Kalyana Pasupatheeswarar Koil (Karur - Tamil Nadu)

My granny and grandad wanted to visit some temples in and around Karur. I asked my friend to accompany us and we were 4 on almost a pilgrimage. We rented a car and our devotional day, our pilgrimage started off. Not only for pilgrimage, everyone who visits Karur for work or tourism or family, wouldn't miss a visit to Pasupatheeswarar Temple. It is one of the most important places to visit in Karur.

Our first destination was Karur Pasupathiswarar Koil, one of the most important important temples in Karur. Located just a km from the Karur Bus-stand, this temple is the local Ishwaran Koil (Lord Shiva Temple). This temple is one of the Kongu Ezhu Sivathalangal (The 7 Shiva Temples of the Kongu region). Pasupathiswarar is also called Aanilaiappar in Tamil. This temple was during the reign of the Chola kings, by Musukundha Chakravarthi along with the Abayapradhana Ranganathar Koil.
The temple was given as a gift by Rajendra Chola in 10th C. So it must be existing even before 10th C. Also Karur is one of the several cities & town in Southern India that had commercial relationship with the ancient Romans, so a temple seems to be existing on this site for atleast 2000 years now, though the current structure might be newer!!! Amazing isn’t it.? Am so happy to be a part of a civilization this old!!!

Apart from the main deity of Pasupathishwarar in the form of Lingam (as it is in all South Indian temple), there are 4 more lingams situated in all the four other directions. So this temple is considered a Pancha Linga SthalamThe temple is east faced and the Raja Gopuram in the entrance is 108 ft tall.
Just as we enter there is a pillar which has some exquisite carvings on all four sides. These patterns are similar to the local Suzhi Kolam or the internationally known Celtic Patterns. Further more as we proceed, we prayed to Vinayakar. The Maha Mandapam has several pillars and each of it has several reliefs on them. On the south a separate mandapam is located. On the north the temple’s well is located. Since this is located in Agni Corner, this water is called the Agni Theertham.
On far south is a small passage which is essentially the circum-ambulatory passage. This passage leads initially to the Karur Siththar Samadhi. As I said already in the Konganar article, Siddhar-s are yogis who are in the high meditative state and lose their physical state and attain divinity. This is the place where the Karur Siddhar lost his physical state and attained divinity.
As we take a turn the Vinayakar Shrine is located right behind the Sanctum Sanctorum of Ishwaran. Completely on the northern side of the temple, a huge Goshala in which several cows are taken care of. It is a very common sight to see several devotees feeding these cows regularly. At the turn is the Vilvam Tree which is the Sthala Vruksham (Tree of the Temple).
While taking the circum-ambulation, I took my granda’s hand and my dear friend took my granny’s hand. In the inner circum-ambulatory passage are the sculptures of Arubathu Moovar (The 63 saints of Saivism). Then there are the shrines of Kanni Vinayagar, Nageshwarar, Soundharanayaki, Arumugar with Valli and Deivanai. Facing south are Ishwaran’s consort Vadivudai Nayaki aka Sowndharanayaki. Next to it the Palliyarai of the Gods. Facing East is the shrine of Alankaravalli aka Kirupanayaki. This is one of the few temples where there are separate shrines for the 2 consorts. Also facing south is the bronze sculpture of Nataraja (the dancing form of Lord Shiva).
There is something very special about this temple. The first pillar to the left as we come out of the Sanctum Sanctorum is a special crypt called the Nalayira Chakra Bhandhanam. Its to be read in a circular, horizontal, vertical, diagonal ways all at a time.
It goes this way,
Vaamayaamani yaasivaa
Vaasiyaanilai vaanavaa
Vaanavaapala raayava
Vaayaraavana yaamava
Which means, “Oh Shiva who has the blue colored Nayaki in the left. You have the vahana of a Bull like a Horse! Oh Aaniyappa! The honored one! You’ve cleared the darkness of ignorance. You’re handsome! You dance in the dead night! Please show me the path to heaven!!!”

The Lingam in the Sanctum Sanctorum is called Aanilayappar or Pasupathiswarar as the Pasu (Cow) poured milk onto the Lingam directly from its breast. When the cow moved, it claw hit the Lingam. This mark as a small dent is still seen on the lingam. This lingam is a Suyambu Lingam which means it was created by nature itself and no one sculpted it.
The Consort Soundharya Nayaki is considered as a human child and not a heavenly being like Alankaravalli. She was born in Appippalayam, a small village near Karur. She grew up to fall in love with Pasupathiswarar and married her on a Panguni Uththira Thiruvizha Day. This day is celebrated every year in a grand way and considered the annual festival.

Even though I and my friend had visited this temple as well as Abayapradhana Ranganathar Temple already, we got a special treatment this time. To be accompanied by granny and granda is special isn’t it.? And for their age, everyone in the temple treated us with special care, I must add. From there we went to Kalyana Venkatramanaswamy Koil, also called Thanthonimalai Temple. I went to this place later as well, in a still more funny situation. So I’d tell about this temple on another day. From here we went to Nerur Temple & Thirumukkoodalur, two more the important temples to visit near Karur. 

From Karur railway station: 1.3km
From Karur bus stand: 450m
It is off Jawahar Bazaar on the Theradi Theru

Hotels in Karur is available at all price points. 
There are several lodges in Karur that are very economical.
Some higher end, comfortable hotels include The Residency Karur & Hotel Hemala Karur. 
For luxury hotels, you may have to choose one of the hotels in Coimbatore which is the nearest large city.

6:00AM to 11:00AM and 4:00PM to 8:00PM

Dedicated to Granny, Granda and Monz


An ardent traveler by passion. Being an ex - Art History Teacher, my area of interest especially lies in Nature and Heritage. Visited 85 UNESCO World Heritage sites as of June 2022. I've been listed among the Top 7 Women Travel Bloggers of India, Top 50 in UK. I have been interviewed in a couple of TV Shows, Radio Channels and Events as well. Read more about me and read the testimonials of different brands


  1. Beautiful temple with such a lovely carvings. I loved the Ganesh carving most.

    Jhansi Fort

  2. That was a good read with a lot of information. Thanks a lot for sharing your experience with us. I'll be waiting to read about the Kalyana Venkatramanaswamy Koil.

  3. Amazing temple
    I love it !!!
    The carvings are wonderful :)

  4. Such wonderful and colorful temples.. I love them..

  5. This is a very nice post...reminds years ago on a visit to Singapore I have seen a similar but much smaller temple in the city...It had the same Facade (Entrance)
    Thanks for sharing

  6. @Rajesh,
    Thank you so much dear... Isn't Ganesh so cute!!!

    You're dropping in after a long time!!! Missed you in my blog.. :(
    Thanks dear for dropping and commenting. Will come with Lord Venky soon!!!

    Thanks sweetheart!!!

    Thanks honey!!!

    Oh Baron!!! Missed you!!! Where have you been!!! Long time No C!!!
    Thank you dear. Thanks for visiting and commenting. Do drop in often.. :)

  7. Thank you I will. I got into a motorcycle accident last year that put me out of commission for a while. All's good now so see you in Cyberspace my good friend

  8. How nice to be able to visit this special temple with your grandparents.
    I love how colorful it is.

  9. very interesting! i have been to this temple, but it was being renovated then, and we could hardly see anything there... i wasnt aware of most of the things u have mentioned about...

  10. @Baron,
    Oh my dear. Hope all is well now... Take care buddy. All your near and dear ones (and also your cyber space friends like me!!!) need you and wish for your healthy living. Take care buddy!!!

    Yeah. Isn't it so nice to visit places with 2 generations early, that too our own near and dear ones!!!

    Oh!!! So bad that you were not able to enjoy the place. Do visit again. Its a beautiful place.

    They are, sweety... Aren't they.?

  11. great write. i love that all the temples are in such color...and the carvings...they add so much...

  12. nice view of the gopuram...i dont hav 2 c him, coz v meet at the mirror everyde :) a friend of mine - a cinematographer tuk da pic, wit mobile.

  13. I love this colourful temples! So much detail!

  14. Nice post with intricate details. Nice pics too. I had visited this temple in Feb'2008 during a temple tour to Trichy.

  15. your attention to details is very good yaar...
    you keep delivering good posts...
    am too proud to be part of such an old civilization :)

    keep blogging
    cheers !!!

  16. @Brian,
    Thanks dear.. :) These temples are always so inspirational!!!

    Was that you in that pic... I thought it was Manoj K Shyamalan!!! Excellent pic da!!! Convey my heartiest wishes to your buddy!!!

    Thanks dear.. :)

    @Ram Sir,
    You are a wanderlust. You've been to so many places!!!!!

    Thanks da.. Yeah! Doesn't it feel proud to be a part of this rich country!!!

  17. Hello, greetings:)

    Very interesting information and lovely photos of the temples.The architecture is amazing.

    I was astounded to read that Karur did business with the Romans 2000 years back. No wonder St.Thomas came to South India in the year 52AD probably in a Roman boat.

    Many thanks for taking me around various temples and providing very interesting information.

    Best wishes:)

  18. I hope you do not mind but I love your Granny and Granda. It is great to have grandparents and for you to take them on special journeys.

  19. @Joseph,
    Thank you. It might be!!!
    Thanks a lot for dropping by and commenting!!!

    @Ocean Gal,
    Why would I mind. I rather more than glad. And when my granny and granda go thru this, they'd be gald too!!!

  20. @Jenny,
    Thanks for dropping by and thanks for your comments. :)

  21. Hi ,

    Nice to see so much of the details about the temple. My wife was amazed at the amount of details you depict and the places you have covered.

    You may also be interested in Arapaleeswarar (1st & 2nd century AD) temple in Kolli Hills and the Akaya Gangai falls (down 1400 steps from the temple).

  22. FYI ... other places of interest in Tamilnadu http://www.view360.in/virtualtour

  23. @Senthil,
    Glad to know that my blog is of some use to you. Convey my regards to your wife as well. I am very happy for your appreciation!!!
    I've been to Kolli as a kid (I think in some 5th grade!!!) with my parents. Yet to go there as a trekker and to visit the temple. Hope to go thr soon!!! :)


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