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Places in Chettinad

Vairavanpatti

Vairavanpatti: The Vairavanpatti temple is on the Karaikudi-Madurai road, about 15 kms from Karaikudi. A splendid 19th century temple tank is testimony to Dravidian architectural skills. Behind the Nagarathar choultry Vairava Theertham, a sacred spring said to have miraculous powers. The temple has 23 bronzes, all dating to the first renovation, and 12 vahanams. The temple also has several striking wall paintings, 37 on the Vairava Puranam and 43 on the Ramayana. There are also painting of scenes from the Mahabharata. The main deities here are Lord Aatkondanathar and Sivapurandevi.


Soorakudi

Soorakudi: The Soorakudi temple is about 10 kms from Karaikudi on the road to Kanadukathaan and the Chettinad railway station. The soorai shrub also abounds here and is given as an explanation for the name of the village. The temple has ten vimanams and two gopurams. Its rajagopuram to the east, comprises five storeys and is richly embellished. Another striking feature of the temple is the sculptured pillars on the corridor around the shrines of the main deities. This is one of the temples of the Nagarathar clan that is held in high regard for its sculptures.


Velankudi

Velankudi: The last clan temple is the Velankudi temple that is located on the Karaikudi-Thiruchirapalli road, about 10 kms from Karaikudi, in an area abounding in vela trees. With just 46 pullis and a membership of less than 200 in its four villages, this is smallest temple clan among the Nagarathars. A curious feature is that their numbers have not changed for over a hundred years. The result is a temple to which scant attention has been paid towards renovation. The last kumbhabhishekam for the temple was performed in 1937. The temple was granted to the Nagarathars in 718 A.D. +

Iraniyur


Iraniyur: About 25 kms from Karaikudi on the Pillaiyarapatti road, near Keelasivalpatti, is the Iraniyur temple. There are 50 bronzes here, a splendid Nataraja dating to the 12th -13th century period. One of the bronzes belong to the 16th century, another in a 5-metal alloy of the 17th century, a dozen from the 19th century and the rest from the 20th century. Two groups of beautiful paintings grace the Lakshmi mandapam. Opposite the Rajagopuram is one set of paintings done in the Vijayanagar style during the first renovation and another in the 1940s during the second renovation. The latter displays the Ravi Varma influence.

Pillaiyarpatti

Pillaiyarpatti: The best known of the Nagarathar clan temples, Pillaiyarpatti, about 12 kms from Karaikudi on the road to Madurai. It attracts visitors in large numbers from all parts of India and abroad. The Karpaga Vinayagar here is a huge bas-relief in a cave hewn out of a hillock and is a splendid example of the art of the South India sculptor. The tall sculpture is more than 6 feet tall and dates back to the 5th Century A.D. The Rajagopuram is on the eastern entrance and rises in five storeys. The temple is rich in stone and terracotta sculptures. There are 30 bronzes in the temple that date from the 10th century. The main deities here are Karpaga Vinayagar, Lord Thiruveswarar and his consort Sivagami.

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