Wednesday, 18 April 2018


 … a continuation post to Victory Memorial Blind School  –Exploring Poonamallee
15th April 2018.
This is one of the Hindu temples visited during our Poonamallee Heritage walk curated by Mrs Nivedita Louis. It was believed that This temple might be within or a Guarding deity of the Mohammaden Fort built by the Nawab of Carnatic in 18th century.

The temple is facing east with sannadhis for Vinayagar, Shiva Lingam and the main Sanctum. At the entrance of the main sanctum on the left Bommiamman and on the right Sri Veerabhathirar in sitting posture with a mazhu on his left hand  ( as per the details of the sculpture this Beerabhathirar may belongs to Chozha period, might have been brought from an abandoned Shiva temple).

In the Sanctum, on the left is again a Veerabhathirar, sitting in sukasana with a mazhu in left hand, A lady the Kottai Muneeswarar (Praobably a sati stone – could not be identified due to 75% was covered with vasthiram ) at the centre and on the right is the Pal Muneeswarar in standing posture. 
The temple will be kept opened between 06.00 hrs to 11.00 hrs and 17.00 hrs to 20.00 hrs on Fridays & Sundays and on the other days temple will be closed an hour earlier.

Poojari L Boopathi may be contacted on his mbile 7824025654 and 8610459157 for further details.

This temple is on the Buckingham Street in Karayanchavadi.
About 500 meters from Karayanchavadi signal and about 20 meters before St John The Baptist Church.



…….To be continued Sri Panayathamman Temple

Tuesday, 17 April 2018


15th April 2018.
The much awaited Poonamllee heritage walk came to true  on 15th April 2018 with 20+ history enthusiastic participants. This walk or the ride (both 4 wheeler and 2 wheeler ) was curated by Mrs Nivedita Louis, a freelance journalist,  after 3 times painful recee to get permission and first hand information. The beauty is, the persons in-charge of that heritage places, do not know the real history behind it.

Our original plan was to start 16.00  hrs,  from the blind school was changed to 07.00 hrs and aimed to complete by 10.00 hrs, to avoid to visit  the places after  sun set.  Out of 13 places planned, we could able to cover 12  historical places with new findings and Thirukachi Nambikal & Sri Varadharaja Perumal temple was dropped for want of time ( 13 Cut short to 12, since 13 may not be lucky number.. ha..ha.. ). This post and continuation posts of my  blog  will cover the important details of our Poonamallee heritage visit,  of course with some photographs.

Initially there was a fort measuring 175 yards by 42 yards called Mohammaden fort, built by Nawab of carnatic with 18 feet high rampart, bastions, moats and fortification which divides  the Poonamallee in to two parts. Muhammad Ali gave this fort to British with 330 sq miles, (which had 231 Villages) in 1749 CE and  again 2284 sq miles(which had 2000 villages)  in 1763 CE,  to ascend to throne of Arcot with British armed support.  During 1780 CE to 1800 CE, struggle between Mysore, French, British and Nawab,  this fort got military importance and  Garrison was constructed to house barracks, Stables, retirement recluse and Hospital. 

The construction of the barracks was started in 1888 CE and completed in March 1893 CE. Some of the streets of the Villages are named by the Britishers ( Buckingham Street, Queen Victoria Road, Sepoy Line., etc.. ). Quarters, kitchens, prison for petty thieves  prison for the war soldiers ( French ) were also added. The floors of the Barracks was laid with cudappa stones. ( the available stones at that time are used for flooring of the stables which includes  dismantled more than 1000 years old Hindu temples with  Chozha period inscriptions )   The stable could house 500 horses and famed Poonamallee Arab horses were bred here. 

Albert HA Hervy, a young Captain served in the 40th regiment of Madras Native infantry in 1830s in his book ‘Ten Years in India” describes the poor condition of the barracks. The European soldiers are accommodated in a poor condition. Fort walls of Poonamalle fort was knocked down. The Hospital and part  of barracks, the ramparts running along these buildings keep out of any healthy circulation of air. The officers quarters are wretched, little bits of pigeon holes and so hot that any one residing within them ought to be grilled to death. The French Barracks housed prisoners are the ‘best in the place’. The pensioners residing within the limit of depot, in cottages neatly laid out, with small gardens in front.

Later in 1931CE, Asia’s first high school was started  in this barracks as per Eric Conran Smith’s idea and named as Victory Memorial Blind School to commemorate the victory of British in world war –I. Rayappa Joseph was the first Indian Principal. 950 students once on roll was now with only 250 students. Vocational training classes also conducted for the women. Regional Braille Press, Govt rehabilitation center for blind women, blind teachers training institute are function here.

Now the area has shrunk to 36 acres of which 10 acres are with CRPF, Hospital and a Sacred Heart Seminary.  At present there is no trace of Fort or the fort walls and the present Sri Kottai veeran Muneeswarar temple may remind the fort once existed ( details will be in next post ).

 A Panoramic View of the Victory memorial school 
 Blind school view from road side 
 Stairs to first floor
 Barracks corridor 
 Hospital ward 
 Horse Stable corridor
 The inscription stone of the Barracks building 
 Chozha inscription (May be Rajaraja)
Vikrama Chozha ( 1118 - 1136 AD) inscription

To be continued ...Kottai Veeran Muneeswaran Temple - Exploring Poonamallee - A Heritage Walk 
                                   --- OM  SHIVAYA NAMA---

Monday, 16 April 2018


08th April 2018.
After completing the dharshan of  Sri Kayarohaneswarar, it was told that Thiruparuthi Kundram is about 3 KM from the temple. Decided to  visit this temple also before returning to Chennai.

Deities : Mahaveerar, Pushpathanthar and Dharmadevi.

Some of the important details are..
This temple is facing east with a 3 tier Rajagopuram. Dwajasthambam, Plaipedam are immediately after the Rajagopuram. The jeenalayam consists of three sanctum in a row with a common arthamandapam and a muka mandapam. Mahaveerar, Pushpathanthar and Dharmadevi are in the three sanctums.  Central sanctum Vimanam ( Mahaveerar ) is of single kalasam and other two are of Gajabirushta type. These three sanctums  is called as Thirailokiyanathar Jeenalayam and the same was built during 556 AD by Pallava King Simhavarman.

In the second section sannadhis for Padma Prabhar, Vasupoojyar and Parswanathar and is called as Thirikoodapasthy. These are built during 12th century. This Thirikoodpasthy was also renovated by Kulothunga Chozha –III during his 22nd year rule ( 1200CE). The maha mandapam is if 61 feet length called Sangeetha mandapam, which was used for music concerts during ustavs. It was learnt that the Sangeeth mandapam was built by Irugappa,  one  of the  minister in Vijayanagara Dynasty, during 1387 or 1388 AD. Irugappa joined in samanam at the end of his life, whose  image is on one of the mandapam pillar.

In the prakaram sannadhi for Brahmadevar, Rishabha Nathar, Munivasa mandapam for 5 munis, Sthalaviruksham Kuramaram with a platform. Vanadevdha ( Nagar ) is in the north east corner of the Jeenalayam.

It was told that the original temple for Varthamana Mahaveerar was built by Pallava King Simha Varman ( 556 AD) with bricks. Latter this was rebuilt with stone during Kulothunga Chozha –I ( 1010 – 1120 AD). Both the arthamandapam and muka mandapam are also built during Kulothunga Chozha-I. The Rishabha Devar sanctum and Shanthi mandapam are on the north prakaram abutting the wall. These are built by Rajarajan –III ( 1234 AD). There is a sannadhi for Seethala’s yaksha Brahmadevar. Sannadhi for 5 monks on the north side. On the back side of Mahaveerar’s sannadhi is the sthala virukasham, Kura Tree and a platform around the tree was constructed during 13th century may be by Pallava king Koperumsingan.  The Jeenalaya was maintained by the Pallava, Chozha  and Vijayanagara Kings.

The muka mandapam built during Vijayanagara period has the life story paintings of   Rishabha Nathar, Mahaveerar and Neminathar on the ceiling.

There is no fixed time and the poojas are taken care of by the tamil Jain family resides opposite to the temple.

Thiruparuthi Kundram is about 4 KM from Bus stand
Thiruparuthikundram is on the Kanchipuram to vellore Route and the Jeenalayam is about a KM from Bus Stop.


REFERENCE: A book on Jinakanchi ThiruparuthiKundram published by Jain Youth Forum.


Sunday, 15 April 2018


08th April 2018.
This is also a lesser known temple of Kanchipuram. The temple is on the south east corner of Sri Kanchi Kamakshi Amman Temple.

Iraivan : Sri Kowsikeswarar or Chokkeeswarar.

Some of the important details are …
This temple Kaushikesam also locally known as Chokkeesam, built with vesara style architecture. The temple is very small, completely built with granite stone from the base to Vimana, which includes kodungai. The kodungai has the makara thoranas with miniature reliefs of Shiva leela. Facing east with a small Nandhi and Palipedam. In koshtam Vinayagar, Dhakshinamurthy, Vishnu, Brahma and Durgai. On the Vimana Dhakshinamurthy is on the south and Narasimhar is on the west. Nagars are under the Peepal tree.

As per the details available the temple was built during 9th century by the Chozhas.  Since the temple was locked during my visit and could not collect further details. As per the legends Kaushiky who came from the Uterus of Sri Umadevi worshiped Lord Shiva of this temple.

The opening timings are un predictable.

Very close, on the south east corner of Sri Kanchi Kamashi amman Temple.



Friday, 13 April 2018


08th April 2018.
After the nayanmars, there exists Veera Saivam, a branch of Saiva in which Veerabhadhra, an another form of lord shiva  is worshiped as main deity. This temple is at the entrance of Bus stand. The sanctum sanctorum consists of sanctum, arthamandapam and a muka mandapam. Navagrahas are in the muka mandapam. Dwarabalakas ( Not the regular ) are at the entrance of artha mandapam.

From the reliefs it is believed that the front mandapam was built during Vijayanagara period.




Thursday, 12 April 2018


08th April 2018.
This temple is popularly known as Guru Koil otherwise known as Kayarohaneswarar temple of Kanchipuram. This Kayarohana cult is the branch of Saiva Pasupatha tradition. It is believed that Kayarohanam was originated from a place called Karvar, in Gujrat and spread up to south part of India.  There are three Kayarohana temples in Tamil Nadu and the other two temples are at Nagapatinam and Kumbakonam.

Iraivan : Sri Kayarohaneswarar.
Iraivi    : Sri Kamalambigai.

Some of the important details are….
This is a Guru Parikara sthalam and one of the spatha sthana sthalams of Kanchipuram.

This temple is facing east with an entrance arch and sudhai nandhi in front. A 3 tier Rajagopuram is at the entrance of the main temple. Palipedam and Nandhi Mandapam are immediately after the Rajagopuram. The Sanctum sanctorum consists of Sanctum, Antarala and Arthamandapam. Natarajar is in arthamandapam. Brahma, Vishnu and Somaskandhar are on the back side of moolavar. In koshtam Vinayagar, Dhakshinamurthy, Vishnu, Brahma and Durgai. A Gajabirushta vimana is on the sanctum and this is the only  temple in Kanchipuram has such kind of vimana. 

In the outer prakaram sannadhi for Karpaga Vinayagar, Valli devasena Subramaniyar, Mahalakshmi, Navagrahas, Bairavar, Suryan, Sudhai Guru Bhagavan, Guru Sannadhi, Naalvar, Nagars, Maviratha Lingas and Balamurugan. An east facing Lingabeswarar temple is also constructed abutting the outer wall of the Temple.

From the inscriptions the temple belongs to  11th century and latter developed in different stages. The Kumbhabhishekam was conducted in in the recent years.

The temple will be kept opened between 07.00 hrs to 10.00 hrs and 16.45 hrs to 19.30 hrs.

The mobile no 8883756914 may be contacted for further details.

The temple is about 3 KM from Bus stand
At the end of Thaiyarkullam street.

REFERENCE : A book on Nagareshu Kanchi, a retrospective on Kanchipuram compiled by Prof Madhusudhanan Kalaiselvan.

Maha Sadhasivamurthy on the top

Wednesday, 11 April 2018


08th April 2018.
On the way to Sri Kamakshi Temple, happened to see this temple and it was told that this temple is being maintained by Viswakarma community. It was told that this temple is older than Sri Kamakshi Amman temple.
Deity : Sri Kalikambal.

Some of the important details are ….
The temple is facing east with a dwajasthambam, palipedam and Simha vahanam. 5 tier Rajagopuram is at the entrance of Sanctum sanctorum.  The Sanctum sanctorum consists of sanctum, antarala and arthamandapam. Kalikambal is in sitting posture. In koshtam Vinayagar, Parameswari, Vaishnavi, Brahmi and Durgai.

In the outer prakaram sannadhi for Adhi kamakshi, Kotravai / durgai and nagars.  There is also a 16 pillar mandapam on the left side of the sanctum entrance. As per the architecture the temple might have been built during latter Chozha period and renovations were done during Vijayanagara period. 

It was learnt that the temple functions  like Chennai Kalikambal temple and it serves Viswakarma Community like, arranging and maintaining  the data base for the marriages mainly on Sundays.

The temple will be kept opened between 07.00 hrs to 12.00 hrs and 17.00 hrs to 20.30 hrs.

The mobile number +91 99949 04898 may be contacted for further details.

About 2 KM from bus stand.
The temple is on Jawaharlal street in Periya Kanchipuram.


 Nagars under peepal tree

Bas relief at the entrance of Rajagopuram