Visit to offbeat locations: Kudumiyan Malai (Part 2)
Posted on: February 16, 2011. Comments ( 39 )

Author: B. Chandrasekar, Chennai.

Part 1 Part 3

I was a bit tired after the walk up the Rock hill and so I took some rest after I climbed down and then proceeded to Kudumiyan Malai. The guide at Sittannavasal had given the directions and if my memory is right, it was around 10 to 15 KMs from Sittannavasal. There were some road maintenance work going on and I had to take a detour to reach Kudumiyan Malai. It was almost 4:30 when I reached the Kudimyan Malai Temple.

The temple was closed and I had to wait for the priest to open the temple for the evening dharshan. But in the meantime, the watchman at the age helped me get into the temple. The first thing that captured my eyes was the beautiful sculptures on the pillars of the first hall at the entrance. Many of them had broken parts and later I came to know this happened over many years when the place and the temple were invaded by the then Muslim rulers.

The astonishing precision and proportion in size made me wonder if the celestial beings in the sculptures were standing in front of me. The orderly and artistic engravings brought out the intricate designs of ornaments and made the characters on the sculptures look more real.

While I was just looking around the beautiful statues on the pillars of the first hall, a gentleman walked towards me from behind the sides of the temple and sat close to me on a raised platform next to the big wooden door leading to the Sanctum Sanctorum that was yet to be opened. He introduced himself as a retired employee of the Archeological Department and he is there on extension (specifically asked to work there after retirement on a contract basis) overseeing some reconstruction work going on. I introduced myself and expressed my interest and desire in learning more about the sculptures and their history.
As we had time till the temple was opened for dharshan, the gentleman agreed to walk me around and explain. The first thing he showed me was the engravings on the hill adjacent to the temple and he asked me to look at it from the open side of the first hall. He explained to me that this is the only place in India where the 63 Saiva Saints (Nayanmargal) is depicted along with Shiva and Parvathi on Rishba (Bull).
Following that he took me to the back of the temple where he showed me a stone wall with inscriptions on Indian Classical Music and he explained that it is the oldest inscriptions on Indian Music providing details on the 7 Musical Notes and the rules arranged in 7 sections.
the wall with the inscriptions on music

On the right is the old and main temple (Kudavaraikkovil) carved out of the hill. The front part was built later but the actual sanctum sanctorum, as you can see, is inside and carved out of the rocks of the hill. As we entered the temple, it was completely dark with no light except the light that came in through the main door that fell on the Shiva Lingam, the deity placed straight opposite to the door.

Picture of one of the Dwarapalakas: The gentlemen told me that there are sculptures of Dwarapalakas, (the door keepers) on the walls around and asked me to take photographs. But I could see nothing. With the help of the flash on my digital camera, I just took pictures of all the sides and I could see the photos only in the camera screen.
As we walked around I took some more pictures:
All the Stars and Rasis (Birth Signs) on the ceiling
Image of Kali buried in the sand
By the time we finished going around the temple of main deity, the priest had just arrived and I thanked the gentleman for having guided me and went with the priest to worship the main deity. By the way, there is a story that goes with the main deity, Kuduminatha swamy.

After the daily pooja (Prayer), the priest would take the garland of Shiva to the King. The King would then garland himself with the garland the priest brought. One day, when the priest was waiting for the King, one of the wives of the king garlanded herself with the garland brought by the priest and returned it after a few seconds. Later when the King came to receive the garland, he found a long hair on it and questioned the priest. The Priest to save himself from the anger of King told that it was Shiva’s hair. The King wanting to verify what the priest said came to the temple and found the tuft (Kudumi) hair on Shiva. It is told that Shiva put out that tuft to save the priest and hence the name Kuduminatha Swami.

Part 1 Part 3

Comments (39)


    GOMATHY says:

    Hi, gud share. we’ve been to the places. Just like you’ve said, we were astonished by the sculptures and the depth of craftmanship we witnessed.
    We all should make time with our children n make them aware of our ancient skills n pride.
    MSK TN

    Sundar says:

    Dear sir

    Your enthu and interest is really commendable, we need to pass our believes & traditions to our younger generation . since today city life have already deprived our rich cultures and ancient history to our kids , narrations like this will be interesting & inspiring to them.It is good eye opener. please keep visit rare temples & share with us the pleasant experience, Regards, Sundar MTech MBA PhD, mobile 9841144413

    Ponni says:

    nice to see. there are so many interesting historical things to see.


    I have heard a lot about Sittannavasal and Kudumiyan malai. All these days, I thought they were Jain sculptures. Only today, I learnt that there is a temple of Shiva.


    Gnanavadivu says:

    Very nice experience.i came to know about this place only through yokibu thanks a lot.

    Abdul Razzak.A.Aziz says:

    Vary Good enforcement

    Manimozhiyan says:

    Good, for everyone to think of going once in a life such a temple with all.

    Balraj says:


    kavitha says:

    good place and nice pictures

    Renuka says:

    Very good collection

    Sandeep Sheth says:

    Really nice place. I m eagerly waiting for the visit to this pkace.

    Sandeep Sheth says:

    Really very nice. I m looking orward to the trip to this place

    Sayad Badar Islam Ansari says:


    Meenakumari says:

    nice pictures, we came to know this only thro’ Yokibu, thanks a lot

    Balasubramanian says:

    where is the place of Kudumian Malai, which state and district

      Chandrasekar says:


      Kudimiyan malai is in Pudukkottai, near Trichy in Tamilnadu. You can stay at Trichy and travel around to see all the places. Trichy is approximately around 5 hours drive from Chennai.


      VENKATESAN says:

      Kudimiyanamalai is in Pudukkottai. you can stay in pudukkottai.
      Chithannavasl art ,Kodumbalur sculptures , Thirumayam fort, Avudayar kovil , Bhuvaneshwari Amman temple, Narthamalai sculptures, viralimali murugan temple are famous spot in and around pudukkotai. (Restaurants, Train & bus availability in pudukkottai is good.)

    Senthil raja says:

    Nice posting with valuable information.

    Priya says:


    It is very interesting to see the photographs of
    Kudumiyan malai. It is very nice and also we are able to know about the history of malai.

    We are expecting more like this in future.

    Mukundan says:

    Very interesting. The photos are excellant.
    By your narrations you have taken us to the concerned place. We are ignoring the rich cultures what our forefathers had and thereby we are fooling ourselves.
    Thank you very much for the effort taken.


    A. Mukundan
    West Mambalam.

    Radha says:

    i am eagerly waiting to visit that place and go for the falls with my sons thanks for the post .keep sending.

    Santha says:

    we stay in Pudukottai also. There is a temple and museum. Diety name is is a Kudavaraikkovil. Story of that temple is interesting..

    Chandran says:

    Realy nice


    Mathew Raj says:

    realy nice.

    Waheed Mohammed Qasim says:

    hi e.i have heard about the place.its nice to know that still there are some more people who likes to visit places like kudumiyanmalai and know its real value.i would sugest next time you take your family with you and show them our rich cculture.

    K A Shabu says:

    realy nice.

    Suresh says:


    Your artical is very impressive and encouraging for a


    Well keep it up

    With regads


    Jayanthi says:


    Your effort and interest is really appreciable as this generation have already ignored our rich cultures and our ancient history. It is good opener. keep sending,


    Kavitha says:

    Can I know the location of this temple and advise us where to stay in night.

      Chandrasekar says:

      The temple is closer to Pudukkottai near Trichy. You stay at Trichy and drive to Sittannavasal and Kudumiyanmalai in a day trip.


    Meenakshi says:

    hi e.i have heard about the place.its nice to know that still there are some more people who likes to visit places like kudumiyanmalai and know its real value.i would sugest next time you take your family with you and show them our rich cculture.

    Anuradha says:

    A very nice narration as if we visit in person. Thank you for the sharing.

    Palaniappan says:

    Dear Chandru,

    Thank you very much for your reply. It is very useful and informative.

    It is very surprise to know from you that you have noted down the phone numbers of the three boys!! The photos are very natural. I will defintely make an attempt to go there with family in this vocation.

    Thank you.
    SP. Palaniappan

    Palaniappan says:

    Hai Friend,

    Very bold and god initiative. Haven’t you feel bored & affriad to go alone.

    Did youtake a both in the falls. I would like know your feedback that is it right place to go with the children and ladies. How did the villagers behave on seeing you with a car at their place.

    Please share with me.

    Best regards
    SP. Palaniappan

      admin says:

      Dear Palaniappan

      Actually It was a totally different experience for me as I went alone driving 1100 KM in the four days. At times being alone gives you a lot of time to talk to yourself. It wasn’t boring as probably it was the first time. I will know more if I do it again.

      There was nothing to afraid of. I made sure I drove only during day. Except the day when I returned from Kudumiyan malai to the village I was staying where I had to drive a bit late in the evening, all my driving was in daylight.

      Regarding visiting Pachchamalai (and the falls) with family and children: The village people were good and in fact I have the contact of those three boys and their phone numbers as I promised to send them the photos I had taken with them. In fact I just mailed the photos to them.

      Well now a days, bus goes to pachchamalai though in limited numbers and You cannot depend on it.

      Regarding the falls: I would avoid very young children and elderly people as the climb down at some places is steep. In fact after half of the distance, the boys asked me to remove my shoes as it was slippery and I had to hold on to some rocks and tree branches. But for anyone with good health it is not that difficult though. It does not take too long, may be just 40 minutes to go down.

      I could not take bath on the falls. As you can see in the pictures, there is a part (like small cut out of the rock where the water falls) and that is where the boys said people take bath. But on the day I went, the water was still in good force and they advised me not to do that.

      Also, when I went it was already 4PM and so we did not venture into it.

      It is a great place and I encourage all of you to go there.

      May be Yokibu should organize a trip.

      Chandru, Chennai

    Venkada Lakshmi says:

    thanks for your exposure , im hearing for the first time, but a history of somany years old,keep sending ,,,,,, highly informative

    Premkumar says:

    I appreciate your effort to expose our admirable Kudaivaraikovil to youngsters.

    Sudhakar says:

    desired to visit… thanks for the post..!

    anusha says:

    i am eagerly waiting for your part 3 pachaimalai. The short simple explanantions and corresponding photos really added the flavour.

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