of the hillock. The southern cave temple consists of sanctum, ardha mandapam, façade, maha mandapam and mukha mandapam. The open pillared mukha mandapa encloses the maha mandapa. It can be entered from south and west. There is a closed enclosure on the southeastern side of this mandapa. A small niche carved on the mother rock enshrines a rock cut Linga namely Malai Kozhundeeswarar can be seen in this enclosure. Shrines & Idols of Navagrahas, Saneeswarar and Bhairavar can be seen in this enclosure. Dakshinamoorthy and Chandikeswarar can be seen on the western side adjoining the mother rock. The Maha mandapam has walls on three sides with entrance on the southern side. The mandapam is supported by two rows of pillars with three pillars on each side. The façade consists of two pillars in the middle and pilasters each one at the ends. The façade leads to the ardha mandapam. Relief of Valampuri Vinayaga can be seen on the western wall and Jata Munivar on the northern wall of the mandapam. Nandi can be seen in the centre of the ardha mandapam facing towards the sanctum. The sanctum is excavated on the eastern wall of the ardha mandapa. The sanctum is situated at little higher elevation from the ardha mandapam and can be accessed through flight of two rock cut steps. The sanctum enshrines the presiding deity in the form of Linga housed on a circular avudaiyar. Presiding deity is called as Okkaliswara / Thiruvengai Kanaleesubhavar / Malaiya Lingam / Thiruvarut Kaaleswarar / Thiruvokalisvaramudaiya Nayanar. There is a separate north facing structural temple dedicated to Goddess Parvati can be seen opposite to the southern cave temple. Mother is called as Aram Valartha Nayagi / Thambiratti. The temple is built in medieval Chola style. Eastern Cave Temple: The eastern cave temple consists of sanctum and entrance porch. The sanctum enshrines a Shiva Linga housed in an avudaiyar. The Lingam is excavated from the mother rock. Sculpture of Vinayaga can be seen on the surface of the rock opposite to the Linga. It is facing towards east and the iconographical feature is similar to the Pillaiyarpatti Vinayaga. There is an inscription written in grantha script can be seen on the southern side of the cave. It mentions about a musical instrument Veena named Parivathini. An inscription of Kulasekara Pandya can be seen on the door steps of the cave temple. Lord Shiva was called as Srivaramudaiya Nayanar in the inscription. Temple Tank: There is a temple tank situated between the two rocks cut shrines. This tank is massive with steps on all its four sides

Festivals

Thai Poosam is the most famous festival celebrated here. It attracts huge number of devotees from nearby districts. Thiruppadi Pooja, Panguni Uthiram and Karthigai Deepam are also celebrated here.

Century/Period/Age

1000 Years old

Managed By

Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Department (HRCE)

Nearest Bus Station

Nachandupatti

Nearest Railway Station

Pudukkottai

Nearest Airport

Trichy

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