RENOVATION The village in Tiruvarur district is famous for two reasons.

On the Mannargudi-Muthupettai route (Tiruvarur district) is Siddhamalli, where there is a Siva temple dedicated to Sri Kulasekara Swami with consort Abhirami. Built by the Cholas, it is in a dilapidated condition. Said to have been built by Kulasekara Pandian in the 11th century (also attributed to Rajaraja, III) Siddhamalli is mentioned in an inscription.

How did the village get its name? The presence of siddhars once upon a time is an explanation. Another relates to the Mahabahrata. During their exile, the Pandavas arrived here dispirited and confused. Peace and clarity came after worshipping at the Kulasekara Swami temple.

The temple that once reverberated with the chanting of Veda mantra and devotees' prayer is desolate now. Scriptures speak of a washerman exclusively engaged in laundering the clothes used to adorn the deities. Vaikasi Visakham was celebrated with great fanfare. The Dhandayuthapani idol is a beauty. There are niches for Meenakshi and Sundareswarar, Sri Dakshinamurti, Sri Bhairavar and so on. But now there is no fund to do daily pujas.

Siddhamalli residents have joined hands to renovate the temple. Work that started last year is progressing at a slow pace. For details contact 28152533/9840053289.

Great scholar

Adjacent to the temple is the adishtanam of Sri Subramanya Yatindra, a scholar. A disciple of Mahamahopadyaya Raju Sastri, Yatindra was one of the several pandits who trained Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati in Vedas, Upanishads and vyakarnam when he took over as the 68th pontiff of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam.

An ardent devotee of Paramacharya, Sri Yatindra looked after the administrative affairs of the Math. A trusted lieutenant of the sage, the latter commended him for his deep knowledge. He called him Eka Sandgrahi (after a single reading or hearing he could recall verbatim the contents) referring to his exceptional memory.

Oh Yatindra's request, Paramacharya bestowed him abadsanyasam. On November 9, 1933, Subramania Yatindra attained samadhi. His body was buried on the western side of Sri Kulasekara Swami temple and the adhishtanam became a place of worship. The annual homage and prayer will be held at his adishtanam on November 9. For details contact S. Krishnajayam, granddaughter: 32920761.