Moovarkoil Kodumbalur

Moovarkoil, Kodumbalur

Saivite Temples, Pudhukottai District


Shiva, facing west



Other Deities

None except for a few in the Sanctum Niches

Moovarkoil Kodumbalur is a set of 3 temples dedicated to Lord Shiva built by the Chola feudatory and Irukkuvel chieftain Boothi Vikramakesari. Only two of the three survive now. The monuments are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India. Out of the three, the northern one is totally lost except for its foundation. The central and southern shrines are intact and are adorned with beautiful sculptures. Both have a Nandi in front. The two circular pilasters with circular shafts on four sides of the Vimana indicate the temple’s antiquity. As per experts, this feature is possibly termed Vrittasputitas in shilpa texts like Shilparatana and is found only in few other temples. These temples follow the Pallava architecture which are relatively small in size. They all have a fair-sized porch, locally called Ardha Mandapa attached to the sanctum, both of which are slightly below the ground level in a pit kind of structure. The structures are also predominantly built of stone.

Holy Water (Theertham) – No information

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – No information


As per inscriptions, Moovarkoil Kodumbalur temples were constructed by the Chola feudatory and Irukkuvel chieftain Boothi Vikramakesari who ruled the place. His family was related to the Cholas by marriage. His mother was a Chola princess Anupama, the younger sister of Chola prince Arindama. A record of the Irukkuvel chief lauds his father, Samarabirama, as Yadu-vamsa-ketu (Banner of the Yadu race) that is traced back to Krishna’s Yadava race. According to the chief’s inscription, he built three temples in the complex one for himself and the other two for his wives, Nangai Varaguna Perumanar and Karrali. According to historian James Harle, the temple is counted among the four early extant temples of the Chola Empire, with the other three being Koranganatha Temple in Tiruchirappalli district, Nageswaran temple at Kumbakonam and Brahmapureeswarar temple in Thanjavur district. Kodumbalur was also the site of a fierce battle between the Pandyas and the Pallavas.


Irukkuvel Boothi Vikramakesari built the three temples at Moovarkoil Kodumbalur for himself and his two wives, Nangai Varaguna Perumanar and Karrali.


Moovarkoil Kodumbalur is about 40 kilometers northwest of Pudukottai close to Viralimalai where the road joins the National Highway between Thiruchirapalli and Madurai. Moovarkoil Kodumbalur is about 35 kilometers from Thiruchirapalli on the highway going to Madurai and after Viralimalai.

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