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Thiruvarur – The Town Known for Its Great Ancient Temples
About Thiruvarur
Located in the Cauvery river basin, the town of Thiruvarur is a part of the district of the same name in Tamil Nadu. Thiravarur is the most ancient temple town of Tamil Nadu, which was once the capital of kingdom under the reign of Manu Needhi Cholan, a highly respected king from the Chola dynasty, whose sense of fairness and justice is still considered to be milestone in Tamil culture and literature. The most important features of the town are the famous Thyagarajaswamy temple as well as the annual Chariot festival, which is organized in the month of April. In fact, the history of the town has deep association with this ancient temple, which is also the most important tourist destination of this South Indian town. 

The Temples Of Thiruvarur
Sri Thyagarajaswamy Temple:  The Thyagarajaswamy temple is one of the most important religious places in South India. The presiding deity of the temple is of Somaskandar, another form of the Lord Shiva along with his wife Uma and child Skanda. Spread over an area of 20 acres, the complex of the temple also features the temples of other deities including Kamalaamba, Thyagarajar and Vanmikanathar. There is also the huge tank in Kamalalayam temple, which is considered holy by the pilgrims who throng the place to take a dip in it on auspicious occasions. Another important feature of the temple is its huge temple chariot, which weighs around 300 tonnes and is about 90 ft high, making it the largest chariot of its kind in the state. The annual Chariot festival, held in the Tamil month of Chitrai, which corresponds with the months of April – May, attracts numerous tourists from not only India, but across the world.  

Sri Rajagopalaswamy Temple: This temple, dedicated to great Rajagopalaswamy, believed to be a beautiful incarnation of the Lord Krishna, is located in Mannargudi. The temple complex covers a total area of nearly 23 acres and its main feature is the huge idol of Rajagopalaswamy, which is nearly 12 ft in height. In addition, the temple also features other structures that include 7 mandapams, 24 shrines, 16 gopurams, 9 theerthams, and also 7 prakarams. All these structures were originally constructed by King Kulothunga Chola I but were later renovated by his successors and the Nayaks of Thanjavur. 

The Neelameghaperumal Temple: This 10th century temple built by the kings of Chola dynasty, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The main feature of the temple is its immense tower, which stands 100ft tall and within which the sanctum of the temple is located. Apart from that the temple also houses smaller places of worship   for Goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesha.

The Kothanda Ramar Temple: This temple, which is considered to be nearly 20 centuries old, is located in Thillaivilagam, which is in the vicinity of Mudikondan, a village considered to be as old as the temple itself.  The temple is dedicated to Lord Rama and has a beautiful idol of the deity supporting a magnificent crown.

The Saraswati Temple: As the name suggests, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Saraswati and is located on the shores of River Arasilar, in the village of Kuthanur. According to local legend, the temple was after Ottakuttar, a 12th century Tamil poet, prayed to Goddess Saraswati to construct the temple at this place.

Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple: Located in the village of Kudavasal village, the Sri Srinivasa Perumal temple dates back to 400 years and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the form of the Lord Srinivasa.  The most important aspect of this temple is that it is the only temple across the globe, which has a sanctum facing to the north.  It is the only sanctum of the Lord Srinivasa in this world which is north-facing.


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