Timings : 6:00 AM - 12:00 PM, 4:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Time Required : 2-3 hrs
Entry Fee : No entry fee
Named after the Elephant God - Lord Ganesha, the small town of Pillaiyarpatti is famous for the Pillaiyarpatti Karpaga Vinayakar Temple dedicated to the Hindu deity of knowledge and wisdom. In Tamil, Pillaiyar refers to Ganesha. The ancient rock-cut temple is a majestic testament to early Pandyan architecture, and the temple is said to have undergone three stages of growth throughout its history. The town is situated 70 kilometres north-east of Madurai, close to the heritage town of Karaikudi on the state highway 35. The temple building is mainly for its masterful sculpture work, elegant temple complex and a well-adorned shrine, and has fascinated hundreds of thousands of tourists and pilgrims since centuries. With detailed carvings adorning the exterior of the structure, the Pillaiyarpatti Temple makes up for an enchanting view.
The approximately 15 historical inscriptions found in the temple haven't been able to establish a definitive age although approximations date it back more than 1500 years since the erection of the first component in the vast structure. The chief deity in the temple is a bas-relief (a relief sculpture in which the figures project slightly from the background) carved out of a hillock in an excavated cave in the temple premises, an image of Karpaka Vinayagar (Lord Ganesh) which is a colossal 6 feet tall. Festivities and grand celebrations take place during Ganesh Chaturthi and is an amazing sight. The original temple is a Shiva temple and only became famous as a Ganesha temple over the course of time. Another unique feature of this shrine is that here, Lord Vinayaga appears with two hands, unlike other places where He appears with four hands. Being one of the oldest rock cut temples in the state of Tamil Nadu, it is the proof of brilliant craftsmanship and engineering of a bygone era.
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