April 12, 2016

Edayarpakkam Mahadevar Temple

Site Name: Mahadevar Temple
Site Type: Hindu stone temple of Chola period
Location:  65 kms from Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: An unknown ancient temple of Chola era
Nearest Major Railway Station: Chennai
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: The village is reachable by road; public transportation is not dependable; it is a little known remote place and the roads are not in good condition; 
Hotel: Go to Chennai where there are lot of options 
Restaurants: Go to Chennai where there are lot of options

Edayarpakkam is a small village located at a distance of around 65 kms from Chennai city in Tamil Nadu state of India. The nearest well known site is Thakolam, which is at a distance of 9 kms from here. This village has a beautiful stone temple built in the 11th century. Let us discuss about this temple in this article.

The village is spelled as Edayarpakkam and pronounced as Idaiyar Pakkam. The small east facing temple is called as Mahadevar temple. It is a stone temple built during the reign of Kulotunga Chola I in the 11th century CE. (There are Chola period inscriptions found in this temple to prove this.) The temple is very small and does not have gopura or flag staff.

The historical name of the village is Raja Vidyadhara Chadur Vedi Mangalam. It was also called as Idaiyattrup Pakkam in those days. The actual name of the presiding deity is Tiruppada Kadudaiyar. He is called as Mahadevar nowadays.

This temple just has the main shrine and there are no other sub-shrines. The sanctum enshrines Shiv Linga called as Mahadevar. A small Vishnu idol is also found in the shrine. This idol was found during an excavation in the recent past and someone has placed Vishnu adjacent to Shiv Linga. Hence, this temple of Shiva has Vishnu also in the main shrine. (I hope few years down the line, someone might cook up a new story or theory why both the idols are kept here. We might get a new interesting legend. :-) )

The upper portion of the vimana is broken and only half of the Vimana exists today. The Vimana is built as per the Gaja prshtha style.

The Koshta (niche) images around the main shire are extremely attractive. Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Brahma and Vishnu Durga are found as the Koshta idols. The niche on the backside of the shrine has no idol. There is no Chandikeshwara sub-shrine.

There is no idol of shrine for Goddess.

Nandi idol and bali peetha are found facing towards the main shrine.

A newly made or found small Ganesha idol is found below a tree in the temple complex.

Such a beautiful heritage site - it is sad to find this lying unknown!

Happy travelling.

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