Friday, February 14, 2014

Kalayar koil, kaleeshwarar koil, Sivagangai, Tamilnadu

Kalayar Kovil, is  an ancient temple more than 1000 years old situated in a small village 16 Kms East of Sivaganga and about 63 Kilometers  from the temple city of  Madurai. This temple lies quite close to the temple of   Kannudeya Nayagi temple( 12Kms)

Once inside the village, what one comes across is a huge temple with multiple tiered  Gopurams standing side by side guarding the temple like a fort. There are  fantastic sculptures which would hold anyone  spell bound as it is difficult to believe that such a temple can exist in an obscure place. We came to know about the temple through local people as there was no information available about this temple on the net.

The deity here is Siva known as Swarna Kaleeswarar as well as Kalayar . The temple corridors are long and spacious  lined with granite pillars with finely chiselled work . The temple is designed well to let the sunshine inside and the Sun bathes the interiors with its golden rays. The corridors also opens into an  open courtyard halfway through and one can see temples lined here for  Gods and Goddesses. There is also a separate shrine for Siva's consort  Swarnavalli Amman.

The other major shrine inside the temple complex is that of Someshwarar (Siva)which is situated at an elevation. The Nandi here sits majestically on a tall pedestal and the Sahasra Lingam just outside this shrine is a splendid work of  fine carvings on granite.  (Sahasra Lingam is a Sivalingam with thousands of Sivalingams carved on it).

One can find Madurai Meenakshi Amman and Sundareshwarar shrines here and  I have observed that most  of the  Siva temples I have visited in last few years have all  Sivalingams of  famous temples in India, housed  under one roof like Ramanathar of Rameshwaram, Kalahastheeswar of Kalahasti, Kasi Viswanathar of Varanasi  etc. One would lose count of the Sivalingams lined up in a row around the temple. One can offer worship to all  these famous temples from  one single point . I feel this was done  with the idea  to facilitate pilgrims who cannot travel to distant places as travel was difficult and tedious in the days of yore.

How to reach- One can travel to Sivaganga either from Madurai or Trichy.
 A few clicks!!





























27 comments:

  1. I think your usage of the words spell-bound sum up this post for me as they describe perfectly my thoughts on looking at these images.

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  2. Beautiful temple. Thanks for sharing this.

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  3. Beautiful ancient temple, and what a wonderful idea to house so many shivalingams in one place. How thoughtful. I would want to visit this place and also get blessed by the elephant in the pictures.

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    1. Arti, There's lot to see once you come down to T. Nadu

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  4. How come this majestic temple is not widely known?.Each picture speaks volumes of the beauty of the temple.The pictures have all come very well.Bringing sunshine and brightness to the shrines that is generally rare in temples make one marvel at the skill of builders.Is the temple well manitained and crowded?

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  5. @KP, the temple is well maintained. Visited mostly by local people.

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  6. I didnt know about this temple at all! Its 1000 years old; as old as Tanjavur's Brihadeshwara temple and how come its not widely known??? Its very well preserved and the paintings on the ceilings are breath taking.

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  7. Bindu, there are so many temples temples in and around Tamil nadu. The tourisnm department must focus more on these..

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  8. Dear Chitra, lovely to see you back! I missed you, but haven't beeb abke to blog that nuch either, due to internet problems in our new home. Great pictures, as always - ocan smell ndia!

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    1. thanks Martina, I understand. miss you too.

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  9. Thanks for sharing info about this beautiful temple.

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  10. Fantastic captures Chitra..! I feel like visiting this temple.

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  11. Beautiful post. To me it looks like a temple built during the Chola period expanded during the rule of subsequent dynasties.

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    1. PNS, what you say could be true. tnx a lot

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  12. I so dream of visiting India. What a beautiful place. It makes me happy to come here and see your pictures so I can still glimpse it until that day comes!
    Sorry I haven't visited in a while, friend.
    Traci

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    1. I hope your dream comes true. I would love to welcome you to my place.@ Traci

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  13. You have a beautiful blog Chitra, came here from KP's write up about your blog. Your pics tell it all! My road trips to Tamil Nadu to visit the temples have always been very rewarding and enriching.

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  14. Thanks a lot Padmaja. I am happy you too enjoy travelling to diff. temples.

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  15. Nice pictures! I have never heard about this temple. You have explained about the different deities very nicely! Came here via Partha Sir, KP! Will mark this page to come back. THank you!

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    1. Thanks Sandhya, KP just mentioned your name to me now:) thanks for your comment.

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  16. I was told to visit temple in my dreams by some saint please guide me how to reach here. which is the best time to visit the temple with less crowd?
    What about the accommodation, lodging facility?

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  17. Dear ramkumar, that is good call from God Kaleeshwarar.
    The nearest town is Karaikudi and from here you will need 50 mts to reach the temple. The village also known as Kalayarkovil.From Madurai karaikudi town is around 87Kms. Please try to see other temples around Karaikudi. Check my temple list on top for all details. Transportation from karaikudi would be bus or taxi. if you have any queries write at manchitra2001@yahoo.co.in

    It is a small village the temple is not crowded , you can have darshan of God in peace and quiet , may be it is crowded only during festival.I am not clear from where you want to travel. Karaikudi has good hotels pls. check the web

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  18. Thanks for the information madam. I am from Bangalore, karnataka.I have heard first time about this temple, that too by a saint in my dream. In my dream we were waiting for some saint ( you people call them as siddhar) he came to the mantap where the brahmins were waiting for food to be served,I was there in front of him. Everyone stood up and bowed. I too folded my hands to the Saint. His face was full of radiance and glowing. He suggested me to visit this temple and pray Lord shiva for better age and well being. Dream is strange to me and I searched for the nearest match and I think you have provided wonderful information. I will visit the temple soon in vacation.

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    1. Hi Ramkumar, I am happy you found useful information. Please visit. You will be happy. You can also visit the place from karaikudi or Madurai.God has sent you the message .You will be blessed.Thanks.

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