January 6, 2016

Thirupalaivanam Paaleeswarar Temple

Site Name: Paaleeswarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu ancient temple
Location:   Thirupalaivanam, Near Ponneri, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: Pradosha pooja in this temple is very special
Nearest Railway Station: Ponneri
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road from Ponneri and Chennai
Hotel: Go to Ponneri for limited options; for better option, go to Chennai
Restaurants:  Limited options in Ponneri

Ponneri is a small town located at a distance of around 40 kms from Chennai in Tamil Nadu state of India . Thirupalaivanam is a village located at a distance of around 10 kms from Ponneri on the way to Pulicat.The highlight of the village is the ancient Paaleeswarar temple. Let us explore about this temple in this article.


As per the legend, the Devas and the Asuras were churning the milky ocean. Amriddha (nectar) came out of that ocean. Some portion of the nectar was turned into a Shiv Linga. It was worshiped by the Devas and then by the sages Agastya and Markandeya. The same Shiva Linga appeared below a jack tree and gave darshan to the Chola king Rajendra Chola I

After consuming the nectar, the Devas washed their hands in the temple tank. The Asuras took the form of frogs to drink the nectar mixed with the water. Realizing that, the Devas made the temple tank not liveable for frogs. It is said that even today frogs are not found in this temple tank.


The temple was built by the Cholas. Although it is claimed that it was built by Rajendra Chola I, I am not sure if there is any record to prove that.

Temple Layout:

The temple has five tiered tower (Raja gopuram). The big temple tank and a mandapa with carved pillars are located in front of the tower. 

The sanctum sanctorum enshrines big Shiva Linga called as Paaleeswarar. The main shrine is built as per the Gajaprshtha architectural style. 

The moolasthan, ardha mandapa and maha mandapa are very long. There are two prakaras around the main shrine. The flag staff, Nandi Mandapa and bali peetha are found facing towards the main shrine.

The entrance of the maha mandapa has two big idols of Ganesha and Dakshinamurti.

Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are found as the niche images around the main shrine.

In the inner prakara, the idols of Chandikeshwara, Hanuman, Nalvar, Vishwanathar (Linga) and Nandi, Linga, Markandeya and Nandi, Veerabhadra, Naga Linga, Subramanya with his two consorts, Nritya Ganapati, Naga and a very beautiful Bhikshatana are located. 

The sub-shrines/mandapas such as Vinai Theerkum Vinayakar, Alankara Mandapa, Nataraja-Sivakami and Simha Mandapa are also found in the inner prakara.

The Goddess of the temple is Balambigai. She is found in a separate east facing shrine. There is a separate prakara around Amman shrine. At the entrance of her shrine, the idols of Ganesha and Subramanya with Valli-Devasena are found. 

The outer prakara is a open space where the sub-shrines of Ganesha, Bhairav, Shaneeswara, Navagraha and big Arunchaleswara Linga are found. 

Happy travelling.


  1. Great detail about our history, thank you.

  2. Build by Chola is 100% true since this temple is having a undergound tunnel.

  3. This very old Chola temple is having underground tunnel also