Thirumayam is a town of great historical and religious importance situated in the district of Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu. Sathyamurthi Perumal temple in the town and its presiding deity had been praised by Tirumangai Alvar adding this temple among the 108 divya-peetham for the vaishnavas. Locals consider this temple older and only second in sanctity to the famous Srirangam temple, and thus it is also referred as Adi-Rangam, or the original Rangam.
In his Periya Tirumoli1 (verse of 2016 Naalayira Divya Prabandham), Tirumangai Alvar praised the lord as:
The lord who stays in the Thirumeyyam hills,
and carries a conch in his hand
has the color of the dark ocean,
of a shining sapphire-like hill, of a dark cloud,
of a kuvalai flower blooming on a branch and of a kāyām flower.
If the hands of devotees have not worshiped him,
they are not truly hands.
In his Tiru-kuru-thandakam2 (verse of 2050 Naalayira Divya Prabandham), Tirumangai Alvar praised the lord as:
When the skull of the Nānmuhan on the lotus was stuck to Shiva’s hand
and he wandered among houses begging for food,
our lord removed the curse of Shiva and made it fall off.
If devotees go to Thirukkaṇḍiyur, Srirangam, Thirumeyyam,
Thirukkachi, Thirupperur and Thirukkaḍalmallai, and worship him,
they will be saved. How can others be saved if they do not worship him?
After the rule of the Vijayanagara empire, in the 16th and 17th century CE, the town was part of the northern outpost of the Sethupathis of Ramnad however it was administered by the Pallavarayans3. The town was fortified during 1687 when a fort was constructed by Vijaya Raghunatha Sethupathi I of Ramanathapuram4. In 1723, Tanda Deva conferred the town to the Tondaimans in return of the military help the latter provided against Bhavani Shankar, a rival claimant to the chiefship of Ramnad. In 1733, when Ananda Rao, the general of the Thanjavur Maratha house, overran the Pudukkottai region, Thirumayam fort became the last resort for the Tondaimans. Ananda Rao laid a siege on the fort for a year but he had to retire without success. In 1755, the town was submitted to the East India Company by the Thanjavur Maratha house.
Monuments – There are three monuments of interest, the Fort, Shiva cave temple locally known as Satyagirisvara Temple and Vishnu cave temple locally known as Sathyamurthi Perumal Temple.
Sathyamurthi Perumal Temple – The original shrine, which now serves as the garbha-grha (sanctum) of the Sathyamurthi Perumal temple was made by utilizing and extending a natural cavern. This garbha-grha now can be reached passing though a number of mandapas, mostly constructed during late Pandya period. The focus of this article is that original cave temple therefore details of mandapas and other subsidiary shrines are excluded. This is an interesting excavation as it is the only example where a natural cavern was enlarged and turned into a shrine with additional fitting of pillars thus separating the shrine at the rear wall and mandapa in its front.
This cave temple is carved out on the southern face of the Satyagiri hill which also has two more rock-cut excavations. A rock-cut staircase of three steps with parapet at sides is provided to reach the platform of the mandapa. 3 feet behind the edge of this mandapa, the floor is raised to form adhisthana (platform) of the garbha-grha. Over this platform are put two pillars and two pilasters. The rear wall of the garbha-grha has a 22 feet long sculpture of Anantashayana-Vishnu occupying all of the wall surface. The lateral walls are utilized to carve supplementary figures belonging to the overall theme of the Anantashayana-Vishnu storyline. Vishnu is shown recumbent, with his head in the west and slightly raised, on the coil-bed made of the coils of Shesha. Shesha forms a canopy over Vishnu’s head with hood made of five heads. Vishnu is shown with two arms, his right arm is thrown backwards patting the coils of Shesha, and his left arm is bent at elbow with his fingers pointing down to his left chest. Near his feet sits Bhu-devi, shown without a breast-band, folding her hands in anjali-mudra.
From Vishnu’s naval emerges a lotus-stalk with a bloomed flower at the top, over which sits Brahma under an umbrella, shown with three heads and four arms. He holds a kalasa (vessel) and a sruk (ladle) in his upper arms while his lower right arm is in chin-mudra and lower right arm placed on his lap. Two figures are carved on either side the umbrella, one with ram-head represents Daksha while another one represents Agni. Agni is shown with a crown of flames and holding a bowl of fire with both his hands. Five ayudha-purushas (personified weapons) are arranged on either side of Brahma. To the right of Brahma are Panchajanya (shankha or conch) as a dwarf and Sudarshana (chakra or discus) while to the left of Brahma are shown Shranga (bow or dhanush), Nandaka (sword or khadga) and Kaumodaki (gada or club) in female form.
Starting from the west, we have few figures shown behind Shesha’s hood. At the extreme western end is a standing figure shown with both his hands folded in anjali-mudra and his fore-fingers in tarjani-mudra, identified as Garuda. His wings are shown on either side of his body behind him. Moving east, after Garuda are shown two bearded figures. The one in front and kneeling behind the hood is holding cymbals and may be identified with Markandeya. However, locals identify him with Chitragupta. Another figure, behind Markandeya, is shown holding a club in one hand and another hand raised in adoration. He may be identified with Vishvaksena5, the commander-in-chief of Vishnu’s army and gatekeeper of Vaikuntha, as he wears a long kirtia-makuta. Above these two figures is shown a small cavity representing a cavern, inside which are shown three figures, one bearded among them suggests that he is the guru of the other two. As iconography requires presence of Bhrgu, the sage in the cavity may represent him.
Further towards east is shown Chandra (moon) with a huge nimbus behind his head. Next to him is a female figure shown with folded hands in anjali-mudra. A halo behind her head suggests her divine nature. She being shown close to Chandra (moon), Dayalan6 suggests that she may be Rohini. Next to her is shown a group of four musicians. Among them the one holding vina would be Narada and the one holding a stringed instrument would be Tumburu as both of them are shown bearded. Other two in the group are not bearded and thus represent common musicians of divine nature, gandharvas. Next to them is dancer shown with horns and one leg lifted up till his chest. After the dancer is shown Panchajanya ayudha-purusha in dwarf form. After Panchajanya is another ayudha-purusha and after him is found Brahma over a lotus.
Moving eastwards from Brahma, on his left, after the three ayudha-purushas is a group of seven sages, representing sapta-rishis. After them is shown Surya with a halo behind his head. Below him are shown two demons, Madhu and Kaitabha. Both are shown in retreat, being tormented by the poisonous flames spitted from Shesha towards them. These flames, in form of barbs, are carved on the wall surface below the sapta-rishis, ayudha-purushas and above the left leg of Vishnu. On the eastern lateral wall are carved two figures on the top, both with their hands in anjali-mudra.
As Vishnu is shown with two hands here, the image may fall in yoga-shayana or bhoga-shayana category. In the yoga-shayana category, the lord is depicted with two hands, and in the bhoga-shayana category he may be shown with two or four hands. Two aspects of this panel puts it into the bhoga-shayana category as described by Gopinatha Rao7. First is the presence of Surya and Chandra. And second, Madhu and Kaitabha are shown suffering from the scorching effect of the poisonous breath of Shesha.
In absence of a foundation inscription, dating of this cave is obscured. A later period inscription, mentioning about renovation of a structure, is generally taken to be associated with the Sathyamurthi Perumal Temple. This inscription belongs to the reign of the Mutharaiyar king Sattan (Cattan) Maran alias Videlvidugu-Viluperadi-Araiyan. Mutharaiyars, being feudatories of the Pallavas, took over Videlvidugu as their tile. It was Nandivarman II Pallavamalla (731-795 CE) who is told to be crowned with the insignia of Videlvidugu, Samudraghosha, Khatvanga-dhvaja and Vrishabha-lanchhana by the ministers, the feudatories, the ghatakayar and the ubhaiya-gana as supported from a Kanchipuram inscription8. Sattan Maran would have borrowed the title Videlvidugu from Nandivarman II Pallavamalla therefore he should be taken contemporary with the latter.
K G Krishnan9 assigns this inscription to the first half of the eighth century CE, considering Perumbidugu-Perundevi as the wife of the first known Mutharaiyar king Sattan (Cattan), father of Sattan Maran of our inscription. We do not know the time elapsed between the original excavation and the inscribed renovation, giving a modest interval of 50 years, we may date the original excavation to the last quarter of seventh century CE if not earlier. Also, it cannot be said with certainty if the original excavation was carried out by a Mutharaiyar king or their Pandya overlords, generally it is considered as a Pandya cave-temple. However, K V Soundararajan10 differs and suggests that this Vishnu cave can be fixed in the second half of the eight century CE.
Inscriptions – The inscription described below is found on a slab (balustrade) lying between the two cave temples at the site. It was suggested as the part of the parapet of the steps leading to the Vishnu cave temple as K G Krishnan.
- On a slab in the west prakara of the central shrine of Sathyamurthi11 – “Prosperity! Renovation (of this temple) by Perumbidugu Perundevi, mother of Sattan Maran, also called Videlvidugu Viluperadi Araiyan, for the god of the sanctum sanctorum a free gift of lands, in the village of …… Andakkudi is granted as a tax-free gift inclusive of the rights of cultivation, tenancy, and proprietors-ship.”
Satyagirisvara Cave Temple – This article focuses on the original rock-cut shrine which now serves as the garbha-grha of the present temple. This shrine is excavated on the southern facade of the Satyagiri hill, to the immediate west of the above Vishnu cave. The front facade has two pillars and two pilasters, with cubical base and top (saduram) and intervening octagonal section (kattu). This arrangement results in three bays with almost equal intercolumniation between pillars and pilasters. The cubical faces of saduram are carved with lotus and water lily medallions. The corbel above have round profile containing taranga (wave) moulding with median-patta (band).
The Adhisthana of the mandapa composed of regular mouldings, jagati, vrtta-kumuda, kantha with lower and upper kampa and pattika. These mouldings are concealed behind the steps constructed to reach the rock-cut mandapa from the present maha-mandapa however these are partially exposed on the western end where partial inscriptions are found written over the kanthaand vrtta-kumuda. In the rear wall are carved four pilasters corresponding to their counterparts in the front mandapa, resembling to the latter in style and design.
In the eastern lateral wall is carved an exquisite and colossal Lingodbhava image. The origin of Linga story, or Lingodbhava, is found in Vayu Purana, Brahmanda Purana, Linga Purana, Skanda Purana, Shiva Purana etc. with slight variations12. It all begins with a dispute between Vishnu and Brahma over who is the creator of the universe as both claimed for the same. During this dispute, there arises a pillar of flaming fire piercing the earth and sky. In order to investigate the origin and end of this pillar, Brahma flew up taking form of a swan to find the origin and Vishnu took form of a varaha digging the earth to find the root. They continued for thousands of years but all their efforts went in vein. Finally when they went into meditation, Shiva revealed himself in all his glory. Both, Brahma and Vishnu, casted off their pride and worshiped Shiva. In other variations, it was told that Brahma made a false claim finding the top of the column by giving evidence of a ketaki (Screw Pine or Pandanus odoratissimus) flower stating that the latter was found on the top. Shiva appeared from the column and cursed Brahma for his lie stating that the latter would not have his exclusive shrines on the earth and ketaki flower, being a false witness, will not be used for Shiva’s worship.
The linga column is carved in convex design with flames all around it suggesting its association with pillar of flames or column of fire as explained in the Lingodbhava story. In the large ventricular opening is shown Shiva, emerging from this pillar, visibility of his feet restricted till his thighs. He is shown with two arms, one hand in varada-mudra and another resting over his waist. Barrett13 mentions that this is only Lingodbhava-Shiva image where Shiva is shown with one hand in varada-mudra while the agamas mention him to be depicted with four hands holding parasu (axe) and antelope in his upper arms, and lower arms to be abhaya and varada-mudra. Barrett assigns this image to 8th century CE after a comparative studies of styles.
In the center of this mandapa is placed a Nandi seated on a moulded adhishthana, all cut from the mother rock. The adhishthana is composed of jagati, kumuda, kantha with lower and upper kampa, pattika and prati mouldings. In the western lateral wall is excavated a square shrine with its entrance on the same axis as that of Lingodbhava in opposite. The entrance is approached through a rock-cut staircase of four steps. The adhisthana is composed of jagati, vrtta-kumuda, kantha with lower and upper kampa and pattika. Four pilasters, with cubical base and top (saduram) and intervening octagonal section (kattu) are placed in the front resulting in a rectangular entrance flanked by niches on either side. In these niches are provided dvarapalas. Southern dvarapala is shown with two hands, right hand resting above the heavy club while left hand is stretched out in lola-hasta-mudra. Behind his head are shorn protruding prongs of trishula (trident) suggesting that he represents ayudha-purusha (anthropomorphic) aspect of Shiva’s trishula. Dvarapala in the north shows typical characteristics of dvarapalas at many other cave-temples such as Kunnandarkoil. He is also shown with two hands but he does not carry any weapon. He is shown standing in tri-bhanga-mudra facing the entrance. His one hand rests over his waist while another hand is raised up with palm facing front. A protrusion seen above his headdress suggests that he may be representing another ayudha-purusha of Shiva, pharasu or axe, however absence of a weapon is of interest. Dvarapalas showcasing ayudha-purusha aspect is discussed in detail in Kuranganilmuttam cave-temple article. Absence of a weapon and the unique way of standing with one raised hand has led K R Srinivasan14 to suggest that this dvarapala is a portrait sculpture of a chief or king. Inside the shrine is a rock-cut Shiva-linga placed over a circular avudaiyar. The avudaiyar is built of various mouldings consisting of jagati, vrtta-kumuda, kantha with lower and upper kampa, pattika and prati. Over the prati is provided a spout supported over a vyala.
As there is no foundation inscription found in this rock-cut shrine, the dating of the excavation is done on the basis of comparative studies of styles and motifs. The musical inscription plays a very important part in this dating. K V Soundararajan15 writes, “For a study of the Pandya cave-art it would seem that Kudumiyamalai, Tirumayam, Malayakkoyil and Tirugokarnam have a vital bearing, prima facie, because of the close link they have with one another by the musical inscriptions that were engraved on or near the cave temple excavated in these places. Doubtless, we assume that they are all work of the same local patron.”
Taking the characteristics label inscription reading “Parivadini-e”, always inscribed inside a rectangle, being inscribed at five different cave temples within Pudukkottai area, K R Srinivasan16 suggests that these all excavations were linked and connected therefore all were contemporary. These five cave temples are Upper rock-cut Shiva cell at Thirumayam, the eastern rock-cut Shiva cell in Malaiyakkovil, rock-cut temple at Kudumiyamalai, Satyagirishvara cave-temple at Thirumayam and Gokarnesvara rock-cut temple at Thirugokarnam. Srinivasan assigns all these to between 700 and 800 CE, and associate these to the Pandyas.
While framing a chronology over the development of the Lingodbhava icon, Chandrakumar17 places the Thirumayam icon in phase 1 on evidence of the absence of Brahma and Vishnu in its composition. Giving a 25 years interval between different phases of development, he assigns the Thirumayam sculpture to 625 CE, thus he dates the cave also to the same period. As this study only considers iconography but not other aspects such as epigraphs etc. therefore it lacks a comprehensive approach. D Dayalan18 suggests that the rock-cut shrine displays various characteristics of the Pallava style as well as contemporary Pandya style. He places this excavation towards the latter part of 8th century CE.
Inscriptions – Few important inscriptions are detailed below:
- On the north wall of the rock-cut shrine19 – dateable to seventh century CE of paleographic grounds – label within rectangular box read “parivadinida”, name of a musical instrument. Below the lable are few lines in Tamil, very similar to the inscription found at Malayakovil rock-cut shrine. As the inscription is much mutilated, meaning of these lines cannot be interpreted, however it should be about the directions for learning to play parivadini and its qualities as mentioned in the inscription at Malayakovil.
- On the north and south walls of the rock-cut temple20 – dateable to seventh century CE on paleographic grounds – From the preserved portion, the names of musical notes such as gandharam, panchmam, dhaivatam, nishadam etc. can be read. A certain order is noticeable in the arrangement of the notes in seven sections with sub-sections. Unfortunately the sub-sections have been erased as to make it impossible to follow the method adopted here. This record could be the exact copy of the celebrated musical inscription found at Kudumiyamalai.
- At the entrance, left side, into the rock-cut temple21 – refers to nineteenth regnal year of the Chola king Rajaraja I, corresponding 1004 CE – No further details available on this damaged and incomplete inscription apart from its dating
- At the entrance, left side, into the cave22 – refers to the twenty-first regnal year of the Chola king Rajaraja I, corresponding 1033 CE – No further details available on this damaged and incomplete inscription apart from its dating
- On the south side of the rock-cut temple23 – dated to 7th regnal year of the Pandya king Maravarman Sundara Pandya II, corresponding 1245 CE – This long record enumerates the various points of settlement arrived at, by a grand assembly comprising of the nadus, the nagarams, the villages and the samaya-mantris of Kana-nadu alias Virudaraja-bhayankara-valanadu, the Araiyakal who policed the nadu and the sri-rudramahesvara of the same nadu, Nalladariyum-perumal Iravanamudaliyar, Tavalaikoyil-vasar-picchamudaliyar, and the sri-vaishnavas of the Pandi-nadu, srivaishnavas and srimahesvaras of Thirumeyyam, srirudra srimahesvara of the temple of Thirukkodungunram in Thirumalai-nadu and the vaishnavas Anusantanam of the same nadu in the presence of Appanna Dandanayakkar, the brother-in-law of Ravidevar Dandanayakkar who was one of the Dandanayakkar of Hoysala Vera Somesvara. The first item of the settlement was about the long standing quarrel concerned with the sharing of the kadamai due from the village, between the Shiva and Vaishnava temples of the village. It was resolved that two-fifths of the kadamai should go to the Shiva temple and the remaining to the Vaishnava temples. The other items: a mutual exchange of devadana lands of the two temples, the compound wall common to the both temples, the fixation of the boundaries by tiruchchulakkal and tiruvalikkal, the sharing of tank and a well, the lands belonging to each temple, the habitation sites belonging to the two temples, the proprietary rights of the individuals and the erasure and re-engraving of old inscription of both the temples. Many officials attest the record.
- On the rock to the north of the tank24 – it is a duplicate of the above inscription
- On the rock to the west of the rock-cut temple25 – this seems to the connected with record no 5 above, the settlement inscription of Sundara Pandya II
- At right side entrance to the cave temple26 – dates to the eighth regnal year of the Pandya king Maravarman Sundara Pandya II, corresponding 1246 CE – Seems to record a grant of land by the assembly at Thirumayam, a devadana and brahmadeya of Kana-nadu, instead of the paddy, due from then to the temple, on account of their having received 10 palankasu given to the temple by Imjiratuvdaiyan, one of the samantars of Rajarajadeva.
- On the south wall of the cave temple27 – dated to eleventh regnal year of the Pandya king Maravarman Sundara Pandya II, corresponding 1249 CE – Records a gift of land for uvachchu (drummer) service in the temple by the assembly of Thirumayam a devadana and brahmadeya of Kana-nadu alias Virudarajabhayankara-valanadu. Mentions that the above land was set apart for the same service by Thiruvengadattu Nambi when he was chosen as referee immediately after the settlement of the dispute between the Vaishnavas and the Shaivas.
Rock-cut Shiva Cell – This cell is excavated high above on the western facade of the hill. It is a simple cell with its entrance door having three bands with rectangular bordered panel at the jambs. To the north of the door is a rectangular panel, probably for the label inscription as found in the other Shiva cave at the site. However, this label inscription is absent here. Inside the cell is a rock-cut linga placed over a square pitha (avudaiyar). Avudaiyar is built with multiple moldings comprising jagati, vrtta-kumuda, lower kampa, kantha, upper kampa, pattika and prati. The water outlet spout is on north and is supported by a bhuta-gana. Dayalan28 mentions that the features of the linga, puja-bhaga marked with sutra design, suggest that the linga can be dated to 6th-7th century CE.
Thirumayam Fort – This fort was built by Sethupati Vijaya Raghunatha Tevan (1663-1708) of Ramanathapuram. He is popularly known as Kilavan Sethupati also. This fortification of the town was probably done after the fall of Vijayanagara rule from Thirumayam. Originally constructed with seven concentric walls, only three enclosures remain now. After Ragunatha Tevan, the fort went into the control of the Tondaiman rulers of Pudukkottai when Raghunatha Tevan gifted this fort and Thirumayam to his brother-in-law, Raghunatha Raya Tondaiman, the first king of Tonadaiman clan. The fort is very small and not many bastions are seen. There is one bastion on top of the hill where as canon of British origin is placed now. It is believed that Thirumayam fort was one of the recluse for the Tondaiman rulers during their bad times when Thanjavur general, Ananda Rao, ran over most of their territory leaving only small area in and around Thirumayam. Local guide will tell you an unconfirmed story of Katta-bomman and his brother Oomayam who held this fort against the British. This fort is locally known as Oomayam Kottai, the fort of the dumb, dumb refers here to Oomayam who fought against the British and was executed later on.There is a small cave temple of grotto style inside the fort. The cave is composed of a single cell excavated into a rock and dedicated to Shiva. A Shiva linga is carved inside out of the parent rock inside the cell. The base of this linga is square instead of regular circular base. Entrance of the cell has been carved like door with pilasters and lintel.
1 Peirya Tirumoli on Project Madurai
2 Tiru-kuru-thandakam verse 19 on Project Madurai
3 Ayyar, K R Venkatarama (1944). A Manual of the Pudukkottai State Vol. II, Part II. Sri Brihadamba Press. Pudukkottai. pp 1206-1215
4 Pudukkottai District Gazetteer. p 863
5 R, Champakalakshmi (1981). Vishnava Iconography in the Tamil Country. Orient Longman. New Delhi. pp 72-72
6 Dayalan, D (2014). Cave-temples in the regions of the Pandya, Muttaraiya, Atiyaman and Ay Dynasties, in Tamil Nadu and Kerala part I. Archaeological Survey of India. New Delhi. p 221
7 Rao Gopinatha, T A (1914). Elements of Hindu Iconography vol. I part I. Motilal Banarasidass. New Delhi. ISBN 8120808789. pp 90-94
8 Epigraphia Indica vol. XVIII, p 117
9 Krishnan, K G (1972). The Muttaraiyar published in the Journal of Ancient Indian History, vol. V. University of Calcutta. pp 78-103
10 Soundararajan, K V (1990). Early Pandya Art published in South Indian Studies: T V Mahalingam Commemoration Volume. Geetha Book House. Mysore. pp 626-647
11 No 13 of Ayyar, K R Srinivasa (2002). Inscriptions in the Pudukkottai State part I. Commissioner of Museums. Chennai. pp 14-15
12 Lippe, Aschwin (1971). Divine Images in Stone and Bronze: South India, Chola Dynasty (c. 850-1280) published in Metropolitan Museum Journal vol. 4. pp. 29-79
13 Barrett, Douglas (1964). An Early Cola Lingodbhavamurti published in The British Museum Quarterly Vol. 28, No. 1/2 (Summer, 1964). pp. 32-39
14 Srinivasan, K R (1972). Temples of South India. National Book Trust. New Delhi. pp 57-58
15 Soundararajan, K V (1990). Early Pandya Art published in South Indian Studies: T V Mahalingam Commemoration Volume. Geetha Book House. Mysore. pp 626-647
16 Srinivasan, K R (1970). Some Non-Pallava Cave Temples with Musical Inscriptions published in Damilica: Journal of the Tamlinadu State Department of Archaeology December 1970. pp 83-91
17 Chandrakumar, T (1991). Iconography of Liṅgodbhavamūrti in South India – A Probe into Stylistic Evolution published in East and West vol. 41, no. 1/4 (December 1991). pp. 153-171
18 Dayalan, D (2014). Cave-temples in the regions of the Pandya, Muttaraiya, Atiyaman and Ay Dynasties, in Tamil Nadu and Kerala part I. Archaeological Survey of India. New Delhi. p 215
19 No 5 of Ayyar, K R Srinivasa (2002). Inscriptions in the Pudukkottai State part I. Commissioner of Museums. Chennai. p 11
20 No 7-A South Indian Inscriptions Vol XII
21 Pk: 835 of Mahalingam, T V (1991). A Topographical List of Inscriptions in the Tamil Nadu and Kerala States vol VI. Indian Council of Historical Research. New Delhi. p 205
22 Pk: 837 of Mahalingam, T V (1991). A Topographical List of Inscriptions in the Tamil Nadu and Kerala States vol VI. Indian Council of Historical Research. New Delhi. p 205
23 Pk: 838 of Mahalingam, T V (1991). A Topographical List of Inscriptions in the Tamil Nadu and Kerala States vol VI. Indian Council of Historical Research. New Delhi. pp 205-206
24 Pk: 839 of Mahalingam, T V (1991). A Topographical List of Inscriptions in the Tamil Nadu and Kerala States vol VI. Indian Council of Historical Research. New Delhi. p 206
25 Pk: 840 of Mahalingam, T V (1991). A Topographical List of Inscriptions in the Tamil Nadu and Kerala States vol VI. Indian Council of Historical Research. New Delhi. pp 206-207
26 Pk: 841 of Mahalingam, T V (1991). A Topographical List of Inscriptions in the Tamil Nadu and Kerala States vol VI. Indian Council of Historical Research. New Delhi. p 207
27 Pk: 842 of Mahalingam, T V (1991). A Topographical List of Inscriptions in the Tamil Nadu and Kerala States vol VI. Indian Council of Historical Research. New Delhi. p 207
28 Dayalan, D (2014). Cave-temples in the regions of the Pandya, Muttaraiya, Atiyaman and Ay Dynasties, in Tamil Nadu and Kerala part I. Archaeological Survey of India. New Delhi. p 224
Wonderful post Saurabh. The Shiva cave is most possibly a Pandya structure. Were you able to take more photos of the Shiva cave ( insides)
loveliest S Lingodbhava anywhere, I think. That grotto in fort wall has a sturdier ladder than when I was there. Darn,
I really wanted to climb up and see it.
The Anantasayin Vishnu here is extremely similar to those of Malaiyadipatti & Singavaram. Wish someone would do a comparison of the 3.
Very interesting information on the temples not known to many of us. Thank you very much for this great service.Avery good coverage indeed.
hai ,recently have started pilgrimage of divya desam,reclining posture of vishu really impressed me.got a lot of information from your blog.thanks .
im happy to say that my native is thirumayam and i live in thirumayam. its not actually thirumayam but thirumeyyam. it came from anandha sayanapperumal’s name AZHAGIYA THIRU MEYYAR later became thirumayam
very proud of being a native of tirumeyyam.piosture of Meiyar here is interesting to see that He is not sleeping with his hand supporting his head.Rather he pats aathisesha for his courage to chase mathu kaidapas the rakshashas who dared to carry Boomadevi.May any one tell the exact period and who constructed the caves?
I always thought that shivling should have some othr meanings and is not related to phallus as the weterners propogated.
Very good information on lingodbhava with its structure.
I shall use the information for other Hinduism followers
admin of veerasamy sir, thanks for publish this site and
very proud of being a native of tirumeyyam .