Legend goes that Mahavishnu brought Ariyalur out of the sea to make it His earthly abode. Millions of years ago, Arilyalur region was indeed under water and for students of geology, Ariyalur Stage is an important phase. Even today fossils of sea animals and plants are found strewn about in this region.

In the heart of Ariyalur is the Kothandaramaswamy temple, which once upon a time must have buzzed with activity. The utsava idol of Rama is exquisite, in fact as beautiful as the Vaduvur idol. The Dasavathara Mandapam, inside the temple, with huge pillars, each depicting an Avatar of Vishnu is unique in its magnificence and dimension.

Devotees have special affection for the Narasimha at this temple. Ariyalur is said to have derived its name from Ari, Tamil for lion. The sculpted lion-god on the pillar is an imposing figure. “It is Narasimha, who is protecting us and has bestowed prosperity on the town,” say local devotees in unison. They remember Mahaperiyaval’s visit to the place and his words extolling the majestic grace and power of Narasimhaswami in the Dasavathara Mantapam.

The people of the township have decided to restore glory to the temple and renovation has been planned. On the agenda is the reconstruction of the temple car for which the State Government has sanctioned Rs. 9.5 lakhs as the first instalment. Devotees are determined to conduct the annual festival and reclaim the temple tank.

Prominent citizens of Ariyalur congregated at the Dasavatara Mandapam and decided to organise a charitable registered Trust to augment the resources needed to accomplish the task. The Rotary and Lions clubs are also willing to lend a helping hand. The managements of cement factories have promised to pitch in too.

After renovation, a date will be set for samprokshanam. For more information and details, contact the Executive Officer of the temple or the convener of the committee Sankar: 04329-222178, Email-shankaraisola@yahoo.co.in and S. Meenakshisundaram – Retired Hr. Secondary School Head Master: 91-9710468187 email-bhumeens@hotmail.com