(Last Updated on : 23/01/2009)
Adipurishvarar temple is situated at Tiruvottriyur in Tamil Nadu. Tiruvottriyur and its temple became well known during the days of the great Saiva saint Appar in the 7th century A.D. Earlier, the place was also known as Ottriyur.
Adipurishvarar temple is very large in size and consists of a number of sub-shrines for various deities such as Ganesha and Subramanya. The main shrine here is built of black granite and was dedicated to 'Adipurishvarar', the oldest structure in the campus.
It is an apsidal shrine or gajaprishtha-kara (elephant-back) shape. It is believed that the Tiruvottriyur shrine was inspired from the apsidal Nakula-Sahadeva Ratha at Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram of the 7th century A.D. Again, the shrine of Tirusoolam was built being inspired from the shrine of the Adipurishvarar temple.
According to an inscription available in the Adipurishvarar temple, it is known that the temple was renovated and rebuilt during the time of Rajendra I Chola (1012-44 A.D.). It was renovated under the direction of an architect named Ravi or Viracholatakshan. The Tyagaraja shrine of the temple is one of the most elegant structures in the temple. It is placed in the south of the main shrine. The images of the warriors riding on horses can be seen on the pillars in the mandapa of the Tyagaraja shrine. These pillars mainly belong to the Vijayanagar Nayak period.
According to historical evidences, it is known that several renowned saint-singers and savants like Adi Sankara, Kamban (12th century A.D.) and Arunagirinathar (15th century A.D.) visited the Adipurishvarar temple.