Places to visit in Pudukkottai Town, Tamil Nadu

PUDUKKOTTAI TOURIST PLACES AND THINGS TO DO IN PUDUKKOTTAI
PUDUKKOTTAI TEMPLES (IN & AROUND)

Pudukottai town is the capital town and headquarters of Pudukottai District. There are quite a few things to do and places to visit in Pudukottai town itself and there a quite a few places to visit in the outskirts. 

ULTIMATE TRAVEL GUIDE TO PUDUKKOTTAI

Pudukottai Brahadambal Arai Kasu Amman Temple
Pic Credit: Siddharth Chandrasekar

Pudukottai Brahadambal Arai Kasu Amman Temple

Pudukottai Brahadambal Arai Kasu Amman Temple
Pic Credit: Siddharth Chandrasekar

Pudukottai Brahadambal Arai Kasu Amman Temple

Pudukottai Brahadambal Arai Kasu Amman Temple Sculptures
Pic Credit: Siddharth Chandrasekar

BRAHADAMBAL TEMPLE, PUDUKOTTAI
(ARAI KASU AMMAN TEMPLE; SHRI PRAGAMBAL TEMPLE)

PUDUKOTTAI BRAHADAMBAL TEMPLE HISTORY
The most important place to visit in Pudukottai is the Brahadambal Temple. This is infact the first-ever cave temple of Pudukottai excavated 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.

PUDUKOTTAI BRAHADAMBAL TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE & SCULPTURES
As we progressed from the main area towards inside, there was a portion where I felt the cave part beginning - the part where the rock was more of boulder types dugout 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 side 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! 

PUDUKOTTAI BRAHADAMBAL TEMPLE INSCRIPTIONS
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 the Nayak Era. Beside this Uunjal Mandapam, the pond here is called Mangala Kulam. This pond has a lot of history associated with it. The coronation of Marthanda Thondaiman and Ramachandra Thondaiman happened on 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!!! 
Besides this were 4 pillars carved out of single stone - they were............... musical pillars!!! Very unusually this temple is built with 2 levels. The steps that lead to the 1st floor has some Hoysala inscriptions. On 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!!!

Where is Brahadambal (Arai Kasu Amman; Pragambal) Temple Pudukottai (on Google Maps): Shri Brahadambal Temple, Thirukkokarnam, Pudukkottai
How to reach Brahadambal (Arai Kasu Amman; Pragambal) Temple Pudukottai: 3 km from Pudukkottai Railway Station and Bus stand; 1 km from Gnanalaya Research Library; 5 mins walk from Pudukkottai Govt. Museum
Brahadambal (Arai Kasu Amman; Pragambal) Temple Pudukottai timings: 6:00AM to 11:00AM; 4:00PM to 8:00PM

Pudukottai Brahadambal Arai Kasu Amman Temple Frescoes
Pic Credit: Siddharth Chandrasekar

Pudukottai Brahadambal Arai Kasu Amman Temple Sculptures
Pic Credit: Siddharth Chandrasekar

Pudukottai Brahadambal Arai Kasu Amman Temple Sculptures
Pic Credit: Siddharth Chandrasekar

Pudukottai Museum
Pudukkottai Government Museum. Pic Credit: Siddharth Chandrasekar

Pudukottai Museum
Pudukkottai Government Museum. Pic Credit: Siddharth Chandrasekar

PUDUKULAM, PUDUKOTTAI
Another important aspect of Pudukottai, one of the major places to visit in Pudukottai is this huuuuuuge pond. This is called the Pudukulam. This was excavated 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!

Where is Pudukulam Pudukottai (on Google Maps): Pudukulam
How to reach Pudukulam Pudukottai: 4km from Pudukkottai railway station; 2km from Pudukottai Bus stand (via Guru Manpundiyapillai Dakshinamurthy Pillai Samadhi)
Pudukulam Pudukottai timings: 24x7

GNANALAYA LIBRARY
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!! This is one of the largest private libraries in India. Some of the speciality here include first edition of Veeramamunivar's 'Sathur Agarathy', French-Tamil dictionary, Tamil-Latin dictionary as well as the originals of some of the letters of Rajaji, letters of Rukmini Devi Arundale, few editions of Gandhiji's Harijan and first few editions of Readers' Digest India etc

Where is Gnanalaya Library Pudukottai (on Google Maps): Gnanalaya Research Library
How to reach Gnanalaya Library Pudukottai: 3.5km from Pudukkottai Bus Stand & Railway Station via Pudukottai Museum

PUDUKKOTTAI MUSEUM
The Pudukottai Museum is another one of the top places to visit in Pudukkottai. It is really large and has something for everyone including kids. Since we were more concentrating on historical sites in & around Pudukkottai, we concentrated on just the history and archaeology galleries. As you may know Pudukkottai was the seat of Jainism ages ago, and there are several Jain sculptures and vestiges scattered all over, many of which are now collected and protected in this museum. 

Where is Pudukottai Museum (on Google Maps): Pudukkottai Government Museum
Pudukkottai Museum Address: Government Museum, Thirugokarnam, Pudukkottai 622 002.
How to reach Pudukottai Government Museum 3km from Pudukkottai Railway station and Bus stand
Pudukottai Government Museum timings: 9AM to 5PM all days except Fridays
Pudukkottai Government Museum tickets: Rs.5 (can be bought at the entrance of the museum)

PUDUKKOTTAI PALACE
Also we managed to pay a visit to the last Rajaguru of the Pudukottai Thondaiman Samasthanam (Kingdom), who is now 96 yrs old!!! Pudukkottai Palace was constructed in 1930 during the British-raj in Indo – Serasenic Dravidian architecture. Today the building houses the Pudukkottai District Collector's Office. One of the prized possession here is the sand casket in which Sadasiva Brahmendral wrote. 

Where is Pudukkottai Palace (on Google Maps): Pudukkottai District Collector Office
Pudukkottai Palace Address: Kalayanpuram, Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu 622005
How to reach Pudukottai Palace: 2.5km from Pudukkottai Railway station; 1.7km from Pudukkottai Bus stand
Pudukottai Palace timings: Can be seen from outside. Visiting the interiors for touristic / educational purposes needs with prior permission via tourismpdk@gmail.com or collrpdk@nic.in
Pudukkottai Palace tickets: Free

GURU MANPUNDIYA PILLAI SAMADHI
We also managed to go to the Samadhi of Mamumdaiya (Manpundiya) Pillai & Dakshinamurthy Pillai who is the disciple of the former. Mamundaiya Pillai is the founder of Kanjira, the Indian Tambourine. 

Where is Manpundiya Pillai Samadhi Pudukottai (on Google Maps): Manpundiyapillai Temple
How to reach Manpundiya Pillai Samadhi Pudukottai: 3 km from Pudukottai Railway station; 1 km from Pudukottai bus stand
Manpundiya Pillai Samadhi Pudukottai timings: I'm unaware! If you know, let me know!

PLACES TO VISIT NEAR PUDUKOTTAI TOWN
DAY-TRIPS FROM PUDUKOTTAI
(Also could be done as day-trips from Karaikudi, Trichy etc) 
Places to visit in Pudukottai to Thanjavur / Tanjore route: MalaiyadipattiKaliapatti, VesalurJainism in Pudukottai
Places to visit in Pudukottai to Trichy / Trichirapalli route: Megalithic burial sitesNarttamalai, Vijaylaya CholeeswaramSittannavasal, Ezhadipattam, NavachunaiMadathukoil, Bommadi Jain Temple ruins
Places to visit in Pudukottai to Pattukottai route: Thirukattalai temples
Places to visit in Pudukottai to Manapparai route: Kodumbalur and Kudumiyanmalai temples, Maylapatti & Annavasal Jain temple ruins
Places to visit in Pudukottai to Karaikudi route: Thirumayam
Places to visit in Pudukottai to Aranthangi route: Avudaiyar Koil

Pudukottai Museum Jain Sculptures
Pudukkottai Government Museum. Pic Credit: Siddharth Chandrasekar

Pudukottai Gnanalaya Library

Guru Manpundiya Pillai Dakshinamurthy Pillai Samadhi

Guru Manpundiya Pillai Dakshinamurthy Pillai Samadhi
Pic Credit: Siddharth Chandrasekar

Pudukottai Palace
Pudukkottai Palace / Collector Office. Pic Credit: Siddharth Chandrasekar

HOW TO REACH PUDUKOTTAI
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

1 DAY ITINERARY IN PUDUKKOTTAI
  • Narttamalai, Vijayalaya Choleeswaram, Sittannavasal, Ezhadipattam, Megalithic burials

2 DAYS ITINERARY IN PUDUKKOTTAI
  • Day 1 - Narttamalai, Vijayalaya Choleeswaram, Sittannavasal, Ezhadipattam, Megalithic burials
  • Day 2 - Pudukkottai town, Thirumayam Fort & Temples

4 DAYS ITINERARY IN PUDUKKOTTAI
  • Day 1 - Thirumayam, Irumbanadu, Avudaiyar Koil
  • Day 2 - Narttamalai, Vijayalaya Choleeswaram, Sittannavasal, Ezhadipattam, Megalithic burials
  • Day 3 - Kudumiyanmalai, Kodumbalur, Pudukkottai Town
  • Day 4 - Thirukkattalai, Kaliapatti, Vesalur, Malayadipatti, Madathukkoil

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

Pudukkottai Tourism Pinterest Pudukkottai Tourism Pinterest

Bhushavali

An ardent traveler by passion. Being an ex - Art History Teacher, my area of interest especially lies in Nature and Heritage. Visited 78 UNESCO World Heritage sites as of Sept 2020. 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

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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