Keezhaiyur Twin Temples

 

Keezhaiyur Twin Temples

Saivite Temples, Ariyalur District

God

Chozheeswarar
Agastheeswarar

facing west in separate shrines

Goddess

Manonmani
Abithakusalambal

for the respective main deities

Other Deities

Ganesha, Muruga, Sapthamaadhar, Dakshinamurthy, Brahma

You could easily miss the Keezhaiyur Twin Temples even though they are in the main road! But having entered you will be left with wonder at these two beautiful temples. They are protected monuments in the control of the Archaeological Survey of India. The three tier Rajagopuram of the Keezhaiyur Twin Temples is one of the oldest in Tamilnadu. The sculptural splendor here is beyond a regular look and requires a detailed observation. Of particular mention are the Nandis and the Shiva idol performing on a Veena. The  temple in the north is Vadavayil Srikovil or Chozheecharam and the one in the south is Thenvayil Srikovil or Agastheeswaram. The Vimaanam of the northern shrine is a round one (Vesara) and that of the southern one is square (Nagara).

Holy Water – No information

Holy Tree – No information

History

Keezhaiyur Twin Temples predate the Thanjavur Big temple of Brahadeeswara. They were constructed under the Pazhuvettaraiyar Chiefs (subordinates to the Chola Dynasty) Kumaran Kandan and Kumaran Maraiyan in the 9th Century CE during the rule of King Adithya Chola by Avani Gandarvan. Keezhaiyur Twin Temples  was called Avanigandarba Eswaragruham. The Dhwajasthambham was built by another Pazhuvettaraiyar chief called Ranamukharaman. Keezhaiyur Twin Temples had a large number of inscriptions which are a storehouse of information of a hoary past. The earliest inscription in the temple complex is of the 13 regnal year of Aditya Chola. This inscription records a gift for burning a perpetual lamp in the Keezhaiyur Twin Temples under the orders of Nakkan Pazhuvettaraiyar Kumaran Kandan. Many other Pazhuvettaraiyars are mentioned in inscriptions in the two temples, and are also referred to as Maravar, Vadugar and Kaikkolar.

An inscription from the time of Rajendra Chola says that two persons guilty of homicide had to surrender their land to the Keezhaiyur Temple. Another inscription of the same time mentions that provision was made for paying a ‘Nattuvakkani’- dance master. From this and the idols here with musical instruments it is inferred that the Keezhaiyur Twin Temples played a role in the musical movement of that period.

An inscription here mentions that one of queens of Raja Raja I belonged to the Pazhuvettaraiyar clan. The inscription, of the 27 regnal year of Raja Raja, says that upon the request of his queen Nakkan Panchavan Mahadevi, the daughter of Avani Kandarpa Purattu Devanar of Pazhuvur, the King granted income from newly surveyed lands to the temple.

Legend

No information

Directions

Keezhaiyur Twin Temples is 3.5 kms west of Pazhuvur, 15 kms south of Ariyalur via pazhuvur, 32 kms from Lalgudi on the way to Pazhuvur.

Stay and Food

None locally. Closest are Lalgudi and Ariyalur

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