Ponmalainadar Devikapuram

Ponmalainadar, Devikapuram

Saivite Temples, Thiruvannamalai District


Ponmalainadar, (also called Kanaga Gireeswarar) facing east


Periyanayaki Amman, facing east in a separate temple

Other Deities

On the way up the hill – Swarna Akarshana Bhairava, Agora Veerabadhra, Ayyappan, Ganesha, Murugan. Kasi Visalakshi, Ganesha, Muruga with consorts, Saptha Kanniyar. Sanctum niches – Ganesha, Dakshinamurthy, Chandikeswara

Ponmalainadar Devikapuram is a large hill temple situated atop a hill called Kanagagiri with a base circumference of about 5 kilometers. The base has a Girivala Padhai (circumambulatory path around the hill). 302 steps lead up this wonderfully green hill and the climb on a cloudy, drizzly day would be a refreshing experience. At the top is a large Mantapa with some beautiful carvings on the pillars. This Mantapa leads inside the temple through a 3 tiered Rajagopuram. The Balipeedam, Flagstaff, and Nandi are before the Mantapa and to the side of the steps leading up. There are 2 Prakarams, one outside the tall walls and one inside the walls with the shrines and Sanctum Sanctorum. The Sanctum Sanctorum is unique with 2 Shivalingams – one is the main deity, Ponmalainadar and the other being Kasi Viswanathar installed side by side.

Holy Water (Theertham) – No information

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – No information


Ponmalainadar Devikapuram is an ancient temple that was later developed elaborately by the Vijayanagar Kings. Many inscriptions are found here and in the Periyanayaki Amman temple below providing information about the contributions made by them and others. They mention the name of the Lord as Thirumalai Udayar and Thirumalai Udaya Nayinar.


Once during a deluge when the entire area was submerged this hill alone stood out and shone like gold (Pon in Tamil) and thus the lord at Ponmalainadar Devikapuram was named so. The story of the Lingam goes back earlier when it was discovered by a hunter-gatherer digging for roots in the hill hit his crowbar on the lingam and blood started oozing out. He informed the locals who decided to build a shrine for the lord on the hill. They started giving ablution to the lord with hot water to soothe his wound and the practice continues to date.


Ponmalainadar Devikapuram is in the center of Devikapuram village which is 12 kilometers west of Chetpet and 15 kilometers east of Polur on the road connecting the two towns.

Stay and Food

Devikapuram has a few small restaurants for a snack.

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