An enchanting trip to the land of many lakes


Payaraneeswarar Shiva Temple in Udayarpalayam, Tamil Nadu, Source: r/IndiaDivine


Udayarpalayam, Oh how much I missed that place. By reminiscing the past memories I started my trip to Udayarpalayam along with my cousin on a weekend. I still remember the first time I visited this enchanting town famous for its lip smacking biryani. When I finally snapped out of my memories I noticed that we had reached the destination. It was a sunny day so we started our walk in high spirits. One can see a variety of shops on the way. The arch of the Udayar kingdom palace of Udayarpalayam is visible on the left and a road leading to the big temple on the right is on the right. We decided to visit the palace first since I have never seen that place. The path seems scary with no one around with overgrown grass. One can see the once gorgeously designed and impeccably clean palace is now in complete ruins.

The palace is spread on five acres. The palace was built by the Udayars since they’re known for their patronage of arts but due to the sheer negligence of the authorities it is in ruins.

With a heavy heart we started walking towards the Payarneeswarar Temple which is also called Big temple by the locals. The temple is opposite to the palace road and just 3-5 minutes walk from the palace. You can sense the serenity while walking towards the temple. One of the oldest Shiva temples dating back over 1400 years greets you with its fabulous and immense artistic style.The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is worshipped as Payarneeswarar, or the Lord of the paddy fields. The temple is adorned with a seven tiered tower (Rajagopuram) and a breath-taking broad temple tank with a central (structure) mandapam in the middle. The main deity of the temple is ‘Payarneeswarar’ or ‘Payarneenadhar’in Tamil and ‘Murkabureeswarar’ in Sanskrit. The goddess of the temple is known as ‘Ambal Narumalar Poonguzhali nayagi’ and the Lord Ganesha here is known as ‘Vil Valaitha Pillayar’. It is believed that Lord Ganesha helped Arjuna by bending his powerful bow(Vil) called ‘Kandeepam’. If you love architecture this place is one of the best to visit and the sheer style of the temple makes you fall in love with its aesthetics and immense beauty.

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