History & Culture

Of a hill temple and siddhar

Mahadeva Mount, a hillock on top of which is located a Siva temple.  

To the west of Katpadi lies Mahadeva Mount, a hillock on top of which is located a Siva temple. Far away from the bustle of surrounding towns, the temple is frequented by devotees, who have heard about the temple and a siddhar, who lives there.

Said to be 500 years old, the temple was built by a trader of the Pandya kingdom. Both the lingam and Nandi are swayambu. Siva’s consort here is Kamakshi. Legend has it that the merchant, an ardent devotee of Siva, prayed for His darshan and was asked to go to Kalahasti on Maha Sivaratri day. The merchant started the journey and reached a place called K.V. Kuppam (Keezh Vazhi Thunai Kuppam) and made enquiries about the route to Kalahasti. He learnt that he was far away from Kalahasti and the day was Maha Sivaratri.

An old man approached the crestfallen trader promising to show him the Lord. The two reached a hill and the old man turned out to be Siva, who ordained the devotee to build a temple there.

The village from where the trader was met by came to be called Keezh Vazhi Thunai Kuppam.

The person, whom people look upon as Maha Ananda Siddha was born in Dharmapuri district on December 6, 1930, and was engaged in turmeric trade. A devotee of Siva, he undertook the renovation of many temples in Tamil Nadu and performed annadanam. At Lokuvakulam Bharadwajiswarar temple of Kalahasti, where he was feeding the devotees, he is said to have received a message asking him to go to Mahadeva Mount and live in a cave there, worship Siva and protect the devotees.

Mahananda Siddha as he is called is living the life of a recluse and locals say he does not eat food nor drink water.

Mahananda has built steps to help devotees climb the hill and worship the deity. A huge statue of Dakshinamurti has been installed and a meditation hall built. But what touches the hearts of the devotees is his gesture to provide food to hundreds of devotees daily.

Location of the Mount

The Katpadi station is on the Chennai-Bangalore route. The arch welcoming visitors to Mahadeva mount is at the 19th km on the Gudiyatham highway to the west of Katpadi.

From Gudiyatham town, the welcome arch to Mahadeva mount is situated at a distance of 11 kilometres on the way to Katpadi.

Bus Stop: From old Krishnapuram (P.K. Puram) branch off from the main road to the inner road on the north and by covering a distance of 4 k.m., one can reach the foot of Mahadeva mount.

Those travelling from the South can reach Vellore and from there, through Katpadi, can reach Mahadeva mount.

Quick facts

Place: Mahadeva Mount

Location: on the Chennai – Bangalore route

Deity: Lord Siva

Goddess: Kamakshi

Legend: Lingam and Nandi are swayambu

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 12:58:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/history-and-culture/of-a-hill-temple-and-siddhar/article11750039.ece

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