Karapuranadar Uthamacholapuram

Karapuranadar, Uthamacholapuram

Saivite Temples - Salem District


Karapuranadar, facing east


Periyanayaki, facing south

Other Deities

Shakti Vinayaka, Ayyappan, Navagraha, Naalvar, Sekkizhar, Santhana Kuravargal, Kaali, Saraswati, Mahalakshmi, Kannimoola Ganapathi, Pancha Bhootha Lingams, Subramanya with consorts, Karadi Sidhdhar, Veerabadhra, Bhairava. Sanctum Niches – Shakti Vinayaka, Dakshinamurthy, Lingotbavar, Brahma, Durga, Chandikeswara

Karapuranadar Uthamacholapuram is an east-facing temple with a 5 tiered Rajagopuram at the entrance in the east. The temple is situated in a single Prakaram. Before the Rajagopuram is a stone Dwajasthambam. On one side of the entrance is a large idol of Avvaiyar. After the Rajagopuram is the large common Mahamandapam. The goddess shrine is on the right as you enter facing south. After the Mahamandapam is the Ardha Mandapam leading into the sanctum sanctorum of the main deity. The slender Shiva Lingam is seen slightly slanting to one side. Karapuranadar Uthamacholapuram is one of the Pancha (five) Bhootha Lingam temples in the area and represents Akasam (Sky). The other 4 temples are Vayu (Air – Aragalur), Prithvi (Earth – Belur), Appu (Water – Ethapur), and Agni (Fire – Attur). All of them except Karapuranadar Uthamacholapuram is situated on the banks of the Vasishta River. There are idols of Chera, Chola, Pandya Kings and Avvaiyar here at Karapuranadar Uthamacholapuram. The Thirumanimuthar River flows before the Karapuranadar Uthamacholapuram temple across the highway. The Kanjamalai hills provide a beautiful backdrop for Karapuranadar Uthamacholapuram.

Holy Water (Theertham) – Thirumanimuthar River

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Vilwam (Aegle marmelos)


Karapuranadar Uthamacholapuram is a Thirumurai Vaippu Sthalam having been mentioned in one of the Hymns (6-31-5) by R=Thirunavukkarasar (7th Century CE). Karapuranadar Uthamacholapuram is an ancient temple having received contributions from the Chera, Chola, and Pandya Kings. There are several inscriptions around the walls of the mandapam and sanctum sanctorum referring to their contributions here at Karapuranadar Uthamacholapuram. Avvaiyar (Chola era), Sekkizhar (12th Century CE), Pattinathar (14th Century CE), Saint Arunagirinadar (15th Century CE), and several others have worshiped the lord here at Karapuranadar Uthamacholapuram. The work on the Rajagopuram that was initiated during the Chola era was unfinished for centuries and was only completed in 1992 by the Tamilnadu Government.


The lord at Karapuranadar Uthamacholapuram was worshiped by Karadushana, brother of Ravana, and having failed to evoke a response from the lord he was about to commit suicide by entering fire when the Lord intervened and blessed him. The name Kara Pura Nadar is said to have come since Kara Dushana undertook penance here.

Avvaiyar (Sangam era?) was given the responsibility of taking care of the daughters of King Pari, Angavai, and Sangavai by Sage Kapilar. She is believed to have conducted their marriage here at Karapuranadar Uthamacholapuram inviting the Chera, Chola, and Pandya Kings of that time who were not on good terms with the deceased Pari. They are said to have stayed at Shervaroy Hills, Uthamacholapuram, and Veerapandi respectively. The Pandya king fished out pearls from the Thirumanimuthar River flowing opposite the temple and created a necklace that adorns the Meenakshi idol in Madurai Temple even today.

Gunaseelan, a child devotee of Lord Shiva, felt sad at not being able to touch the Shiva Lingam here at Karapuranadar Uthamacholapuram. The kind lord is believed to have slanted to one side to enable the child to reach and touch him.


Karapuranadar Uthamacholapuram is about 7.5 Kilometers southwest of Salem on the road going towards Sankagiri. Take the service roads to reach Karapuranadar Uthamacholapuram which is on the right side of the main road itself as you go from Salem.

Stay and Food

None locally except tea and snack shops. The closest for food and stay is Salem.

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