Sunday, 16 December 2012


16th, December 2012
On 15th December 2012,  I was fortunate enough to join with the Tour organised By R.E.A.C.H foundation, Chennai to the Chozha and Pallava period Temples and a Jain Cave in and around Cheyyur. We, 30 members from various parts of the city started from Chennai in two vans  around 5.30 Hrs to Cheyyur via Mathuranthakam. The places we had covered and the details are as follows.

1. JAIN CAVE  at Karunkunru, Onampakkam.
This Jain cave is on the hill near Onampakkam, which is on the way to Cheyyur from Mathranthagam. From Onampakkam the hill is about 3 KM on the north side. This cave and the sculptures are not known to the locals very much. Some people told us it is Buddha sculptures. One of the local man guided us  wrongly to the near by hill and we returned back to the original hill, which is named as Kurathi Malai. Steps were constructed up to half way. Understand that this hill was recovered back from the quarry people after a legal battle.  We had seen sculptures in three places and Tamil inscription at the first level. In the first level 23rd Tirthankara  in standing posture under the snake hood with Yakshan and Yakshini on both sides.

In the Second and third level the Tirthankaras are in sitting postures  ( Artha Pariyangasanam ). The Third level Tirthankara may be Mahavir at the base lion heads are found in the sculpture. The cave is under a big rock which is supported by the rocks on all sides with very good ventilation.


The local people wrongly  guided us to the other hill
With our Guru Mr Ramachandran on the background
Rock cut sculpture of one of the Tirthankara at second level.
First level ParshvaNath with Snake hood over his head, The previous Tirthankaras to Mahavir and Yakshan and Yakshini on both sides.
The combination of Tamil vattezhuthu inscriptions. The content is -  Sri Vasutheva padaram seivitha uruvaram.....parivaram...
Must be a shelter - A big rock is being supported by the rocks around the big rock

The rock cut sculpture at the third level - May be Mahavir with Lion heads at the base 
A symbol in front of the second level.sirpam
New partially constructed steps leading to site

2. THEEPAANJAMMAN the entrance of Cheyur. 
  1. This temple is at the beginning of the Cheyyur town. The sanctum is not covered and open to sky.
  2. This temple may be constructed in memory of a wife who joined her husband on the funeral pyre( SATI ).
  3. In the sanctum man with sword and lady. Both may be husband and wife. The real story is not known.

Silamoorthangal on the right side of moolasthanam
Moolasthanam moortham  and there is no  roof , some significance  must be there
Sudhai sirpam at the mandapam entrance with name board
Opposite to moolasthanam  Amman moorthams are installed My Be Brami, sabtha mathakkal.


The temple is inside the town Cheyyur. It is Choza Period temple. The mandapam pillars in front of Ambal has lot of sculptures. Shiva and Ambal of Various temple are sculptured in all the pillars. These pillars might be additions after a latter stage.  

Iraivan:  Sri Vanmikanathar
Iraivi   :    Sri Mithambigai

Some of the important features of this temple are …
  1. One pillar has the sculptures of Manuneethi Chozhan story around four sides of the pillar. 
  2. In the main pillars leading to Ambal sannadhi the horses are driven by ladies which I had not seen any where.
  3. In Koshtam Vinayagar, Dhakshinamoorthy, Lingothbavar, Brahma, Durgai.
  4. There is no mandapam for  sandikeswarar only sila moortham is installed.
  5. At the entrance of the artha mandapam right side Mayura Subramaniyar is worth to see, dancing on his vahanam Peacock.
  6. Dwara balakars are Suvedhan and Sumugan.
  7. Ambal dwarabalakis are Jai and vijai
  8. In the outer prakaram sannadhi for Saptha mathakkal, Vinayagar and Subramaniyar.
  9. In front of the temple there is a Vinayagar Sannadhi and Murugan statue standing with out sannadhi –in open sky - also called as  Brahma sastha.
  10. This temple is a Uthra Natchathra temple.
  1. Chandrasekara Gurukkal may be contacted for dharshan and pooja through his land line o4427 531200.
LOCATION OF THE TEMPLE CLICK HERE ( Near Karia Manika Perumal Temple )
Chozha period Sri Vinayagar in front of Temple.
Sri Subramaniyar - Sri Brahma Sastha standing in open sky, looks like new.
Macha muni pudai sirpam/ some claims as Varuna sitting on his vahana on the mandapam pillar
Ambal temple Mandapam Pillars Ladies are riding horse
Vaaraki Amman Pudai sirpam on the mandapam pillar.
Kodimaram ( Dwasthambam ) pali pedam and Nandhi mandapam.
Pudai sirpam on the ceiling - (Surya giraganam ) and Srickaram in the middle
Mayura Subramaniyar - Dancing on the peacock - A rare Sculpture
Vedhalam face on the stomach of a vedhalam on the karuvarai wall - this is actually bootha vari and the face in the belly is called  keerthi mukha - seems to be a standard feature in early Chozha temples - to see one of the bootha ganas shown like this please click the link : ( With the permission of Mr Vijay) 
Beautifull Bairavar / Pichadanar
Nandhi devar in the front mandapam
Vedhalam pudai sirpam with owl's face in one of the pillar between Ambaal and Shiva's Sannadhi. In those days people used to worship by Lighting lamps on the pillar.  Now it is being used for putting left out vibhuthi.
Three Tier Raja gopuram with Stone pillars to erect Pandal for the important functions ( Similar arrangement also available at Thiruvarur Temple )

Iraivan: Sri Kariyamanikka Perumal.
Thayar : Sri  Peruntheviyamman

Some of the important features of this temple are..... 
  1. Thayar sannadhi was built at a latter stage.
  2. Tiles are fixed on the walls and looks like a recent temple.
  3. The temple has a single prakaram.


5. KANDHASAMY, A Murgan Temple.
This is the 16th century Murugan tmple. This temple is within the town Cheyyur. Some of the important features are…

Iraivan: Sri Subramaniyar
Iraivi:    Sri Valli and Deivanai

Some of the important features of this temple are....
  1. In Koshtam: Thiruthakandhar, Bramha sastha, Balaskandhar, Sivagurunathar, Pulinthar ( Villenthiya velan – Vedan )
  2. In the front mandapam sannadhi for Siva suryan, Somanathar, Meenakshi ammai and in front Brahma and Vishnu sila moorthangal.
  3. There is no Ganapathy sannadhi, instead there are 9  Vinayagar sannadhis around the temple on the streets.
  4. In The outer prakaram Samkaramoorthy, Sandeswrar, Vinayagar, Kzhukkunrar, Kailasanathar, Sinanantha valli, Brahma, Vishnu, Veerabhu, Sri Palinayagar, Astharadevar, Dhandapani.
  5. Arunagirinathar has sung hymns in praise of lord Subramaniyar of this temple.27 Vedhalams are installed around the compound wall, which are connected to 27 atchathrams in a latter stage may be after 1944. ( There is no mention about this in the stahlapuranam written by Mr Muthaiah Mudaliyar )

( View of the mandapam with Peacock mandapam and pali pedam on both sides.
Mandapam Pillar sirpangal
Dwarabalakars looks beautiful
Vedhalam for my Birth Star

Mayura Subramaniyar or Villenthiya Velan with bow in his right hand a pudai sirpam on the mandapam pillar.
The Natchram with the respective Vedhalam  details
PULINTHAR- Vedan - (வில்லேந்திய  வேலன்  /சுப்ரமணியர் )
Pudai Sirpam of Ambal is doing dhabas in the mandapam pillar ( Mangadu Amman )
Shiva's OORTHUVA Dhandavam a pudai sirpam on a pillar
Murugan  sila moortham in a sannadhi on the road.


Iraivan: Sri Kailasanathar
Iraivi:   Sri Visalakshi
Some of the details of this temple are…
  1. As per the history it was the first and earliest temple constructed in this area.
  2. This temple was built during Chozha period.
  3. Lot of Tamil inscriptions are found around karuvarai wall.
  4. This temple’s mandapam and  vimanam are fallen down.
  5. It was under renovation and then it was abandoned. During renovation the             stones are not placed in their proper place/ position and were cut in many             places.
  6. Palalayam was performed and the moolavar is in dismantled  condition.
This may be original Nandhi still waiting for the Shiva's arraival
Original Shiva Linga Baanam  and Ambal are kept in a shed
Temple is  under renovation ( stopped !!!)
REACH Foundation and Tour members are looking at the inscrptions.
Coping the one of the Tamil Inscription - The content says that two people denoted 12 goats to this temple for the purpose of lighting a lamp  till the existence of Chandran and Suryan.

7. VADAVAMUGA AGNEESWARAR, Shiva Temple at Vedal.

Iraivan: Sri  Vadavamuga Agneeswarar
Iraivi   : Sri  Vasantha nayagi
Salient features of this temple are…
  1. This temple may be Last Pallavas and early Chozhas' Period.
  2. The temple was constructed with bricks.
  3. Koshta moorthams are installed at a latter stage.
  4. There are two Ambal moorthams of highest one was damaged. As per Gurukkal Lord Shiva asked the king who tried to remove the damaged one to replace with a new, whether he will change his wife if she gets hurt. So the King installed the new one near the old Ambal moortham.
  5. Tamil inscriptions are found around the temple base stone, Pillars of the artha mandapam and there is egg shaped stone at the entrance of the moolavar shrine.
  6. There is huge crack from base to top of the vimanam at the back side.
  7. The moolavar vimanam is of Gajabirustam type.
 Nandhi with Pali peedam in an elevated level
 Egg shaped stone and Tamil inscriptions are found around the stone
 Temple view
 Dhakshinamoorthy - This might be installed at a latter stage.
 Gajabirusta Vimanam huge crack from top to bottom The temple was constructed with brick

 ( Ambal Sannadhi )
 Temple view from  east
 Two amman sila moorthams - The higher one was damaged.
 Temple complex view
Sapthamathakkal pudai sirpangal

    8.IYANNAR SCULPTURE, Chunambedu.

 Pudai Sirpam of Iyyanar-in a sitting posture with left leg little up from ground and below him are the faithful dogs looking at him
Opposite to Iyannar Sannadhi Elephant with Palipeedam

It was around 19.00 Hrs When we completed our visit of last Iyannar Sculpture and returned to Chennai around 21.30 Hrs. The morning breakfast and the lunch was arranged very nicely and the food was very homely.  I extend many thanks to Mr Ramachandran, Mr Vakula S Varadharajan  for the lively explanation about the temples and sculptures.  And also to Mr Chandrasekaran PRO REACH foundation who lead us to these important places and for the very good co-ordination.

LOCATION OF CHEYUR                            : CLICK HERE



  1. Nicely summed up. Just a few correctors

    - Thee panja amman is actually a Sati Stone - in memory of a wife who joined her husband on the funeral pyre.

    - "Vedhalam face on the stomach of a vedhalam on the karuvarai wall" - this is actually bootha vari and the face in the belly is called keerthi mukha - seems to be a standard feature in early chola temples - to have one of the bootha ganas shown like this.

    - on the 12 goats, i remember reading as 13 goats - you may check with Ramachandran sir

    - "This temple my be Last Chozhas and early Pallavas Period." - should read the other way round - last pallava early chola.

    It was a real pleasure to be on the trip. Tks to REACH and Chandra

  2. Thanks Vijay nice to hear your comments.

    Incorporated all the comments. Really I am happy to join with you for the heritage trip to Cheyyur.

    - about goats it is only 12 ( For the inscriptions - Aadu pannirandu
    If you happened to come to Chennai for any lecture please let me know, so that I will also join to learn more.

  3. super!! thanks for publishing my village..

  4. Thank you sir! It is my Grand Ma Village, Very nice

  5. Thanks Raja, hope you might have seen the details before.

  6. Dear Sir,

    I need some information about the sand dunes on the beaches of Cheyyur,TN.
    Just approximate lenghths and heights above the beach will be sufficient. I understand that it may seem like a strange request ,but I will explain shortly.

    Appreciate your assistance,
    Abhijeet Avate