Malayadipatti Vahisvaramudayar and Kan Niraindha Perumal Temples (Pudukottai - Tamil Nadu)


Just like Thirumayam, Malayadipatti also has a Vishnu Temple and Shiva Temple, few yards away from each other. The Malayadipatti Vahisvaramudayar Siva Temple was built, or rather, excavated initially. The Kan Niraindha Perumal Vishnu Temple was excavated later on. Right atop all these are a few Jain Beds, which belong to a much much earlier era! 

Malayadipatti Vahisvaramudayar Temple Pudukottai
Pic Credit: Siddharth Chandrasekar

Malayadipatti Vahisvaramudayar Temple Pudukottai Frescoes Sculptures
Pic Credit: Siddharth Chandrasekar

Malayadipatti Vahisvaramudayar Temple Pudukottai Frescoes Sculptures
Pic Credit: Siddharth Chandrasekar

Malayadipatti Vahisvaramudayar Ranganathaswamy Temples Pudukottai


First, we ventured to the Shiva Temple. It was a cave temple with a single East facing Shiva Lingam inside. 

As mentioned earlier it was built by / excavated by Kovan Saathan Mutharaiyan. The outer pillars are of Vijayanagara Era. The inner pillars are of Chola Era and has an inscription of Aditya Chola I (9th C).

Even before we could enter the sanctum sanctorum, what caught our attention was the sculptures outside. Just outside, on either side are Dwarapala (Doorkeepers) with Vismaya (awe-struck) Mudhra, and one of them has horns. 
On the right wall was the panel of Saptha Madha (Brammani, Thripuranthaki, Suranutha, Indrani, Vaaraahi, Koumari, Sandikeshwari) with Valampuri Vinayaka (trunk turned towards Right)to the right and Yoga Dakshinamurthy to the left.
Just opposite to sanctum sanctorum was this huge panel having 3 different scenes and 100 different opinions!!! First, just let me tell you what was there. Starting from the left, first was a standing male with 2  devotees on either side. Next was another standing male again with 2 devotees on either sides and Surya & Chandra flying on either side. Next was a standing female, with a raging lion on one side and a bull/buffalo on the other side. The whole panel is highly eroded and all the details are all gone! That has resulted in way too many opinions in the identification of the sculptures. 
Now the opinions... The central scene is the one that has harmony in acceptance. That is Harihara - Half Vishnu & Half Shiva. There is a crescent on on side of the headgear suggesting that side as Shiva. On the other side, a hand holds a conch, suggesting that side as Vishnu. Apart from that, the drape is different on either side - A short Kacha on Shiva's side and a long, elaborate garment (Antariya) on the Vishnu's side. On either side are 2 devotees. However, another opinion is that its Bhooma Devi on Vishnu's side (I tried to make out if the sculpture has a prominent bre*st, but I couldn't!), and Divakara Muni on Shiva's side. Surya & Chandra flying atop. 
The left scene has 2 different opinions. One is that this must be Lord Brahma. Another opinion is that this must be Lord Muruga due to the presence of Uthara Patti (the belt below the bust). 
The scene at the right is of Durga, or to be specific Mahishasura Mardhini. That has no difference of opinion. But then, the composition has differences in opinion. The lion on the left is raging. Never has a raging lion been depicted without Mahishasura Mardhini atop. There is a man atop, but that's Chandra, and he is not sitting on the lion. But some say that the image of her sitting on lion is corroded. On the right is a bull i.e. Mahishasura himself. Again here on either sides, seated are 2 devotees.
Some have an opinion that it is actually 4 scenes, with 2 scenes in the last sections - Mahishasura Mardhini on lion and she herself standing after she cooled down and the devotee on left is Saint Athri asking her to cool down and the devotee on right is Mahishasura, after he surrendered. 
I personally feel it is Mahishasura Mardhini in the centre, with a raging lion to the left w/o anyone on it and Mahishasura to the right. However, it was a pretty unusual art-styling at that point of time, to flow the design between scenes instead of bordering them!!! 

Well, all of us with our 100 opinions, and arguments, came out of the Shiva Temple and entered the Vishnu Temple. 

Malayadipatti Kan Niraindha Perumal Ranganathaswamy Temple Pudukottai
Pic Credit: Rangarathnam Gopu

Malayadipatti Kan Niraindha Perumal Ranganathaswamy Temple Pudukottai
Pic Credit: Rangarathnam Gopu

Malayadipatti Kan Niraindha Perumal Ranganathaswamy Temple Pudukottai
Pic Credit: Rangarathnam Gopu

Malayadipatti Kan Niraindha Perumal Ranganathaswamy Temple Pudukottai
Pic Credit: Rangarathnam Gopu


The Perumal is called Kan Niraindha Perumal and in a sleeping posture of Anantha Sayanam. Like Thirumayam, here too the relief sculpture is a long one, but not as exquisite as Thirumayam. 

However, the exquisiteness arrives when we add the sculptures in the sidewall of Ardha Mandapam as well, totalling to 5 scenes. To the right are Narasimhar with Maha Lakshmi and Vaikunda Perumal in a seated posture. To the left are Varahar who is now depicted as Hayagrivar and Perumal, the standing posture of Vishnu. So, this becomes one of the very few temples that has Nindra, Irundha, Kidandha (Standing, Sitting, Sleeping) postures of Vishnu in the same place, in the same room. The central Anantha Sayana Panel has a 5 faced Adhiseshan, Naradha, Thumburu, Brahma, Madhu & Kaidabha, Jambavan, Ayudha Purusha, Celestial beings, etc. 
The Dwarapala (Door Keepers) have lotus in their hand and are not very furious. There are also a few Simha Thoon (Pillars with Lion at the base). 

All these sculptures here and the ceiling were all painted during the Nayak Era. If we look a bit deep into the paintings that itself is mind-blowing! There were some spots where the plaster had come off. I took up the toe nail of the Varahar. The plaster had chipped off. I realized how thick the plaster was!!! It was at least an inch thick and was painted atop of it, but in spite of the 1 inch plaster, the detailing on the granite sculpture was made with full detail!!!!!

Behind the temples are atop the dry, rocky hillock are a few Jain beds along with some inscriptions around them.

Malayadipatti Jain Beds Pudukottai
Pic Credit: Siddharth Chandrasekar

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

Where is Malayadipatti Vahisvaramudayar Temple? (On Google Maps) - Malayadipatti Sivan Temple
Where is Malayadipatti Anantha Padmanabhaswamy Temple? (On Google Maps) - Malayadipatti Perumal Temple
Where are Malayadipatti Jain Cave and Jain Beds? (On Google Maps) - Malayadipatti Jain Beds

Pudukottai to Malayadipatti distance & route: 45km from Pudukottai via Narthamalai

Malayadipatti Sivan & Perumal Temple timings: 7AM to 12:30PM and 4PM to 6:30PM
Malayadipatti Jain caves timings: 24 x 7

Dedicated to Prof. Swaminathan, Prof. Muthazhagan, Prof. Jambunathan, and the whole group of Tamil Heritage Trust...

Malayadipatti Places to see things to do Pudukottai Tamil nadu Pinterest Malayadipatti Places to see things to do Pudukottai Tamil nadu Pinterest


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


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