The name Thirukkattalai comes from the name Thirukkatrazhi, which means sacred stone temple. This is one of the early structural temples.
It has a small sanctum sanctorum and 7 shrines in all directions. These shrines are attached to the outer wall of the temple which is unusual architecturally. This was built but the 1st Adithya Chola in the 9th C. The Lord Shiva here is called Sundareshwara. The separate shrine for Ambal was built during the Late Pandya Era.
The shrines in the side are of Surya, Chandra, Saptha Madha, Vinayaka, Karhtikeya, Jyeshta devi, and the 7th shrines is empty. Inscriptions of both Aditya Chola Period and also Nayak period are there.
The Vimana (the tall pyramid shaped structure atop the sanctum sanctorum) has some important sculptural details on all 4 sides. In the eastern side, that's the entrance, right atop is Alinganamurthy - that's Lord Shiva with his consort on his lap. However in this sculpture, his consort is broken!!!
The southern side has Thripuranthaka at the bottom, Bhikshadana in the middle and Veenadhara Dakshinamurthy atop. The western side has Vishnu in standing posture at the bottom, Seated Vishnu in the middle, Bhoovaragava atop. The northern side has Standing Brahma at the bottom, seated Brahma in the middle and the structure atop is unidentifiable. However a pattern seems to have been followed. The southern side was completely Shiva, the western side was Vishnu and so the northern side must be completely Brahma. So the unidentified sculpture atop must be Brahma!!!
|A cute little Gaja Samhara Murthy|
Just outside was this huge pond, which glistened in the early morning sun rays!!!
3km from here is a ruined fort called Porpannan Kottai of 2 sq. km. which we did not find time to see. In one of the 5 epics of Tamil Language, Silappadhikaram, there is a specification that says 'Porppannan who helped Adiyaarkku Nallan'. That guy must be the ruler of this area, so the fort as well! The bricks used in making this fort are as big as 3ft by 3 ft each!
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
Dedicated to Prof. Swaminathan, Prof. Muthazhagan, Prof. Jambunathan, and the whole group...