Saturday Jun 15, 2024

Thirukokarnam Sri Kokarneswarar Brahadambal Temple- Pudukkottai


Thirukokarnam Sri Kokarneswarar Brahadambal Temple- Palaniappa Nagar, Thirukkokarnam, Pudukkottai district, Tamil Nadu 622005 Phone:+91-4322-221084 Mobile: 9486185259


Sri Kokarneswarar Amman: Sri Brahadambal


Sri Kokarneswarar Brahadambal Temple, is located in the Thirukokarnam, Pudukkottai district, TamilNadu. The rock-cut cave Temple of Sri Kokarneswarar Brahadambal at Thirukokarnam is of Mahendravarma Pallava period. Thirukokarnam is situated just about 5 kms from Pudukkottai. The presiding deity is Gokarneshwarar and his consort is Brahadambal. Lord of Kokarnam is main deity of Tondaiman kings. Locally, this temple is known as Brahadambal temple and it is also known as Arakasu Amman temple.

Puranic Significance

Kokarneswarar Cave Temple is excavated on the southern slope of a low rising hill and faces east. A sanctum is sunk into the back wall and has a monolithic Shiva linga inside. Right side has Ganesha while left is adorned with Shiva as Gangadhara. The mandapams in front of the main rock-out shrine are the work of the Cholas and Pandyas, between 11th & 13th century AD. There is an upper tier in this temple, where the shrines of Subrahmanya, Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswathi, Annapurani and Rudrakshalingam, Brahma, Jvarahareshwarar, Bhairava, Surya, the Shaivite saints. It is the tutelary deity of Thondaiman rulers of Pudukkottai. Occupying an important place among the ancient classical monuments of Pudukkottai, the Thirugokarnam temple, popularly known as Brahadambal Temple, lies in the foot of a rock. This is one of the oldest temples in South India, with its history dating back to early 7th century AD. The deity is known as Gokarnesvara, and is associated with the Sthalapuranam of this temple. The celestial Kamadhenu happened to arrive late one day at Indra’s court. She was banished from the heaven and condemned to live the life of an ordinary cow on earth until such time as she should have expiated her sins by worshipping the God Siva. On reaching earth, she sought the hermitage of the sage Kapila situated in the jungle at this place. Under his guidance she performed daily worship to the Siva lingam under the bakula (vakula) tree. Every day she tramped too far away river Ganga and brought its sacred water in her ears for the God’s Abhishekam (ablution). Hence the god is called Gokarnesvara or the ‘Lord of the cow’s ear. In due course she had a she-calf, but stifling motherly instincts, she still performed her daily journey leaving her calf at the temple gate. But soon the time came for her salvation, and as she returned one day at nightfall with the sacred water in her ear, the God taking the shape of a tiger stood across her path at a place since called Thiruvengaivasal and threatened to devour her. On her remonstrating that it was time for the ablution of the God, she was allowed to go on condition that she returned immediately after the worship was over. When the cow came back, according to her promise, the seeming tiger changed its shape, and Siva and Parvathi manifested themselves and carried the cow to heaven. According to a variation of the story the tarn on the top of the hill, was cut by the cow with her horn and stored with the Ganga water from her ear, and a cleft on the top of the lingam is said to be a hoof print that she left as she bathed the idol in the sacred water.

Special Features

This is a cave temple-Kudavarai temple. There is a shrine for Araikasu Amman. If anything is misplaced or lost, devotees place a little jaggery in the shrine praying for the recovery of the article lost. It is believed that the prayer does not fail.




7th century AD.

Managed By

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

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