Monday, 11 December 2017


10th December 2017.
During my  search for the Mambalam Village Guarding 8 deities, came across this  300 years old Sri Muthalaman Temple on the south end of Lake view Road. The Gurukkal was preparing the pooja when I visited. Went along with him and told that he is doing pooja for the past 30 years in this temple. He told me that this is one of the 8 Mambalam Village boundary ( ellai ) guarding deities. He also claimed that this temple was once  a Pallipadai Temple similar to Pamban Swamikal temple, Vadapalani Murugan Temple, Pondy Bazar Sri Agastheeswarar Temple, Appar Swamikal Temple and Pamban Swamikal Temple. For the proof he showed me the Hero Stone and a Muthalaman Stone installed at the back side of the sanctum.  In the course of time the old temple was ruined and this new temple was built on the same place with Amman as a presiding deity.

Iraivi : Sri Muthalaman
Some of the important details are as follows…

The temple is facing east with out any entrance arch or Rajagopuram. The Sanctum sanctorum consists of Sanctum, Antarala and Arthamandapam. Amman is seated on a 4 feet pedestal under Cobra snake hood. Amman is  holding Damaru, soolam, Sword and Kapala in four hands. Under the base Amman’s head statue, which was  found out from the near by lake. Simha vahana and Palipedam are in the mandapam. In koshtam Gowmari, Maheswari, Vaishnavi, Brahmi and Durgai. At the entrance of the sanctum Ganapathy and Valli Devasena Subramaniyar on both sides
There is an interesting story that the Amman statue was made  for a Singapore temple and some how stayed at harbor. Latter installed at this temple. It was also learnt that some devotees from Singapore visits this temple even now.  

In the prakaram Sannadhi for Kathavarayan, Veerapathirar are  at the entrance Gate, Bala Ganapathy & Balamurugan, Anjaneyar, Hero stone and Navagrahas.  Nagars are under the peepal tree. Two  panels consists of Amman face and Hero stone are installed at the back side of the sanctum. Gurukkal claimed that originally this temple might have been built for a person, who  died in a war and temple was built with a small Amman’s head as a presiding deity. In the hero stone the hero is riding on a horse with a sword on his hand.   

Interestingly happened to see a Kanthu ( believed to be the male  consort of  Amman ) and a stone  at the entrance of the Temple.

It is a temple for Poosa nakshathira. Special poojas are conducted on Kiruthukai, Shashti, Navarathiri. Annual kool vaarthal festival is also conducted on 4th Sunday of Adi month.
The temple will be kept opened between 07.00 hrs to 11.00 hrs and 17.30 hrs to 20.30 hrs. Timings may change during festival and Fridays.

C Balasubramaniya Gurukkal may be contacted on his mobile 9444462116 and his address is 5/1B, Kavarai street, West Mambalam.

This temple is on the south end of Lake view street, in West Mambalam,  
The nearest bus stop is MettuPalayam, Sri Adhi Kesava Perumal Temple and Postal Colony.
The nearest Sub-Urban Railway station is Mambalam and the temple is about 3 KM.


 The Sthala Viruksham with nagars

 The reliefs of Muthalamman and Hero Stone

 Navagraha Sannadhi 



Friday, 1 December 2017


26th November 2017.
This visit was a part of a Heritage Visit lead by Mr Venkatesh, The historian and writer. During our visit at Seeyamangalam happened to see Menhir in the midst of a lake adjacent to the 7th Century Pallava period rock cut cave Sri Sthambeswarar Temple. The temple Gurukkal explained the legend of the temple. In that he said that Shiva came down to earth in the form of Sthambam, hence called as Sthambeswarar. 
At first sight I could not believe it. The experts clarified that Seeyamangalam was an early humans habitation site  ( end of Stone age and beginning of Iron age ) and cairn circles are there near the stambam. The Sthambam is a MENHIR erected at the burial sites. Usually the dead body will be kept in a urn and buried. Over which Dolmen or Menhirs will be  erected. These menhirs are erected for leader or important persons of that group. This menhir belongs to 9th century BCE to 3rd century BCE. These sort of Menhirs available in foreign countries also. Had seen such menhirs at Kodumanal, Kumarikal PalayamNichampalayam in Kongu Mandalam. 

ROCK ART / ROCK CARVINGS. கீறல் ஒவியங்கள்.
After the Dharshan of Sri Ranganathar at Thirumalpadi, happened to see some figures carved rather I can say chiseled on the rock at the foot of the hill. A Man with crown and some animals are chiseled. When we searched the web site, the same  was  documented as rock carvings  and listed along with stone and Iron age paintings of Thiruvannamalai District ( Serials Publications by Mr K Rajan ).
Usually the rock carvings  are done using like, nails, bones of animals or sharp stones. These types of carvings may belongs to stone age. But these carvings  found at Thirumalpadi may belong to much latter period. The carvings are done using chisel and the curves of the animals are very neat. Some experts of the opinion that these carving belongs to recent years and may not cross 100 years. Then how come it is documented along with the rock art paintings?. The reason is not known. Up loaded the rock carving photos of Marayur and Hampi, which I had seen.  
 Engravings / carvings at Thirumalpadi
 Engravings / carvings at Thirumalpadi
 Engravings / carvings at Thirumalpadi
 Engravings / carvings at Thirumalpadi
Engravings / carvings at Thirumalpadi

 Carvings at Hampi  (கீறல் ஒவியங்கள் )

Maraiyur carvings ( கீறல் ஒவியங்கள் )

Thursday, 30 November 2017


26th November 2017.
It was around 17.00 hrs when we reached the Sri Kailasanathar Temple, after lunch?.. at  Kanchipuram, the last stop of our Heritage Visit, led by Mr Venkatesh, the historian and the Novelist.  The sky was overcast throughout the day. With the dull light could not take good photographs. The temple is under the control of Archeological Survey of India (ASI ) and lot of renovations are in progress.

This temple construction was started by Pallava King Rajasimha also called as Narasimhavarma – II and completed by his son Mahendravarma – II. ( 685 AD to 705 AD). This temple is also called as Rajasimha Pallaveswaram. It was told that the temple was the first stone structure built by the Pallva Kings, when the Kanchipuram was their Capital. The temple is still under worship.

The base was constructed with granite and the small sannadhis  ( 58 nos, apart from 8 sannadhis ( some has the Shiva Lingas) at the entrance )   are constructed with sand stone. The small sanndhis has the reliefs and statues of Uma & Mahesvara’s various postures. The sanctum walls has the reliefs of various form of Lord Shiva and Hindu deities. The  square Vimana  is constructed in Dravidian style. The (squatting) lion pillars supports the small sanctums was a speciality of Pallava period temple construction. Pallava Kings focused to place their Loins as many places as possible. 

Due to age most of the sculptures are damaged and plastering with lime mortar is in progress by the ASI. Why do they selected these sand stone?, which deteriorate due to age, may be for easy sculpting or carving.  The details of my first visit to this temple as a part of Temples Visit are posted in this blog.


 Uma Maheswarar with old colour painting 



 Narasimha & Hiranya vatham

 Jalandhara Samhara 

 Uma Maheswarar

 Dhakshinamurthy with Yogapatti 

Thavvai or the Jyeshta Devi

More photos are posted in my Google+. CLICK HERE to view.


Wednesday, 29 November 2017


26th November 2017.
Visit to this cave temple was a part of Heritage Visit to Vallam, Seeyamngalam, Thirumalpadi,  Kanchipuram temples, caves and Heritage structures. After visiting Thirumalpadi Sri Ranganathar Temple headed towards this rock cut Cave Temple at Seeyamangalam. Visited this cave temple earlier along with R.E.A.C.H. Foundation, a part of epigraphy field Visit.  11 heritage enthusiasts led by Mr Venkatesh visited this Rock cut cave temple on 26th November 2017. It was drizzling when we landed and stopped after we came out of the cave. When we reached it was around 13.00 hrs and the Gurukal was kind enough to open the temple and explained us.

Iraivan :  Sri Sthambeswarar
Iraivi    : Sri Maragathavalli
Some of the important features of this temple are…

An early period Vinayagar facing east at the entrance of  Gate welcomes us. The temple is facing west with a 4 tier Rajagopuram on the north side. There is a mandapam abutting the rajagopuram. There are two  empty shrines built before the muka mandapam. Nandhimandapam and Palipedam are in front of Mukamandapam.

The sanctum sanctorum consists of sanctum and arthamandapam ( both are rock cut cave ), a maha mandapam and a muka mandapam ( are built separately at a latter stage. ). A 3 tier vimana like rajagopuram is also there above sanctum rock.

Ambal,  Bairavar, Vinayagar, Chandikeswarar and Navagrakas are in the mahamandapam.  There is also a Vamana statue in the mandapam. A Murugan Sannadhi is on a small boulder with steps chiseled on the rock to climb.

Dwarabalakas are at the entrance of  cave sanctum. The left side dwarabalakas head gear has the horn and it was told that Yema guards Shiva in the form of Dwarabalaka. The mandapa pillars has the relief  of Natarajar, Rishabandhikar and warriors. The details of Natarajar relief is worth to watch. The warriors face expressions  are like before and after war. It was not known how the Shiva Linga was moved inside the sanctum with a small door way. 
As per the legend Shiva is in the form of sthambam and Gurukkal showed us a sthambam in the midst of a small lake by the side of this rock cut cave temple ( This is a menhir as per the experts, which will be written separately ). As per the inscriptions this rock cut cave was excavated during 7th century by Mahendravarman – I ( 600 to 630 AD). This Rock cut cave temple is under the control of Archeological Survey of India ( ASI ).

The temple will be kept opened between 07.00 hrs to 10.00 hrs.

Rajasekara Gurukkal, mobile number 9578160058, may be contacted  for further details.

Seeyamangalam is about 130 KM from Chennai and 66 KM fom Kanchipuram and 25 km from Vandavasi via Mazhaiyur and Desur.
Town bus Route No 144  from Vandavasi to Gingee and a private Bus from Desur to Gingee  passes through the Village and this Jain cave is about a KM from the Village.
Auto is also available from Desur.



Dwarabalakas, similar to Vallam rock cut cave 
head crown with horns - may be soolam but the Grukkal claims as Yeman.
It was told that this relief of Natarajar in Anandha thandavam is the first and earliest. Natarajar is not dancing on muyalakan and cobra is on the ground with its raised hood. While one Shiva gana is playing a musical instrument muzhavu sitting on a stool and other is worshiping Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is with 4 hands, the upper hands holds fire and Mazhu and lower right hand in abhaya hastham and other in dola hastham.  The waving of hair to the rhythm of dance was beautifully chiseled.   

Vamana statue

The warriors expression before and after the war

 The warriors expression before and after the war

Murugan temple
The Sthambam in the middle of the lake ( Experts of the opinion that this must be a  menhir )