Visited on: 30th March, 2018.
Though the historical name of this place is Pazhayarai Vadathali, now there are two separate villages – one called Pazhayarai and the other called Vadathali. Both of them are approximately one kilometre apart. The Devara Paadal Petra Sthalam is located in Pazhayarai. In Vadathali, there is a separate temple. Saint Thirunavukkarasar (Appar), while rendering his hymn, combined these two temples.
Pazhayarai is situated at a distance of about 12 kms from Kumbakonam on the Kumbakonam – Patteswaram – Muzhaiyur - Avoor route. It is about 2 kms from Patteeswaram.
Other Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams near this place are –Sakthimutram, Patteeswaram, Thiruvalanchuzhi, Kottaiyur, Innambur, Thiruppurambiam, Thiruvaikavur, Thiruvisayamangai, Kumbakonam (3 temples – Kudamukku, Keezhkkottam and Karonam).
Sri Vimalanayaki along with Sri Dharmapureeswarar grace the temple at Vadathali. This temple is also known as Vallalar Koil and it is considered as one of the “Vaippu Sthalams”. This is a Madakkoil built by king Kochengat Cholan.
It is believed that once this temple was closed and buried under the ground by some Jains (Samanar). When Saint Thirunavukkarasar (Appar) had come to Pazhayarai, he realized that something was unusual about Vadathali. When he enquired the local people, he was told that the temple in the village was hidden under the ground by the Jains. He then started fasting (“Sathyagraham”) here in order to find the location of the Shivalingam. It is believed that Lord Shiva came in the dream of the local Chola king Manimudi Devan and told him to assist Appar. The temple and the Shivalingam were found and re-established for worship.
|Moolavar||Sri Somanathar, Sri Somesar|
|Theertham (Holy water)||Soma Theertham, Jatayu Theertham, Indra Theertham, Kamala Theertham|
|Sthala Vriksham (Sacred Tree)||Amla tree|
|Pathigam (Hymn) rendered by ||Saint Thirunavukarasar (Appar)|
- This is one of the 276 Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams and 24th Shiva Sthalam on the Southern bank of the river Cauveri in Chozha Nadu (Thenkarai).
- Lord Shiva in this temple is a Swayambumurthi (self-manifested).
- This is the birthplace of Amarneethi Nayanar, one of the 63 Nayanmars.
- This is the birthplace of Mangayarkkarasiyar, one of the 63 Nayanmars.
- This east facing temple has two corridors and its main tower (Rajagopuram) is in a dilapidated /unfinished condition. Its second entrance tower has 3-tiers.
- There is no flag post (“dhwajasthambam”) in this temple.
- The last consecration ceremony (Kumbabishekam) took place on 29.01.2016.
History of the Temple
In ancient times, this place was a part of the Chola capital and many Chola kings ruled from Pazhayarai. During that time, Pazhayarai was a big city that spanned 8 kms in length and 3.5 kms in width. It consisted of many villages such as Patteswaram, Muzhayur, Udayalur, Shakti Mutram, Cholan Maligai (where the king’s palace was situated), Darasuram and Ramanathan Koil. Pazhaiyarai was divided into four blocks. These are – Vadathali, Metrali, Keezh Thali and Then Thali. This temple is located at Keezh Thali.
This village is bounded by the river Mudikondan on the south and the river Thirumalairayan on the north. The river Mudikondan is also known as Pazhaiyaru and hence this place gets the name Pazhayarai. The village on the river’s northern side is known as Pazhayarai Vadathali (“vada” means north and “thali” means temple in Tamil).
During Gnanasambanthar’s period, Pazhayarai housed the following the battle camps of the Cholas - Aariyap padaiyur, Pampab padaiyur, Manap padaiyur and Puthup padaiyur.
This place has had different names throughout history. It was called Pazhaiyarai Nagar in the 7th century, Nandhipuram in the 8th century, Pazhaiyarai Nandhipuram in the 9th and 10th centuries, Mudikonda Cholapuram in the 11th century and Rajarajapuram in the 12th century.
This temple was believed to be built by Chola King Aditya and was renovated by Chola King Raja Rajan. Raja Raja’s birth name is Arunmozhi Devan and hence this place is also known as Arunmozhi Thevecharam.
This temple is under the administrative control of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of Government of Tamil Nadu (HR&CE).