June 26, 2013


Site Name: Adi Kesava Perumal Temple aka Kooraththalwar Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location:  Kooram village, near Kanchipuram town, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: The birthplace of Kooraththalwar, an important Vaishnaivite Guru
Nearest Railway Station: Kanchipuram
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road from Kanchipuram/Chennai
Hotel: A lot of options in Kanchipuram 
Restaurants: Go to Kanchipuram for restaurants

Kooram is a small village located at a distance of around 10 kms from Kanchipuram town in Tamil Nadu state of South India. It is the birthplace of Kooraththalwar, an important Vaishnaivite Guru.

  • The birth place of Kooraththalwar.
  • God - Adi Kesava Perumal
  • Goddess - Pankajambal


Kooraththalwar was born in 1010 CE in Kooram village. He was the chief disciple of Sri Ramanuja. He helped his Guru in almost all endeavors. When the Chola king wanted to arrest Ramanuja, he dressed up like his Guru and appeared before the king; he had to sacrifice his both eyes in this event. It is said without him, Ramanuja could not have written Bhasyam. He was known for his knowledge, devotion and memory power.

The temple dedicated to Kooraththalwar was the place where his residence was located around 1000 years ago.

Temple Layout:

The temple has two parts - one dedicated to Adi Kesava Perumal and the second part dedicated to Kooraththalwar.

The first part of the temple is the main portion; it faces the eastern direction. The sanctum sanctorum has the idols of Adi Kesava Perumal with his consorts Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi. All are found in the standing posture. As usual, the sub-shrine of Garuda, flag post and bali peetha are located facing the sanctum.

The sanctum has just one prakara (corridor). The prakara has the sub-shrines of the Goddess Pankajambal, Andal, Chakrathalwar with Narasimha on his back and Hanuman.

The sub-shrine of Desikan is found separately at the exterior side of the temple. A small idol of Hanuman is also located here.

The second part of the temple belongs to Kooraththalwar. The sanctum sanctorum has the idol of Kooraththalwar in the sitting posture. The prakara surrounding the sanctum has a lot of paintings depicting his life.

The bronze utsava idols of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman, which are believed to be around 1000 years old and were worshiped by the parents of Kooraththalwar are also placed along with his idol in the sanctum sanctorum. It is believed that the room where he was born was converted into his shrine.

This portion of the temple has many sub-shrines such as Pillai Lokacharya, Manavala Mamunigal, Ramanujar, Parasara Pattar, Senai Mudali, Nammalvar and Tirumangai Alwar.

Although the temple is supposed to be ancient, it is entirely renovated and it is hard to find any heritage sign.

Happy travelling.

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  1. I had been to this temple twice. You have covered it in detail.

  2. This Temple is very auspicious and powerful deities for eye related ailments....