January 24, 2009 at 7:44 pm 3 comments

Tiruvaiyaru Temple prakaaram

Here is a post after a trip to India. The Tiruvaiyaru temple near Thanjavur is always a source of inspiration

Tiruvaiyaru Temple prakaaram

Driving into Tiruvaiyaru at 6AM was quite an experience.

Dawn is just getting ready to crack.

It is the month of margazhi, you hear the sound of devotional music in many distant loudspeakers.

I found my way to the ancient temple. To my surprise it was deserted. Mine was the only pair of slippers at the gate. I was wondering if I had walked to the wrong temple.

I asked someone at the gate if the temple was open. The person responded with a rude shake of his head. He didnt know and he didnt care. The driver who was more familiar with the Tyagaraja samadhi had actually been surprised at my request to go to the Panchanadhisvara temple.

It was margazhi  and I had expected a crowd there.

I walked through prakaram after prakaram going through the grand gopurams till I reached the innermost prakaram.

I still remember the calm silence that pervaded the temple.

The Sivachariyar was seated leaning against the pillar.

He opened the shrine and performed the customary arati.

‘I expected¬† a greater crowd here, this month being Margazhi..’

‘People came in here at 4:30. They are all long gone now’, he replied.


I then went through the innermost prakaram until the Dakshinamurthi shrine and then came back. Circumambulated the next prakaram where it was getting brighter.

It was one of the most memorable visits.

I can still feel the silence and the stillness and the sense of peace that pervaded the temple.

This must have been a grand place once upon a time. What must it have been like without electricity? Not that there were many lamps now. How was this built so many hundred years ago? How were the murals painted? How were the stucco images assembled on the gopuram? Didnt the temple deserve a greater much appreciative audience in the 21st century? Definitely better maintenance at least? Even the floors pricked my feet.

Suddenly all that didnt matter.

I lost myself in the silence and stillness of the temple. A stillness from that pleasant morning that I can recreate in my mind thousands of miles away from there.
I headed out and walked to the Aram Valartta amman sannidhi.

A fleet of pigeons  scared me as I came out and walked back through the gopura entrance towards the car.

A memorable early morning trip indeed.


Entry filed under: India Nostalgia. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sankaran  |  June 24, 2009 at 5:09 am

    I born in Thiruvaiyaru in 1954 and studied in Bala Ganapathy Vidya Sala upto 5th (1960-65)and from 6th to 8th (1966-68) In Srinivasa Rao High School. The Panchanaeseswarar Temple is a very big temple. It can accommodate lacs of people which Thiruvaiyaru don’t have. During Chaitra Utsava I.e From Panchami of Tamil Month Chithirai the festiaval starts and go for 10 days. You see that time how glory it is. It is the one of the richest temple having lots of lands and ornaments (????). You pls visit duriing this feastival and you will not comment like that. It is neither a town nor a village. The person who died in Thiruvaiyaru they will not have the rebirth. The great Thirunavukarasu (Appar) got the abode of heaven from this place only. One should visit when it is in festival season. During Navarathri (September-October) the Amman temple is with full of crowd. You please viist either in the month of April-May ro Septmber-October. You never forget your presence and the memories there.

  • 2. revathi  |  March 5, 2010 at 4:08 am

    I had been to this temple twenty five years ago and felt the same even though it was somewhere in the evening. The grandeur of the temple is awe inspriing. You had good luck in being alone- temples these days are so crowded.

  • 3. P.S.krishnamurthy  |  June 13, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Dear Sir

    It is great to read about this temple. I was born and raised at Kumbakona and have been to Swamimalai every month for 12 to 13 years may be less since I left home at the age of 15 1/2 . It is with great regret that I have not visited this temple and many others around the town of kumbakonam Of course I did not have the resour ces to do that However I distinctly remember the festival days in Kumbakona mahamaham navratri chitrai at nageswarar temple (Sun coming into the sanctum sanctorum) I am coming to KMU this year and coming with my family a child who has not seen or heard of anything about our town and heritage a wife born north and had been to Kumbakonam just once for a day or two .

    I am glad to read the information about temples in south esp so around kumbakonam Thanks again for your contribution P.S.K


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