Pudukottai Town (Pudukottai - Tamil Nadu)

Pudukottai town itself has its own bunch of great stuff... The best is the Brahadambal Temple. 

This is infact the first ever cave temple of Pudukottai dug up during the Early pandya period in the 7th - 8th C. Later on this got extended during several periods till Nayak Era. All the Shrines inclusive of the Brahadambal here (aka Arai Kaasu Amman), were built during the Nayak Era. The actual cave temple is pretty deep inside.

As we progressed from the main area towards inside, there was portion where I felt the cave part beginning - the part where the rock was more of boulder types dug out than the stacked cut rocks, that were so far. The first point of the rock cut cave temple part was the Saptha Madha with Veerabadhra on one side and Vinayaka on the other. The depiction of this Veerabadhra itself is a giveaway that the temple is ancient. Ancient depictions have Flywhisks on either sides that are by itself, later depictions show 2 bearers to hold it!


The actual cave temple has a Shiva Lingam inside made of live rock (i.e., not separately made & kept here). The base of the lingam (Avudaiyar) is square in shape. On the left is a huge relief sculpture of Lord Vinayaka and on the left is Lingothbhava, who is stylishly holding a strand of his own hair! Between the 3 are huge slabs with Nayak Era inscriptions. Outside are pillars that are of Mahendra Pallava Style that has Rajaraja Chola Inscriptions.

The Uunjal mandapam is in the Maha mandapam. This was made in th Nayak Era. Beside this Uunjal Mandapam, the pond here is called Mangala Kulam. This pond has a lot of history assossiated with it. The coronation of Marthanda Thondaiman and Ramachandra Thondaiman happened in the banks of this pond. Prof. Swaminathan was more touched to see this pond. His grandfather Saambashiva Iyer's Kanakabishekam (Birth of son's grandson) happened here by Ramachandra Thondaiman!!! 

Beside this were 4 pillars carved out of single stone - they were............... musical pillars!!!

Very unusally this temple is built in 2 floors. The steps that lead to the 1st floor has some Hoysala inscriptions. In the first floor are some amazing monolithic (single stone) sculptures of Saraswathi, 12 armed Karthikeya, Durga, Mahalakshmi, Annapoorni, Rudrakhsha Lingam, Jvarahareshwara, Surya, Nalvar, Bhairavar, and Naagar.

The best part is the Veena Rendering by Namagiri Mami. She's the 4th generation of Karaikudi Sambashiva Iyer. She came with her daughter, the 5th generation!!!

Another imp. aspect of Pudukottai is this huuuuuuge pond. This is called the Pudhukkulam. This was dug up by Ragunatha Raya Thondaiman with the planning of Seshaiya Divan for drinking water. The circumference of this pond is exactly 1 mile, with a small Mandap at the centre!

Another place is Gnanalaya Library!!! This was Mr. Krishnamurthy & his wife Mrs.Dorathy Krishnamurthy. They begun this with his complete gratuity, after his retirement! Now they house 85000 books and have won several several awards!!!

The Pudukottai Museum is a must visit place. Also we managed to pay a visit to the last Rajaguru of the Pudukottai Thondaiman Samasthanam (Kingdom), who is now 96 yrs old!!! 
We also managed to go the Samadhi-s of Mamumdaiya Pillai & Dakshinamurthy Pillai who is the disciple of the former. Mamundaiya Pillai is the founder of Kanjira, the Indian Tambourine. 



To Reach Pudukkottai:
From Chennai: 400 km via Villupuram, Trichy
Trains to Rameshwaram go via Pudukottai. 
Trains / Buses can be taken to Trichy and regular buses are available from Trichy.
From Trichy: 50 km. Regular buses are available.
From Madurai: 115 km via Tirupatthur
From Coimbatore: 300 km via Dharapuram, Dindigul


P.S: Click here for one more outfit post of the Pudukottai trip..


First pic by Siddharth Chandrasekar, rest by yours Bhushavali!


Dedicated to Prof. Swaminathan, Prof. Muthazhagan, Prof. Jambunathan, and the whole group...

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

10 comments:

  1. Nice one. The first pic is awesome.

    www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Will convey your wishes to the photographer behind the first shot.. :)

      Delete
  2. Very beautiful. I am particularly happy with Ganesa with a straight trunk. The pond? It ought to be a lake that wide.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, almost straight. It turns just at the tip...

      Delete
  3. Have you heard of the 'Pudu KuLaththu Rasam'?

    Regards

    JayBee

    ReplyDelete
  4. the Gangadhara, too, is absolutely gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  5. It was a pleasure to see these sculptural marvels with my own eyes!!!

    ReplyDelete

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