Ardanareeshwara temple is situated in Tirunchengode atop a hill which is 1900 feet above sea level. From Namakkal it is only about a 45 minutes ride so we decided to visit this temple also. There are 1200 steps to climb this hill or there is a beautifully paved motorable road . We went by the road and with in a few minutes we were on top of the hill.We reached the temple around 3 p.m and thought we may have to wait for another 1 hour or so as most of the temples gets closed around 12 noon and open only at 4 p.m . We were surprised to see that the temple was open as the timing there was from 6 a.m to 6 p.m. We went around this ancient temple also called as padal petra sthalam or Siva sthalam , meaning the great saint Thiru Gnana Sambandar had sung hymns about the Lord of this temple.
The temple was looking neat and clean as it had undergone a recent renovation. All the pillars and sculptures were shining with protective coat of paint and the floor was relaid with granite. There is a tall gopuram on the Northern side of the temple and I could see the image of Aadisesha carved in the outer prakaram of the temple. The main deity here is Mathoru Paagar Ardhanareeshwarar, half Siva and half Parvati . Behind the sanctum sanctorum there is a temple dedicated to Sengottu Velavar ( Murugan ) which is also famous here. There is a separate shrine here for Aadikeshava perumal who had asked Parvati to perform the Kedara Gowri vritham to unite with Siva . There is another shrine for Nagalingam and there are also Navagrahas here. The main deity that of Ardha nareeshawara is about 6-7 feet tall and was dressed on one side like a man and other side like a woman with jada and dandu on left hand representing Siva and manglayam and silk saree on the right representing Parvathi.
The Utsavar is also quite tall and is kept in an enclosure and we could have a close view of that. We could see the main deity only with the light of aarthi as there is no illumination inside the sanctum sanctorum. As the temple was not crowded we did get a good darshan.
This temple is only 18 Kms from Erode and 32 Kms. from Namakkal. The nearest airport is again Trichy and the nearest railway station is Erode itself.
Buses ply from Salem, Erode and Namakkal to this place.
This place is famous for Engineering colleges as nearly 3-4 colleges are around this town. There are decent accommodation and restaurants should one care to spend a day over here.