Thursday, 19 July 2018


15th July 2018
On the Foot path of Nandhanar... a visit to the places and the temples associated with Nandhanar also called as Thirunalai Povaar, one of the 63 Nayanmars was organised by Prof Madhusuthanan Kalaiselvan and the songs composed by Sri Gopalakrishna Bharathi  are rendered by Vidwans Bharat Sundar and Sunil Gargyan between 14th July & 15th July 2018. After completing the visit to Thiruppukur and lunch on 15th July 2018,  we headed to our next destination Nandhanar Madam, on the south part of Chidambaram.
Nandhanar gave initiation to the Andhanar, to whom he worked. The Andhanar also became a devote of Lord Shiva and requested Nandhanar to proceed to Chidambaram. When he reached Chidambaram, he could see the smokes emanating from the homam conducted by the rishis and Vedhiyars. The inferiority complex of being born in Pulayar caste, developed within him stopped to enter inside the Chidambaram. So he circumambulates the temple city for three whole days and stayed in a coconut farm on the south part of Perumpatrappuliyur now called as Thillai or Chidambaram. The rest of the story will be written along with Thillai Natarajar Dharshan.

In remembrance of Nandhanar’s stay, a Madam was established by his devotees. About 200 – 300 years before a temple with brick and lime mortar was also constructed facing north. From the reliefs carved above entrance, this temple  most probably constructed by Nayaks. The temple seemed to be unfinished, but looks in good condition. Walls are not plastered and floors are not laid.

The sanctum sanctorum consists of sanctum and arthamandapam. In the arthamandapam Vinayagar on the left and Dhandayuthapani on the right. In the sanctum Nandhanar as Nandhamaa munivar standing to a height of 5 feet on a pedestal facing Thillai Natarajar. The head is with Jada makudam and a beard, Rudraksha beed mala on his neck and hands. The hands are in folded position.  Yaknopavithiram with three  threads also shown. A light can be seen from the eyes  and bright thejas on his face. Dhurvasa maharishi statue is also there on the right side of Nandhanar. The temple might have maintained by the Dhurvasa Maharishi related mutt. 

Now, around the temple, complete space has been encroached by the people displaced from the Kollidam flood. It was told that last 30 years pooja was conducted by a lady and same was stopped after her demise.  Debris were thrown inside the temple and became the hiding place for the snakes. The temple came to light through our Prof Madhusuthanan Kalaiselvan and his team. Chidambaram municipal Corporation also cleared debris. During our Visit Pooja was conducted and Vidwan Bharat Sundar sang a song from Nandhanar Charithiram composed by Gopalakrishna Bharathi.

The Nandhanar temple is on the south of  Chidambaram on the Nandhanar Street, Senkaddaan Street.

LOCATION: GPS Co-Ordinates: 11deg12’ 52.95”  and 79deg 43’ 37.17”

 The reliefs carved above the front arch, these may be the donars for this temple  and may belongs to Nayak period
 The lane which leads to the temple

The lady is taking care of the temple 

Wednesday, 18 July 2018


15th July 2018.
On the Foot path of Nandhanar... a visit to the places and the temples associated with the Nandhanar, one of the 63 Nayanmars was organised by Prof Madhusuthanan Kalaiselvan and the songs composed by Sri Gopalakrishna Bharathi  are sung by Vidwans Bharat Sundar and Sunil Gargyan between 14th July & 15th July 2018. After completing the visit to Aanandathandavapuram, where most part of his life was spent  and Adhanoor, where our Nandhanar was born and lived the early part of life, 

we continued our journey to places where miracles happened  in Nandhanar’s life, one such a place is Thiruppunkur Shiva temple. Nandhanar used to sing and dance in front front of Shiva temples wherever he goes. When he reached Thiruppunkur, The big Nandhi was obstructing the view of Lord Shiva. Gopalakrishna Bharathi, had written  this as “malai pola madu paduthukkidakkuthee” மலை போல மாடு படுத்துக்கிடக்குதே”Nandhanar became very sad and cried & shed tears. Shiva came to his rescue and asked Nandhi to move side ( சற்றே விலகியிரும் பிள்ளாய்”), to give dharshan to Nandhanar. He was so happy, to have the dharshan of Lord Shiva. After dharshan Nandhanar dugout a tank in the low lying area on the back side of the temple. Lord Vinayagar helped for this, hence the Vinayagar is called as "Kulam Vettiya Vinayagar".

This is the 74th thevara padal petra sthalam and 20th stalam on the north side of river Cauvery. Moovar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple.  

Iraivan : Sri Sivaloganatha Swamy
Iraivi    : Sri Soundra Nayaki

Some of the important details are...
The temple is facing east with a 5 tier Rajagopuram.  Nandhanar’s shrine is in front of the Rajagopuram.  Dwajasthambam is immediately after the Rajagopuram. Nandhi and palipedam are in the front mandapam. The Dwajasthambam, Nandhi and palipedam are little away from the centre such that, moolavar can be seen from out side the temple.

The sanctum sanctorum consists of sanctum, antarala, arthamandapam  and a mahamandapam. In the outer prakaram Kulam Vettiya Vinayagar ( Vinayagar who dugout the tank ), Sri Valli Devasena Subramaniyar, Pancha Lingas under the Sthala virukasham Punga tree and Brahma Lingam.

Second stage Rajagopuram is of 3 tiers. In the inner prakaram sannadhi for Siva Suryan, Somaskandhar, Agasthiyar, Surya Lingam, Valli Devasena Subramaniyar, Thathpurusha, Agora, Vaamadeva, sathyojaatha lingas, Gajalakshmi, Mahalakshmi, Durgai, Sandikeswarar, Abhisheka theertha well, Ambal, Navagrahas, Bairavar and Chandran.

In Koshtam Vinayagar, Bairavar, Agasthiyar, Dhakshinamurthy, Lingothbavar, Brahma, Durgai and Arthanareeswarar. In the Arthamandapam Natarajar and Sivakami. The Sanctum is of kabothabandha athistanam.

The main sanctum and second stage Rajagopuram  was built by Chembiyan Madevi during Chozha period. Prakaram was constructed by Chettiyars.

The temple will be kept opened between 06.30 hrs to 12.00 hrs and 17.30 hrs to 20.30 Hrs.

Temple office may be contacted through mobile numbers  9994144876 and 94867 17634.

On the bus route Vaitheeswaran Koil to Thirupananthaal get down after 3 Km and the temple is 1 Km away from main road.

 Monolithic Nandhi – a beautiful sculpture with bells, beads mala, mat on the back, yazhi image on the front legs. 

 Nandhanar shrine

   Nandhanar's face in the Rajagopuram
 The temple Tank was believed to be dugout by Nandhanar
The Music concert

Tuesday, 17 July 2018


14th July 2018.
On the second half of the first day, we contined our journey to the Village Aadhanoor  and this place is now called as Melanallur, a small calm Vilage near Vaitheeswarankoil. After Gopalakrishna Bharathi’s life history, who lived in 19th century at Anandathandavapuram, Prof Madhusuthanan Kalaiselvan narrated Nandhanar’s young life tale at Adhanoor Shiva temple. Goplakrishna Bharathi’s songs are rendered by Vidwan Bharat Sundar and Vidwan Sunil Gargyan.

As per 12th century,  Sekkizhar this was the birth place of Nandhanar one of the 63 Nayanmars. Sekkizhar, who composed Periya Puranam had not mentioned anywhere that Nandhanar was born in Parayar caste. ( Parayar, who announces the important notifications of the Govt. in the village after beating the parai – a musical instrument). It was a custom in the olden days that animal flesh/ meat are offered in homam/ yagam. These animal flesh or the meat are supplied by the pulaiyar community. Probably they came from the Pulathiyar Maharishi son of  Agasthiya Maharishi, from Kouda Desam along with the Dhishithars. In those days Puliyars were not allowed participate in the yagam or entering in the temples, but the offerings are accepted.

As per Sekkizhar, Nandhanar worked in the paddy fields and was heading a small group of farm labourers. He was an ardent devote of Lord Shiva and he used to offer voluntarily skins and strings for the Drums / Murasu, Yazhl and Korosanai to the Shiva Temples. He used to sing and dance in front of Shiva temples applying vibhuthi on his forehead. After hearing Shiva as Natarajar at Perumpatrappuliyur now called as Chidambaram, thought of visiting Chidambaram. But he restrict himself, since he was born in a Pulayar caste and should not enter Chidambaram. But the inner urge of seeing Shiva used to tell others that he will visit Chidambaram next day. Hence he was called as "Thirunaalai Povaar" This could not be digested by the Andhanar with whom he worked.  So he advised Nandhanar to concentrate only on the work and forget the wish of going to Chidambaram. But Nandhanar was able to convince Andhanar and he permitted Nandahanr to go to Chidambaram. The rest of the tale will be continued in the Chidambaram post.


Iraivan : Sri Mahadevaswamy
Iraivi    : Sri Ganambigai.

Some of the important details are…
The temple is small facing east with an entrance arch and the temple tank is in front. Nandhi and palipedam are in a small mandapa immediately after the entrance arch. There is no dwajasthambam. Sanctum sanctorum consists of sanctum, Antarala and arthamandapa. The arthamandpa is of vavvalanethi type. Ambal sannadhi is in the mandapa facing south. Moolavar is under a rudraksha pandal. Dhakshinamurthy and Brahma are in koshtam, installed at a latter period.

In the outer prakaram sannadhi for Selvaganapathy, Subramaniyar with Vallidevasena, Sandikeswarar, Kailasanathar, Mahavishnu, Bhoolaganathar, Bairavar, Suryan Durgai  and Nandhanar. Nandhanar Sannadhi is on the left side immediately after the entrance. Nandhanar is in worshiping posture facing west, Lord Shiva with raised hands above the head.

The original temple was believed  to be built during 10th to 11th Century Chozha period and reconstructed during 300 to 400 years before, by Nayaks using brick and mortar. Only the statues are reminding the glory of the past.

The temple will  be kept opened between 08.00 hrs to 10.00 hrs and 17.00 hrs to 19.00 hrs.

This Village is about 12.9 KM from Vaitheeswarankoil.


 Nandhanar Sannadhi
 Gopalakrishna Bharathi’s songs are rendered by Vidwans
 Gopalakrishna Bharathi’s songs are rendered by Vidwans


14th July 2018.
Thirunaalai povaar, whose original name was Nandhanar, one of the 63 Nayanmars who lived around 5th century, near Vaitheeswaran Koil.  An ardent Shiva devotee, born in Pulayar caste, whose main job was to supply animal skins to the drum/ murasu/ perikai in Tamil ( a musical instrument ), strings to Veena & Yazhl and Korosanai to apply on Shiva linga.  As per Periyapurana, he was survived by the income received  from the field donated for these services. But, 18th century,  Sri Gopalakrishna Bharathi, had twisted the tale of Nandhanar  and introduced Bhramin or Andhanar character in his opera, to suit the character that he had seen in the Villages.  

Gopalakrishna Bharathiyar had spent major part of his life in this Aanadhathandavapuram Village  and survived from the food offered ( Biksha ) by the Villagers and stayed on the front verandah of the houses. He didn’t own a house in this Village.  All the donations received had been spent for the noble cause and without any savings. He used to stage his opera of Nandhanar story, through out the nights at Nagapattinam, which attracted Villagers, who commuted through walk and bullock carts. Observed brahmacharyam, throughout his life and attained mukthi on  of one of the Maha shiva Rathri, 3rd arthajama pooja.  

The details are explained in depth by Prof Madhusuthanan Kalaiselvan and Gopalakrishna Bharathi’s songs were sung by Vidwan Bharat Sundar and Vidwan Sunil Gargyan at the Temple. The Aanandathandavapuram is a big village with more than 100 to 150 years old hand made tiled roof houses.  


Iraivan : Sri Panchavateeswarar
Iraivi    : Sri Bruhan Nayaki

Some of the important details are....
The temple is facing east with a 3 tier Rajagopuram with a temple tank in front. Dwajasthambam, Palipedam and Nandhi ( inside the front mandapam ) are immediately after the Rajagopuram. The sanctum sanctorum consists of Sanctum, Antarala, Arthamandapam and a open maha mandapam. Stucco Dwarabalakas are at the entrance of Arthamandapa.

In the artha mandapa beautiful icons of Shiva, Parvathi, Manakkanjara Nayanar, Punniyavardhini, Somaskandhar are kept under safe custody. In the Muka mandapam sannadhi for Natarajar, Valli Deivasena samedha Subramaniyar, Bruhan Nayagi, Punniyavarthini, Manakkanjara Nayanar, Anandha  Mamuni and Bharatvaja Mamuni.  In  koshtam Dhakshinamurthy and Jayadurgai ( installed at latter period ).
In the outer prakaram sannadhi for Vinayagar and Valli Devasena Subramaniyar, Mahalingam, Mahalakshmi, Kalyani Sundarai Ambal, Mahaganapathy, Bairavar ( three), Navagrahas, Sani Bhagavan, Angarahan, Chandran, Suryan, Hanuman and Garudan. At the east side of the muka mandapam top, stucco images of garuda, Shiva & Parvathy, Manakkanjarar, Shiva and Punniyavardhini and lakshmi.

As per the legend, this place was called as Kanjarur. An ardent devotee and one of the 63 nayanmars   Sri Manakanchara Nayanar  lived in this place. Shiva wants to test the Sri Manakkanjara Nayanar and came as Bairava on his daughter Punniyavardhini’s marriage  with Kalikkammar one of the 63 Nayanmars  and asked human hair for his yaknopavithiram. Manakkanjarar without any hesitation chopped off his daughters hair and gave it to Lord Shiva. Seeing his undoubted bhakthi Shiva blessed them.

About Lord Shiva’s Anandathandavam at this temple, the legend goes like this. Sri Anandha maharishi used to travel daily from Kasi to Chidambaram for Lord Nataraja’s  noon pooja dharshan. He used to consume food only after the dharshan. One day he was little late due to heavy non stop rain, he could not attend the pooja and prayed Lord Shiva to give  Dharshan. So Lord Shiva gave his Ananda thandava dharshan  at this place and from then on wards  this place is called  as Anandathandavapuram.

This temple believed to be belongs to 12th to 13th century Chozha period with padma bandha athistanam and vimanam is of vesara style. Instead of Yazhivari, yazhis are in the corners. To know more about this temple and donations, we couldn’t trace any inscriptions.

The temple will be kept opened between 08.00 hrs to 10.00 hrs and 17.00 hrs to 20.00 hrs.

The temple is about 12 KM from Vaitheeswararn Koil.
The place is on the Train route Sirkazhi to Kumbakonam and about 2 KM from railway station.

 Manakkanjarar, Shiva and Punniyavardhini ( the last niche )

 Sanctum athistanam

The Music concert at the temple

Shiva temple’s Gurukal invited us, to his house and requested us to sing songs composed by Gopalakrishna bharathi. This old house might have hosted Gopalakrishna bharathi during his stay in this village.

The Music concert at Gurukkal's residence 

Wednesday, 4 July 2018


03rd July 2018.
Ooty is called in different names like Udhagamandalam, Udhagai, Ootacamund ( mund means Village ),  was a part of Kongu region. This was once a tribal land occupied by Toda, Kurumba, Irula and Badagas community. During Sangam period 2nd CE, Cheran Senguttuvan ruled this place. Latter ruled by Hoysala, Satvahanas, Gangas, Kadambas, Rashtrakutas, Chozhas, Vijayanagars, Wodayars.  After the defeat of Tippu Sultan in 1799,  Ooty came under the possession of British East India Company. John Sullivan, then the Collector of Coimbatore under Madras Presidency  was the first person ventured to Nilgiris and built a bungalow in 1819 at Dimbhatti near Kothagiri. Road was formed  in 1823 up to Kothagiri from Sirumugai near Mettupalayam and extended up to Coonoor by 1830-32. Even without proper road from Coonoor, Ooty was also developed and the first Church was  built  for the British East India company Officers in 1830.  Ooty became the summer Capital of Madras Presidency. Madras regiment of the Indian Army was formed keeping the Wellington as head quarters.
THE FOUNDATION STONE of this CHURCH was laid on the 23rd April 1829 by  THE RIGHT HONARABLE STEPHEN RUMBOLD LUSHINGTON GOVERNOR  &c&c . THE BUILDING was commenced on the 25th JANUARY 1830 ( coincides with the birth day of King George IV) and was consecrated to ALMIGHTY GOD on the 5th of DECEMBER 1830 by THE RIGHT REVED JOHN MATTHIAS, LORD BISHOP OF CALCUTTA. THE CHURCH was  finished and opened for DIVINE SERVICE on EASTER SUNDAY. The 3rd of APRIL 1831. JOHN JAMES UNDERWOOD CAPTAIN OF MADRAS ENGINEERS was the ARCHITECT.

The Church was constructed on a elevated level with a plight of steps. The Hall is supported by the 12 nos of double Pillars and alter is very simple without any ornamental works.  Window  stained glasses  has the scenes like Mother Mary holding baby Jesus, Crucifixion  of Jesus,  Jesus as shepherd are worth to watch. Many brass plates are hanging on the walls with names & birth and died dates  of the British officers, served under Madras Presidency. The Church was built with wood  dismantled from Tippu Sultan’s palace at  Srirangapatna.  The building cost was estimated around Rs 24000.00. The church completed its 187 years of service and marching towards Two centuries.