Kaalaiappar Temple Zoom

Kaalaiappar Temple



Moolavar: Swarna Kaleeswarar, Someswarar, Sundareswarar

Amman / Thayar: Swarnambikai, Soundara Nayagi, Meenakshi

Theertham: Aanaimadu

Sambandar , Sundarar

Old year: 1000-2000 years old

Historical Name: Tirukkanapper  (KaalayarKovil)

This temple at Kalayarkovil is located 20 Kms from Sivagangai on the Sivagangai Thondi road. The railway station at Sivagangai is on the Karaikudi - Manamadurai section of the Southern Railway. Bus facilities from Madurai, Sivaganga and Devakottai are available to go to Kaalayar Kovil. Temple is a palace which is situated in Sivaganga District, Tamil Nadu, India which was ruled by the Maruthu Pandiyar Kovil is owned by the family of the Rajah of Sivaganga. It is run by their devasthanam, and a trust of the zamindar family of Devakottai.

On 25th June 1772, the Company forces under Col. Joseph Smitt and Cap. Bonjour marched towards Kalayar kovil. The second king of Sivaganga, Muthu Vaduga Natha Thevar (1750 ? 1772) and Maruthu brothers defended it bravely. Rajah Muthu Vaduganatha Thevar in anticipation of the English invasion made every possible preparation for defense. But the brave Rajah Muthu Vaduganathar with many of his solders fee dead in the kalaiyarkoil battle. The invading English forces plundered kalaiyarkoil and collected jewels worth 50,000 pagodas. Kalaiyarkoil temple belongs to Sivagangai Devasthanam.

derived its name from the Kaleesarar temple of the place. Kalaiyar is a corruption of the wordKaleeswaran. During the Sangam period, this place was known as Kaanapair as is seen from the 21st verse in the purananooru sung by Iyur moolakizar, a poet of the Sangam period. In the 9th Century A.D. Saint Sundara moorthy nayanar described the presiding deity in his devotional songs as Kaalai. Since then the deity was known as Kalaiyar with the Tamil or suffixed to it denoting respect. The temple came to be known as KALEESWARAR TEMPLE and later adapted to the place also.

The Kalayarkoil temple is a grand and spectacular building surrounded by a strong stone-wall about 18 feet in height. There are stone inscriptions in this temple dated 1530 and 1532 A.D. recording gifts of lands by Sundara Tholudayar Mavali Vandarayar. The stone statues of Kilavan Sethupathy and Rani Velu Nachiar and Maruthu brothers are seen inside the temple. An elephant is also maintained by the Devasthanam authorities. The statue of the Sivaganga King Muthuvaduganatha Thevar is, in front of the Arulmigu Someeswarar Sannathi. This temple maintains a number of Kattalais.

It is situated in front of the Kaleeswarar Sannathi. It was built by Maravarma Sundara Pandian in the 7th Century. It is height is 90 feetand breadth is 57.8 feet. In the inner part of the Gopuram. Sculptural drawings are seen. The smaller tower on the north owes its existence to Varguna Pandian(1251 -1261 A.D).

SWAMI RAJAGOPURAM It is front of the Someswarar Sannathi. The new tower on the south was built in the 18th century by the Marudhu brothers under Rani Velu Nachiar?s command. It is 155 ? feet tall and the breadth is 93 feet. It is said that bricks were brought from karumalai near Manamadurai. By forming a human claim from Karumalai to Kalayarkoil. It was built by the sweat and toils of the thousands of workers who worked heart and soul. One who is standing at the tower of the Rajagopuram can able to see Madurai Meenakshi Amman Kovil tower at West and Tondi see at East. 

HOLY TANK There is big tank on the Southern side of the Temple, an exact replica of Madurai Mariamman Theppakulam (Tank) but smaller in size. It is called Aanaimadu meaning elephant tank. According to Puranas, the white elephant Iravatham of Lord Indira was cursed by a saint. To remedy the curse, the elephant Iravatham was ordered to pray to Kaleeswarar for his salvation. The tusker using his hard Ivory(Tusk) dug a tank and performed poozas and abishekham for Sorna Kaleeswarar and Sornavalli Amman. The god and Goddess blessed Iravatham and the curse was removed. 

In kalayarkoil temple festivals are held in the month of Vaigasi for 10 days and Teppa Utsavam is also held.

The festival for Sornavalli is held in the month of Adi (June-July).

The Thai Poosam festival is held for ten days in Thai (January ? February).

Sri Sivagangai Samasthanam Devasthanam, Sivaganga ? 630 561, Sivagangai District., Tamil Nadu, India.
Email:  sowmiyan@sancharnet.in. Phone: 04575 241233.       



There are three shrines dedicated to the three presiding dieters. The first shrine is dedicated Sthoolalingam the 2nd shrine is dedicated Kaleeswarar representing Saotchumalingam and the third shrine is dedicated to Sundareswara representing Karanalingam. Their consorts are Goddesses Soundara Nayaki, Sri Sornavalli and Meenakshi respectively. According to Puranas, Lord Indira was cursed by a saint. He came her and prayed toSornakaleeswarar and Goddess Sornavalliamman at once he was removed of his curse. He erected a Sivalinga here and prayed daily.

Saints Thirugana Sambandar, Sekkizhar, Appar, Sundarar, Kallada Thevar, Kabila Thevar, Parana Thevar, Paranjothi Munivar, Arunagirinathar, Kumara gurubara Swamigal, AIYUR MOOLAN KILAR, AVVAIYAR, UKKIRAPERU VAZHUTHI, PERUMPATRA PULIYUR NAMBI (13th Century) UMAPATHY SIVACHARIAR (14th Century) and POYYAMOZHIPULAVAR have visited Kalayarkoil temple and composed numerous devotional songs and poems. hymns in praise of the presiding deity performed on 1998.

KALAYARKOIL derived its name from the KALEESWARAR temple. KALAYAR is a corruption of the word KALEESWARAN. During the Sangam period, this place was known as KAANAPPAIR as is seen from the 21st verse in the PURANANNOORU sung by IYUR MOOLAKIZHAR, a poet of the Sangam period. In the 9th Century A.D. SAINT SUNDARA MOORTHY NAYANAR described the presiding deity in his devotional songs as KAALAI Since then the deity was known as KALAIYAR and the temple came to be known as  KALAYARKOIL. 

King Vengai Marban ruled over this area during Sangam period. It was the strong hold of rulers of Sivagangai. It was also the seat of the freedom fighters like Muthu Vaduga Natha Thevar and Maruthu Brothers. On the 25th June 1772, the Companys forces under Col. Joseph Smitt and Cap. Bonjour marched towards Kalayarkoil. The Second King of Sivagangai Muthu Vaduga Natha Thevar (1750-1772) and the Commanders Maruthu brothers defended it bravely. Rajah Muthu Vaduganatha Thevar in anticipation of the English invasion made every possible preparation for defense. Rajah Muthu Vaduganathar along with his 2nd queen Rani Gowri Nachiar was ambushed by the British army and Killed when he went to offer prayer at the Kalaiyarkoil temple. The invading English forces plundered Kalayarkoil and collected jewels worth 50,000 pagodas. Kalayarkoil temple belongs to Sivagangai Samasthanam Deavasthanam. The present Rani of Sivagangai Rani Sahiba Madurantaki Nachiar is the Hereditary trustee of this temple and the Devasthanam.

VAALMEL NADANTHA AMMAN TEMPLE is another small temple dedicated to Kaleeswarar temple. It is situated at Tondi Road. Veera Sena Pandiya king has no child (male issue) to rule the Pandiya Kingdom after him. The king prayed to Kaleeswarar for the salvation of his problem. Kaleeswarar asked the king to bath in Rudratheertham (tank) of Vaalmel Nadantha Amman Temple with his spouse (RANI) bearing a dummy child made of gold. The king obeyed the order of Kaleeswarar and bathed in Ruthratheertham , bearing a dummy child made of gold. The Kings problem was solved and he was blessed with a real child in his hand by Kaleeswarar. The famous Pandian Kottai (Fort) is situated at the northern side of this Temple in a dilapidated condition. In Kalayarkoil, Lord Sundareswarar and his consort Meenakshi are in Linga form.(Karanalingam). The thousand pillars Mandapam at Mennakshi Sundareswarar Temple at Madurai was constructed by king Varguna Pandian in the 7th century. It is said that Varguna Pandian offered prayer to Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar at Madurai daily, and returned to Kalayarkoil, after attending the Arthasama Pooja. One day he was unable to go to Madurai on account of pouring and torrential rain at Kalayarkoil. Worried and disappointed on not being able to offers prayers at Madurai Meenakshi Sundareswarar. The Gods appeared before him asked the king to build a shrine dedicated to Sornakaleeswarar Sannathi and Sornavalli Amman Sannathi. The king built the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple Shrine.  

Do & Don't

Do & Don't


  • Do pray your Ishta Devata before pilgrimage to Temple.
  • Do contact Temple Devasthanam information centre for enquiry, temple information and for Pooja details etc.
  • Do reserve your travel and accommodation at Temple well in advance.
  • Do bath and wear clean clothes before you enter the temple.
  • Do concentrate on God and Goddess inside the temple.
  • Do maintain silence and recite Om Namahsivaya or your Istamantram to yourself inside the temple.
  • Do observe ancient custom and traditions while in Temple.
  • Do respect religious sentiments at Temple.
  • Do deposit your offerings in the hundi only.

Don't s:

  • Do not come to Temple for any purpose other than worshipping of God and Goddess.
  • Do not smoke at Temple.
  • Do not consume alcoholic drinks at Temple.
  • Do not eat non-vegetarian food in the Kshetram.
  • Do not approach mediators for quick Darshanam. It may cause inconvenient to others.
  • Do not carry any weapon inside the temple.
  • Do not wear any head guards like helmets, caps, turbans and hats inside the temple premises.
  • Do not perform Sastanga Pranama inside the Sanctum Sanctorum.
  • Do not take much time while performing Sparsa Darshanam to God in Garbhagriha.
  • Do not buy spurious prasadams from street vendors.
  • Do not encourage beggars at Temple.
  • Do not spit or create nuisance in the premises of the temple.

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