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Pillayar Patti - Sri Karpaga Vinayagar

Sri Karpaga Vinayagar (file photo)

Pillaiyarpatti is located near Thiruppathur,( near Karaikkudi) Sivagangai District of Tamil Nadu. This is one of the important sacred places for the Hindus and dedicated to Lord Ganesha. The unique feature of the temple is the size of the deity and it has been carved out from a rock in a cave. The trunk of the Lord is curled towards his right side known as 'Valampuri Pillaiyar'. He is seen majestically sitting in an artha padmasan posture.The Lord here grants any wish that a devotee sincerely prays for, similar to that of the mythological 'Karpaga Vritcham' ( a heavenly tree that can give anything you wish for). Hence the Lord here is called as Karpaga Vinayagar

Another unique feature of the deity is that He is seen with two hands, unlike the four hands of Ganesha seen in the rest of the places. He can be seen holding a Linga in his right hand instead of the usual Modak, meditating for the wellness of the living beings.

A breath taking view of the temple

The history of the temple dates back to more than 2500 years. There are 14 inscriptionsfound in the temple dated from 500 BC to 1284 AD establishing the fact. It could have been constructed and maintained by the Pandya kings. The 'sirpi' (the sculptor) who had created this idol has inscribed his name near the idol as 'Ekkatoor kon peruparanan'. Historians say that the style of writing and the tamil alphabets used are known as 'Tamizhi' type , which was used during the fifth century BC.

Massive doors on the eastern side

As you enter inside and walk past the 'kodi maram' , you can see the Marudeeshwar sannidhi. As you go around this sannidhi, you can see Goshta Vinayagar, Dakshinamurthy and Durga. On east is a seperate sannidhi for Sivagami Amman.

There are sannidhis for 'saptha madhas' , Lord Subramanya with his consorts Valli and Deivanai too

pillayarpatti praharam
Inside the temple
arjuna vritcha
The fossilised Arjuna vritcha

Three Lingams Thiruveesar, Marudheesar and Senchadeswarar and the three Goddess Sivagami amman, Vadamalar Mangaiamman and Soundara Nayaga amman all appear together here and has seperate sannidhis.

Temple Festivals The important festival here is the Ganesh Chaturthi ( Vinayaka Chaturthi) which is celeberated in a grand manner.This festival is celebrated for 10 days in a grand manner. The festival will begin with 'Kappukattu' and flag hoisting on the first day, cultural programmes are conducted from 6th day onwards. During the day and night, Lord Vinayaga is taken around in procession through the streets seated in different vahanams each day. On the ninth day, the Lord will have 'sandhana kaapu' ( completely covered in sandal paste) and this happens only once a year.

Many of the local people who live abroad, sync their vacation and make it a point to attend this festival. They say that nothing is more important in this world than participating in this festival.

Another important feature of this festival is the 'mukuruni modaka neivethyam'. Using 18 big measures (padi) of rice , they start cooking on the eighth day and a big modak is offered to the Lord on the tenth day.


Temple location It is located 12 kms from Karaikkudi / 7kms from Tirupathur.

Temple Timings The temple is open from 6:00 AM till 12 noon and from 5:00 pm till 9:00 pm

How to reach?

The nearest airport is Trichy. Rail head Karaikkudi is a major station with trains from Chennai, Trichy, Madurai. From there , buses, taxis are available to reach this place. Those who are brave enough can hire an auto rickshaw for a nominal charge of Rs 400 for a return trip. Private taxis cost around Rs 800 for a return trip. You can negotiate the fare as a package to visit other heritage temple nearby such as Kundrakudi, Thirukoshtiyur, Vairavanpatti etc for Rs 1500. ( as on July 2013)

Where to Stay? There are around 40 cottages near the temple built by the temple trust. Also there are many budget and semi deluxe hotels in Karaikkudi ( the author suggests lodging at Karaikkudi)

Contact 04577-264240, 264241, 264182, 264797
Useful data
State: Tamil Nadu
District: Sivaganga
Famous for: Pilgrimage
Languages: Tamil
Best Season: Throughout the year. Summer( from May to July) could be very sultry when the mercury shoots to 40 degree celsius.
Weather: Summer 33-42°C, Winter 22-28°C
Altitude: Sea level


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