Pray for it, let it be bestowed,
Wish for it, let it rain down like a snow.
Take a stand for what is right, and pure,
And the nectar of grace shall surely pour.
Water is a gift, a grace so divine,-unofficial translation of a part from Jeyamohan’s novel Kratham.
Transforming barren land to liquid fine.
Out of its kindness, it softens stone,
Turning harsh earth to liquid all its own.
These are the descriptions about Varuna, the God of rain, by Jeyamohan. Getting wet in rains is a blessing. This a story of getting wet in summer rain.
We went for an interesting trip to saw 4 monuments.
Dilapidated Shiva temple, Pulvayal
Shikanatha Shiva temple, Kudumiyanmalai
Muvar Koil, Kodumbalur
Aivar Koil, Kodumbalur
Our first hop is Pulvayal. The temple is on the right side of Pudukkottai – to Manapparai road.
You can find he temple right behind a school there. The half of the temple is damaged already. It is so pathetic to see the temples like this. There is a beautiful Shiva temple surrounded by parivara temples. Despite not being an worshipped temple, there were traces of viscous of lamp-oil. I am interested to see who that obedient devotee is.
From there, Kudumiyanmalai is not far. Due to summer, all the ponds on the way were either dried or close to dry already. A life size statue of Kangeyar welcomed us inside the temple. The 1000 pillared hall is renovated from its dangerous condition 20 years ago. The temple is at the foot of a massive rock.
The rock has a fold on it, where 64 nayanmar bas relieves were carved. Annai and Ammai was seating on a bull at the centre.
Kodumbalur is close to 1 hour travel from Kudumiyanmalai. Kodumbalur has 3 archeological sites Muvar Koil, Aivar Koil and Muchukundevara koil. We visited two of them that day.
We started with Muvar Koil.
Sanjay was reading the ASI board there which said ‘It was built by Boothi Vikrama Kesari, who is a chieftain of Sundara Chola.’
It was just a one liner. But it brought the timeline in our mind. Muvar temple is earlier than the famous Thanjavur Brihadisvara temple. People used to say these may be trials before the construction of Thanjavur temple.
The most beautiful one is Muvar koil, the temple-of-three! But we can see two temples only now. One is demolished. We saw the basements only. The garden was beautiful. Due to rains, it was so pleasant to visit that time. Sun took a short break, to allow us to visit the temple.
Aivar koil is a just a collection the basements of five temples. If it existed, it could be the most massive and beautiful temple complex in Kodumbalur. It is heart breaking to see the temple basement. What those invaders got by destroying art forms? treasure right.
There is a saying in Tamil for those who steal the properties of Siva temple, Sivan soththu kula naasam – ‘Shiva’s property is the destruction of clan’. Despite the condition of those invading countries even in 21st century, still the theft continues.
Pulvayal and Kudumiyanmalai were as pleasant as they were forty years ago.
It is a pleasant surprise to see the latest Kodumbalur monuments after the developments performed by Archeological Survey of India. They have an lushy lawn. There is a path made of stone slabs. Publications of ASI were also available. Entry fee is ₹15 per person.
Another interesting fact is, Kodumbalur was a capital of Irukkuvel-s. It is mere a village now. When Kodumbalur flourished, there is no Chennai. See the way time travels!
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