Akilandeshwari Temple is located in Thiruvanaikaval and is believed to have been built by Kochenga Chola who was one of the Early Chola kings. There are inscriptions on the walls of the temple that can be traced back to the time of the Cholas.
The temple is at least 1,800 years old but is still in good condition because of the regular maintenance work that has been done on the temple. Beneath the sanctum of Jambukeswara, an underground water source has been discovered.
Time and again it has been tried to empty this source but it manages to remain full each time. According to a legend, goddess Parvati trivialized the penance of Lord Shiva and He ordered her to perform a penance on earth.
Parvati took the form of Akilandeswari and started her penance in the forest of Jambu. She made a lingam from the water of river Kaveri. The temple is believed to have been built in the area where Parvati performed her penance.
Arulmigu Mullai Vana Nathar Temple is widely known as Garbarakshambigai Temple. Situated on the banks of the river Vettar, a branch of the Cauvery, this temple is acclaimed to fulfil the wishes of couples expecting children. The presiding deity Goddess Parvati is believed to vouchsafe safety to women during pregnancy and childbirth.
There is also a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, known by the name of Mullai Vana Nathar which means Lord of the Jasmine Forest. The temple is fairly big, occupying an area of more than an acre. The entrance looks grand with the beautiful Gopuram and the tank in front of it.
There are also inscriptions on the compound walls of the temple that tell the story of Sage Nirdhura and his wife Vedhika. The story goes that Goddess Parvati offered protection to Vedhika and erased the curse of sage Urdhvapada.
Devotees from all over India come to this temple to offer prayers. The temple remains crowded especially on weekends.
Danish Fort was one of the first structures erected by the Danish after their settlement in Tranquebar. Along with a commercial settlement, this formed the first building blocks of the Danish Colony. It was built by the Danish captain Ove Gjedde. The fort, built almost 400 years ago, has been rebuilt and renovated many times since its construction.
It was the official headquarters of the governor of the territory and other important officials of the establishment for as much as 150 years. The fort still stands and houses a priceless collection of artifacts from that time period, the initial days of European colonialism in India.
The architecture of the fort appears to be an amalgam of various styles, but one can spot out the Danish influence easily, as the structure has not changed so much as to leave its roots.
The Danish Museum has an exquisite display and preservation of several important artifacts from the times of the Danish Settlement. Articles preserved here include items that precede this time period, most of which were originally discovered by the Danish settlers of Tranquebar.
The Museum is under the direct supervision of the Archeological Survey Of India. It houses several rare copies of Dutch Manuscripts, porcelain ware, terracotta figurines and much more. It is also dedicated to the preservation of several pieces of weaponry from the days of yore.
Each piece displayed here is an excellent example of craftsmanship. The articles preserved here also include several swords, daggers, shields and spears. The museum is located inside the awe-inspiring structure of Fort Dansborg, which is situated near the seaside.
The Kailasanathar Temple is a religious place of worship for the Hindus and is located in the Thingalur village of the state of Tamil Nadu. The main deity at the temple is Lord Shiva who is worshipped here in the form of Kailasanthar. There is also another shrine within the temple premises that is dedicated to Lord Chandra or the Moon God.
Interestingly, moon is called 'Thingal' in Tamil language. Perhaps, this is from where the place draws its name. The temple has been built in the typical Tamilian style of architecture with a rajagopuram that is 5-tiered and has two parkarmas running around it. The temple has been revered in many pieces of Tamilian literature including in the verses sung by Appar.
However, Appar doesn’t mention the deity in his verses so the place cannot be categorized as a Padal petra stalam. The temple is a must visit among the Hindu pilgrims and each year thousands of devotees come to the temple to pray to Lord Shiva and to seek blessings of the Moon God and have the harmful effects of the moon on their birth chart nullified.
The Keezhperumpallam Temple is dedicated to Lord Kethu though Lord Shiva and goddess Parvathi are also worshipped in the forms of Naganathaswamy and Soundaranayagi, respectively, in the temple. Since Lord Ketu is the presiding deity at the temple, there is an idol of God depicting him as half man and half snake.
People affected by inappropriate position of Ketu in their astrological charts throng to the temple for riddance from this dosha. It is believed that the temple was constructed in 12th century A.D. by the Chola Kings who were great devotees of Lord Shiva. Today, the temple is an important pilgrim centre for the people of Tamil Nadu and great saints like Sundarar, Appar and Sambandhar have sung songs in praise of the temple.
According to a local legend, there is an underground tunnel that connects the temple at Keezhperumpallam with the Brihadeeswara temple at Thanjavur. However, no traces of the tunnel have been found despite repeated diggings.
Olakaruvi Falls, a popular tourist destination is located at a distance of 20 km from Nagercoil. Tourists visiting Kanyakumari make it a point to visit the waterfalls that are situated in a pristine environment. These falls are one of the most popular waterfalls of southern India.
According to local legend, the Olakaruvi waterfalls have healing and curing properties. Bathing in these waterfalls can help relieve skin problems as well as muscular pain of the joints. The waterfalls also help rejuvenate the older people making them feel healthy and strong once again. To reach the waterfalls, you will have to go through Nagercoil taking a road from the town itself.
However, the road ends at a point near the waterfalls, and one has to walk the rest of the distance to the falls. This distance is easily walkable, and a delight to traverse through because it is more or less like a trekking route. Walking to the waterfalls is an unforgettable experience as you pass the lush green fields and picturesque land.
In Sri Abathsahayeswarar Temple, the most important idol which is worshipped is Lord Shiva. God Shiva is worshipped as Abathsahayeswarar here. Shiva is in the form of Lingam and is known as “Swayambhu”.
The other deities in the temple are of Lord Ganesha who is famous as “Kalangamar katha vinayagar” and Lord Dakshina Murthy known here as Brahaspati or Guru bhagavan. The temple is swarmed by devotees to offer worship to Lord Guru, or the planet Jupiter every year during the planet's transit to welcome auspiciousness and to ward off malefic planetary effects.
During this time, people offer special worship to Lord Guru. The auspicious day for Guru worship is Thursday and hence special poojas are offered on this day of the week.
The name of the place Alangudi has been derived from an old tale. It is said that during the stirring of the “Parkadal” (the heavenly ocean), the Devas were delayed by the toxic fumes of a snake named Vasuki. Thus, they prayed to God Shiva for rescue.
Lord Shiva then gulped the toxin (known as Ala Visham), thus creating the name Alangudi for this place. And the deity was called Abathsahayeswarar (the one who protects from hazard). The Devas also had to experience a horrible time by Gajamuhasuran and he was defeated by Lord Ganesha. Therefore, Lord Ganesha is idolized in this place as Kalangamar katha vinayagar.
Goddess Parvati, did penance here to tie the knot with Lord Shiva and then got married to him, and thus this place is also famous as Thirumana Mangalam.
Sri Subrahmanyaswamy Temple, famous among the tourists and pilgrims as Thiruthani Murugan Temple is one of the major Hindu pilgrim centres in the region. The temple is one of the six popular Subrahmanyaswamy Shrines in Tamil Nadu and is known as Arupadaiveedu.
According to myths, the Lord married Valli, the daughter of the chief of a hunting tribe and the place then became a famous Hindu pilgrim destination. Sri Subrahmanyaswamy Temple has been patronized by many rulers and local chiefs and the Vijayanagar rulers and zamindars were noteworthy amongst them.
The temple had been mentioned in the compositions of Nakkeerar known as Tirumurugaatruppadai. To reach the temple one has to climb 365 steps which symbolize 365 days in a year.
There is also a Ganapathi temple and it is believed that Lord Ganapathi came here to assist lord Muruga to win the battle against Valli’s father. The temple is easily accessible by road, and regular pujas are conducted here.
Swetharanyeswarar Temple is located in Thiruvenkadu, in the Nagapattinam district. It is the 4th Navagraha Sthalam amongst the nine Navagraha temples situated in Tamil Nadu. The temple is the home for Mercury planet (or Budha). Lord Shiva is the presiding idol and is worshipped here as Swetharanyeswarar.
Goddess Parvati is worshipped as Brahmavidyanayaki. The temple preserves a distinct sanctum for Budha, who is one among the nine Navagrahas and offers wealth and wisdom to people. The name Swetharanyeswarar is made of two words - Swetaranyam and Eshwarar. Swetaranyam can be broken into two words - Swetam and Aranyam.
In Sanskrit, Aranyam means forest and Swetam stands for white, and Eshwarar means God. The Swetharanyeswarar Temple has an exceptional feature, which is that the picture of God Shiva that has five faces - Tatpurusham, Vamadevam, Easanam, Sadyojatam and Aghoram.
At the front entrance of the temple, there is a posture of Nandi, which is another exceptional feature of this temple. It carries nine scars on its body and is placed at the doorway of the shrine of the Goddess. Its face is towards the shrine of Lord Shiva and the ears are tilted towards the Goddess; this suggests that Nandi is all set to accept the orders from the godly couple Shiva and Parvati.
The temple also contains three holy tanks or theerthams known as - Surya Theertham, Agni Theertham and Chandra Theertham. It is said that these theerthams were formed from three drops that dropped from the eyes of God Shiva during his dance act.
The engravings on the walls of this temple represent the essential historical info on Chola dynasty and other emperors of Vijayanagar. Apart from being a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is thronged by people who worship Lord Budha or the planet Mercury to nullify the malefic planetary effects on one's birth chart and to invite auspicious things in life.
Tranquebar Beach is a place where the song of the waves soothe away all your worries. Set on the Coromandel Coast, it is a gem that is yet to be discovered and explored. It is located some 15 km from Karaikal. It is an ideal place to stay and taste a variety of continental dishes.
The beach in itself is a sight to behold. Set in an aura of calm and serenity, it is exactly what the weary mind needs. The beach also offers a view of several churches built by Christian missionaries over the centuries.
Adhiyamankottai is one of the oldest forts in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. It is in the Dharmapuri district of the state. The fort has been built by King Adhiyaman, and he was one of the very last 7 benevolent emperors who had ruled the state. The fort actually appears like a circular mud wall.
Moreover, it does appear in a circular image when one searches it in the map. The place is one of the greatest tourist attractions in the entire state. The fort passes through a lake and this lake is considered to be very auspicious by the locals.
The fort was the residential place of King Adhiyaman and this capital was situated in the present Dharmapuri town. One gets absolute facilities as there are several bus and private car services that connect the place with the rest of the state.
Adi Annamalai Temple is the oldest known temple in and around the areas surrounding Thiruvannamalai. The temple was built at least a century before the construction of the Arunachaleswara Temple was even started. Hence, it is believed to be almost 2000 years old.
Initially the temple was believed to be a simple structure of wood containing the idols of various Gods and Goddesses. It was only later that gopurams were added and the wooden structure was brought down for building a temple of bricks and stone. The present form of the temple is known to have been in existence for over 1200 years now.
‘Adi’ stands for first in the local language and hence is an apt name for the temple. The temple was built much before the Arunachaleswara Temple but is miniscule in comparison to the latter. The temple stands on an area of only ½ acre. The lingam that is worshipped in the temple is believed to have been built by Lord Brahma Himself.
The temple of Agniswarar Swami in Kanjanoor is located on the northern bank of Cauvery river. It is approximately 15 km away from the north-east of city Kumbakonam. The temple is dedicated to Venus planet (Lord Shukra) and is the 6th Navagraha Sthalam amongst the 9 Navagraha temples situated in Tamil Nadu. The presiding deities of the temple are Shiva and Parvati. Lord Shiva is idolised here as Agniswarar and Goddess Parvati is idolised as Karpagambal.
People throng the temple to worship Lord Shukra or the planet Venus to usher auspiciousness and to avoid the malefic planetary effects of the planet in accordance with one's birth chart.
According to the legends, Brahma had a dream of Shiva and Parvati’s wedding at this place. And the name Agniswarar is because Agni idolised Lord Shiva at this place. Here Lord Brahma worshipped the Brahma Linga which is preserved in the temple. For Lord Sukran there is no independent sannidhi in this temple because it is said that here God Shiva himself is personified as Venus.
Agniswarar Temple has 2 prakarams. Kalikamar and Manakanjarar are the other shrines of this temple. Visitors can see the stone images of Sivakami and Natarajar and inscriptions from the eras of Vijayanagar and Chola can also be seen in the temple. The Nataraja sabha is called Mukti mandapam and the Shiva tandavam is famous as Mukti tandavam.
Airavatesvara Temple is one of the principal attractions of Darasuram and attracts a lot of devotees throughout the year. As the legend goes, it is here that Airavata, the white elephant of the king of devas, worshipped Lord Shiva. Airavata worshipped Lord Shiva to be free from a curse by Sage Durvasa. Lord Yama, the Hindu god of death, is also believed to have worshipped Lord Shiva in this temple. Lord Shiva is worshipped as Lord Airavatesvara in this temple. The temple is an excellent example of early Dravidian temple architecture. There a lot of intricate stone carvings in this temple.
It is smaller in size than Gangaikondacholapuram Temple and Brihadeeswara Temple, but is much more elaborate in terms of detail. The sanctum of the temple is designed in the form of a chariot drawn by horses. The temple is a place that must be visited once in Darasuram.