(Last Updated on : 10/02/2014)
There are large numbers of interesting tourist places around Pudukkottai, which attract the visitors. Some of the important tourist places of Pudukkottai include Sittannavasal, Kudumiyanmalai, Kodumbalur, Aranthangi etc. Some of them are given here:
This ancient abode of Jains can be traced back to the 2nd century B.C. It is situated 16 kms from Pudukkottai.
The main attractions here are the rock-cut cave temple and its beautiful paintings in natural colours. The stone beds called Eladipattam and a cave where the Jain monks sought refuge in those days also attract the visitors. The images of Jain Tirtankaras can be seen in an 'Ardha Mandapam' and in the inner shrines of the cave temple. The paintings in the ceilings and walls of the temple contain paintings that resemble Ajanta paintings. Some of them have got damaged but still looks attractive. The flowers, calves, elephants, geese, all of them are depicted in unique poses and all relate to the Jains. All these are creation of the Pandyas. One can reach there easily as there are frequent bus services.
This place is situated 20 kms far from Pudukkottai. Here is a temple called Sikharagireeswarar, which contain exquisite sculptures and a 1000-pillared hall. Among the numerous inscriptions found in this temple, the quite interesting one is that of Mahendra Varma Pallavan. He made a treatise on music here, especially on the seven notes called Saptha Swara.
Mahendra Varma Pallavan built another rock-cut temple here in Pudukkottai above called 'Melakkoil'.
This place is 36 kms away from Pudukkottai and is also known as Moovar Koil. Of the Moovar Koil (Three temples) only two exist here now. Boodhi Vikrama Kesari, a general of the Chola army in the 10th century A.D built this temple. The Pandyas and the Pallavas had fierce battles between them here. This temple has unique architecture compared to other temples in south India. Other unique masterpieces of this temple are the sculptures of Kalarimurthi, Gaja (Elephant) Samharamurthi and Gangadaramurthi etc.
This is a temple of Lord Muruga. It is built here on a hillock. This is a 15th century temple. The presiding deity of this temple can be seen seated on a peacock mount with his two spouses Valli and Deivayanai. There is also a peacock sanctuary here, which is 40 kms from Pudukkottai.
It is 17 kms from Pudukkottai. Here, on the hillsides, several Jain monasteries can be seen. There are several rare medicinal plants and herbs such as black gooseberry (Karunelli), Jathi tree etc. in the forest here. It was also the capital of Mutharaiyar chieftains. The important visiting places here are the earliest structural stone temple, circular in shape built by Mutharaiyars, the Vijayalaya Choleswaram cave temple built by Vijayalaya the first king of the later Cholas and Kadambar Malai temple.
This place is situated about 19 kms from Pudukkottai. The important tourist attractions here are the fort, the Siva and the Vishnu temples. The Vijaya Ragunatha Sethupathi of Ramanathapuram built this 40 acre wide fort in 1687 A.D.
There is a rock-cut Siva temple with inscriptions on music on the hill here. The remnants of another fort can also be seen here. The Siva and Vishnu temples are there at the foot of the hill. The largest Anantasayi in India can be seen in the Vsihnu temple here. It is a natural cave, which has been changed into a shrine. An old chain armour used by Oomaithurai, who was imprisoned here can be seen here.
This temple is situated 40 kms from Pudukkottai. It is also called Thiruperunthurai. Atmanatha is the presiding deity of this temple. The unique features of this temple include that, there is no Lingam in the sanctum and only the Avudayar or its bottom pedestal is worshipped. There is no display of the goddess here in any form. The deity is also not offered any Neivedyam. Nandi, the mount of Siva usually in front of the deity is also absent here.
This is the only Saivaite shrine in the whole of India, which portrays the supreme truth symbolically. The deity here is called Atmanathar as the soul has no form. Manicka Vasagar, one of the 63 Saivaite saints built this temple. It is said that he spent all the money he got for purchasing horses for the Pandya king in building this temple.
The temple is renowned for its zephyr (granite roof) work. The ceiling of the Kanaka Sabhai is a superb creation in stone. The rope, rafters and nails are all in granite. The bow wielding Muruga, Kali and Siva's Rudra
Thandavam are the finest specimens in sculptural art.
It is 28 kms from Pudukkottai and this place is famous for churches. The new Roman Catholic Church here was built in 1747 A.D. The old chapel here was constructed by Fr John Venatius Bachet in 1547 A.D. The Easter Passion play here is followed by car festival in summer, which attracts thousands of people of all faiths.
This is a temple of Lord Muruga, which is situated about 10 kms from Pudukkottai. It is located at a small hill. The name Kumaramalai is given because Kumaran is another name for Lord Muruga. The tank water of this hill is considered to be holy.
This is an important Islamic pilgrim centre, situated about 30 kms from Pudukkottai. It is located on the Thirumayam-Madurai highway. The devotees of all faiths visit here. The annual 'Urs' occur in the month of Rabiyul Ahir.
It is situated about 40 kms from Pudukkottai on the way to Ponnamaravathi. Here, the Nandi of the Meenakshi Chokkeswarar temple is known as 'Nei Nandhi' (Ghee Bull) and it is very famous. This is made of black granite but still shines like marble due to frequent ablutions with pure ghee. It is surprising to see that there are no flies or ants despite the Nandi being showered with pure ghee daily. This temple is visited by large number of devotee everyday.
This city is the second largest in Pudukkottai. Numerous people visit here to see the ruined fort, the walls of which are constructed with mud and with bricks or stones. There are no ruins of palaces or any striking building inside the fort. The construction date of the fort is not known. But, the Tondaimans, who had no connections with those of Pudukkottai, are believed to have constructed it. There is also an eleventh century A.D. temple here, which was built by Rajendra Chola Varman.