Ancient Temple needs structural uplift

A 12th Century Temple in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu is in urgent need of reconstruction and refurbishment to regain its glory.

‘Suyambu Sundareshwarar Temple,’ located about 15 kms from Mannargudi in the Tiruvarur District is in ruins and requires funds to meet the various costs.

The main Deity here is Lord Shiva, who is seen in the form of Lingam. The Deity is believed to have appeared on His own and hence is known as ‘Suyambu Lingam’ along with Nandi, the Sacred Bull, which is always found in the Lord’s abode in Kailash.

The Cholas reportedly built the big granite Temple more than 900 years ago. Inscriptions found in the Temple mention that the Chola kings were involved in its planning and construction.

The scriptures also speak about the ‘Nalavars’ (Quartet) who were famous poets of the Nayanar clan. They included Manikkavachakar, Thirugnana Sambandar, Appar and Sundarar, who were noted for their deep knowledge of Tamil literature and for their service to Lord Shiva.

It is a pity that the Temple was destroyed a few years ago, forcing the people of the Village to move the Deities to a temporary location in Madappalli.

However, the main Deity has been left in its original location, in view of its unique origin. According to architects, it would be possible to preserve the Deity in the reconstruction process.

Land grabbed

It is also unfortunate that the pond in front of the Temple and the land in the surrounding areas have been taken away, with no chance of their redemption.

The Temple is in verge of extinction. Some devotees have decided to renovate the historical place of worship, either by realigning the granite or through other methods of construction.

With a population of less than 500 people, the villagers are finding it hard to raise the required finances.

Donations can be remitted to the account of the Temple, called, Sri Arulmigu Sri Sundareswarar Alayam, Tiruppanikkulu,’ Account Number 30854146423, State Bank of India, Vadapathimangalam ADB Branch, Tiruvarur District, Tamil Nadu. IFSC Code: SBIN0001897

Balamurugan Mohandoss is a telecommunication engineer based in Auckland. He can be reached on (09) 3521277 or 021-08431127; Email:

Photo : Suyambu Sundareshwarar Temple

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