Pilgrims neglect temples at Keezhaiyur

But Archaeology Department has taken up their maintenance, upkeep

Updated - July 20, 2015 05:47 am IST

Published - July 20, 2015 12:00 am IST - ARIYALUR:

Twin temples at Keezhaiyur near Ariyalur.— Photo: M. Srinath

Twin temples at Keezhaiyur near Ariyalur.— Photo: M. Srinath

The State Archaeology Department has recently taken up maintenance and upkeep of twin temples at Keezhaiyur on the Tiruchi-Ariyalur Highway.

The village, though small, accommodates two temples – one on the north called Vadavayil Srikoil or Chozheecharam and the one on the south called Thenvayil Srikoil or Agatheeswararm. The temples were constructed by chieftains of Pazhuvettaraiyar – Kumaran Kandan and Kumaran Maravan of the 9{+t}{+h}century AD.

According to sources of Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology, the temples were excellent examples of the early Chola architecture. “In fact, these temples had been constructed prior to the construction of the Big Temple in Thanjavur,” say the sources. The village has been popular as the capital of the Pazhuvettaraiyar.

The State Archaeology Department has been taking special efforts for proper upkeep and maintenance of the temple which was built by the Avani Gandarvan.

The temple accounts for a large number of inscriptions which are a storehouse of information of the hoary past.

The temple has been the centre for promoting art and culture.

“The temple has attached importance to music. This is evident from one of the idols on the Vimanam holding a musical instrument,” say the source.

The presiding deity is Sri Sozheeswarar and Sri Manonmani for the first temple and Sri Agatheeswarar and Sri Abitha Kusalambal for the second one.

Although the temple is located at a prime junction, it is not visited. Efforts should be made for attracting pilgrims and history lovers to these temples, say a cross-section of epigraphists and research scholars.

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